If you're hosting out-of-towners on Christmas Eve and Christmas, then you've likely planned the present opening phase of the stay, the carol singing part of the proceedings, and every last ingredient of the Big Meal (down to the wee marshmallows that form the top layer of the yam dish).
But what many a host has not full embraced is that many a relative is here to stay for a day or two beyond Dec. 25, as the holiday falls on a Thursday, leaving the weekend tantalizingly in sight. Why depart on Friday when Sunday will do just fine?
The short of it is you'll likely feel at close quarters by Saturday, regardless of the size of your home, and you'll a) want to be outside and b) want to continue to festive feeling. Christmas doesn't exactly end on the 25th, so you can have your yuletide, and your fresh night air, and find something to do with the relatives, if you make for...
Christmas Tree Lane: The lit-up deodar thoroughfare is one of the most historic spots in all of Altadena, and the whole of Southern California. Yep, it keeps the handle "Christmas Tree Lane" all year long, which says they means some seriously merry business. Also? It takes a long time to festoon those tall, tall trees, so best go admire the hard work put in.
Garden of Lights: The San Diego Botanic Garden in Encinitas has covered its shrubs and succulents in little twinkling bulbs, over 100,000 of them. It's closed on Dec. 24 and 25, but re-opens on the 26th, just in time for your get-out-of-the-house-with-everyone needs.
The Living Desert: Should you find yourself out by Palm Desert, and you make for this scrubby and spectacular animal park, you'll see cacti and such decked out in lights and the gewgaws of the season. The annual WildLights event is a garden walk with an arid twist. Fresh air bonus: 10
LA Zoo Lights: Many an Angeleno has missed strolling through Griffith Park and admiring the DWP light show, a tradition that folded a few years back. There's a chance to get your light show on, though, inside the zoo, for a fee. LED pizzazz and glowing monkeys and trees encircled by light rings are on the nighttime walk. It's closed on Dec. 24 and 25, but open again on Dec. 26.