Skip to main content

A LifeCycles Tradition: Memories of Christmas in San Diego

Written By | Dec 18, 2018

(Photo by Sutton Porter/courtesy of Laurie Edwards-Tate)

SAN DIEGO, December 18, 2018 — Christmas was always a wonderful experience growing up in San Diego, California.


The concept of a white Christmas is not entirely lost on those who live in warm climates. However, in sunny San Diego, the experience of dashing through the snow is completely foreign.

Even though December is the coldest month of the year in San Diego, the average is still in the high 60’s. Temperatures of 75 degrees or more are not uncommon during Christmas week.  The all-time record: 88 degrees!

The average rainfall is just one and a half inches for the whole month. Local attractions do their best, bringing out the snow machines and creating artificial snow to delight California children.

(Photo courtesy of Laurie Edwards-Tate)


At five years old, spending a San Diego-style Christmas holiday with aunts, cousins, grandparents and the entire family was especially joyful.

While peering out at a large picture window on Christmas Eve night, and anxious for Santa’s arrival, Dad was asked the fear-gripped question:

“How can Santa Claus deliver all the gifts to children in San Diego in his reindeer-driven sleigh if there is no snow?”

Dad carefully answered this thoughtful question,

“Honey, out here Santa arrives by helicopter!”

Santa Claus arrived without a hitch, and delightful gifts were waiting.

Next year, at the age of six, the lesson learned the prior year about Santa’s use of a Christmastime vehicle for delivering gifts to San Diego area children remained persistently in mind.

Hiding behind a large, overstuffed chair on Christmas Eve night, awaiting Santa Claus’ helicopter arrival seemed just like a perfect idea.

The hot chocolate and homemade cookies were awaiting Santa on the dining room table.

Spying, however, was for naught. Before Santa’s helicopter arrival, spying was quickly interrupted by parents who ushered their curious daughter safely back to bed.
The next morning, Christmas Day was especially exciting.

Gifts of a doctor’s kit to a model kitchen complete with cookware were among the favorites.
The doctor’s kit, however, was by far the most appreciated. Complete with a plastic stethoscope, candy pills, bandages, and a variety of patient-care tools.  It was fun and exciting pretending to be a nurse when cousins were all-to-willing patients as they arrived for Christmas Day dinner.

As beloved a gift as the doctor’s bag was, the greatest gift was the blessing large family gatherings. Gatherings with great-grandparents, grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins to share the holiday experience.


It was natural to assume everyone else’s experience was the same. It was simply not possible to fathom life without them, or the reality that slowly but surely life would change over the years.
The memories of Christmases past have become even more precious.

Not everyone is fortunate enough to be surrounded by loving family whether of blood or choice.

The holidays can be a lonely time, and it is incumbent upon each of us to do what we can to change this through paying forward the gift of time and fellowship towards others, that our families have lovingly given us.

I have been fortunate to have had a loving family that surrounded me during the holidays, but time is fleeting. My mother recently passed away this December. I am blessed to have those cherished memories that will live on.

(Image courtesy of Laurie Edwards-Tate)

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all of us at LifeCycles.

Until next time, enjoy the ride in good health!

Laurie Edwards-Tate

Since 1984, Laurie Edwards-Tate has served as President and Founder of At Your Home Familycare, a non-medical Home Care Aide Organization, serving seniors, disabled, infirm and children. Laurie is Board of Director 2018 (elected), Palomar Health; Executive Board Member; Chair Board Human Resources Committee; Member of Audits & Compliance Committee; Community Relations Committee.