This is part one of our local coverage of holiday spirit, here in Santa Barbara, California.  We were inspired by holiday blog posts we have read from all over the world from bloggers who shared local color, like the first snow of season. It truly helps to make the spirit bright!

One of the luxuries of life in the holiday season is to admire the lovely decorations that signify the end of the year.  The creativity involved and the execution gives you a moment to reflect on people’s artfulness.  To celebrate the season and wish all our readers a wonderful holiday, we are sharing our photos of local holiday decorations that we found impressive or original.

Today, we had breakfast with friends in the Bella Vista restaurant of the Biltmore hotel overlooking Butterfly Beach.   It is a wonderful room with a retractable ceiling to let in the ocean breezes and very conducive to celebration or quiet relaxation.  It is a favorite of the locals as well as tourists.

One of the landmark hotels in Montecito/Santa Barbara, the famed Biltmore hotel opened in 1927, as part of the Biltmore chain.  Today, it is known as the Four Seasons Resort, The Biltmore Santa Barbara.  The hotel has been lovingly maintained and restored.  It exemplifies colonial Spanish/Moorish architecture with magnificent courtyards, gardens that feature specimen plants and trees, as well as a croquet lawn.  We think that it is one of the most beautiful hotels to visit since it is reminiscent of the grandeur of the era in which it was built.

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