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Rain Doesn't Dampen Spirits At Lamorinda Tree Lightings

Lafayette and Moraga hold their annual holiday tree lightings despite the rain and cold temperatures

Lafayette's holiday tree after it was lit on Friday evening
Lafayette's holiday tree after it was lit on Friday evening
It rained on the Christmas parades in Lamorinda on Friday evening, but holiday revelers came out anyway.

Both Lafayette and Moraga put on their annual tree lighting ceremonies despite the rain that swept across the region.

Lafayette's "It's A Wonderful Life" holiday celebration kicked off at 4 p.m. in Plaza Park.

Santa rode in about 4:30 p.m. and the 15-foot tree in the center of the park was lit up at 5:30 p.m.

About 100 people mingled during the tree lighting. Some parents brought their children to visit Santa, who sat patiently in a covered booth.

Lauren Tyson was one of them. She and her husband brought their 5-year-old, 3-year-old and 1-year-old to the festivities.

Tyson, who is pregnant with her fourth child, said they don't live too far away from the park, so they thought they'd brave the weather.

"We figured our kids would like it, rain or shine," she said.

In Moraga, the holiday celebration began at 6:30 p.m. in Moraga Commons Park.

The tree lighting was supposed to happen at 7 p.m., but organizers set the lights ablaze 15 minutes early because heavier rain was starting to fall.

A crowd of more than 50 people hung around nonetheless. About 20 parents and children were in line to see Santa, who was sheltered by umbrellas held by two members of the Moraga Youth Involvement Committee, which helped organize the event.

At the end of the line was Michael Finocchio, his wife and their two young children. The Moraga family hasn't had time yet to put up their tree, so Finocchio said they thought they'd bring the kids out to see the 40-foot one in the park.

Near the front of the line stood a mother and daughter from Moraga, holding umbrellas and watching the children sit on Santa's lap.

They were supporting the younger woman's daughter, one of the two girls holding the umbrella over Santa's head.

The women said it rained on last year's tree lighting, but people still come out.

Andrea December 07, 2013 at 12:39 PM
I'm truly happy that the spirit of Lamorinda was joyful throughout the rain, but I almost fell over myself when I read "Lafayette's Holiday Tree" as the caption under the photo--what on earth is a holiday tree? People, it's a Christmas tree--there's nothing dirty or bad about the word Christmas--it's a glorious time of year and it's wonderful that all people can join in the festivities whatever their religion or background, but for goodness sakes, please call things what they are! Hanukkah is now over, but when reading about Menorah lightings around town, I never once heard the mention of a Holiday Light Holder to celebrate some inocuous holiday. If you are a person who isn't religious and you enjoy celebrating the Winter Solstice or something of the sort, then by all means please do--but please, please, this is a Christmas tree and the only holiday that is coming up this month is Christmas (if someone is going to throw out Kwanza, let's remember that this holiday was invented by a professor in California in the 60's and the vast majority of those who celebrate Kwanzaa do celebrate Christmas--but hey, if there is a big need for a Kwanzaa celebration, then go ahead and have one and call it a Kwanzaa celebration, not just a holiday)! It seems so bizarre to me that every other holiday can be called by it's actual name, but Christmas and Christmas time in Lamorinda needs to be referred to only as "holiday". This need to be overly politically correct is absolutely ridiculous. I would be shocked if there are a lot of practicing Jewish friends in Lamorinda who would be offended by calling it a Christmas Tree or Christmas Celebration---the more likely situation is that the few who are anti-religion of any kind feel it necessary to impose their atheist ways on the rest of us. How about you celebrate not celebrating anything and the rest of us can celebrate our holidays by name!?

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