Yule Log!

ALL SEASON LONG

Boat Parades.The holidays bring a special sort of one-upmanship to the beach cities, namely the lavish spending by waterfront residents to light up their homes and boats for the holidays. And who can think of boat parades without cloying themes? Newport blows its load with the Centennial Celebration of Lights, leaving them hanging next year. Dana Point's California Dreamin'promises to be more fun than choking on a ham sandwich while listening to PetSounds. Huntington's Broadway Melodies betrays the interests of its organizers, the Huntington Beach Philharmonic Committee, but it also comprises an educational boat tour (and, really, learning is half the battle). Newport Beach: Parade starts at Collins Island in Newport Harbor, Newport Beach. Weekdays, 5:30-8:30 p.m.; weekends, 5:30-9 p.m.Dana Point: Harbor cruises depart from the east end of Dana Point Harbor, 34675 Golden Lantern, Dana Point, (949) 496-5794; www.danapointharbor.com. Dec. 9-10, 16-17. $25 for adults, $12 for children. Call for reservations.Huntington Beach: Huntington Harbor, Coast Hwy. and Warner, Huntington Beach, (714) 840-7542; www.cruiseoflights.org.Dec. 15-23. Mon.-Fri., 6, 7, & 8 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., 5:30, 6:30, 7:30 & 8:30 p.m. $10-$14 adults, $8 kids.

ALL SEASON LONG

Lights of Nellie Gail.In Laguna Hills, you are at one with your neighbors: you read the same morning paper; your kids play the same soccer; you drink the same afternoon wines on the same sunny driveways. And once you know them, you know you must outdo them in any public display—like the holidays. Laguna's Nellie Gail Ranch area—20 miles of trails for the horsy set—is the city's prime real estate, which makes it prime territory for ostentatious holiday decorating any time after Halloween. Lights in trees, lawn displays—it all appears right about now, then disappears each night in the gloaming, then reappears when someone comes home and flips the switch. Go check it out. From the 5 freeway, exit La Paz Road and go east.?Evenings, through the holiday season.

ALL SEASON LONG

Sawdust Winter Fantasy. Forget that the chopped-up material on the ground is what the janitor used to sprinkle on the floor when kindergartners threw up and pretend it's snow at the Sawdust Festival's Winter Fantasy, which is pretty much like the summertime crafts extravaganza, only colder. Shop for unique gifts hawked by more than 170 artists, ooh and ahh at twinkling holiday decorations, guzzle enough nog to choke a rottweiler, and play in actual snow—not the kind that first made George W. Bush reflect on the possibility that, in America, even he might become president. Sawdust's Artists Benevolence Fund holds its semiannual Art Auction in the Healy House on Dec. 4 from noon to 3 p.m. to generate grant money for Laguna Beach artists in times of dire need. Sawdust Festival grounds, 935 Laguna Canyon Rd., Laguna Beach, (949) 494-3030. Nov. 25-27, Dec. 3-4, Dec. 10-11, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. $2-$5 (season pass, $7). Artists Benevolence Fund information, (949) 293-1322.

ALL SEASON LONG

Irvine Park Christmas Train.It's not the Polar Express, but the Irvine Regional Park's Christmas Train has brought children untold joy for nine years. It's got to be something about the whistle. Eager boys and girls are invited to write Santa at Santa Claus, Irvine Park Railroad, 1 Irvine Park Rd., Orange, CA 92862. (Don't forget the child's name and date of visit.) The sly elf has a ready supply of coal, so you'd better not cry, shout or pout. Irvine Regional Park, 1 Irvine Park Rd., Orange,(714) 997-3968; www.irvineparkrr.com. Dec. 2-4, 9-11, 15-23, 5-8 p.m. Park entry costs $5 on weekends, $3 weekdays; free after 5 p.m. Train rides cost $6.

ALL SEASON LONG

Ice Skating at Spectrum.From Nov. 4 till Jan. 16, the Irvine Spectrum offers Holiday on Ice, a.k.a. an ice rink. On Friday and Saturday nights, scratch up the ice while a DJ scratches up the records. Giant Circle Court, Irvine Spectrum Center, 71 Fortune Dr., Irvine, (949) 753-5180. Mon.-Thurs., 11 a.m.-9:15 p.m.; Fri.-Sun., 11 a.m.-12:15 a.m. Through Jan. 16. $12 for adults, $10 for kids under 11, $4 skate rental.

ALL SEASON LONG

Trinity Christian City International.You don't need Christmas lights when you live by Trinity Broadcasting Network's headquarters; this monstrosity of misplaced energy is decked out in tiny white lights every day of the year! For added holiday spirit, their light-up marquee reads "Happy Birthday Jesus!" as soon as the air starts smelling like fruitcake. Inside, animatronic carolers serenade baby Jesus and his entourage beneath a gilded stairway. Take a stroll through a creepy re-creation of the Via Dolorosa—the road Jesus walked to his crucifixion—on your way to a screening in their "virtual reality theater." Or dine at the Solid Rock Bistro on all-you-can-eat Tuesdays from 12:30-2 p.m. Digest your meal by the fountains in the garden, an almost holy setting that happens to be "fully equipped for television production." Almost makes you want to get born again—again! On your way home, stop by the Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh Gift and Book Shop, which actually carries frankincense and myrrh but, sadly, not gold bars. Trinity Christian City International, 3150 Bear St., Costa Mesa, (714) 708-5405. Mon.-Thurs., 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sun., 1-6 p.m.

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