Advent Calendar Day 5: My First Christmas in California by Evelyne Holingue

Solveig invited me to contribute to her Advent Calendar event. I wrote about my first American Christmas in California, only three days after I had left Paris with my baby daughter. Although many years have passed and I am now celebrating the holidays in a very American way, I won’t forget this very first Christmas.
The photos were not taken in Palo Alto in 1990 but a couple of years ago when I visited Christmas Tree Lane in Fresno, CA, one of the most stunning holiday displays in the country.
I wish you all a Peaceful and Loving Holiday Season.

Solveig Werner


My First Christmas in California by Evelyne Holingue

“You’ve got to see something,” my husband said, right after picking our eleven-month-old daughter and me up at the San Francisco airport.
We had left Paris on December 22, more than twenty hours ago, and I wondered what could a Parisian have never seen that couldn’t wait until the next day. But an irresistible hint of excitement in my husband’s voice triggered my curiosity.
“Where are you taking me?” I asked.
“Get ready,” he said with a twinkle in his 1-1

We drove through Palo Alto for another half hour. Although there were almost no cars and absolutely no one in the streets, every house was lit up with tiny white bulbs that looked like icicles. Plastic Santa Clauses and snowmen, reindeer and sleighs made out of wire stood in almost every front yard. Many tree trunks were wrapped with electric garlands…

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