Christmas is just a little different in California!  No…the word “different” doesn’t really do justice to what Christmas is here.  Oh sure, we have our traditional Christmas trees, mall Santas, and neighborhood decorations.  But because of the weather and the proximity to the Pacific Ocean, some things just seem different to a guy like me who spent his childhood years in the midwestern deep freeze of Iowa.

This past weekend found me loading up my bike and heading down the coast to the Crystal Cove State Park to experience some extreme biking!  And I do mean EXTREME!  If you’ve followed my blog very long, then you know I own two beach cruiser bikes.  One is what I refer to as my “beater” bike.  It’s the one I take if I’m planning a ride that is some distance away.  My other bike is what I refer to as my “smooth” bike.  This is the bike I generally ride at the beach – because it’s…smooth!  Both bikes are single gear cruisers making a ride such as this extremely challenging!  You see, Crystal Cove State Park is set among the cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean between Newport Beach and Laguna Beach.  Translation: extreme changes in elevation!!

Eventually, you find yourself on the one trail that will lead you to the Beachcomber Restaurant.  Located right on the sand at the south end of the park, this place draws people from all over the world.

With the temperature hovering around 80 degrees, I captured these Christmas scenes while waiting for a table at the Beachcomber.

See, I told you it was different here.  How many places can boast a Christmas tree on the beach?

Only here will you see Santa’s helpers taking a barefoot break to dip their toes in the Pacific Ocean.

Oh, look at that!  There’s a couple of chairs available right now for anyone looking for a break from the cold!  What are you waiting for?  But, you better act fast!

Too late!  You snooze, you lose!  Empty chairs just don’t last very long!

Some things remain the same!  Candy cane decorations are just as popular here as anywhere!

QUICK!  It looks like the chairs are available once again!  Why don’t you get out of that cold and take some time to soak up some California sun?  We’d love to have you!

Oh sure, I can hear some of you saying, “That’s OK, I’ll take my white Christmas!”  Don’t think for a minute I don’t love a white Christmas – because I do!  That’s why I’ll be taking that 90 minute drive to the mountains over the holidays for a “day” in the snow!!  But then, it’ll be back to the beach for me!

Thanks for stopping by today!  Wherever you happen to be – warm weather, bitter cold, or somewhere in between, I hope you have a wonderful Christmas season this year.  And remember, when you’re opening those gifts and celebrating the festivities with your family and friends – it’s also the time of year to celebrate the greatest gift of all!

Merry Christmas Everyone!! 

~ by photographyfree4all on December 13, 2010.


  1. I live in Ohio and it is truly white here. It’s a snowpocolypse here right now. After shoveling snow for about 3 hours this morning, those chairs are looking mighty good! Sure, I’ll take a white Christmas. I’ll even take a week of snow! However, that’s as far as I’m willing to go with snow at this point. Enjoy your beach and warm weather and beach Christmas tree! The Christmas tree on the beach is my favorite. 🙂


  2. Great! I was out riding my mtn bike yesterday as well at Caprock Canyon state park – with a 45lb pack on my back with food, water, warm stuff, etc. And it was COLD!!


  3. You should try Christmas in Australia sometime! 🙂


  4. I’ve been watching that terrible winter storm as it moved through that part of the country, Danielle. I’ll try to give you a brief respite from your winter from time to time with my photography – without rubbing it in! 🙂

    Thanks for sharing your comment!! I’m so glad you stopped by.


  5. See Derrick, you’re talkinmg about some serious riding! And, I thought I was riding some rough terrain. 🙂 Thanks for sharing this comment! I really apprecite it!


  6. Now that sounds like fun! 🙂 Thanks for leaving this comment/invitation, Journey!


  7. Haha!! Well thank you. I’m sure I’ll enjoy it through the season of the snow. 🙂


  8. I love the shot of the Christmas tree on the beach! I’ll think of that while we are six feet under the snow. Have a great Christmas!


  9. 🙂 You’re welcome! You deserve it! It gets c-c-c-cold back there!


  10. I always liked the snow…until about January 1. Then, I was ready for spring! Thanks for this comment, KKH! I’m glad you stopped by!


  11. Quite different from the 24 inches of snow my sister got in Minnesota. I’m in the middle of monsoon season in the Pacific Northwest myself. I’d love to trade weather for a few days. Lovely photos!


  12. Oh, how I miss Christmas in California! The wind chill is 12 degrees here today, so I am enjoying these glimpses of my former home. I especially like the candy cane shot!


  13. Oh my goodness, I have a sister-in-law that lives in Minneapolis! I always wonder what it is about a place where the winter seems to last for 9 months! And the rain in the NW, well that’s what will make it so green when I visit next summer…right? Thanks for sharing your comments here, Jolene! I always look forward to them.


  14. When I first moved here, I have to admit it took some getting used to, Miss Pearl. I mean, shorts on Christmas day was just unheard of in Iowa! But now, I welcome the warm Christmases. I always make it to the snow for a visit, though. I’m so glad you share your comments here, Miss Pearl! They’re always good!


  15. After looking at your wonderful photos, I think I’d enjoy a Christmas in California. 🙂


  16. I bet you would, Robin! It may seem strange at first, but the winter here is pretty amazing! Stay warm! 🙂


  17. Christmas tree on the beach.. perfect!


  18. I am sure we a another white Christmas here this year (like last year). But my best Christmas was in 1995 – in New Zealand – where things were exactly like here around you 🙂


  19. New Zealand must be beautiful at Christmas time! I bet you won’t soon forget that one, Truels. Thanks for sharing another great comment! I really appreciate it.


  20. Wow, different is right. I just love your beach Christmas tree shot. While I don’t think I’d like to celebrate Christmas this way every year, I think it is something I wouldn’t mind trying at least once!


  21. The weather was amazing, Karen! I think it always different when Christmas is in a warm climate – especially when you grew up in a cold climate. Glas you stopped by! I hope you have a wonderful holiday!


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