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A Benefit Tea Party

Beverly Bush Smith is a free-lance writer who regularly covers restaurant news for The Times Orange County Edition.

Children and adults are invited to a holiday tea party at the Surf & Sand hotel from 1 to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 14. The event is a benefit for Human Options, a Laguna Beach center for abused women and their children. The tea includes finger sandwiches, scones, Scottish shortbread, assorted fruit tarts, chocolate petits fours and Christmas stollen. A choreographed children’s holiday fashion show, a sing-a-long and photographs with Santa round out the festivities. The cost is $25 per person and reservations may be made by calling Kids Kloset, (714) 497-1600. The hotel is at 1555 S. Coast Highway, Laguna Beach.

And more kid stuff: at Dana Point’s Ritz-Carlton, where 300,000 Christmas lights twinkle outside, a marionette-style puppet show unfolds inside each Saturday and Sunday afternoon until Christmas, and also on Dec. 23 and 24. The show runs from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.; the cost, $15, includes cookies, hot chocolate and cider. Reservations: (714) 240-2000. The hotel is at 33533 Ritz-Carlton Drive.

A couple of weeks back we talked about gift shopping at Orange Coast restaurants. Here’s another suggestion: tamalitos Navidenos from the El Torito Grills in Newport Beach and Costa Mesa. These traditional Mexican Christmas goodies are prepared each morning, and come frozen and gift-wrapped, with heating instructions. They’re $7.95 for half a dozen or $12.95 for a dozen, and you may choose blue corn with duck and chipotle cream sauce, sweet corn with tomatillo sauce, or chicken with red chili sauce. They also offer sweet dessert tamalitos : cinnamon and raisin with Kahlua sauce, banana with caramel sauce and chocolate with raspberry sauce. The tamalitos Navidenos are available through Dec. 31 at El Torito Grills, 951 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach, (714) 640-2875; and 633 Anton Blvd., Costa Mesa, (714) 662-2672.


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