Mele Kalikimaka ame Hauoli Makahiki Hou! Nollaig chridheil agus Bliadhna mhath ùr! Milad Majid! Feliz Navidad! Merry Keshmish! Idah Saidan Wa Sanah Jadidah! Heughliche Winachten un ‘n moi Nijaar! Glædelig Jul! Cristmas-e-shoma mobarak bashad! Shinnen omedeto. Kurisumasu Omedeto! Chuc Mung Giang Sinh! Merry Christmas.
All of us at Our Town Tustin (yes, that is all three of us) would like to wish our Christian friends, a very Merry Christmas, our Jewish friends, a very Happy Hanukkah (regardless of the way you spell it), and our friends of other faiths and belief traditions a very Happy Holiday. And, to everyone, we wish you a Happy and Prosperous New Year. And, please pray for our US Military members who remain abroad in far away lands. They spend this holiday season away from their loved ones so that you and I may spend it with ours.
It’s that most wonderful time of the year and our town was in quite a festive mood. I am talking, of course, about the Annual Christmas Tree Lighting in Old Town. It’s been quite a few years since I’ve been able to attend this great event. In fact, the last time I was able to make it was when the ceremony was held down on El Camino Real.
Nowadays, the event is held in the library courtyard and it has not lost any of its hometown feel as bell ringers, carolers, reindeer and good ol’ St. Nick lead us up to the main attraction, the lighting of Tustin’s “official” Christmas tree.
Of course, most of the usual suspects were there. As I walked around with my daughter, I ran into our newest Mayor pro tem, Al Murray. He was gracious enough to pose for a picture with my daughter. I congratulated him on his “promotion” and truly wished him well. No political discourse, no questions. Heck, I don’t even think he knew who I was. And, I wanted it that way because I am still hoping he will sit down with me to chat about his vision for Tustin.
Of course, a few minutes later, I ran into John Nielsen. I suspect John does know me because he looked at me with the all-encompassing scrutiny of a politician who has long fielded barbs. Perhaps he could just tell he was shaking handss with a blogger. In any case, I distinctly felt him tense up when we shook hands. Relax, John, I just want your perspective, too.
As my family and I took in the boutique and the great kids games the community had put together, it reminded me of what a great community we have. Events like this keep that hometown atmosphere that people my age missed after coming to the Great State of California.
When it came time to light the tree, Santa made his grand entrance and the city politicos made their way to the stage. Mayor John Nielsen and Al Murray were introduced along with councilmember Beckie Gomez and the Grinch…. uh, I mean, Councilmember Jerry Amante and Debor….. oh, wait… MIA again. Last I heard, our ever-absent councilmember was frequent flying to Seattle. Too bad. She missed a great ceremony and probably one of the few opportunities to get a picture with both her and Jerry in it.
All in all, it was a great evening with neighbors and friends from a great town. So, here is all of us from Our Town Tustin, wishing you a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and a very Prosperous New Year.