Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade: There are decisions to be made when it comes to this historic happening, which marks its 107th anniversary in 2015. If you're on land, your choices include watching the multi-night spectacle from a restaurant or the shore or another boat or private home; if you've entered your yacht or kayak or vessel, you've got to pick a theme for your decorations. Often the theme is simply "supertotallymondo glitterpretty lights" and that works very well. See 'em nightly through Sunday, Dec. 20.
Las Posadas: Finding this sacred and song-filled tradition around Southern California is truly a matter of the heart. You might join your neighborhood in observance of the Mary and Joseph's search for an inn, or a church or town square. One of LA's oldest community meeting places, Olvera Street, re-enacts that search nightly through Christmas Eve. Pan dulce, champurrado, and other treats of the season are part of the candle-quiet occasion.
Operation Santa Paws: Somewhere in Southern California, right at this moment, a pet lover is wrapping a soft bed or chew toy for her or his little love. But plenty of shelter pets weather the holidays, too. A gaggle of Santa-hat'd volunteers get together on the Saturday before Christmas to help those shelter pups and kitties out by delivering a host of needed goods, from blankets to food to dishes and more. You can donate some goods, or donate your time, or both. Woof this way.
Music Center Holiday Sing-Along: So you're way, wayyy into those free sing-alongs that show up in the summertime at the downtown destination located between the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and the Mark Taper. Did you know there's a seasonal treat, too, each year? Of course you did -- you and your pals are probably already planning your outrageous yuletide outfits. Best arrive early for your ticket on Friday, Dec. 18. It's free, as was mentioned earlier, but tickets are required. A superstar voice is not, so attend even if you can't hit those "Silent Night" high notes.
What to do, where to go and what to see
Breakfast with Santa: There are lots of meet-and-greets with Mr. Kringle around these days, but this one has a twist. Indeed, the first meal of the day is involved, which is pretty cute, but your family will also see the famous elf after strolling among oaks and camellias. Yes, we speak of Descanso Gardens here, which says some spots are left for its Sunday, Dec. 20 meal with Santa Claus. Need some nature with your yuletide? It's a quiet way to fa, la, la into Christmas Week.