Friday, December 25, 2015

Sights and Sounds - A Holiday Post

It's the day before Christmas and I've been cleaning and cooking all day (getting stuffing ready for tomorrow and pot roast for tonight), but I wanted to wish everyone a happy holiday, however you celebrate. My daughter Mary will spend the night - we'll eat pot roast and watch Star Wars VI. We've been watching all the movies in preparation for Star Wars VII. The plan is to see it next week for her birthday. My older daughter Beth will be here in the morning - one of the few times in the year that the stars align and we can all spend time together. We'll try to Skype with Josh and family in Iowa - my idea of a perfect day. Christmas is precious to me for many reasons.

I don't keep a lot of traditions during the year, but this season is my favorite and I have a few traditions I like to keep, both old and new. One of the more recent is a trip to San Francisco. I live fairly close, so the trip itself is no big deal. I go many times a year but I especially like to go near Christmas.

I especially like to go with both my daughters - get something to eat, do a little shopping. Mary was working and unable to get away so she didn't come. Beth was escaping to a cabin in the snow the following day and I had some music I wanted to give her (some of which will be in a review next month). I figured I could go up to the city, do a little shopping, then pick her up from work (downtown) and take her home.

This may sound like no big deal to most people, but it's sometimes a real crap shoot for me - whether it's "fun" or just completely overwhelming, which I usually avoid like the plague. And I almost didn't go, but I'm glad I did. I always am.

Union Square is always a pretty cool place, but at Christmas it's extra sparkly and noisy and crowded. The Christmas tree is huge,

and there are lights in the palm trees, of course. This is California, after all. There is seasonal ice skating,

which I haven't been brave enough to try, but want to - one of these years. I haven't ice skated since I was about ten. I'm sure I'd spend most of the time on my butt on the ice. But it's fun watching others and certainly adds to the holiday atmosphere.

Then there's Macy's.

We usually spend some time there, but it wasn't my goal this day. There are, however, kittens.

Many, many kittens, all available for adoption.

Unexpected was the free entertainment further down the street. There was this guy,

and a host of other strange performers looking like they had escaped from a Cirque du Soleil troupe; actors in Victorian garb reading, I assume, from appropriate Dickensian texts (I didn't stop long enough to listen carefully); and a neat animated mural.

I always enjoy street performers (if they're any good) and I appreciated this guy,

before reaching my goal, the Market Street shopping center, where I got Mary a cute jacket and Beth a nice shirt. Shhh....don't tell them. We're having a "small" Christmas this year. Not that we ever have really "big" Christmases, but this year none of us has much extra to spend and that's not the point anyway. There are a few gifts under the tree, we'll have a nice meal, and we'll spend time together. That's all that really matters.

I hope your holiday, whatever you celebrate and however you spend it, is peaceful and happy and perfect. I'll see you in the New Year!

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Note: All original text and materials by or commissioned by B. B. Shepherd are copyright 2012-2015 to B B Shepherd.


  1. I hope your Christmas was a joyous one!

    1. Thank you, Laura. It was! I hope you have a terrific New Year!