As we head to the end of 2013, many around Kern County agreed the holiday season is about family.
"We have my grandson visiting from Washington state and my son is up from Los Angeles, and we're gonna have a family get together and invite some neighbors in for dinner," said Bakersfield resident Troy Smith.
Sharon Powell has soul food was on the menu for her out-of-town guests.
"Turkey, ham, greens, macaroni and cheese, tons of desserts," Powell said.
In addition to family and food, Kern County residents said it is the long lasting memories brought on by traditions that make Christmas that extra special day they look forward to all year.
For the past 28 years, Debra Holliday has traveled from Las Vegas to Bakersfield in time for Christmas.
"I wouldn't choose to be anywhere else, but to be with my family," Holliday said.
Mike Schulte also makes the annual trip into Kern County from San Diego to be with family.
"I plan to see my granddaughter and spend time with her," Schulte said. "She'll be up early I'm sure, looking for Santa, to see what he brings her."
Santa Claus may have gone back to the North Pole, but it doesn't mean the gift-giving (and receiving) is over -- at least not for the Wilkerson family anxiously awaiting "El Dia de los Reyes" or Three Kings' Day.
"[The holiday falls] on January 6th, and so we save one present for that day and we open it on January 6th," Wilkerson said.