There are a number of sources for up-festive-ing your season, pronto.
Watching a classic television special or vintage holiday film is a quick up-festiver, as is time spent listening to carols on the local all-carols-all-month station.
The jury's still out on whether wrapping packages delights or tires, but let's vote delights, to be unScroogelike. Plus, all of those shiny ribbons and bows lend some cheer. Right? Right?
What to do, where to go and what to see
But neck-and-neck for the fastest festive-maker are those around-town happenings that A) involve carols B) might have a Santa sight C) have a lot decorations D) and some marionettes and E) are free.
"Free" is possible in the spendiest time of year, and definitely at the Original Farmers Market and Malibu Country Mart in the days ahead of Dec. 25.
The landmark public market at Third & Fairfax is hollying up the joint with singers and puppets and bands and ornament decorating, and, nope, you don't have to pay to go. You may want a few bucks for a piece of Littlejohn's toffee or a hot salted caramel from Short Cake, but we'll put that in your court. Dates? It's on through Tuesday, Dec. 24, and the to-dos change daily.
Malibu Country Mart is going heavy on the ho-ho-ho with a Saturday, Dec. 21 Santa sighting and a visit from some reindeer, too. Victorian carolers and cookie decorating round-out the Saturday before the yuletide. We like the idea of Victorian carolers just steps from the Malibu beach, because that's a pretty offbeat mash-up. Top hats and surfboards? It could be a new trend.
And let us not forget, speaking of beaches, that the 105th annual Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade sails nightly through Sunday, Dec. 22. It's free to watch from various spots around the water, if you can score one. And you should, because, we mean... 105? Let us celebrate and enjoy any cheerful SoCal celebration that's passed its centennial.
But you can't get to Newport Beach? No worries. We're just betting there's a great display of holiday lights somewhere close to where you live.