“December 1931 was drawing to a close and Hollywood was aglow with Christmas spirit, undaunted by sizzling sunshine, palm trees, and the dry encircling hills that would never feel the kiss of snow. But the “Know-how” that would transform the Chaplin studio in the frozen Chilkoot Pass could easily achieve a white Christmas.
In Wilson’s Rolls-Royce convertible, we drove past Christmas trees heavy with fake snow. An entire estate on Fairfax Avenue had been draped in cotton batting; carolers straight out of Dickens were at its gate, perspiring under mufflers and greatcoats. The street signs on Hollywood Boulevard had been changed to Santa Claus Lane. They drooped with heavy glass icicles. A parade was led by a band blaring out “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” followed by Santa driving a sleigh. But Hollywood granted Santa the extra dimension of a Sweetheart and seated beside him was Clara Bow (or was it Mabel Normand?)”
—Anita Loos, Kiss Hollywood Goodbye. (Her book The Talmadge Girls is also worth reading, if only for the part where silent film star Constance Talmadge accidentally decorates her Christmas tree with condoms and suppositories.)