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Letter from the Editor: Holiday Magic

Editor in Chief Marie Tutko dishes on the December issue of San Diego Magazine

By Marie Tutko

What a difference a year makes.

Last year’s holiday season didn’t quite feel merry and bright. Signature events around town were either postponed or went virtual, restaurants weren’t fully open, and many of us opted out of large gatherings and chose to stay in. Fortunately, this December several of our city’s most cherished holiday traditions are back and welcoming revelers once again. In the spirit of the season, we compiled “The Ultimate Holiday Checklist” for you.

Inside, you’ll find over 25 ways to celebrate in ways that are uniquely San Diego, like ice skating by the sea in Coronado, bonfires on the beach, the Parade of Lights on the bay, and public tree-lighting ceremonies (for trees both magnificent and irregular). Several of these events have resumed for in-person guests this year, including Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas! at The Old Globe and performances of The Nutcracker, though the beloved December Nights will be a drive-through experience again. We’ve also got a roundup of the places in the county where you can see snow, and a variety of cultural celebrations that you can attend, like Kwanzaa in Balboa Park.

One of the best things about the holiday season is enjoying decadent dishes and treats, many of which are made just once a year. Since San Diego is a multicultural city, we have lots of good eats to dig into at both food festivals and our local restaurants. Turn to pages 28 and 61 for some tips on where to get everything from latkes to fruitcake, and ideas on where to dine out Christmas Eve. Love tamales? If you don’t know how to make them (or want to take a break from it) we have a guide to the top places in town where you can pick up some freshly made tamales for your gathering.

It’s always a treat to see our neighbors’ houses decorated with festive light displays, and if you know where to look, there are some streets where everyone on the block goes all-out. Associate Editor Erica Nichols grew up in Clairemont and made a trip to her neighborhood’s Christmas Park every year. She gave us the scoop on which communities to visit to see who’ll have the most expensive electric bills, from Poway’s famous Candy Cane Lane all the way to Tinsel Town in Lakeside—check out the map on page 60 to start plotting your excursion.

Inside this issue, you’ll also find two of our annual holiday traditions here at the magazine: The Gift Guide in our Style section, and the Charitable Giving Guide. We searched everywhere from local boutiques to online retailers and mass-market stores to find the top gift ideas of the season to make your shopping list easier. And in the spirit of giving, the Charitable Giving Guide will direct you to organizations and charities that are most in need of help—take a look to see how even a small donation or volunteering a few hours of your time every month can make a difference in the community.

We hope this issue brings you some holiday cheer, and inspires you to take

part in a longstanding local tradition or even start your own. There’s a lot to

look forward to in 2022—see you next year!

Letter from the Editor: Holiday Magic

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