Whether I spend the holidays at home, travel widely, or simply go to grandma’s house, I feel compelled to take the camera with me.  What’s a trip, however short, without a photo?  Since this is almost Christmas, I thought I would write about Christmas travel past and present.  I’m not going to undergo a Scrooge-like transformation, but I will post a few pictures to get us all in the mood.

I enjoy the glow from lighted windows, so when I stopped in front of this shop in Solvang one December evening a few years ago, I couldn’t resist trying to capture it.

Solvang shop window at Christmas time

Solvang shop window at Christmas time. a Christmas travel destination a couple of years ago

It was early evening, and a few people were walking about shopping for souvenirs.  Solvang prides itself on its Danish traditions.  Christmas is a great time to visit and sample the delights in stores like the one above.  Better yet, purchase some holiday pastries from one of the many bakeries!

If my schedule permits, I like to stop by the John Rains House in Rancho Cucamonga.  The historical society presents a holiday open house on the first Saturday of December.  It’s a small community affair but very warm and cozy.

Historic lighting with a holiday touch at the Rains House

Historic lighting with a holiday touch at the Rains House

These lamps were on the mantel in one of the rooms in the house.  They gave off such a nice glow!

Speaking of glow, one year I traveled to Newport Beach to cruise the harbor and take in the Christmas Boat Parade.  Boats of all sizes were decorated for the event; this story’s title image is one such boat.  In addition to the boats, the homes along the shore were also bedecked with lights for the holidays.

Buildings on the shore at Newport Beach, CA

Buildings on the shore at Newport Beach, CA

This cruise is a lovely outing during the holidays.  I recommend it if you’re looking for something slightly different.

Of course, tradition is important at this time of year.  One small outing my family and I have made for years is a trip to Claremont.  We usually walk about the Village and do a little shopping.  No trip is complete without a stop at the A-Kline Chocolatier shop.

Chocolate holly leaves and berries.

Chocolate holly leaves and berries for sale at A-Kline Chocolatier

We used to purchase fudge and peanut brittle as well as candy canes and small stocking stuffer things.  Now, I try to stay away from giving too many gifts that are fattening or loaded with sugar.  I do buy a few small items, just because it’s Christmas.  I’ll confess these holly leaves were far too tempting last year.  I used them to decorate a cake, and then finished them off the rest of the year!  Oh dear! Now the world knows my secret!

Can Christmas be complete without a family outing to the mall to see Santa?  I count my annual shopping trip as Christmas travel because I’m not a shopper.  I seldom visit the mall at any other time of year.

Santa and his helper at the mall

A friendly wave from Santa at the mall, part of my annual Christmas outing.

So along with Santa, I send a wave and a wish for a safe and happy holiday.

To see more images from my Christmas Travel collection, click here.





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