Christmas Preview, Downtown Chico – November 18, 2012

By Zooey Mae

The holiday season is usually an intense whirlwind of commercials, neon lights, and angry throngs of crowds all shoving past each other to get their hands on whatever ends up being the “must-have” toy of the year. In these modern times of over-stimulation and the living, breathing, agenda-setting entity that is the media, getting into the Christmas spirit can be nearly impossible. More than visiting a whiskey-soaked Santa at the mall, or touring around town to see the most elaborate Christmas displays (see also: neighborhood pissing contests), the real festivity kicks off at the Christmas Preview in downtown Chico.
 
Even though it always falls on the Sunday before Thanksgiving (and usually anything that dares to jumble the natural order of holidays makes my head spin), it never fails to impart some holiday spirit. Walking down the blocked-off streets, seeing everyone bundled up and stores alight with twinkling lights, the elaborate window displays seem to beckon. Zucchini and Vine is a traditional favorite of mine, with their classic apple cider and cases full of rows upon rows of sumptuous chocolates with every imaginable filling. Trucker has really upped the ante in the realm of Christmas Preview, with a photo booth and (in past years) a live band.
 
As always, Chico favorites The Yule Logs kicked things off with their annual impressive array of costumes, light-up snowmen, and (naturally) a snow machine. Dancing around in the flurry of snow, they kicked and sang while a sizable crowd gathered, everyone pushing together to stay warm. Performing a mix of classic Christmas tunes and catchy originals, The Yule Logs further cemented their place in the niche market of family-friendly, holiday-centric music that is just darn difficult not to like.
 
Also joining the festivities were the participants of the Tweed Ride, who were definitely the most fashionable of the bunch. (Note to self: invest in a watch fob). After the cold got to be too much, the majority of the crowd (21 and up) migrated into Duffy’s for libations and conversation. After a night of stomping pavement (to the tune of various Yule Logs songs), I drank too many Hot Toddies and eventually ended up at my house singing Christmas carols. Christmas Preview, I missed you. 

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Zooey Mae has been working as a writer monkey for Synthesis Weekly since 2007. Her favorite things include (but are not limited to), Jeffrey Brown, bubble wrap, Craig Thompson, pillow forts, receiving handwritten letters, and whiskey. She spends her free time stockpiling supplies for the impending robot Apocalypse and avoiding eye contact with strangers.