Mountain Twinkle: Country Christmas in Julian

Watch the living tree sparkle on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

SO YOU SAY THAT YOU PLOT OUT... every minute of Thanksgiving Day and Thanksgiving Eve? From the exact second the parsnips leave the crisper to when the turkey enters the oven to when the pie gets its walnut-caramel topping? It can be a precise, minute-to-minute undertaking, the hosting of Thanksgiving, a calling that its pleasures and its obvious stresses, too. And as rewarding as it can be, and as ripe for the making of memories (and the occasional cooking story gone awry), a person often seeks a little downtime after the turkeyiest day of the year comes to a close. Whether this is binging a TV series, or finishing a novel, or taking a mountain drive to see some early Christmas lights is up to the person seeking some well-earned R&R. If a drive into the hills in search of sparkle appeals, and you'd love it to happen not on the Friday immediately following Thanksgiving but on the Saturday, giving you a day of clean-up and napping, then look no further than...

FESTIVE JULIAN, which will once again stage its nostalgic and crisp-of-air Country Christmas in Julian on Saturday, Nov. 25. The centerpiece of the happening is the tree lighting, and it is a live tree, adding a nature-awesome texture to the to-do. It's all happening at Pioneer Park beginning at 2 p.m., but you can bet the shops in town'll be feeling that festiveness, too, so make time for a swing-through. And doesn't a traditional tree lighting go better with pie? Find your apple-y slice before sauntering over to Pioneer Park. After all, if you hosted Thanksgiving, then treating yourself, pie-style, is a very proper thing to do, as is savoring an easygoing day, up, up, up in Julian, during its oh-so-pretty Christmas kick-off.

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