Sunday, December 25, 2011
A Very Los Angeles Christmas Eve
Christmas Eve hasn't been the same for us since the Blogger Kid was born on that day -- which means we have to cram in a birthday, last minute shopping, Christmas mass and the big extended family Christmas gathering, all in the same day. Whew. And yet, we've managed to pull it off and create some traditions along the way.
You probably know us well enough that several of our traditions revolve around L.A. and downtown. As we have the past few Christmas Eves, we hit the early 4 p.m. Children's Mass at the Taj Mahoney (a.k.a. the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels), before hopping across the street to catch the tail end of the free annual Los Angeles County Holiday Celebration (held at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion). This year we even got extra ambitious and threw in an afternoon ice skate at Pershing Square's Downtown on Ice.
Ice skating under the sun in 80 degree weather? Yep, sounds like A Very Los Angeles Christmas Eve. Some highlights:
I hate to give away this secret, but the normally crowded Downtown on Ice attracts a smaller crowd on Christmas Eve -- giving the Blogger Kid and I more room to skate.
Zamboni clears the ice at Pershing Square.
This was the first Christmas that new Los Angeles Archbishop José H. Gomez (who replaced Cardinal Roger Mahoney) presided over the archdiocese.
Christmas mass clears out at the Cathedral.
Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, decked out for the holidays. Like last year, the L.A. County Celebration (normally a much longer affair) was cut down to just three hours due to budget concerns. That actually benefits us, as we were able to get inside to see the last four acts.
(In case you're not familiar with the celebration, here are details from the PR team: "Each year since 1959 the Arts Commission has produced a free Holiday Celebration on December 24th on behalf of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. Community and professional choirs, music ensembles, and dance companies representing the diverse cultures and holiday traditions of LA County perform in the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion at the Music Center while the program is broadcast live on KCET. More than 5,000 people attend the program each year and about a million Southern Californian households tune into the live broadcast.")
Dancers at the LA County Holiday Celebration.
The Gay Men's Chorus of LA cracks the crowd up with "Hanukkah in Santa Monica."
Lisa Haley and the Zydekats ended the show, including a N'awlins-style rendition of "Silent Night" (the traditional LA County Holiday Celebration closer).
View of City Hall, from the Music Center
Hard to believe that another holiday has already come and gone. We're getting old, people. Hope you and yours have a fantastic holiday season.