Solvang’s Sparkly December Schedule

Christmastime is merry 'n major in the windmill-whimsical burg.

Tenley Fohl Photography

MAKING A SCHEDULE... around the holidays is a pretty smart thing to do, especially if you have to buy wrapping paper and you need to find a recipe for cranberry compote and you are thinking you might host the neighborhood block party, though you swore to yourself that last year was the last time you'd run the whole shebang all by yourself. To wade into the final month of the year without a list of must-dos is, in short, folly, though many of us find ourselves there, again and again. It's good, then, that the destinations most associated with Christmas do happen to stick to the whole schedule-organizing, plan-ahead-thing-ing, even if we individuals don't stay quite on top of our own lives. Look to Solvang, which Time magazine called "one of the most Christmassy towns in America" a few years back. While we're carving our pumpkins and deciding if we should be a cute ghost or a scary ghost for trick-or-treat time, the wine country town is busy as a pack of elves making toys. But Solvang isn't in the toy-making business; the burg is known for its seasonal, multi-day bashes, especially around December. For December, in Solvang, is...

JULEFEST: And Julefest doesn't just pop up on a single night, accompanied by a tree and a hot pot of cocoa and a carol or two. The celebration is on, via several different incarnations, from the first day of December right through to Jan. 8, 2016. So giving a studious eye to the whole Julefest schedule, before making your road trip, is essential. Will Santa be there? Yes, at certain times over the first two weekends. Will there be opportunities to "Shop, Mingle & Jingle"? The town has over 150 shops, so count on it. Will Nativity Pageants and trolley tours and looks at Christmas lights and the famous Christmas Tree Burn, when the whole party is over, be woven into the whimsical doings? Count on it. But count on yourself missing something merry if you don't pick your days ahead of time. Lucky for you, though: Solvang has shared its Julefest schedule over a month ahead of the festivities, so you've got time to debate. Wine tasting, then Santa? Light-looking, then the Beer Walk? Decisions, and so on and so forth.

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