Escondido, CA

My favorite time of year

Christmas time is no doubt my most favorite time of year. I hope you all had a wonderful time with family and friends celebrating the birth of the most influential person to ever walk the face of the Earth. The season just lightens the heart and spirit of everyone regardless of whatever religious persuasion to which you aspire or not. The sights and sounds are fantastic and so uplifting. Which prompts me to ask if you have been to the California Center for the Arts, Escondido recently?

The Center is alive with light displays and themes that one could not have anything but happy thoughts. This is a place to take your children, nieces and nephews, grandkids and even that seemingly grouchy neighbor or relative. Be prepared to spend at least a half hour or more as it will take that long to enjoy the entire exhibit but you only have one more week to do so. You will be glad you did.

Christmas music is particularly inspiring be it instrumental or vocal. One song that captures the spirit is “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” sung by Johnny Mathis. Even Bruce Springsteen singing “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” or how about the classic “Little St. Nick” by the Beach Boys. OK, maybe that’s a stretch but you have to admit it tugs at your heart. Oh, and how about “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer?” I don’t get the dust-up about “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.” It was always great to see the smiles on children’s faces when they heard the Chipmunks and Alvin sing.

On the serous side, how about “Silent Night,” “Joy to the World” and many others I must mention a favorite production that being the Nutcracker that I saw performed at the Center some years ago by the Moscow Ballet. My granddaughters and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The Overture and “Waltz of the Snowflakes” nothing short of fantastic. In addition to the visual the entire score leaves everyone lighthearted. And if you haven’t as yet seen it do make plans next year to attend Carols by Candlelight. December at the Center is the place to be.

Now to the last two weeks of December. Thirty nine football bowl games plus one on January 13 this year the college championship game bringing the total to 40. As Dom DeLuise said when preparing an overly huge antipasto, “Is this enough?” When I was in high school there were about ten bowl games and only four on New Year’s Day which was the end of the college football year. The Rose Bowl was awesome to watch from snow and sleet covered New Jersey seeing the Pasadena crowd in short sleeve shirts. We would all say how we would love to be in California. So glad I’m here now.

I’m not a big fan any longer of pro football due in part to the Judases leaving San Diego. When I read a comment from a pro player complain about how he was dissed by his coach because he had to cover an All-Pro receiver. “I don’t get paid enough to cover an All-Pro receiver.” That did it for me.

When you did your gift shopping I’m sure you noticed that just about every item you purchased had a bar code which was scanned to reveal the price. I read recently that the man responsible for the UPC system passed away. George Laurer was an IBM engineer when he developed the coding system in the early 1970’s. This has been a boon for retailers and consumers alike so that accurate pricing saved both money by not over or under charging on each item. In addition, it has been a welcome aid to inventory control—which was one of the original goals.

To all I wish a happy, healthful and prosperous New Year. By the way, 2020 is the Chinese New Year of the White Rat but not until January 25 or February 4 so you still have time to honor the 2019 Year of the Pig.

*Note: Opinions expressed by columnists and letter writers are those of the writers and not necessarily those of the newspaper.

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