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EDITORIAL: Holiday cheer is here

We all need a break from this bruising political season, and it’s coming just in time. “Holiday cheer" is the order of the day, and the Laguna Beach Visitors and Conference Bureau is leading the way with its “Shop, Stay and Play" promotion.

There’s a bit of a treat in store for everyone who visits the Bureau’s Visitors Centers on Broadway and Forest Avenue Saturday through Dec. 14.

Coffee and a treat "” probably something sweet "” can be had just for dropping in to the bureau’s Hospitality Suites in downtown Laguna. The 381 Forest Ave. location (inside Sotheby’s) is open from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and the 252 Broadway site has weekday hours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

While you’re there, register to win a magnificent, 9-foot-tall holiday tree decorated with ornaments made by local Laguna Beach artists such as Ken Auster, Julita Jones, September McGee and John Barber. The tree will be up at Laguna Art Museum as of Saturday, so you can take a peek. Registrations will be available until 5 p.m. Dec. 14, and the tree will be given away in a drawing Dec. 15.

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Shopping “Laguna" will also have extra dividends this season "” besides saving gas and supporting local merchants who really want your business. The bureau is giving a holiday soy candle to anyone who presents receipts totaling at least $100 from any of the city’s stores, galleries or restaurants. The candle giveaway is at the Broadway visitor’s center location.

Of course, the holiday season is just starting, with the city’s artist-designed palettes now appearing on lampposts all over town, and twinkling lights beginning to be seen on local shops and businesses.

It’s the time to show goodwill and appreciation for all the hard work and accomplishments throughout this very extraordinary year "” and for those on opposite sides to mend fences. Efforts are also being made to gather donations of food, clothing and other items for those who can’t afford the extras. It’s a good time to remember to share, because, despite the general economic woes, there are always those who have less than you do.

Santa will arrive this year on Dec. 5, during Laguna’s annual Hospitality Night, when the City Hall pepper tree will be lit by city officials and Forest Avenue will be closed to traffic for a big all-out open house of merchants.

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That’s something else to look forward to as we segue into a new year.



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