THERE ARE TREE LIGHTINGS APLENTY... at malls and theaters and shopping centers, and they can fill a crowd with seasonal joy (especially if a few carols are sung or some stirring speeches are made). But a few special lightings around Southern California involve a traditional, somewhat formal, and always festive dinner, the kind of meal that puts you in a merry frame of mind for the holiday-busy weeks to come. November will have a number of lightings around the Golden State, but one of the longest-running, and perhaps the tastiest, is the kick-off at the Anaheim White House. The annual tree-lighting ceremony at the Italian steakhouse is a pre-Thanksgiving fancy-dress-up must-do in the area, and has been for the better part of three decades. It is, in fact, marking its 28th outing on Sunday, Nov. 22, and if you want a seat at the bulbs-and-bows affair, you best reserve your slot, and your family's spots, long before the restaurant staffers hang the first ornament.
SANTA, FROSTY, AND RUDOLPH... will also be in the historic house, to up the cheer, cheer that will be enhanced, for the grown-ups, with welcome glasses of Champagne. Passed small bites also are on the early menu for the evening, while a four-course dinner is planned for later in the night. And will there be snow on the ground? Well, this is Anaheim, a city that's rather famous for bringing a dash of fantasy to the every day, so, yes, you may see a few "drifts" here and there. The snow addition, set against the built-in-1909 building, provides for a pretty sight.
UNWRAPPED TOY: Caterina's Club is the night's beneficiary, and attendees are asked to show with a plaything (no need to wrap it, though). Named for the mother of Bruno Serato, the restaurant's owner, Caterina's Club is committed to providing nutritional meals for kids in the community and helping families secure housing.
WANT TO BE A PART... of a beautiful evening with a beautiful heart? You'll absolutely need to book by Nov. 7. Tickets are $135 each.