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If you are a transplant from a colder climate like I am, then you may be well-acquainted with the feeling that Christmas never really feels like Christmas in San Diego. Waking up on Christmas morning without snow on the ground, frost on the windows, and the fire roaring in the living room are reduced to mere memories. If you are longing for those days as I sometimes do, it is time for a reminder of how fortunate we are to live in America’s Finest City. And while this is a blessing for which I am grateful every single day, during the holiday season I miss the things that remind me of the excitement I felt as a kid, ensconced in festive Christmas traditions.
To this end, I try to find activities around San Diego to get me into the Christmas spirit. A fantastic option for Carmel Valley residents is nearby at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. During the month of December, the Holiday of Lights boasts more than 400 displays which earns it the title of the “largest animated drive-through light show on the West Coast.” Check the website for a $2 off coupon on a single car admission.
For the thriftier San Diegans who are willing to venture outside of the immediate Del Mar/Carmel Valley vicinity, Christmas Card Lane in Rancho Peñasquitos provides a heartwarming family environment to revel in the unique displays in which entire neighborhoods invested hours to perfect. Similar to the Holiday of Lights, you can experience the lights through the month of December.
So this holiday season, take the time to relive those memories that defined your childhood, whatever they may be. I know I will be.
Darcie Czajkowski lives, works, and plays in Carmel Valley. While she is a securities litigation attorney by day, her passions lie in writing, cooking, and traveling. She has written two women’s fiction novels and is pursuing publication. She also enjoys playing tennis, hiking at Torrey Pines State Reserve, and frequenting North County’s best happy hour spots.