Christmas in Petaluma

It's been a busy holiday season.  I think there are more small, local events going on around Sonoma County than I would even see a half century ago.  There's some real small town flavor coupled with some big city diversity.

Friday Cay and I attended a pot luck and Solstice celebration at our church, put on by our local pagan group (CUUPS)  It was quite the event: lots of candles, singing, and drumming.  Today we went to a carol sing along put on by the local Presbyterian church, and tomorrow there's another service and carol sing celebrating the birth of Christ at our church.

There are multiple public caroling events around town and the county (tonight we were in Walnut Park with the Presbyterians), including venues in different cafes and bars, the hotel in town, and some of the parks, as well as the churches.

For the last month we've also been hitting the craft and art shows pretty hard, and it seems there have been two or three every weekend within a 30 minute drive of us, and we've had to pick and choose.  Now there are all sorts of musical events, and there are free carriage rides in the historic neighborhood of Santa Rosa at railroad square, which we've missed, simply do to lack of time.

Today, for example, it was church in the morning, stop off at Costco for our weekly shopping, then on to the Wild Goat Bistro in town (I've been wanting to go there since I came here for my first visit in February!) then to the cinema (I highly recommend Mary Poppins Returns) and from there to Walnut Park for the caroling.  That pretty much represents our average level of fun-busy these days.

I've also finally found what looks like a really great New Years Eve party in Santa Rosa, which I'm counting on after several years of new years ho hums.  I only worry, at my age, whether or not I'll actually be able to stay awake for the party, even if I avoid the champagne.

I had started this post with the intent of highlighting how many wonderful things are available to see and do during the holidays here in Petaluma, but have already started looking back to Thanksgiving (when the art and craft shows/sales started) and forward to New Years, and if I'm honest, there are a heck of a lot of things coming up beyond that.  Right now the events we've chosen have been small, the things we're doing a little less blog-worthy than exploring a new park or going to a large event.  I didn't, for example, take 5 dozen photos of my dinner tonight, the movie theater, and the darkened square full of people.    But those smaller events have been more pleasurable and more intimate than some of the big festivals, and I'm finding myself enjoying the more laid back events, even if they seem to be occurring at breakneck speeds.