Holiday Happenings

Dec. 1

- 16th annual Gingerbread City contest with chefs basing creations on themes from holiday storybooks, 5 to 9 p.m. Dec. 1 at Grand Del Mar Resort, 5300 Grand Del Mar Court, benefit for Epilepsy Foundation. (619) 296-0161.

- Letter writing to Santa at Macy’s stores through Dec. 24. For each postcard received, Macy’s will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish, up to
$1 million.

Dec. 4

- Holiday Seniors Dance, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Dec. 4 at La Jolla Recreation Center, 615 Prospect, $10, for ages 55 and older. (619) 533-4017.

- “A Christmas Story,” based on the “Ralphie” classic, presented by San Diego Junior Theatre, through Dec. 20 at Firehouse YMCA Theatre, 7877 Herschel, La Jolla. $11-$14. (619) 239-8355,

- Leonard Bernstein’s “Mass,” presented by La Jolla Symphony & Chorus, 8 p.m. Dec. 4-6 and 3 p.m. Dec. 6, Mandeville Auditorium, UCSD campus.
Tickets $18-$36. (858)
534-4637, www.lajolla

- “Ode to Joy,” from the San Diego Symphony (and Beethoven), 8 p.m. Dec. 4-5 and 2 p.m. Dec. 6. Copley Hall, 750 B St. (619)
235-0804, www.sandiego

Dec. 5

- English Renaissance music from Tallis Scholars, 4 p.m. Dec. 5 at St. James by-the-Sea, 743 Prospect. (619) 291-8246.

Dec. 6

- 52nd La Jolla Christmas Parade, “Through the Eyes of Child,” 2 to 3 p.m. Dec. 6, Girard Avenue. Tree lighting at 4:30 p.m., and Rotary reception from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.,at the Recreation Center, 615 Prospect. (858) 454-1444. See Dec. 3 La Jolla Light for parade program.

- Historical Society Holiday Open House, noon to 4 p.m. Dec. 6 at Wisteria Cottage, 780 Prospect. Free cookies, coffee and cider.

- Flauta Eating World Championship, all day, Dec. 6, Jose’s, 1037 Prospect.

- 26th Hanukkah Happening, co-sponsored by Nierman Preschool Glickma Galinson Education Complex and the JCC Youth Department, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 6, Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center, Jacobs Family Campus, 4126 Executive Drive, La Jolla. Adult “Peek-a-Boo Preview,” 7 to 9 p.m. Dec. 5. $10. Proceeds to scholarship programs. (858) 457-3030.

- Christmas concert, Boston Camerata with Sharq Arab-American Ensemble presents “A Mediterranean Christmas,” 7 p.m. Dec. 6 at St. James by-the-Sea, 743 Prospect. $35-$30. (619) 291-8246.

- Holiday Tea by the Sea with carolers, 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Dec. 6 at The White Sands of La Jolla, 7450 Olivetas. (866) 981-8433.

Dec. 8

- Toy drive at Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza through Dec. 13 to benefit the San Diego Center for Children. Donate a new, unwrapped toy for ages 6-18 and receive a coupon for one free signature Messy Sundae dessert.

Dec. 11

- On this day, all girls and women named Virginia will get a $10 gift card when they come in to any Macy’s store to celebrate the animated movie, “Yes, Virginia” … there is a Santa Claus.

- Handel’s “Messiah,” conducted by Jung-Ho Pak, performed by Orchestra Nova and the Bach Collegium, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 11 at St. James by-the-Sea Episcopal Church, and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 12 at Solana Beach Presbyterian Church. Tickets: (858) 350-0290,

Dec. 12

- Free holiday concert, “O Come, Let Us Adore Him,” 7 p.m. Dec. 12-13 at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Del Mar Stake Center, 12701 Torrey Bluff Drive. (760) 753-9360.

Dec. 13

- Third night menorah lighting and Hanukkah Soul event, 5:30 to 8 p.m. Dec. 13 at Temple Emanu-El, 6299 Capri Drive, San Diego. SoulAviv will lead the audience songs. (619) 286-2555, www.temple

Dec. 14

- Art show and sale, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Dec. 20 at the La Jolla Art Association Gallery, 8100 Paseo del Ocaso, La Jolla Shores. “Celebrate the Season” receptions with Kris deYoung, Sharon Ford, Theresa Early Newbern and Judy Judy Judy, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Dec. 15 and 18. (858) 459-1196,

- Annual Public Menorah Lighting, 6 p.m. Dec. 14, Charriol La Jolla, 1227 Prospect, also World Torah send off, music, refreshments and gifts. (858) 455- 5433 or

Dec. 16

- La Jolla High School Winter Concert, 7 p.m. Dec. 16 at Parker Auditorium, 750 Nautilus. (858) 454-3081.

- Holiday Pops from the San Diego Symphony, Dec. 16-20 at Copley Hall, 750 B St. (619) 235-0804, www.

Dec. 17

The Bishop’s Singers will perform holiday music at 7 p.m. Dec. 17 at Clay’s in Hotel La Jolla. The show is free and open to the public.

Dec. 20

- World holiday music, 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Dec. 20 at the Neurosciences Institute, 10640 John Jay Hopkins Drive. Combined Chorus of Pacificaires and Cedar Center present “The Whole World is Singing,” a free concert of international music directed by Eunice Williams. http://sites.

Dec. 21

- Lunch with Santa, ages 2 -10, 11 a.m. Dec. 21 at the La Jolla Recreation Center, 615 Prospect. Donations accepted. Also Winter Break Camps, Dec. 21-24. (619) 533-4017.

Around town

- Garden of Lights, 5 to 9 p.m. Dec.10-23 and Dec. 26-30 at San Diego Botanic Garden. See 90,000 sparkling lights illuminate the paths for a magical experience with horse-drawn wagon rides, crafts, marshmallow roasting, visits with Santa, music, hot mulled wine and refreshments. Holiday Tales and Tunes for ages 2-6 several nights in December. Tickets: $4-$12. 230 Quail Gardens Drive, Encinitas. (760) 436-3036, ext. 206,

- 32nd Annual December Nights, 5 to 10 p.m. Dec. 4, noon to 10 p.m. Dec. 5 in Balboa Park. Lights, music, food and drink, displays and a chance to swap old strands of lights (with San Diego Gas & Electric Co. bill or California ID) at the East Gazebo from 1 to 5 p.m. for LED strands, free gift. International Cottages open from 5 to 10 p.m. Dec. 4. (619) 729-8234,

- “Santa and the Ho Ho Thief,” 10 and 11 a.m. Dec. 2-3 at Mary Hitchcock Puppet Theater, 2130 Pan American Place, Balboa Park. (619) 544-9203,

- Gingerbread contest. 6 to 9 p.m. Dec. 10-12 at Arclinea San Diego, 2515 Fifth Ave. Showcase of ginger structures built by San Diego architects, designers and cultural leaders. View and vote for a favorite, in person or online. On Dec. 12, it ends with a cocktail party and silent auction of the houses with proceeds to the Second Chance food pantry and holiday meals program. Refreshments and canned food and donation drive. Tickets: $25. (619) 564-7440,

- Old Town State Historic Park’s 59th annual Las Posadas event, 2 to 7 p.m. Dec. 12, includes candlelit procession from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. based on the biblical story of Mary and Joseph’s search for a birthplace for the Christ child. Join the walk and sing holiday songs as the players go from inn to inn, asking for symbolic lodging. Also, food vendors, entertainment and kids’ craft activities, plus guided park tours at 3 and 6 p.m. All free, but tours are $5-$10. (619) 297-3100, ext. 22, or

- SeaWorld’s outdoor 5,000-square-foot ice-skating rink, beneath the 320-foot Holiday Tree of Lights, through Jan. 3; also a toddler rink with double-edged rentable skates. Twelve-minute presentations of “The Polar Express 4-D Experience” with snow, fog and gusts of wind. Skytower lights will dance, flash, swirl and glow to holiday music on KyXy 96.5 FM.

- Free Day of Dance from Malashock Dance, Jean Isaacs San Diego Dance Theater and San Diego Ballet. Classes run from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Dec. 26 at Dance Place San Diego, 2650 Truxtun Road.,,

- Cannons will fire as Santa arrives on a pirate ship from the Maritime Museum, 1 p.m. Nov. 28. The Port of San Diego will hold its first green tree lighting at 5 p.m. at Seaport Village. Santa will be available for surfing photos all afternoon, kids craft tables, strolling entertainers and dining. Breakfast with Santa at the Harbor House Restaurant, Dec. 19-20. Reservations, (619) 235-4014.


- City Ballet: Dec. 11-20, Spreckels Theatre, 121 Broadway, San Digeo. $59-$29. (858) 272-8663,

- San Diego Ballet: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 17-18, UCSD Mandeville Auditorium, La Jolla. $20-$50. (619) 294-7311.

- California Ballet: Dec.12-13, Poway Center for the Performing Arts, 15498 Espola, Poway; Dec. 19, 20 and 22, San Diego Civic Theatre, 1100 Third, San Diego. Tickets: $35-$25. (858) 560-6741,

Holiday performances

- “How Do You Spell Chanukkah?” 8 p.m. Dec. 5 and 7 p.m. Dec. 6-7. “Sister’s Christmas Catechism: Mystery of the Magi’s Gold,” 7:30 p.m. Dec. 14-16. “An Unscripted Carol,” 7:30 p.m. Dec. 21 and 28. North Coast Repertory Theatre, 987 Lomas Santa Fe Drive, Solana Beach. (858) 481-1055.

- “A Christmas Carol,” 7 p.m. Dec. 9-27, North Coast Repertory Theatre, 987 Lomas Santa Fe Drive, Solana Beach. Tickets $17.50-$35. (858) 481-1055,

- “Holiday Memories,” through Dec. 12 at Legler Benbough Theatre, Alliant International University, Avenue of Nations, Scripps Ranch. $18-$20. (858) 578-7728,

- “A Christmas Story,” through Dec. 20 at Firehouse YMCA Theatre in La Jolla. Tickets: (619) 239-8355,

- Musical performances of Dr. Seuss’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” matinees and evenings through Dec. 27, Old Globe Theatre in Balboa Park. Tickets: $20-$79. (619) 23-GLOBE,

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