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California Christmases in the Missions

Published on: December 07, 2015

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The majority of California’s missions host Christmas celebrations.  With the artful restoration of 200-year-old structures you can feel history surround you during the holidays.

Christmas celebrations in California Missions  – see full schedule

  • LOMPOC: Mission La Purisima Concepcion Mass & Concert Dec. 8, 2015
  • SAN DIEGO: Mission San Diego Youth Community performs Dec. 11
  • SANTA BARBARA: Christmas Caroling in front of the Mission Santa Barbara Dec. 19
  • SOLVANG: Mission Santa Ines Christmas Bell Concert Dec. 7
  • VENTURA: Mission San Buenaventura Children’s Choir Concert Dec. 7

Franciscan missionary Father Juan Crespi wrote the earliest known descriptions of Christmases in Alta California in his diary on December 24, 1769. Stopping in the valley of El Osito de San Buenaventura he writes: “It was God’s will that we should celebrate the Nativity joyfully, which was done in this way: more than two hundred heathen of both sexes came to visit us in this place, bringing us Christmas gifts, for many of them came with good baskets of pinole and some fish, with which everybody supplied himself, so that we had something with which to celebrate Christmas Day. Blessed be the providence of God, who succors us more than we deserve! These gifts were returned with beads, which pleased them greatly.” – from Christmases in the Missions by Richard Amero

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