A LITTLE CLOSER, A LITTLE CLOSER... If you ever traveled with your family over the holidays, you likely were asked to pose in front of a Christmas tree or colorful menorah or next to Santa. There was always several suggestions from the photographer -- "move left, no, right" -- and much adjusting of your velvet dress or suit and tie. But then? The results were often family magic. The resulting snapshot lived on in your household albums for years, reminding one and all of that really terrific season-sweet vacation. Of course, it's always extra nice when the spot where you're vacationing is known for doing it up, majorly, on all baubles-and-bows-related fronts. There are a few Golden State hotels known for pulling out all the seasonal stops, and at the tippy-top of the list, alongside the other yuletide landmarks? It's a place with its very own famous tippy top, or cupola, if you prefer: the Hotel del Coronado. The San Diego area favorite has become famous for its December displays and that Pacific-close skating rink, not to mention all of the lights that line the Victorian structures.
125 YEARS STRONG: Of course, the hotel has had well over a century to perfect its holiday approach. And to celebrate its milestone year -- it indeed turns 125 in 2013 -- the Del is hosting a very fa-la-la contest. Send in a great holiday picture taken at the ocean-snug hotel, from any year, and if it is chosen, you could win some really elegant prizes. Like? Well, the Grand Prize is 5 nights (!!!) in a Victorian oceanfront junior suite (!!!), but second and third place involve stay-overs, too. Very festive indeed.
A COUPLE OF QUICK THINGS: If you don't have a holiday pic from the hotel, but do have a holiday-themed brochure or invitation or such from the Del, that's a-ok; you can submit that. Also, some photos may be chosen to appear in a new book called "Holidays at the Hotel del Coronado." You know the hotel has a whole line of books about its storied past? Ghosts and Marilyn Monroe and 125 years of history? Fascinating stuff, and your seasonal snapshot could be included in all of that.
For more details on the contest -- which wraps on Dec. 2 -- here's what you need to know.