It’s Christmas Eve here in San Francisco, just as it is for most of the world, except for you lucky Aussies who are already celebrating the day, probably with shrimp on the barby at Bondi Beach!
Here in SF, there’s a chill in the air as the sun goes down and wisps of fog slip under the Golden Gate Bridge. Stores, restaurants and pubs are all shutting down all over the city, although there’s probably time to grab an Irish coffee at the Buena Vista, or a shot and beer at Lefty O’Doul’s, near the tree in Union Square. There’s hardly anyone riding the MUNI underground and those few who had to work today are heading home. For some the holiday stress is over, and they’re looking forward to nothing more than kicking back with their sweetie and a glass of wine, warming their bones by the annual Yule log showing on KOFY-TV13 and opening presents at midnight.
But for some the stress is just beginning, as they face an evening of building and wrapping toys. For those people I raise my own glass of wine, and say, ‘Good luck with all that.’
Me, I keep myself immune from all that Christmas anxiety and all the other obligations that can make the holidays a total drag. I don’t get wrapped in all the gift buying hullaballoo and I don’t attend every holiday party I’m invited to, even if they are serving really good red wine and jalapeno poppers stuffed with crab meat.
No, I like to keep my holidays stress-free by observing the many simple pleasures of the season. I love the decorations and the lights, I love the corny movies (I’m looking right at you White Christmas) and I really love the music. And at this time every year I renew the deep, lifelong bond I’ve shared with my Christmas tree.
Yep, I love all that stuff, but mostly I love seeing how cities dress themselves up at Christmas. Everyday things take on a different, happier look and feel and for a brief time in December (or November and December, lately), cities become transformed into something that Hallmark might term magical.
To that end, one of the cooler things about being part of a blog community is that some of my favorite bloggers are now posting pics of their own cities all done at Christmas. Both Chris at Something For Pok and Pauline (pommepal) at Gypsy Life have posted holiday pics of my second favorite city in the world: Sydney, Australia. And London Calling has just put up pics of London’s Piccadilly at Christmas. So check ’em out — just click on the links!
And if any of you guys want to include links to pics of your own city at Christmas that you’ve posted on your blogs, feel free to put them in the comments section below. I, for one, would love to see them, and I’m sure many others will too!
Here’s my own collection of pics featuring San Francisco at Christmas. These photos were taken between 2009 and now (some were taken this past weekend) with a variety of different cameras. I hope you enjoy them.
Bon Noel, everybody!
Great collection of photos Stephen you have captured the feeling of Christmas. Thanks for the link. Well all over for another year. Onwards and upwards…. 🙂
I, for one, am glad to be ending a year that ends in the number 13.
Hope you have a better one in 2014 Stephen
Even though I’ve been converted recently to the belief that Christmas is best celebrated in truly cold snowy weather, your photos are reminding me very strongly I haven’t been back to the Bay Area in some time. I miss the area, and I hope to go back at some point soon. 🙂