It's the most wonderful time ... of the year! This month's M List is dedicated to the many fun things I am excited to do this winter. Los Angeles might not seem like the most Christmas-like city but people do in fact get excited for the holiday season and the good weather tends to help us celebrate just a little more outside. So aside the many holiday parties and actual celebrations are the more exciting days leading up, when we are perhaps the most hopeful and excited, the things that make the month of December so fun for me, are all here in this list. Enjoy!

The Montana Ave Holiday Walk, Montana Avenue is a very cute little street in Santa Monica with a bunch of small shops, restaurants and specialty services and every year they light up the sidewalks for a night of holiday celebration. There are carolers, tons of cookies and sips of free wine as each shop has special discounts for holiday shopping. I love to go with a group of girlfriends and visit some of my favorite Montana Ave spots like Sweet Lady Jane, the Brentwood General Store, Frilly Lilly and end with a cheesy pasta dinner at Forma, one of my favorite restaurants in Los Angeles and conveniently located right at the end of Montana. It’s happening this year on Friday, December 1st 5pm-9pm, so check it out if you're around.

Ice Skating, a tradition that seems to feel like a relic of the past, ice skating is such a wonderful winter activity. Santa Monica and Chicago both offer seasonal outdoor skating rinks to venture to between the months of November and January. This is definitely a great activity to do with friends, family or a date and I am planning to go this year after missing it the last three! More info here and here

Rodeo Drive has perhaps the best holiday decorations of all which I suppose isn’t that shocking as the motto in Beverly Hills seems to be more, more, and more. I love all the lit up palm trees that line the streets, the big bow on Cartier, the holiday windows at every store, the santa sleigh perfectly draped over Wilshire Blvd and the beautiful Christmas tree and menorah at Two Rodeo Drive. They also tend to have lots of very instagramable installations each year, so it’s a great spot to tag yourself. I intend to check out all the pretty decorations with a hot coffee or maybe some cider and then head to the Nosh of Beverly Hills for some comfort deli snacks after. They have such good chicken matzo ball soup and I have become newly obsessed with their cheese bagel, sadly I can’t walk there on Sundays like my New York Bagel spot but maybe it’s for the best. Anyway Rodeo Drive has tons of holiday fun lined up each season, including a menorah lighting I try to attend every year for Hanukkah. 

Candy Cane Lane, is exactly what it sounds like, a bunch of residential streets all themed perfectly in the spirit of Christmas. There are tons of lights and beautiful decorations at every house and it’s an adorable street to drive or walk around and see all the pretty lights. Last year I drove around the area with my mom and bought some delicious homemade cookies from some women selling them in support of a veteran's charity. Definitely a fun activity for a free night if you are anywhere near Woodland Hills.  

White Elephant Gift Exchange, an easy and fun way to give gifts to friends, something to do at work or in my case book club. One year I did it with about 40 other women and it was quite entertaining to see them all fight over a Veuve candle. Some other good White Elephant gifts I’d recommend are books, target gift cards, candles, bottles of champagne, coasters, a gingerbread house kit, stationery or anything from my 2017 Gift Guide

Watching The Holiday for the 100,000th time, I don’t know what it is about this movie, but it’s just so good. It’s honestly my favorite holiday film and probably has the least references to any winter holiday then the majority of “holiday” movies out there. I just love the coziness of that English cottage, the charm of the old Hollywood producer, and I suppose the ideal version of Jude Law; I’m assuming the real one is not quite as romantic. The way the film was made just gives so much perfect attention to detail and great casting, however, I think they could have done a way better job with Jack Black’s character- no offense but Kate Winslet deserves better. The movie always leaves me with warm and cozy feelings despite that half of it takes place in Los Angeles. I am still putting a December month holiday to London way high on my life to do list!! 

Cozy Meal at the Fountain Room, the basement 50’s diner at the Beverly Hills Hotel. They serve breakfast food all day, make a mean grilled cheese and have delicious milkshakes for anyone who consumes dairy. If you haven’t been the fountain room I highly recommend it as it’s one of my favorite spots in LA! I also love seeing the little nutcrackers with their pink jackets right at the entrance of the hotel around Christmastime and they have some other really cute decorations throughout. Such a pretty time to go! 

Hanukkah, as you may know I celebrate Chrismakuh, meaning I celebrate both Christmas and Hanukkah each year. For Hanukkah I love to make latkes,  play dreidel and light candles on the menorah. The whole point of Hanukkah for me is to celebrate the Jews religious freedom and remember that small miracles do happen. It’s also a nice time to reflect on the ways we can give to others in need of a small miracle, something that people tend to forget about since the commercialization of the winter holidays but also a common theme within most religious communities. It’s fun to share this holiday with other Jews or anyone really, as it’s a beautiful tradition I believe all people can participate in. 

Find a decadent hot chocolate, to indulge in and let’s be real, to Instagram too. I’m not quite sure yet where I will find this and I may even have to try a few out before finding the best one but I’m hopeful! I tend to stay away from any milk based drinks but with almond milk and coconut milk appearing at almost every coffee shop here in LA, I am certain I will find something substantial! Let me know if you have any recommendations, I’ve heard good things about the hot chocolate at the St. Regis in New York but unfortunately we don’t have one in Los Angeles, so I’m going to do some research because this is what makes me happy! 

More LA Holiday Events: 

What's on your holiday to-do list?


1 comment

  1. I AM SO SAD I'm missing the Montana Ave Holiday Walk and the Venice Canal Bridge Lighting! I'm going to be in Austin this weekend, boo!!