Field Trip: Holiday Traditions at Filoli

Woah.  My busy week got busier last week with an unexpected death in the family—my Uncle Bob, patriarch of the Cool California Cousin branch of the Loosli clan, passed away and I needed to make my way to Newport Beach for his funeral.  I had a lovely time with those CCCs and my mom and other relatives reminiscing about funny, frugal Uncle Bob but I missed telling you about a delightful holiday event at Filoli.  For those who’ve never been there, Filoli is a grand country estate thirty miles south of San Francisco.  The house is beautiful and the grounds lovely and once a year the entire place is turned into a well-curated gift shop.  Something Uncle Bob would not have enjoyed, but many of you might have, so I’m sorry I didn’t point it out before the Holiday Traditions at Filoli was over.  But next year I’ll try to let you know in advance so you can take your twice-checked lists with you. In the meantime, here’s what you missed.

The Filoli mansion in winter.

Including the winter garden.

Beautifully decorated Christmas trees wait inside.

Kitchen kitsch.

Manly men stuff.


I took this one from Coral & Tusk home with me. You can’t see it here, but the penguin holds a cute little stuffed crab in his belly.

Foxes on pretty mantels.

And polar bears too.


Potted plants.

Fragrant bay leaf wreaths (one of these came home with me, also).

Chatting with the grounds own beekeeper about Filoli honey.

Meeting nice volunteers in silly hats and socks.  This is the time and place to pull out all your Christmas finery.

The prices were quite reasonable–Uncle Bob would like that–and the cause is good (this is a fundraiser for Filoli). Put this on your calendar for next year. I already have.


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Kathryn Pritchett

writes about Things Elemental — where we find shelter, why we connect, what sustains us and how we strut our stuff.