TUBACHRISTMAS: Many of us make the same statement every December: We want to slow down and enjoy some of the old-fashioned pleasures of the season. Here's a fast start to your seasonal slow down: The annual free tuba carol show, when dozens of tuba and euphonium players'll show at Forest Lawn's Hall of Liberty on Sunday, Dec. 8. It's brassy, nostalgia-nice, and you feel the parumping in the middle of your chest. Gotta miss this one? There are a few more SoCal concerts coming down the play-in-the-yuletide pike, including one in Anaheim on Dec. 21.
MORE MUSIC: Sing-Alongs? They're a sweet staple of the Southern California concert scene all year long. (We're looking at you, Hollywood Bowl "Sound of Music" night.) But the holiday ones are especially come-together-y, if only because so many us learned "Jingle Bells" early on and can thus warble by heart. "Messiah" is just ahead at Walt Disney Concert Hall, but you can get a start by singing with the Angel City Chorale on Saturday, Dec. 7 and Sunday, Dec. 8.
LA HARBOR HOLIDAY AFLOAT: What do you do after you mark a half century of glittery, lit-up boats and festive parading? Well you do it all over again, the next year. The Pedro-close party is set to sail into its 51st year on Saturday, Dec. 7 with the theme "Holidays Around the World." And the "best seat in the house"? Why that's on the USS Iowa, of course, which is having its own ticketed, watch-the-show bash.
HANDMADE GIFTS: Buying a piece created by an artisan is an act as old as commerce itself, but sometimes it can feel, nowadays at least, as though we never get to meet the people who make the stuff we purchase and frequently give. Unique LA and Harvest Festival, the Original Arts & Crafts Fair are two places to change that. They're rife with handmade goods ideal for gifting, and the people in the booths? The artisans themselves. Unique LA is downtown over the weekend, and Harvest Festival unfurls in Pomona.
SANTA BARBARA AND SOLVANG: Two festive (and furry) favorites are set for our neighbors up the 101. The Santa Barbara Zoo's popular Snow Leopard Festival meows on Sunday, Dec. 8 while Solvang's multi-day, multi-event Julefest takes over the windmilliest city in the West. Did someone say s'more festival? Oh yeah, we did. We practically shouted it from the top of the windmills, in fact.