By Tim Hauserman
Here in Tahoe City, in a land of small local businesses and real Christmas trees everywhere around us, the Christmas feeling comes on a little slower then in the city. It doesn’t arrive with a mad dash for a flat screen TV after the mall doors are opened in the middle of the night. It’s doesn’t come from an Internet special. It’s a feeling that grows slowly as the temperatures drop and the snow begins to fall.
Christmas here is about real snow sitting on the branches of dark green fir trees. It’s about the Boy Scouts selling freshly cut trees that look and smell just like the white firs that stand proudly in the nearby woods. It’s about that bitterly cold morning when you walk over the crusty snow with a couple of tree critics, also known as family members, pondering dozens of trees before finally settling on the right tree.
It’s about that feeling you get when you drive through Tahoe City and suddenly notice all those bright shiny lights along North Lake Blvd., and how beautiful they contrast with the deep, black sky. It’s about that excited anticipation for the first major storm which will get us skiing, and thus, smiling.
As it gets closer, we slowly start attending the holiday events, a Messiah concert, the unveiling of a humongous gingerbread house, a bitterly cold tree lighting, or actually donning a tie for the office Christmas party. Food, of course is a primary focus. Warm and comforting and sweet…always sweet.
Eventually, once the first Christmas cards have begun to arrive, you bundle up, and slowly stroll through town, looking for those gifts that can’t be found in a city mall. And besides, you want to buy from the local stores because you taught the store owner how to ski, or your daughter danced with her daughter in The Nutcracker a few years back.
Finally, after the quiet lull of early December, the crowds arrive just in time for Christmas. They’ve come from near and far, but all know that this is the place to be at Christmas because here, when you can look out your window Christmas eve, you really might see…
“The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow,
gave the luster of mid-day to the objects below.”