The Grinch Can’t Steal a Palisades Tradition
In Dr. Seuss’ book, “The Grinch that Stole Christmas,” the meaning is clear that the holiday is not about crass commercialism, but rather about community and tradition.
After successfully taking away the Whos’ traditions, which includes gifts and feasting, the Grinch waits for the sobs of the villagers.
Instead, the Whos join hands and sing, “Welcome Christmas/While we stand/Heart to heart/And hand in hand.”
Thanks to the good people of Pacific Palisades, the spirit of community and the holiday season will extend into its seventh decade as a group of residents has taken on the challenge of organizing the annual Holiday Ho!Ho!Ho!, dubbing it the Holiday Hullabaloo.
The festivities will be held on Saturday, December 1 (times to be announced) at the Woman’s Club on Haverford. Everyone is invited; there’s no admission fee.
The homespun Ho!Ho!Ho! was abandoned this year by the Pacific Palisades Chamber of Commerce, without advance warning, in favor of a “stroll” by shoppers into participating stores in the business district on November 30.
Palisadians knew that Santa Claus always took time out from his busy North Pole workshop to fly to Pacific Palisades with Mrs. Claus. They would park the reindeer on the Station 69 Firehouse roof and then ride on the hook-and-ladder truck (with Mr. and Miss Palisades) to the center of town.
Families lined up on Swarthmore to meet the mystical man, while taking selfies and snapshots with their cell phones. Residents enjoyed gathering with their friends along Swarthmore to celebrate community and enjoy music by the OomPaPa Band and choral groups plus various youth performances.
When word got out about the Chamber’s plans, and the fact that Caruso’s Palisades Village would be charging a minimum of $45 for kids to pose with its Santa Claus, resident Lisa Glantz went into action, starting with a posting on Nextdoor Palisades. After holding a meeting with volunteers who quickly stepped forward to organize Holiday Hullabaloo, she wrote this week:
“We are attempting to continue the [Ho!Ho!Ho!] tradition at the Woman’s Club on December 1, because neighbors recently discovered the tradition was being discontinued. People have rushed to come together with very short notice to have tradition carry on. Let’s get busy! Many neighbors stepping up. Next year we will start planning in October.”
She thanked the Woman’s Club “for their community spirit helping this remain a community-inspired event.”
Santa will be arriving on the fire truck (no appointments necessary) and Ivy Greene is organizing a bake sale with proceeds going to help those displaced by the fires. A silent auction is being put together.
Heather Lyle is organizing the entertainment. “All schools as well as temples and churches are being emailed an invite to perform,” Glantz wrote. Early commitments include the PaliHi Choir, Fancy Feet Dance Studio, Palisades Music School and Gerry Blanck’s Martial Arts.
Pamela Finck is sponsoring a face-painting booth and Trevor S. is donating use of a photo booth for people to enjoy candid shots with friends and family. He will also provide a professional karaoke setup with lyrics for a holiday singalong by the entire crowd.
Barbara Edelman is leading the toy drive that Vittorio’s restaurant has started, collecting holiday toys for children who are victims of the fires. Diane Bleak is sponsoring a balloon man who will make balloon animals for the kids, and Palisades Garden Cafe will provide hot chocolate for all.
“The response has been incredible,” said Glantz. The consensus is unanimous–tradition continues–Holiday Hullabaloo 2018! Community coming together for a happy, peaceful, homespun loving holiday.”
The Chamber executive board said it wanted to do away with the traditional Ho!Ho!Ho! and try something different. Or maybe it was also because Caruso’s Palisades Village has a November 25 event, which includes a tree lighting, a performance by Disney’s DCappella, snow and Santa’s arrival.
The event is free, but the website notes that there will be security screenings at all entry points. Additionally, there is a long list of forbidden items that include weapons, umbrellas, cans, Thermoses and glass bottles, beverage containers alcoholic beverages, backpacks, selfie sticks, banners, wrapped packages and professional photographic equipment. One-liter or smaller non-alcoholic beverages with an unbroken seal will be allowed.
Once Santa arrives at Carusoville, he stays through December 24 in his little house by the tree. Appointments can be made in 10-minute increments and a professional photographer will be on hand, at a minimum cost of $45.