Christmas In The Park 2021 (Nighttime Walk-Thru)

On Monday, 12/21/2021 @ 5:30PM, I took a nighttime walk-thru of Christmas in The Park in downtown San Jose. One of Silicon Valley’s biggest holiday events. Volunteers were still decorating the Christmas trees. Christmas in The Park is open noon to midnight from Black Friday through New Year’s Day.

Christmas In The Park Drive-Thru 2020 In 3 Minutes

The drive through for Christmas In The Park in the History Park (San Jose, CA) took 20 minutes. The line to get into the park was 30 minutes long. Recorded from the dashboard behind a fogged up windshield. No stopping. Bumper to bumper. Lots of flashing lights. This is probably how most people will experience the drive through. I added snarks to the video where appropriate. The “out of storage” error message on the iPhone came before exiting the park.

The Black Friday Cabbage Patch Doll Fight

Photo by Marija Zaric on Unsplash

Have you ever wondered how far a grandmother would go to get the hottest Christmas toy for her baby granddaughter? I didn’t until I witnessed how desperate my mother was to get a Cabbage Patch doll for my baby niece in 1983. A violent incident that changed my life forever.

We stood outside the Toy “R” Us store on a cold November morning, waiting for the doors to open early at 8:00AM. I don’t remember if this was Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving and the first official day of the holiday shopping season. If it was Black Friday, I was still comatose from all the deviled eggs I ate the night before. Nineteen other mothers with their sleepy kids stood around for the doors to open.

My father waited inside the car to smoke his cigarettes and listen to the radio. He never came into a store with my mother if he could avoid doing so. My mother took forever to look twice at everything in the store, even if she was buying only one or two items. Not yet a rebellious teenager, I had no choice but to go inside with her.

When the manager unlocked the sliding doors, every mother grabbed their kids by the hand and ran pell-mell into the store. We flew across the worn white floor tiles without our feet ever touching them. Everyone arrived at a mountainous display of Cabbage Patch dolls that sat in front of the wall of board games, between the sports and video games aisles.

An impressive sight considering how difficult it was to get a Cabbage Patch doll that holiday season. The Internet, eBay and online shopping didn’t exist back then. If you couldn’t take physical possession of a Cabbage Patch doll inside a store, you were so out of luck.

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Make A Reservation for Christmas In The Park Drive-Thru 2020

Christmas In The Park in downtown San Jose has been a holiday tradition for decades. Hundreds of Christmas trees decorated by schoolchildren and community groups. Animated displays of Santa’s elves working hard to make toys. Vendors selling holiday food and drinks. A free event that started on Black Friday after Thanksgiving Day and ends on several days after New Year’s Day.

That was until the coronavirus pandemic this year.

Due to social distancing rules, Christmas In The Park won’t be in downtown San Jose. Christmas In The Park will be a paid drive-through event at the History Park in east San Jose. Learn how to make your reservation, why the History Park, and what to expect for this year.

Read more “Make A Reservation for Christmas In The Park Drive-Thru 2020”

Where Was Cindy Lou’s Father In The Grinch?

Last weekend I saw The Grinch. Done by the same team who did Despicable Me and the voice of Mr. Grinch was Benedict Cumberbatch. If you have ever seen Jim Carrey’s The Grinch Who Stole Christmas in 2000, the new movie puts the Christmas Spirit back into Mr. Grinch. But there was one little detail that nagged me in the new movie: where was Cindy Lou’s father?

Read more “Where Was Cindy Lou’s Father In The Grinch?”