Christmas in Beverly Hills

I am one of those people who finds the holiday season stressful. I come from a large family so that always meant buying a lot of presents (online shopping has greatly improved my disposition), sending presents out of state, getting the house ready for visitors, visiting other people and so on … This doesn’t count the crowded parking lots, irritable drivers and overworked service employees who just want to go home after hours of abuse.

For a number of reasons, this year has been much more mellow. And I appreciate that very much.

The one thing I am a sucker for is Christmas lights. Or more specifically, I just like a lot of lights and this is indulged during this time of year. I was pleasantly surprised when walking through Beverly Hills a few nights ago after dinner with friends. While strolling down Rodeo Drive, I was struck by all the colorful lights and displays. It was … cheerful. We walked to the Beverly Wilshire (famous for appearing in Pretty Woman) to see a life-size gingerbread house and get drinks. (For me that meant hot tea.) There was a large Christmas tree in the lobby and the sight of it actually made me happy. How was it possible that I was sort of feeling the Christmas spirit after years of Grinch-dom? It was almost like a little Christmas village. Almost. At any rate, I thought I’d share some photos from the evening that thawed my frozen black heart.

Me, during a typical Christmas.

Christmas tree on little Rodeo

This huge Christmas tree stands on the corner of Rodeo Drive and little Rodeo.

Little Rodeo

This is a picture of Little Rodeo, which looks WAY more festive in person than in this photo. That big glowing ball you see is a gigantic Christmas ornament with Santa inside taking photos with people. Truly this little street looks like a Christmas village. Props to my amazing photography skills …

At the end of Little Rodeo where it ends at Wilshire, there is a cute fountain decorated with Christmas trees and penguins.

Christmas tree at Beverly Wilshire

Tall Christmas tree in the lobby of the very expensive Beverly Wilshire. TIP: If you buy hot tea, you’re a customer so they have to let you in.

Life-size gingerbread house in the lobby of the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. I wonder how many people have licked it? *shudder*

I am always a sucker for cool architectural details from days gone by.

No Beverly Hills Christmas decorations would be complete without huge chandeliers for streetlights. (In all seriousness, I loved these.)

Happy GrinchMe, after getting into the Christmas spirit by walking around and looking at Christmas lights and gigantic gingerbread houses.