Holly Jolly Folly

I took the Hubby to Christmas on the Prado, or whatever they’re billing it nowadays, hoping some of the frantic holiday cheer would rub off on me.

A local Baptist church puts on the show

A local Baptist church puts on the show

Thinking maybe I’ll come home smelling of cinnamon sprinkled sugarplums and inspired to deck my halls.

How can I put this?

I took an hour just to find a parking spot.

We had to fight off three out of state vehicles and a wino with a shopping cart to get it, but we got it.

And then you get out of your car and walk into the light.

Take a million frantic holiday NASCAR fans, march with them shoulder-to-shoulder down the middle of the streets and circle the International Houses (you want the Scottish one, you really do), tallying your rounds because you’re not ever going to actually get into the tiny building for some “Death by Chocolate” because the line stretches all the way back to the House of Norway’s booth which, so far as I could tell, was selling actual Vikings.

Or maybe just the horns. Who knows. Maybe they were just drinking.

We finally nabbed a tray with dessert samples which we sat down on the spot (concrete curbs: don’t underestimate this prime real estate) and devoured, which was a bad idea for a handful of reasons like the dim lighting which led to my actually ingesting a raisin that was hidden in the bread pudding.

Who does that?

Don’t even get me started on raisin poisoning.

Halfway through my chew I realized my mistake and had to mentally chant “swallow, swallow, swallow” so I wouldn’t spit it directly onto the festively festooned Who-ville child passing by.

Toured the Old Globe Theater, all set up for “The Grinch”

There’s a mini carnie towards the back for shrieking children who are competing with the children shrieking from Santa’s photo booth.

Everyone’s having a marvelous time.

En masse.

We walked five feet, and ate stuff, walked five feet, and ate stuff.

We toured exhibits, enjoyed live entertainment, calmed our indigestion with a soft pretzel the size of a manhole cover, and eventually shoved our way back to the car.

We only trampled a handful of wayward children, but we found Jesus, literally, on the way out, so we’re all okay.


The event is only for one weekend a year, and really it’s a great way to see Balboa Park and the surrounding neighborhoods.

All the NASCAR enthusiasts hopped into their cars, which were parked up for miles in all directions, and spent an hour or so swerving around the local homeless and tallying laps before fading off into the night, horns honking in victory.

I came home smelling of grilled onions, Indian curry and au de carnival grime.

The only thing I really want to deck are the inventors of the Port-a-Potty.

Because, no.

Comment (4)

  • Sarah| December 11, 2015

    Ha! You could never get me there!

  • Stacy| December 11, 2015

    I always wanted to go…. but now I think I might just have visited Christmas on the Prado vicariously through you! Thanks for the unintentional sacrifice!

  • Jerusha| December 11, 2015

    YES. December Nights at Balboa Park is only for those who are so in love with Christmas, nothing can take away their cheer, including all mentioned above. My opinion is if you want to love Christmas, stay home, light a fire, grab a hot drink and play Christmas music you like, but only do it once or twice the entire season.

  • Barbara Abel| December 11, 2015


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