A crowd gathered on Plumas street in downtown Yuba City to celebrate the first day of December with the “Christmas stroll.” The winter air turned noses red while the warm sweet scent of kettle corn and funnel cake made it easier to forget the bitter cold. It felt like Christmas.
Various booths and clubs covered the street, and almost all of the shops on Plumas street remained open late into the night. There were several beautifully decorated Christmas trees, a horse drawn carriage and strings of Christmas lights lit up the entire street.
The crowd had much to entertain them during the stroll. A big red truck, sponsored by “The Dancing Tomato,” a local Italian restaurant, was covered with colorful lights. Parents and their children appreciated the truck’s holiday glow. Both men and women oohed and awwed at a black and metallic green chopper bike on display. They stopped to take pictures, some perhaps dreaming of finding one under their tree.
The karate kids recieved a lot of attention as well. A local dojo danced and kicked its way to a supreme selection of modern music. An individual performance using a staff and a sword pleased the excited crowd. The choice of songs alone encouraged people run to their perfomance. It was more dancing than martial arts, but entertaining either way.
Christmas Carolers stood in front of Gaiser Pets and sang cheerful holiday tunes as a crowd gathered around them. Their festive melodies like “We wish you a merry christmas” put the crowd in the holiday spirit. Throw in some snow and some eggnog, and strollers would have been walking in a winter wonderland.
A bounce house, a clown who made balloon animals, a cookie-decorating booth and Santa himself entertained the children at the stroll. It was heaven for any child: sugar, santa and a house they were allowed to jump around in. Santa’s helpers were dressed in elf hats, antlers and glowing red noses as they kept order to the endless flow of children waiting in line.
When he got to speak with Santa, Maliki, age 4, said that he wanted a snow monster. When asked if he had been good this year, he paused and quickly looked up at his mother for an answer. He responded with, “Well, I have been good in school.” Maliki’s little brother Isaiah, age 3, said that he had been good this year and went to school too. However, big brother Maliki made sure to include the fact that his brother went only to preschool and that he goes “to take a nap.”
Another little boy, Chancler, age 5, sat on Santa’s lap with his little sister Laurissa, a year and a half, and told him that he wanted a big red train for Christmas.A sweet little girl named Jasmin, age 4, said that the only thing she asked Santa for was a “Baby Alive.” When asked if she had asked Santa to give her mommy something for Christmas, she responded with, “I don’t know what she wants.”
A silent auction was held for all of the different themed Christmas trees. Some trees were decorated with pink ribbons for breast cancer awareness. Another had a western theme, decorated with miniature cowboys and boots. However, one special tree placed in the front was decorated with small cards. Each card cost a dollar. Those who purchased the card were asked to write to the soldiers in Iraq. Once the messages were written, the cards were hung on the tree. After the stroll, the cards were removed and will be shipped overseas to brighten our soldiers’ holiday. The tree itself was donated to a needy family who could not afford to buy one.
Perhaps more than any other, this tree and the ideas it stood for demonstrates what the holiday season is all about.