With new stay-at-home orders in California, rising COVID-19 cases and life entering month 10 of virtual everything, holiday cheer may not seem as cheery for some this Christmas season. People cannot – or should not – gather for holiday celebrations like in normal years.
I have gone through almost all the holiday movies on streaming platforms and have yet to find a good gingerbread house kit in stores.
But in my efforts to try to muster some personal holiday spirit while staying socially distanced, I drove around Claremont this week to see how the city was spreading holiday cheer via outdoor home decorations lighting up some neighborhoods.
I started off on Richmond Drive in Claremont Tuesday night. There was no line of cars to see the house, but there were some families on foot with face masks on.
One house on Richmond Drive stood out among several decorated, and it lit up the street with its many decorations. Twinkling lights hung from the tree in the front yard, and lights adorned the concrete in front of the property as well. There were inflatable Christmas characters: a snowman on a hot air balloon, and another snowman chopper on the roof. The decorations brought smiles to me and the people walking around the neighborhood with their families.
There were some homes that played with their definition on the meaning of Christmas, but ultimately it kept the spirit of the holidays fresh and alive within the community.
My personal favorite was a house that had a desert theme decor with cactus all over the front yard. The house was not over the top with decorations and kept quite simple: traditional red, green, and blue lights to signify Christmas. For me, it stood out the most because I loved the style of the house and how unique it was in not needing to add over the top decorations or being the brightest on the street.
As I continued down Scripps Drive, houses were glowing with lights and Christmas music with families walking down streets and in cars. The efforts by so many people in Claremont truly embodies the spirit of Christmas in trying to keep the holiday cheers within the community. The joy across the faces of people looking at the Santas on front porches and children waving at the reindeers on roofs trying to get their attention is what Christmas is all about.
Even though for me the experience was brief, it did feel as though things were somewhat normal, that Christmas season is upon us. And that despite everything we can make the most of this holiday season.
Destinee Mondragon can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.