Christmas in Los Angeles

Your guide to Christmas events and activities in Los Angeles, including a holiday gift guide, the best Christmas movies and fun ways to warm up

Photograph: Michael Juliano
Christmas lights in Los Angeles: Upper Hastings Ranch.

While we may not be dreaming of a white Christmas here in Los Angeles, we can certainly look forward to tons of shopping and more than a few Christmas lights on palm trees. We've gathered together a list of the best Christmas events, activities, movies and songs for this most magical time of year. If it's shopping you're after, we've got the ultimate holiday gift guide and some great stocking stuffer ideas. Don't miss out on these holiday events because before you know it New Year's Eve planning will be in full swing and then it'll be back to work (or whatever pays for all your partying). Merry Christmas!

Holiday gift guide

White Elephant and Secret Santa holiday gift ideas

Stuck on what to get for your office White Elephant gift exchange? This year, make it easy on yourself with these top gender-neutral gifts, perfect for a round of Secret Santa when you don't have a clue what to get your co-worker or cousin.

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The best LA experiences to give as gifts

Looking for unique gift ideas? You know us—we're all about experiences over things, especially when it comes to Los Angeles. Give your friends and family gifts that create memories (instead of clutter) like these only-in-LA experiences

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The best gifts for men

Whether the guys on your list are dapper or dudely, these gifts for men are ones they won't want to return.

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The best gifts for women

A scarf is a funny thing—it's one-size-fits-all, but any woman who has been gifted one too many over the years will assure you it's not the go-to-gift you might think it is. Get creative (and thoughtful) when you shop for the ladies on your list this year.

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The best funny gifts

When you need to lighten up the mood, out-do your funniest uncle, or when you just know another scarf or candle won't cut it, crack your friends and family up with one of these humorous gifts.

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25 stocking stuffer ideas for $25 or less

This Christmas, stuff your family's stockings with something other than gift cards and candy. There's so much potential in stocking stuffers: think small gifts with big personality.

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Best gift shops in LA

We searched the city for the best gift shops and bring you the top places for the next time you need to buy a present.

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Shop local LA artisans

Meet 13 local artisans and shop their hand-crafted wares—you'll never give a boring gift again.

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Events & Things To Do

Holiday events, shows and things to do

You won't find snow-covered trees and below-zero temperatures in LA, but there are still plenty of holiday events and Christmas activities to get you in the festive mood—even when it's 70 and sunny in December. From meeting Santa and his (real) reindeer in Malibu to singing Christmas carols and scooping up crafty gifts at holiday markets—our list of the city's best events and things to do this season will help make LA a winter wonderland all month long. RECOMMENDED: More Christmas events in Los Angeles

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By: Michael Juliano

The best places to go ice skating in Los Angeles

Make the city your winter wonderland and add ice skating in Los Angeles to your list of must-do Christmas activities this season. These family-friendly rinks offer more than just skates—from wintry food and drinks to ice tubing and meeting Santa, there's something for everyone. Plus, if you're still looking for the perfect Christmas gifts, most of the rinks are located within walking distance from prime shopping destinations.

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Where to see Christmas lights

You've probably heard it before: How can we celebrate the holidays here when it's warm in December? Well, first of all, it's cold by LA standards. But there's also plenty of holiday cheer if you know where to see Christmas lights in Los Angeles. In between a deluge of Christmas activities and frantic shopping trips—you've consulted our holiday gift guide, right?—take the time to check out these twinkling neighborhoods. Just make sure to bring along an extra sweatshirt and some patience: not even Christmas lights can escape LA traffic.

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More Christmas

The best Christmas cookies

Head to these bakeries for all your holiday cookie needs. Whether you’re leaving them out for Santa or looking for a sweet gift idea, get inspired by these Christmas cookies that will please kids and adults alike. Flip through our guilt-free slide show of drool-worthy pics before making any New Year's resolutions. From classic gingerbread men and cut out butter cookies to traditional treats from around the world and even vegan sweets, fill up on holiday cheer as we round up the best Christmas cookies at local LA bakeries. 

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