The wonderful San Miguel Holiday Lights Parade and Craft Faire will take place on Saturday, December 21. Starting at 2 p.m. and throughout the rest of the day, Craft Faire vendors will offer wonderful, unique hand-made gifts and last-minute stocking stuffers. 

Strolling Mission Street from vendor to vendor, you may see a lot of friends. Also during the day, there will be some activities to enjoy. At 6 p.m., the 28th annual Holiday Lights Parade will begin at 13th and Mission streets, marching south to Fr. Reginald Park next to the Mission. There it will circle the little park and parade back to the firehouse. This is a specialty of San Miguel parades — you get to watch it twice and you see both sides of creatively lighted floats, horses, vehicles, and marching groups!

The last entry in the parade is that jolly old elf, Santa Claus, who will meet and greet children at the firehouse. Always a lot of fun, it’s also a chance to rerun floats from earlier holiday parades. Entries are available online at and or may be picked up at San Miguel Mercantile. For more information, call Mike Sanders at 805-712-9120. 

The Holiday Lights Parade is a tradition that brings the community together in celebration. Local businesses will be open for the day. When we were youngsters, it was a Christmas tradition for a lot of local families, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, to attend the Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve at Mission San Miguel. The beautifully decorated church brightened with candles was filled with worshipers and music sung by the choir of Franciscan novices (students). A long line of young acolytes led the procession to the altar and sat in chairs placed along the inside of the altar railing (I remember one time when, around the middle of mass, I noticed some little heads beginning to droop).  

At our house for a few years when our older children were in high school, their friends came for the service and afterward we all enjoyed hot chocolate and cookies until around 4 a.m. 

Holiday Mass schedules at the Mission are: Christmas Eve, 5 p.m. in English and 8 p.m. bilingual (Spanish and English); Christmas Day, 8 a.m. and noon in English and 2 p.m. in Spanish; New Year’s Eve, 7 p.m. Bilingual; New Years Day, 8 a.m. and noon in English and 2 p.m. in Spanish. 

Wishing you all a beautiful and blessed Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year!