time of the season


Christmas, children, is not a date. It is a state of mind. – Mary Ellen Chase

Once upon a time, I expected I’d only be back here in Los Angeles on annual visits to family and friends. I thought when I went off to college in New York, I’d stay there, get married and have babies with whom I’d spend my days at the Penguin House  or Temple of Dendur. (The places I loved as a little girl.) I would write for The New Yorker, join the NY film community and maybe even a literary club, like the one my great aunt belonged to. That was the future as I predicted. It was so simple before it got complicated.

As life tends to do.

The thing that excited me most about living back east were the seasons. Specifically winter. I’d felt the icy cold of London in January, the high altitude frost of Aspen in March and there was often New York, but these were places visited. I’d never truly lived through a season. I wanted the holidays to be festive and freezing. I wanted a winter wonderland instead of sunset at the beach – because you could have sunset at the beach year-round here. It held no novelty. No drama. Dr. Zhivago or Jane Eyre had no romance without the depths of winter. California dreaming on a winter’s day sounded fine and well, if only I had a winter’s day to dream of escaping.

Life brought me back to LA, and yet the road not taken, as Frost reminds us if we read the poem correctly, hasn’t made all the difference. With or without snowflakes, I try to live life to the fullest and see where it takes me. There are ups and downs no matter the temperate zone of the road you end up on. Though I wouldn’t mind a snow flurry here or there.

Today is November 1st. It’s barely fall-ish outside, but I’m finally beginning to feel the seasons change because this arrived in my inbox all shiny and new:

Aside from reminding me that the holidays and jeans-riding-boot-cowl-neck-cashmere-sweater weather are on their way, this e-magazine, THE HOLIDAY GUIDE by EMILY HENDERSON, includes a piece I wrote that is dear to my heart. The styling secrets of Emily Henderson and the talents involved in this project are fantastic. I’m honored to be included amongst them. There’s much to inspire and create – and about a hundred things I’d like to give and receive.

Writing about the holidays gave me time to reflect on the sort of experiences I could only have had here. Only with my cherished LA family and friends. Only living this very life. I share only one holiday story in the issue, but in writing it so many came to mind. From the ridiculous to the fabulous to the fabulously ridiculous. All generally taking place on 68 degrees days in December. Sometimes with a guest appearance by Richard Simmons. Only in LA.

So please, enjoy THE HOLIDAY GUIDE. There’s shopping and DIY-ing, design and fashion and, on page 216, a girl who writes about a grandmother who felt that every day should be Christmas. A grandmother I miss very much. xo a.

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7 thoughts on “time of the season

  1. Alexandria

    Can’t wait to check out the magazine!

    I never thought I would find myself out on the West Coast & certainly not for the Holiday’s but here I am. My family moved out here this week. I think the separation was more than my mom could handle. I’ve loved every day being in LA but I think the next few months I’m going to be a little homesick. Luckily I did feel a little Fall-ish in the air & I kinda hope it gets a little cooler. I wanna break out my crockpot & make soups & cable knits. And maybe, just maybe turn my fireplace on. Here’s to hoping!

    Reply
    1. alexandrawrote Post author

      I’m glad your family is all closer now, and you just might have a chance to use those sweaters this week. FYI, when you’re ready for a Santa visit, make a visit to him at The Grove. 🙂

      Reply
  2. Mary

    Beautiful story about your Grandma! I think I will browse the rest of the magazine later. Christmas here in Australia is mid-Summer, and just the way I like it. Every few years we leave the scene and celebrate away, with family in the northern hemisphere. This year we are actually having a tropical Christmas, can’t wait to have my first Indonesian Christmas lunch! I think we will be decorating the house before we go though, my daughter won’t let us get away without some of the trimmings!

    Reply
  3. Lauren

    Hi from BYW! We lived on the West Coast (just south of you in San Diego) for almost seven years, and I would always try to convince myself that there were seasons while we were there. I think I finally stopped wearing sweaters after two years in when I’d have to remind myself, “Okay, January, that means winter…” I fell. in. LOVE. with southern California, and it was a total wrench for me to leave it (We’ve been gone 8 years, and I haven’t been able to go back, even to visit.). I love where I live now, in the Tidewater of Virginia, and I love the changing of the seasons. While I don’t love 40 degree days in April, I do love them in December. Small compensation for leaving, the fire in my fireplace today, but it’s all I’ve got!

    love your blog!

    Reply
    1. alexandrawrote Post author

      Hi Lauren,
      It’s about 55 degrees and rained today. Los Angeles thinks it’s Vancouver, and I’m enjoying every second of it 🙂 Thanks for stopping by! Can’t believe class is wrapping up. I’m going to need these last 2 weeks!

      Reply

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