Away from the shopping crowds, and it was just as enjoyable.
I spent a day at a Heritage Holiday Christmas event held at the History Park in San Jose. The Park features original and reproduction homes and buildings, giving a glimpse of Santa Clara Valley’s past.
There were lots to see, and at times, it was possible to feel that you were traipsing back into time. I particularly enjoyed visiting the homes that were furnished to reflect the era of the homeowner. The Hill House, for instance, was the home of Andrew P. Hill, a renowned local photographer, artist and protector of the Big Basin redwood trees. He lived there from 1898 and in the parlor there is his beautiful painting of the redwoods that he loved.
There were also interactive events for adults and children, and a popular one was the Christmas Centerpiece workshop organized by the Santa Clara County Master Gardeners. Anyone could just walk in and learn to make a centerpiece using a variety of foliage, pine and berries. A very helpful master gardener, Sylvia, invited me to try my hand, and guided me in putting one together.
My centerpiece might be a little lop-sided, but hey, I still like it.