Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Joys of Running at Christmas

My favorite time of year is Christmas time, always has been.  I love the crisp air this time of year, the beautiful lights and decorations that adorn homes, the smell of evergreen that consumes your home (if you have a real Christmas tree), peppermint mochas and hot cocoa.  And I absolutely love giving gifts.  There's nothing better than when someone opens a present to see their eyes and face light up with excitement.  Everything about this time of year makes me so happy.

This year was my first year running so I had the pleasure of experiencing Christmas from a new point of view--from the street!  I love running in the mornings, but many times I chose to run in the evenings after work just to run past and see all the beautiful lights around my city.

This house was decorated extravagantly complete with moving parts.  They probably will have a very high electricity bill for the month of December!  Worth it?  Absolutely!

This is one of three houses in a row that was decorated in a tropical theme, complete with Santa in a Hawaiian shirt and board shorts standing by a Tiki snack shack with his surfboard!  I love it!  (The first pic is kind of blurry, after all I'm running.  But the second picture I zoomed in on my iPhone and it came out a little better.)

Here is the house next to it decorated to the max:

And the third house in the row:

Pretty spectacular!  Watching the lights and seeing the different themes houses had made my runs so much fun that I almost forgot I was running!  I have not been a fan of running in December because my 5 am runs are 40-45 degrees and it's pitch black, which I don't like.  But running in the evenings with all the Christmas lights made running in December enjoyable and exciting!

Even though Christmas is over and 2010 is approaching, I have a couple other Christmas-related pictures I want to share.  After all, Christmas is my favorite time of year!  (Well, and summer...I LOVE the beach).

Disneyland is one of my favorite places.  It's the happiest place on earth.  My boyfriend and I have passes and we go all the time, many times on a whim.  So what could be better than one of my favorite places + favorite times of year?!  Nothing.  I give you Christmas at Disneyland :)

For Christmas, my boyfriend took me to see the Grinch at the Pantages followed by an awesome dinner at Ivan Kane's Cafe Was.  They had a live band and the food was great.  The fun thing was their Christmas the center of the room they have their grand piano and hanging above the grand piano was a Christmas tree!  And upside down Christmas tree complete with presents.  It was awesome.

And of course there's the boat parade in Naples:

Every year my Aunt choses a theme for her tree.  One year it was feathers so she decorated with elaborate feathers.  Another year it was snowflakes so she had beautiful snowflakes.  Every year it's something different.  This year it was MASKS!  So all the girls in our family got together before Christmas and painted the masks for the tree.

Last but not least, I give you our Christmas tree!

Oh Christmas, how I love you :)