How often we hear clocks chiming and bells ringing within our favorite Christmas carols and holiday specials and inside those greeting cards that have a little device inside, the kind that peals, bell-like, when the card is opened.
But coming across those fairy tale towers, the kind found in the dells and glen of ye olde Europe, is tricky in bustling, traffic-intense Los Angeles. Except, of course, if you go to the middle of our mondo city, to Third & Fairfax, where you'll find not one but two towers that recall the handsome, clock-faced monoliths of the Continent's most charming burgs.
It's the Original Farmers Market we're hinting at here, but we don't need to be coy about those clock towers, given that you can hear them at a distance. And those sentimental symbols of the historic public market are looking as holly-riffic as all get-out these days, just in time for the landmark's week-long Holiday Fun doings.
As with so many Farmers Market events, the holiday-themed events are as free as listening to the clock towers play carols (which they do, all month long, now and then, and which is so very free to enjoy).
What to do, where to go and what to see
Music dominates the schedule, which trots, with reindeer-like steadfastness, from Saturday, Dec. 19 through to Thursday, Dec. 24. Dickensian Strolling Carolers will pop up, hither and yon, and '40s-style Beverly Belles will boop-boop-sha-la in the season on Tuesday, Dec. 22.
And Mariachi Fiesta wrap the whole thing up in shiny, brassy, happy-horn'd wrapping paper on Christmas Eve.
As for other touches of the Holiday Fun rundown? Those include marionettes, snowman building, ornament making, and more in-the-moment merriment.
Wherever you are, and whatever you choose to do during the most festive week of the year at a place that stays pretty dang festive all year long, count on being within bell-pealing distance of those famous Farmers Market clock towers.
It's a sound that evokes history and cheer and storybook sweetness, and it rings out right in the middle of our honky, multi-lane, modern-big city.
May those clock towers always remain the soft marshmallow middle to our massive, and massively delicious, metropolis.