Happy Holidays!

Always a joyous time of year, Christmas and the holidays bring smiles to just about everyone’s faces.

There are two holiday traditions that stand out every year that originated right here in Newport Beach–Hoag Hospital’s “Christmas Carol Ball,” this year celebrating its 50th year–and Women of Chapman’s “Christmas at The Ritz” holiday soiree commemorating 30 years this year. Either benefit, whether raising money for Hoag Hospital or Chapman University, brings a wonderful dose of holiday cheer to its guests.

The holiday happenings around town are also significant. You see them featured in our “Enticements Await!” feature and also in our holiday calendar. The granddaddy of holiday events, of course, is the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade, this year celebrating 108 years, and following that is the 26th annual “Lighting of the Bay,” presented by the Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort. If Christmas tree lighting ceremonies are to your liking, check out the details for those at Fashion Island, Balboa Bay Resort and South Coast Plaza. And, finally, raves are always due for the Balboa Island Holiday Home Tour and the Corona del Mar Christmas Walk.

Our restaurant reviewer Jenn Tanaka has some good restaurant referrals for holiday celebrating. Whether it’s the Balboa Bay Resort’s A&O Kitchen or The Winery Restaurant and Wine Bar, you’ll be right on the bay to view the quintessential Christmas Boat Parade. The Pelican Hill Resort offers a picturesque gingerbread display in the main lobby, as well as Santa events for the children, pastry classes and Hanukkah feasts. Hotel Irvine is featuring a Twelve Days of Christmas menu, and Montage Laguna Beach is offering a plethora of holiday-inspired cocktails.

And, if you’re a baker at heart, you will love Suzette Zara’s Candy Cane Christmas Cake with its Snowflake White Chocolate Frosting. Yum!

If holiday travel appeals to you, you will love reading about London, where you can experience the big, bustling international city as it transforms itself into a quaint and charming English village. Who wouldn’t want to sing Christmas carols in Westminster Abbey?

Parting Thoughts columnist Deirdre Michalski brings us back to the “reason for the season,” as she talks about giving to those who have so much less. She mentions the ornament program at Mariners Church, where each ornament on the field of Christmas trees represents someone who needs some holiday cheer with gift purchases. She also suggests taking home-baked goodies to those who serve us during the holidays–the hospitals, fire and police departments, and senior centers.

However you celebrate, I sincerely hope the joy of the season lights up your holidays.

See you in the New Year,

Donna Bunce, Editor


November Correction: Lynn Selich was 
the writer for the Ben Carlson story.