Capitola Holiday Traditions

How will you keep your Holiday traditions alive this year? With this year being a bit different, lets choose joy and keep our holiday traditions alive – or make new ones. This year may take some thinking outside the box; nonetheless it’s important for your sake and those you love to bring holiday cheer to the forefront. 

We’d like to share some of our Beach House Rentals team holiday traditions and would love to hear back from you about yours. Let’s inspire one another. Sharing talents with each other is true gift-giving from the heart. 


How many times have we said “Uh, I just don’t have time to decorate!” This year especially, there is no excuse. It’s never too late to get started, so drag out those dusty holiday bins or get creative with your craft skills; holiday spirit is counting on you. 

Decorate your home or office. Although this is usually a favorite team activity for the Beach House Rental girls to do together, this year was a little different. Nevertheless, with social distancing in mind and masks on, a few festive touches were added to the Beach House Rentals office. Stockings were hung,  windows were painted with holiday cheer, big and small Christmas trees are scattered about, and string lights are up and twinkling away! 

Dede, Sara and Misty have a long-standing tradition since their own childhood of cutting down their own trees. Now trekking their growing families up to the numerous tree farms in the Santa Cruz mountains they are passing this full day of fun and energy on to their own tikes. Last I searched there are still some open farms, so check before you trek. 

The 3 of them also have yearly outings to see all the lights on the boats at the Yacht Harbor. It’s definitely Santa Cruz style and one that never gets old. The glistening lights dance on the water, fill up the sky and create a glow all around the Harbor. Sharon goes out of her way most nights to wind through and witness this festive tradition. 

Making gingerbread houses is what dreams are made of and a miracle needed to keep ‘em standing. Unless you have Misty along your side. She creates masterpieces yearly and proudly displays her works of art.

Making wreaths at Dig Gardens in Santa Cruz last year (Dec. 2019)!

Think writing Christmas cards is a chore? Not the year Sharon bought a blank packet of note cards with envelopes, colorful glitter and lots of Elmers. She and her boys drew wreaths, trees, angels and stars with the glue and glitter galore and sent out homemade Christmas cards. Spending so much time and letting the little ones create their own designs brought so much meaning to them that year. With glue, anything is possible. 

Nothing says Christmas spirit more than homemade decorations. Creative card displays, stringing popcorn, dried orange slices and cranberries or cutouts of tissue paper snowflakes scream family time. Hunt the forest floor for pinecones, holly berry and acorns and create a one of a kind wreath for the front door.  Trust me when I say it doesn’t need to be perfect. The fun is in the creation and once it is hung you can’t help but smile in wonder. 

Baking and Cooking!

Tamales seem to be a favorite tradition with many of us here at Beach House Rentals. I personally have never participated in holiday tamale making so I’m counting on my beach house team to hook me up! My forte is gingerbread men cookies with lots and lots of cinnamon red hots for decor. 

To warm up her family this time of year, Belinda concocts a comforting and tasty Mexican Ponche. Simmering with seasonal fruits such as apples, pears, oranges and guavas; spiced with cinnamon, cloves, tamarind and hibiscus. Her family also celebrates Las Posadas; beginning December 16th, 9 days of song and prayer with family and neighbors. A commemorative journey she has done year after year and passes down through the generations. One that will surely be missed this year but with some creative thinking, one that will carry on in the family home. 

Dia de los Reyes (3 Kings day) is celebrated on January 6th and Alison tells us the story behind this exciting tradition. Rosca de Reyes (King Bread) a sweet, scrumptious bread shaped in a circle, topped with candied fruit to represent a crown of jewels is served to all gathered together. There are hidden baby figurines inside, representing the baby Jesus and whoever receives one in their piece are in charge of the next celebration. Also gifts are exchanged this day, sometimes in the stockings that are hung and sometimes like a treasure hunt around the home. It’s a celebration worth waiting for and finalizes the Christmas season.  

If you can do so safely, gather with a small group of close friends or family and share your kitchen talents. 


Some of you may have been listening to Christmas carols since Halloween ended but don’t let all you’ve heard on the air waves be the ending note. Warm up your vocal cords, have a hot toddy if necessary and have some fun singing your favorite tunes. Who of us have not challenged ourselves to the 12 days of Christmas or gotten a little wild with their fa la la la la’s and their ho ho ho’s?

Listen to the sounds of your ancestors; Silent Night has been translated into 140 different languages. Cassy loves her Christmas music, be it country, pop, classical, or the simple sounds of the harp and flute. The community, lights, town decor, getting dressed up and of course the music is what brings the wonder of Christmas to her. I love hearing her sing and hum and hope one day she’ll sing me her angelic version of her favorite “Oh Holy Night” or the ever joyful “Joy to the World”. 

A song is sure to brighten up the gloomiest of days. 

Volunteer/Gift Giving

Sara has a fun way of prolonging the anticipation of gift giving. She sends her husband on a scavenger hunt, staging hints around the house to find. On Christmas morning he gets his final clue and the surprise. Naughty or nice, that’s a clever way to bring out the kid in you.

Whether you’re on the giving end or the receiving end, generous or grateful, we are all wealthy in one way or another. Giving of our time is about as precious as a paycheck and almost harder to give than something that costs money. If this year finds your means still afloat or not, you won’t have any trouble finding an individual or family who needs you. Many of us seek those in need through church, senior centers, hospitals and nursing homes. We also shop locally to support businesses in our Capitola  community. 

Christmas movie marathons

On a final note, make sure to make time for yourself. Reminisce of Christmases past, throw on your flannels, serve yourself your favorite snack, cozy up on the couch, and have a movie marathon. We are spoiled here in Capitola; sunny days, beach weather in December but your favorite movies can take you on a dreamy trip to another time, anywhere. 

From everyone at Beach House Rentals may the finish line to 2020 bring you and your families hope, peace and love. We look forward to new beginnings and can’t wait to see you all in the New Year!