One tradition that returns every Christmastime is the installation of gigantic Christmas trees in local malls and resorts.
Balboa Bay Resort has a large, lovely Christmas at its entrance, while Pelican Hill Resort has a nicely decorated tree in its lobby.
But for grand Christmas trees, look to our local shopping malls.
Fashion Island has a beautifully decorated 90-foot tree with giant ornaments and large, colorful boxes at its base. The tree comes to life every night with magical snowfall, music and a choreographed light display in the Neiman Marcus – Bloomingdale’s Courtyard. The show can be viewed every half hour from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Over at South Coast Plaza, they have three large Christmas trees—although the one in Jewel Court is anything but traditional.
This year, the tree is custom-made by Louis Vuitton, one of the upscale boutiques at South Coast Plaza. Apparently it’s the first time South Coast Plaza has partnered with a brand for its tree.
As to the “tree,” it’s made of stacked cutouts shaped like trees, hearts, and various toys and animals. These muted orange cutouts are wrapped with a dark ribbon. It’s definitely cutting edge and not traditional, but it has its own unique charm—and it’s a terrific promo for the Louis Vuitton store a few feet from the tree.
Over in the Macy’s Home Wing (and a short walk on the bridge from the main mall) is another large, three-story tree that’s more whimsical and features multiple winter figures, a city scape, and even a toy train running through it. And kids can ride a larger train around the tree on the second level of the mall.
The third tree is next to the Westin South Coast Plaza and Vaca Restaurant, and is a more traditional tree that has become a popular photo spot for families.
The trees will all be up through early January, which makes sense since the 12 Days of Christmas actually starts on Christmas day.
And about those famous “Five Golden Rings” as mentioned in the song. If you’re curious about what those might cost in today’s economy, Tiffany & Co. (at South Coast Plaza) has simple, slim gold bands as low as $700, but thicker ones that hold diamonds will run you a lot more—and who doesn’t want diamonds on their ring?