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All I Want (To Give) For Christmas

An illustration of a small shrub-like plant with a Santa's hat on the top and a green and red stocking hanging from one leaf. The background is a blue sky with white clouds.
It's that time of year...
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There’s always that ONE song you hear that lets you know it’s finally the time of year to frantically shop for gifts. For me, it’s Mariah Carey’s "All I want For Christmas Is You." 

But can I be honest with you? I don't love trying to find the best gifts for my loved ones. Hold on, hold on! I promise you I’m not the Grinch of Los Angelenoville nor am I the female millennial version of Ebenezer Scrooge.

I just never know where to even start. And I’m one of those people that really likes to give gifts that I know people will appreciate.

Well, guess what, friends? My colleagues came just in time to help us all out with MULTIPLE gift guides! 

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Gab Chabrán has a gift guide for all the proud Angeleno foodies out there. And looking at the list right now, I already see something I could gift to one of my parents (that 1-year-old aged apple brandy from a cider brewery located in Lincoln Heights).

Anyone know any plant mamas or daddys? Rene Lynch has exactly what you need for the plant lovers in your life. Here’s a cool gift idea: an annual membership to the Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens for $159. There’s also pets for your plants on this list? What?! I need to check this out.

As far as experiences go, this is a great list. The Lightscape at The Arboretum might be a nice thing to do with your boo thing this holiday season. Christine Ziemba mentioned that there’s a laser garden this year! You have to check it out. If lights are totally not your groove, you can also gift a loved one a hot-air balloon trip around the Temecula Valley wine country. Now, this is something I would LOVE to do actually. I’m serious. *checks website for this*

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Many of us have a person in our lives who is really good with crafting beautiful creations with their hands, or someone who just appreciates artisan items. If you know someone who loves anything and everything ART check out Bonnie McCarthy’s list

It’s time to go shopping, my friends! Here are our gift guides!

As always, stay happy and healthy, folks. There’s more news below — just keep reading.

We’re here to help curious Angelenos connect with others, discover the new, navigate the confusing, and even drive some change along the way.

More News

(You Need After You Stop Hitting Snooze)

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*At LAist we will always bring you the news freely, but occasionally we do include links to other publications that may be behind a paywall. Thank you for understanding! 

  • Angelenos gave back yesterday. About two dozen people turned out Thanksgiving morning to hand out socks, soap and toothpaste and plenty of other items to unhoused people in downtown L.A. Also, many came together to donate 450 turkeys so Union Station Homeless Services could dish out meals on Thursday to people in need.
  • Consider composting your Thanksgiving leftovers. Here's how it can work.
  • Worried about the direction Twitter is headed? You are not alone. Here are the social networks that have received some new attention.

Wait! One More Thing...Take In The View From Baldwin Hills

View of Culver City and Los Angeles on a clear day from an overlook south of downtown. Homes and trees, some with fall foliage, are in forefront with downtown skyline in distance
The view from the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook
(Courtesy of Harrison Woliner )

Now I know we just gave you a bunch of ideas for shopping on this Black Friday BUT if that is not your thing, how about you #OptOutside? Yes, there is a movement to get people to just go enjoy the outdoors today instead of hitting the indoor mall. Sounds like my kinda thing!

Now, I know it was started by a retail company, REI, but I still have to appreciate the sentiment. So, with that, let’s take a rec from LAist and How to LA reader Harrison Woliner and go hike up to the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook. It’s where he proposed to his wife Olivia Aguilar and it's one of their favorite places to take in views of L.A. on a clear day.

A white man in sunglasses and a Latina woman in eyeglasses take a selfie, smiling, outside with the backdrop of LA skyline behind them
Harrison Woliner and his wife Olivia Aguilar take a photo at the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook, the spot where he proposed to her
(Courtesy of Harrison Woliner)

If you'd like to visit, this spot is in Culver City and there is a small parking fee.

You can listen to Harrison and Olivia's story on the How to LA podcast. Listen here. And if you'd like to share a favorite outdoor space, please tell us about it here and you might be featured in the next newsletter.

*Correction: In Wednesday's newsletter we mistakenly referred to Rod Serling of The Twilight Zone as Rod Sterling. We regret the error.