If You Don’t Believe, You Don’t Receive

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NBM_26_Scott Sanchez_By Jody Tiongco-9Every year when the holidays approach, I begin to reflect on all my personal joys of this season as we live it here in Southern California. As I look out my window at the ocean and contemplate whether I need to bring a jacket to work—it’s a teeth-chattering 65 degrees in the morning, after all—I remember that someone on the East Coast is shoveling their car out of the snow.

I’m a born-and-bred Orange County native, so a white winter wonderland during the holidays at home is an experience I’ve yet to enjoy (or maybe suffer through). Instead, my family has created our own West Coast traditions, best enjoyed on a warm day under the cloudless skies of Newport Beach and the neighboring cities.

Whether it’s firing up the smoker to cook this year’s meal or sneaking in a weekend paddle with family and friends, my favorite holiday memories are made possible only because of SoCal’s coastal climate. I consider myself lucky to live in a place where winter equates to a morning spent stand-up paddleboarding in the harbor.

Likewise, the holiday displays put on throughout the city are quintessentially Newport, inspired by the sand and sea. Rather than being bundled up in down jackets and gloves, our locals throw on a pair of sandals and head down to the beach at Crystal Cove for the annual tree lighting. In fact, it’s nearly impossible to escape the call of the ocean this time of year, as many of the season’s celebrations take place with the beach as a backdrop. One annual event that shouldn’t be missed is December’s Christmas Boat Parade—2013 marks its 105th year, and the sight of festively adorned boats cruising through the harbor is one that everyone in the family can enjoy.

At times like these, I envy my two boys, who are just beginning to discover all that Newport has to offer during the holidays—although, at this age, they’d rather be discovering what gifts mom and dad are planning to give them this year. The boys have covered the refrigerator with lists of items they hope Santa will bring, and every day they review and adjust the sheet like day traders chasing that elusive stock buy.

Past the age of truly believing in Santa, they choose to pretend, which (for now) is fine with me. A regular chant in our house this time of year is “don’t believe, don’t receive”—really an empty threat, but it’s a sentiment that I think can be applied to everything this season. It’s a reminder to be grateful for this coastal community and to do what we love: cook, celebrate, and reflect on the times that have gone by and our hopes for the future.

So, believe in the beauty of this city, believe in the magic of this season—and you shall receive the endless bounties of a Newport winter.

Sincerely,
Scott Sanchez
Publisher and Chief Technology Officer
scott@firebrandmediainc.com

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