Featured, Society & People, Spotlight

Christmas in the Sun

This year, The Rock at Boston College is doing the season of joy in a big way by generating new content every day in our second annual “25 Days of Christmas”. The Rock is proud to present this installment in our holiday special.


The holiday season always evokes images of spending time with your family, each of you dressed in cozy Christmas sweaters sipping hot chocolate or egg nog by the fire and watching as snow begins to blanket your front yard and neighborhood. However, this “white” Christmas isn’t the norm for some parts of the country. Yeah, I’m talking about Christmas in my home state of California.

I’ve never experienced a “white” Christmas, or a Christmas where the temperature went below 65 degrees. In fact, last year it was so hot that my family just ended up going to the beach. So far I’ve received a pretty much identical reaction from people at BC that I’ve told this to: “That isn’t Christmas.” One person even went so far as to tell me that it was “sacrilege.” Although a Christmas where it actually snows is great, a Christmas at the beach can be great too. And here’s why!

Hardcore Christmas Decorations

2100412457_ecd5c81c63_oPeople go full out with Christmas lights during the holiday season when the temperature doesn’t prevent you from spending time outside decorating the whole day. Yes, I know there are Christmas decorations all over the country but houses in L.A. don’t mess around. A lot of neighborhoods go to the extent of planning out themes for each street.

Even without the cold temperatures, the Christmas spirit is alive and well throughout the city. Also, all the outdoor malls, like The Grove, decorate beautifully so you don’t need the temperature to make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. They also have “snow” (i.e. soap) at night.

Disneyland and DisneyworldDisneyland_MP_121207_13

By far any Disney theme park is its prettiest during the holiday season. From the gigantic Christmas tree on Main Street, Minnie and Mickey dressed in full holiday garb, and Santa making his way through the park as “snow” begins to fall, a Christmas at Disney is amazing. Especially since my friends and I can avoid layering up and just spend the whole day in shorts and a t-shirt.


The Beach

Trade in a “white” Christmas for a warm and sandy Christmas. Various beaches in Southern California have a ton of events going on for Christmas. You can usually see a Micheal Pless, dressed in a Santa wetsuisurfing Santa, bring your pet to take pictures with Santa on doggie beach, and see all of Newport and Laguna Beach’s hardcore decorated beach-front houses on the Cruise of Lights.

There is also the Seal Beach Christmas Parade where you can see Santa ride down Pacific Coast Highway in a classic car, in true California style, amidst palm trees decorated in Christmas lights. Apart from all the holiday-themed events, just having the beach there to use while on break is great in itself. Go catch some rays before putting the parka back on when we come back in January.

Mexican Food

19TAMALES1-articleLargeAlthough I may be biased (okay, I’m definitely biased), Mexican food gets even better during the holiday season. There are tamales everywhere. You know, that delicious meat filled, maize-wrapped dish sent from heaven to make everything better. Side note: You can also get a “Rosca de Reyes”. It’s basically a giant circular cake that has plastic figurines in it. Traditionally, when you get a piece with a figurine in it you’re supposed to buy tamales for your family in the new year. You can also ignore that rule and just eat it, because it’s really good.

big-bear-lakeStill want snow?

Big Bear is only two hours away from L.A. It’s an easy day trip to go ski and snowboard and tons of people do it during the holiday break. In fact I’ve known several people that go snowboard in the morning and then go surf in the afternoon.

There are tons of possibilities for spending time outdoors during winter break in Southern California.

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