A couple of weeks ago I was visiting Kegan in San Antonio. It was 80 degrees, the sun was shining and Christmas tunes were filling the air. The trees surrounding the Alamo were decked out in glorious white lights, and when we went to Austin all the houses were strung with multi-colored icile lights. At first it was completely disconcerting. In my world Christmas means frigid temps, noses red from the cold, not from sunburn. But the juxtaposition kind of grew on me.
When my plane landed in Spokane I was wearing a T-shirt and flip flops and it was 25ish degrees. There were Christmas lights and jolly tunes being piped into the airport. But I couldn't get the vision of festive palm trees swaying in the breeze out of my head.
I will always love Christmas with snow, Christmas with lights strung over evergreen trees, Christmas with windows to scrape and slippery roads to traverse. But there's a new love in my heart for Christmas with sunshine, Christmas on a lounger near the pool, Christmas with freckles instead of windburn.
The Holiday Lights at the Gaiser Conservatory in Manito Park offers the best of both worlds. Frozen ground and frosty trees on the outside,tropical flora festooned with thousands of Christmas lights on the inside.
This local treasure is open through December 19, from 8am to 7:30pm (best viewing is after 4pm, when it's dark outside). It's free, and a fantastic holiday activity for the entire family. You'll find the Gaiser Conservatory near the south end of Manito Park.