This is my first holiday season in a warm climate, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect. The biggest surprise is that people here decorate with snowflakes, and I'm sure some of them haven't seen one for twenty years! I asked one native if she had ever seen snow, and she said, "Oh Yes!" like it happened all the time. She then went on to explain that she had seen snow once in the 6th grade, and once in the 10th!
Livingston had a "Hometown Christmas" celebration recently with arts and crafts vendors, a car show, live entertainment (mostly grade school choirs for whom singing in key was more a suggestion than a rule), a petting zoo, carriage rides, a parade, and Santa at City Hall. The brochure also said there would be "Propane Street Heaters," but the temperature was in the 70s so I never did find out what they were. It was very odd to me to be at a winter holiday event in shorts, and I kept having to remember that this was NOT a July 4th event.
Livingston did a fine job of decorating the town, from the huge American Flag in lights on the County Building to the Chandelier in lights over the craft tents. Houses along the streets were decorated, too. The parade started after dark, and each float and wagon was lit with battery powered holiday lights. My favorite was the men and women who rode their horses along the parade route. The men were dressed in "rhinestone cowboy" attire, and the women in red and white "Mrs. Santa" outfits, riding side-saddle. The bridles and reins of each horse were outlined in white lights, and the effect was stunning. There also was a square-dance float with a live caller and 16 dancers. The wagon was decorated in red lights, and each person had white lights running down their arms and legs. It was fun to watch the lights floating around as they danced!
I can't forget to tell you about my new friend Sally. Sally is a 4-month old camel I met at the petting zoo. She was friendly and nuzzly, and did not spit once! She did try to steal the rake from the pony ride next door when no one (but me) was looking, but gave up when the rake got caught in the fence. Maybe she wanted a present, too, and was afraid she was on the Naughty List?