No hostile crowds of determined shoppers, no angst over not having money to spend, no fistfights in the parking lot over a contested parking spot. No canned music, no screaming kids on Santa’s lap, no elves with attitudes, no tacky Christmas decorations. No strings of lights drooping, no eco-friendly LEDs, no shards of shattered glass balls. Just the lovely sky, patient Half Dome, and the eternal, timeless beauty of Yosemite. It was the perfect kick-off to my holiday season.