Sunday, December 22, 2013

Christmas House

My parents moved to San Marino when I was three.  Then, as now, some civic-minded volunteers in San Marino dressed its large bus stop up for the holidays.  We live now in an era of excesses, and this doesn't seem like too big a deal.  There's all kinds of crazy decorations everywhere.  But back in the sixties, this was a big deal.  My dad must have shot a couple of rolls of black and white film to capture this bit of Christmas finery.

Although this is clearly in the style of a church, the temporary structure is known as the Little Christmas House.  It may be San Marino's effort to separate church and state, but it isn't a more non-sectarian holiday house.  Santa Claus used to show up there one day a year, and talk to kids about whether they'd been good and what they wished for.  Maybe he still does, but I don't know.  He gave out Christmas themed Little Golden Books like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and The Biggest Most Beautiful Christmas Tree.  I met Santa there.  I got my book.  I also sang carols there with Brownie Troop 97 and our dads.  I have a picture.  My dad isn't in it, because he took it.

It was a odd place to paint, sitting out in the middle of Huntington Drive, looking a bit like a hobo and worrying about runaway cars.


  1. I remember too. I went once with Mrs King and her daughter Lori. My mom spent the 60's under psychiatric care, so if it weren't for Mrs King, I'd have missed it all.

    It's weird with that town. Everything else changes but S&M (different race - same look). It's like your never able to escape childhood. Always pulled back into the past that, dam it all!! looks the same

  2. wow Barbara this painting is gorgeous -- enjoyed reading the post also.

  3. Happy New year Barbara

    Miss seeing your watercolors. Hope your ok