manhattan-beach-pier-christmas-decorationsNo occasion on the calendar compares to the choreographed and festive holiday shopping season, a time when the mere sight of a decorated tree in a store window can lift your spirits and have you pining for a peppermint mocha. And best of all? Thanks to the beautiful, year-round Los Angeles weather, we can look for that perfect gift without a mall roof over our heads. Here are five reasons why we’re excited to get outside, shop, and toast the season!

2014-Holiday-Poster-2SM-MIRRORMontana Avenue Holiday WalkThis boutiquey, tree-lined microhood is special on its own, but visit on Friday, December 5th and you’ll enjoy a night of festive holiday music, food and drink, and pictures with Santa. It’s the perfect way to experience one of the Westside’s most charming shopping destinations.Friday, December 5 from 5 – 9 p.m. between 6th and 17th street.

Abbot Kinney Holiday Stroll—The boulevard that everyone’s still talking about is having their annual holiday stroll come early December. Aside from Abbot Kinney’s mix of modern chic with old-school vintage goods, the evening brings sledding, crafts, face painting, and the hippest Santa you’ll ever see. 2014 also marks the first year that Venice will have an ice skating rink, which is only a few blocks away! Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice; Early December.

Manhattan Beach Holiday Open House—Christmastime meets the beach at this 20th annual event for all ages. Not only do the shops stay open late but they also offer special deals while handing out complimentary food, drink, and treats. Carolers, live music, Santa’s reindeer and the lighting of the Manhattan Beach Pier…what could be a more festive way to shop? November 19 from 6 – 9 p.m.

The Renegade Craft Fair—When it comes to handmade, DIY-inspired gifts, the Renegade Craft Fair is the place to be. Whether its leather goods, art prints, jewelry, or housewares, each vendor has a distinct story to tell about their craft, and the feeling of supporting a small enterprise is priceless. Be sure to arrive hungry for the food truck scene is in full force. December 13 +14 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Grand Park located at 200 N. Grand Park Avenue, between Broadway and Spring Street.

trulyhermosa.com Hermosa Beach Holiday Sidewalk Festival—This small yet vibrant beach community is giving us two opportunities to get a jumpstart on our holiday shopping. Overseen by the town’s beloved Gum Tree Shop & Café, this day-long festival gets cozy and casual with holiday decorations and featured merchandise on the sidewalks in front of their stores. November 22 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. + November 29 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.