Little Italy gets ready for Christmas!

Golden nutcracker stands guard at west end of Piazza della Famiglia in Little Italy one early morning in December.
Golden nutcracker stands guard at west end of Piazza della Famiglia in Little Italy.

Looks to me like Little Italy is just about ready for Christmas!

Enjoy a few photos from early this morning!

A silvery Christmas tree and white snowflakes near the piazza's many outdoor tables and chairs.
A silvery Christmas tree and white snowflakes near Piazza della Famiglia’s many outdoor tables and chairs.
Felice 2020! painted on a restaurant window.
Felice 2020! Festive words and wreaths painted on a restaurant window.
A colorful nutcracker on India Street near the Little Italy landmark sign.
A colorful nutcracker on India Street near the Little Italy landmark sign.
Green garlands and red ribbons, colors of Christmas.
Green garlands and red ribbons, colors of Christmas.
Buon Natale. Buon Capodanno.
Buon Natale. Buon Capodanno.
Santa's elves are painting a huge candy cane.
Santa’s elves are painting a huge candy cane on this window.
A shining crystalline Christmas tree at Piazza Basilone in Little Italy.
A shining crystalline Christmas tree at Piazza Basilone in Little Italy. Have I arrived at the North Pole?
It promises to be another beautiful holiday season in San Diego's Little Italy!
It promises to be another beautiful holiday season in San Diego’s Little Italy!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Photos from a rainy December Nights!

I headed into Balboa Park today around noon to get a taste of 2019 December Nights.

It was overcast and drizzly at the start of San Diego’s huge holiday event, but when I left in mid-afternoon the weather had slightly improved.

This evening as I type these words it’s already dark. Bright, colorful lights will have turned on throughout Balboa Park, and the crowds will be massive and growing. Our city’s annual holiday festival is one of the biggest in the United States.

During my early walk many vendors were still setting up and the entertainment was just beginning on several stages. Santa hats and Christmas trees and yummy treats and smiles were already abundant. My camera turned right and left as I took some photos. Please excuse me for not captioning the images this year. I just wanted to share a smidgen of the magic.

(I did go into the Comic-Con Museum when it opened in the early afternoon, and if my indoor photos came out okay, I should be blogging some more very cool stuff shortly!)

Happy Holidays to all!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Christmas Around the World at Balboa Park.

Carnival mask with Christmas ornaments at the House of Italy.
Carnival mask with Christmas ornaments at the House of Italy.

Christmas on the Prado is being held today in Balboa Park. The event, while not nearly as large as December Nights, is special to many in San Diego because it is primarily religious, celebrating the birth of Christ.

This afternoon I wandered randomly about the International Cottages, seeing what I might see. Most of the cottages were open for the event and many contained Christmas trees and unique decorations.

I photographed a variety of crafts and beautiful displays, which are said to represent Christmas Around the World.

People roam about the International Cottages to get a taste of Christmas Around the World.
People roam about the International Cottages to get a taste of Christmas Around the World.
Making paper Christmas tree ornaments at the House of Norway.
Making paper Christmas ornaments at the House of Norway.
A folksy Christmas tablecloth at the House of Norway.
A folksy Christmas tablecloth at the House of Norway.
A craft bedecked Christmas tree at the House of Denmark.
A craft bedecked Christmas tree at the House of Denmark.
Entertainment at the International Cottages during 2019 Christmas on the Prado.
Entertainment at the International Cottages during 2019 Christmas on the Prado.
Beautiful holiday season decorations at the House of Finland.
Beautiful holiday season decorations at the House of Finland.
A golden Black Madonna with Christ child at the House of Poland.
A golden Black Madonna with Christ child at the House of Poland.
Season Greeting and Jingle Bells seat covers at the House of England.
Season Greeting and Jingle Bells seat covers at the House of England.
A bright little Christmas tree at the House of England.
A bright little Christmas tree at the House of England.
Kids could make holiday crafts in the patio at the House of Ireland.
Kids could make holiday crafts in the patio at the House of Ireland.
Painting pine cones in Christmas colors!
Painting pine cones in Christmas colors!
A traditional Christmas tree at the House of Germany.
A traditional Christmas tree at the House of Germany.
Father Christmas and children in a winter wonderland. Happy needlework at the House of Germany.
Father Christmas and children in a winter wonderland. Joyful needlework at the House of Germany.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

A surprising encounter with Santa Claus.

Last year I published an original short story called An Encounter With Santa Claus. This isn’t the jolly Santa Claus we usually see.

The story has a touching ending.

If you are curious and would like to read a short work of fiction that concerns human compassion, click here.

Merry Christmas!

Santa Claus is on his way to San Diego!

I see the holidays are being celebrated at San Diego's festive Old Town Model Railroad Depot.
I see the holidays are being celebrated at San Diego’s festive Old Town Model Railroad Depot.

I just checked the Official NORAD Santa Tracker and I see that Santa Claus and his flying reindeer are presently distributing presents to everyone on the good list in Amsterdam. According to that website he has already delivered over 3.5 billion gifts. Santa must use one of those magic Harry Potter bags!

I’m so excited!

Santa Claus should be arriving in San Diego, California very soon now!

Look! It's Santa! He has arrived in Old Town San Diego already! He must have hitched his flying reindeer to this old wagon instead of a sleigh!
Look! It’s Santa! He has arrived in Old Town San Diego already! He must have hitched his flying reindeer to this old wagon instead of a sleigh!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everybody!

And Happy New Year, too!

Lots of fun and surprising blogs coming up!

Take care and keep on smiling!

Richard

Art, crafts and fun at December Nights!

I spotted a Santa Claus with a beard made of white yarn at 2018 December Nights!
I spotted a Santa Claus with a beard made of white yarn at 2018 December Nights!

Another year, another wonderful December Nights in Balboa Park!

I headed across the Cabrillo Bridge at noon today, just as the second day of San Diego’s big annual holiday event got underway.

I prefer to wander through December Nights in the early afternoon. The sun is out, the air is warm, and the feeling is unhurried and carefree. I miss the magical Christmas lights after dark, but I also avoid the hectic press of huge crowds.

I’ve blogged December Nights for so many years now, I thought I’d try for a new angle in 2018 and focus on all the holiday art and crafts one can see while walking around. As usual, however, I ended up taking photos of anything fun that happened to catch my eye.

Many fun holiday crafts and decorations can be enjoyed throughout Balboa Park during December Nights.
Many fun holiday crafts and decorations can be enjoyed throughout Balboa Park during December Nights.
Jeff, the super cool Spanish Village Art Center historian, holds a drum and greets visitors with a huge smile!
Jeff, the super cool Spanish Village Art Center historian, holds a drum and greets visitors with a huge smile!
I was taking a photo of glass Christmas ornaments in Spanish Village when I got photobombed!
I was taking a photo of glass Christmas ornaments in Spanish Village when I got photobombed!
A happy elf was lurking near one of the Spanish Village artist studios.
A happy elf was lurking near one of the Spanish Village artist studios.
Some of the carved wooden animals of the Balboa Park Carousel were wearing elf and Santa hats.
Some of the carved wooden animals of the historic Balboa Park Carousel were wearing elf and Santa hats.
I learned Santa Claus would be hanging out in front of the Starlight Bowl.
I learned Santa Claus would be hanging out in front of the Starlight Bowl.
I noticed The Old Globe Theatre's gift shop was well stocked with nasty green Grinches, and his adorable dog Max, too!
I noticed The Old Globe Theatre’s gift shop was well stocked with vile, nasty Grinches, and his adorable dog Max, too!
People take a break during December Nights by sitting near cheerful red poinsettias in the Botanical Building.
People take a break during December Nights by sitting near cheerful red poinsettias in the Botanical Building.
A big Santa hangs from the Point Loma Garden Club's colorful tree, one of many fantastic Christmas trees inside the Casa del Prado.
A big Santa hangs from the Point Loma Garden Club’s candy and cookie bedecked tree, one of many fantastic Christmas trees inside the Casa del Prado.
Another Christmas tree at the Festival of Trees was decorated by the Friends of Balboa Park with many happy dreams.
Another Christmas tree at the annual Festival of Trees was decorated by the Friends of Balboa Park with many happy dreams.
The San Diego Womens Chorus sings holiday music at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion during 2018 December Nights.
The San Diego Womens Chorus sings holiday music at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion during 2018 December Nights.
A group of children called Let's Dance for Fun! performs at the small December Nights stage near the Botanical Building.
A group of children called Let’s Dance for Fun! performs at the small December Nights stage near the Botanical Building.
Santa, a guest of the House of Finland, was checking to see if children have been good at Balboa Park's International Cottages.
Santa, a guest of the House of Finland, was checking his list to see if children have been naughty or nice at Balboa Park’s International Cottages.
Holiday traditions and music from around the world are celebrated at the International Cottages during December Nights.
Holiday traditions and music from around the world are celebrated at the International Cottages during December Nights.
The House of Sweden always has lots of Christmas crafts and fun holiday stuff on display.
The House of Sweden always has lots of Christmas crafts and fun holiday stuff on display.
I headed over to the Starlight Bowl and spotted a happy snowman atop the outdoor amphitheater's roof.
I headed over to the Starlight Bowl and spotted a happy snowman atop the outdoor amphitheater’s box office roof.
These friendly folks with Save Starlight are looking for people to help support the restoration of a cherished San Diego performance venue, Balboa Park's Starlight Bowl.
These friendly folks with Save Starlight are looking for people to help support the restoration of a cherished San Diego performance venue, Balboa Park’s Starlight Bowl.

If you love Balboa Park, and would like to help restore the beloved Starlight Bowl, please take a moment to visit the Save Starlight website here!

I poked my nose inside the Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theater and noticed there's going to be a fun Merry Christmas Show coming up!
I poked my nose inside the Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theater and noticed there’s going to be a fun Merry Christmas Show coming up!
I discovered lots of holiday art, crafts and fun at another wonderful December Nights!
I discovered lots of holiday art, crafts and fun at another wonderful December Nights!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

A joyful celebration of Christmas in San Diego!

Second grade students from Dailard Elementary School fill Balboa Park with joyous song during 2018 Christmas on the Prado.
Second grade students from Dailard Elementary School fill Balboa Park with joyous song during 2018 Christmas on the Prado.

If you love Christmas and happen to be in San Diego this Sunday afternoon, head over to Balboa Park! It’s the second day of Christmas on the Prado!

The 5th Annual Children’s Coalition “Christmas on the Prado” will be held at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion and International Cottages from 1 – 4 pm, and will feature a special Christmas Concert by Civic Organist Raúl Prieto Ramírez, lots of holiday treats, inspiring scenes of the Nativity, games and crafts for kids, cultural displays of Christmas Around the World, a reading of The Night Before Christmas by Mrs. Claus, and photos with good old Saint Nick himself!

Christmas on the Prado is a joyful two day holiday event that celebrates the birth of Christ and the generous spirit of Christmas.

Click here to learn more. (Christmas on the Prado continues to grow every year–but they can always use more volunteers and participants! I learned that church groups from all around San Diego are welcomed to come together and join the program! Why not?)

Yesterday I experienced the first day of this year’s event.

Here are some photographs . . .

Mrs. Claus greeted me in the early afternoon as Christmas on the Prado got underway.
Mrs. Claus greeted me in the early afternoon as Christmas on the Prado got underway.
Looking at eight beautiful scenes of the Nativity created by the Community Christmas Center, which was established in 1953 in Balboa Park.
Looking at eight beautiful scenes of the Nativity created by the Community Christmas Center, which was established in 1953 in Balboa Park.
Child is awed by a visiting angel.
Child sees a visiting angel.
Elsewhere in the rear of the Spreckels Organ Pavilion, Santa confers with an elf before a photo is taken.
Elsewhere in the rear of the Spreckels Organ Pavilion, Santa confers with an elf before a photo is taken.
Dozens of happy elves would be first to perform on the Spreckels Organ Pavilion stage.
Dozens of happy, energetic elves would be first to perform on the Spreckels Organ Pavilion stage.
Young singers from Dailard Elementary School treat the crowd to fun holiday music.
Young singers from Dailard Elementary School treat the crowd to fun holiday music.
The nearby International Cottages were celebrating Christmas Around the World. This beautiful creche in the Hall of Nations is from Peru.
The nearby International Cottages were celebrating Christmas Around the World. This beautiful creche in the Hall of Nations is from Peru.
These fun Christmas crafts were on display in the House of Sweden's cottage.
These fun Christmas crafts were on display in the House of Sweden’s cottage.
Christmas baskets made of paper and many hands inside the House of Norway's cottage.
Christmas baskets made of paper by many hands inside the House of Norway’s cottage.
The House of Hungary had their very beautiful Christmas sparkling for all to enjoy.
The House of Hungary had their very beautiful Christmas sparkling for all to enjoy.
The House of England was hoping that Father Christmas would Please Stop Here.
The House of England was hoping that Father Christmas would Please Stop Here.
Members of the House of Ireland prepare to sing among the International Cottages during Christmas on the Prado in Balboa Park.
Members of the House of Ireland prepare to sing among the International Cottages during Christmas on the Prado in Balboa Park.
A bit later, Santa and Mrs. Claus read The Night Before Christmas to gathered children and the young-at-heart.
A bit later, Santa and Mrs. Claus read The Night Before Christmas to gathered children and the young-at-heart.
Back at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion, the super talented group Chamber Bravura performs. They've sung several times at Carnegie Hall!
Back at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion, the super talented group Chamber Bravura performs. They’ve sung several times at Carnegie Hall!
Chamber Bravura lifts hearts with Christmas song, combining popular carols with unexpected moments of humor.
Chamber Bravura lifts hearts with Christmas song, combining popular carols with unexpected bits of silly humor.
Jumping for treats at the Gingerbread House.
Jumping for treats at the Gingerbread House.
The Kearny Mesa Concert Band is almost ready to perform as the magical Spreckels Organ Pavilion lights come on.
The Kearny Mesa Concert Band is almost ready to perform as the magical Spreckels Organ Pavilion lights come on.
Lights also come on in the Nativity scenes. A beautiful depiction of Mary and Joseph with the Christ child, escaping to Egypt.
Lights also come on in the Nativity scenes. A beautiful depiction of Mary and Joseph with the Christ child, escaping to Egypt.
Jesus with the little children. For the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these.
Jesus with the little children. For the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these.
More happy elves take the stage for a Christmas sing-along.
More happy elves take the stage for a Christmas sing-along.
The Sun Harbor Chorus Elves had many in the audience singing, clapping and ringing bells.
The Sun Harbor Chorus Elves had many in the audience singing, clapping and ringing bells.
The nose of an elf named Faith was getting cold, so Santa took a mini-Santa hat off the tree and put it on her nose. Photo courtesy Bill Swank.
The nose of an elf named Faith was getting cold, so Santa took a mini-Santa hat off the tree and put it on her nose. Photo courtesy Bill Swank. (Thank you!)

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!