Holiday celebrations are getting underway and listed below are the many choices to observe the festive season.

The Long Beach Shakespeare Company presents the American classic “The Gift of the Magi,” by O. Henry through Dec. 15. Shows are at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays at the Goad Theatre, 4250 Atlantic Ave. Tickets are $20. Call 997-1494 or visit LBShakespeare.org.

The California State University, Long Beach, School of Art presents its Holiday Art Sale from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today (Thursday, Dec. 5).

The Auxiliary of the Community Hospital of Long Beach hosts “Tree of Love” from 3 to 5 p.m. this afternoon, Thursday, in the hospital auditorium, 1720 Termino Ave. Those attending are invited to remember a loved one by placing an ornament on the tree. There’s a $20 donation for each ornament. Call 494-0576.

The Long Beach Central Area Council hosts its potluck at 6 p.m. today, Thursday, at the ArtExchange, 340 E. Third St. Bring a dish for about 10 people to share. To RSVP, call 225-9462 or send an email to shorti2448@gmail.com

The Assistance League’s fanciest sale of the year, “Glitz,” runs through Dec. 8 at the Thrift and Vintage Shop, 2100 E. Fourth St. The store is open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. today (Dec. 5), 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Dec. 6, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 7 and noon to 5 p.m. Dec. 8. For details, call 434-7121.

The 100 Black Men of Long Beach host “Giving from the Heart,” their annual holiday mixer, from 6 to 9 p.m. tonight, at The Port Sports Bar and Creole Cajon Restaurant, 145 Broadway. Donations are $20 in advance or $25 at the door and those attending are asked to bring an unwrapped toy for boys ages 8 to 18. The event benefits the group’s mentoring program and needy families in the community. Call (323) 294-2380 or send an email to jesse.johnson100@yahoo.com.

This month’s First Fridays in Bixby Knolls gets underway with a Christmas Tree and Menorah Lighting at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6, at Nino’s, 3853 Atlantic Ave. The holiday theme includes a Santa’s Workshop, Holiday Karaoke and more. First Fridays happens on Atlantic Avenue between San Antonio Drive and Bixby Road, Visit http://bixbyknollsinfo.com.

Children Today’s annual Holiday Cheer will begin at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6, in the newly renovated portions of the convention center. There’s shopping, wine tasting, food stations, live auctions, dancing, gaming, online bidding and a hosted bar. Tickets are $110. Visit www.childrentoday.org.

The Found Theatre brings back its holiday creation “Somberton Senior Residence Presents ‘The Nutcracker’” at 8:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays Dec. 6 to 28 and Jan. 3 and 4 as well as 2:30 p.m. matinees on Sunday, Dec. 8, 15, 29, and Jan. 5. It’s the story of what happens when a young man performing community service in a rest home puts on a production of “The Nutcracker.” In the tradition of The Found Theatre, things get crazy. Tickets are $15. Call 433-3363 or visit www.foundtheatre.org.

The Women of Note will present their holiday concert twice this year; first at 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6, at Unitarian Universalist Church, 5640 E. Atherton St. and then at 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8, at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Atlantic Avenue and Seventh Street. Both concerts are free.

Harbor Lights Cruises begin Dec. 6 and continue Dec. 7, 8, 13-15, 18, 19, 20-24, 26-29. Tickets are $14 and $10 for children. Cruises depart from 140 N. Marina Dr. Call 799-7000 or visit www.reggaeboat.com.

The Retro Row Holiday Open House runs from noon to 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, on Fourth Street between Cherry and Temple. Charles Phoenix will present his kitschy Christmas show at 2 p.m. at the Art Theatre. Other businesses will host an ugly sweater contest, an Elvis Santa performance and much more. 

The Holiday Hoedown and Ranch-Style Breakfast with Santa begins at 9 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, at Rancho Los Alamitos, 6400 Bixby Hill Rd. This is an event for families with children ages 12 and younger. Besides Santa, there will be live music from the California Cowboy Band, arts and crafts, animals to pet and pony rides for an additional charge. It’s $15 for adults and $10 for children. The event sells out, so buy tickets early by calling 431-3541 or visiting www.rancholosalamitos.org. The rancho is at 6400 Bixby Hill Rd.

A sale of “slightly used books and holiday décor” to benefit the Signal Hill Public Library is set for 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Dec. 7, at the library portico, 1770 E. Hill St. in Signal Hall.

The first Women’s Holiday Art Show runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8, in the courtyard at 425 E. Fourth St. The event features acrylic paintings, collage art, apparel, photography and jewelry.

Capture the holiday spirit with the Old Time Christmas Festival from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8, at Rancho Los Cerritos, 4600 Virginia Rd. The adobe will recreate a 19th century Christmas from California. It’s a family-friendly event and children can swing at a piñata, make decorations, listen to live holiday music and visit with Santa. Tickets are $3 per person and $10 for a family. Call 570-1755 or visit www.rancholoscerritos.org.

The Pacific Flute Ensemble presents a holiday concert at 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8, at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 5872 Naples Plaza. A $10 donation is requested.

Starting Dec. 8 and continuing nightly except Saturdays, take the Big Red Bus Waterfront Tour of Lights. There are three departure times each night and the cost of $12 per person includes hot chocolate and cookies. Call 852-9888 or email events@bigredbus.com. Make a donation to the Tour of Lights Canned Food Drive (in partnership with Food Finders) and get two raffle tickets.

It’s the “Happy Birthday Jesus Party!” for students through fifth grade from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8, at Cornerstone Church. 1000 N. Studebaker Rd. It’s free. For more information, call 296-6487 or visit www.cclb.org/kids.

The Victorian Christmas returns to Bembridge House from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8, at 953 Park Circle. It’s a family-friendly event with caroling by the South Coast Chorale, refreshments, crafts for the children and tours of the historic Victorian house. Tickets are $10 and children younger than 12 are admitted free. Call 493-7019 or send an email to preservation@lbheritage.org.

A holiday celebration is planned from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8, in Virginia Village on Long Beach Boulevard between 53rd and 56th streets. Children can have their picture taken with Santa and there will be live music and other children’s activities. They’ll light the Christmas tree at 5 p.m.

The annual North Long Beach Community Christmas Party is set for 3 to 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8, at the Historic Long Beach Diary and Creamery. Those attending should bring a wrapped ornament and a favorite dish. Turkey will be supplied. The event is sponsored by the North Long Beach Community Action Group, American Legion Post 560, The South Street Community Watch, Long Beach Dairy and Creamery Historic Landmark. RSVP to 428-7710 or send an email

to DPressburg@gmail.com. The dairy is located at 167 E. South St.

Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce holiday mixer, which will raise money for the Long Beach Ronald McDonald House, runs from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 10, at Forbidden City Restaurant, 6380-A E. PCH in Marina Pacifica behind Pier 1 Imports. Tickets are $15. To register in advance, visit www.lbchamber.com/events.

The Rancho Los Alamitos Holiday Open House starts at 4 p.m. Dec. 12 and 13 and carolers will serenade visitors starting at 5 p.m. The rancho will be decorated for the holidays and there will be tours and complimentary treats. Admission is free, but parking reservations are required. Call 431-341 or visit www.rancholosalamitos.com.

Get in the holiday spirit with the Fifth District Winter Wonderland Dec. 13 and 14 at Good Neighbor Park, 2800 Studebaker Rd. Festivities from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13, include Santa, real snow and a tree lighting. Enjoy the fun from noon to 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14: snow and sleds, music, an ugly sweater contest, gingerbread house decorating for children and more.

Breakfast in Bethlehem is an event for all ages from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Dec. 14, at California Heights United Methodist Church, 3759 Orange Ave. In addition to The Nativity, there will be crafts, games and other activities. Admission is free, but they are accepting donations of canned food items for the Long Beach Rescue Mission.

The DeForest Park Neighborhood Association and Alvarez Real Estate Group are sponsoring pictures with Santa from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, at DeForest Park, 6255 DeForest Ave. There’s no charge.

Shoppers are invited to take a break for a holiday party from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, on the food court patio at the Long Beach Towne Center at the 605 Freeway and Carson Boulevard. Radio Disney is co-hosting the party, which features, games, prizes, G. Hannelius from Disney Channel’s “Dog With a Blog” and, of course, Santa. 

“Unexpected Guests for the Holidays,” Christmas Candlelight Tours return to Rancho Los Cerritos from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Dec. 14 and 15. Visitors will experience the rancho as it was in December 1878. Docents in costume will portray the Bixby family, friends and workers as they were back in the day. The adobe is decorated for the holidays and refreshments and live music will be available. Advance purchase ($15) is required. Call 570-1755. Rancho Los Cerritos is at 4600 Virginia Rd.

Second Street on Belmont Shore will feature caroling, Santa and live music Dec. 13-15. On Saturday and Sunday (Dec. 14 and 15) there will be free two-hour parking. For times, visit www.belmontshore.org.

Several churches will combine their efforts to present the Christmas Prince of Peace Pageant from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Dec. 13, 14, and 15 in the 5500 block of Wardlow Road. It’s a candlelight outdoor walk with scenes including actors and animals and the churches will provide music and refreshments. Participating churches are St. Cornelius Catholic Church, the Neighborhood Church, St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, Long Beach Christian Reformed Church and University Baptist Church.

The Long Beach Chorale celebrates the holidays with “Christmas Out Loud” at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14 and 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15, at Grace First Presbyterian Church, 3955 Studebaker Rd. The concert features a brass quintet, pipe organ and more than 60 singers. Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for students. Visit www.longbeachchorale.org.

The Long Beach Ballet Company presents its elaborate version of “The Nutcracker with performances at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14 and 21 and 2 p.m. Sunday Dec. 15 and 22 in the Terrace Theater, 300 E. Ocean Blvd. The production includes a full symphony orchestra, a flying sleigh, a live horse, on-stage pyrotechnics and a cast of more than 200. Tickets start at $28 and are available at the ballet’s hotline, (877) 852-3177, at the convention center box office, at all Ticketmaster outlets, by calling (800) 745-3000 or online at www.tickemaster.com.

The Friends of Music at California Heights United Methodist Church will perform an Advent Concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15, at the church at 3759 Orange Ave. The program includes Boccherini’s “Gloria” and contemporary holiday selections. A free-will offering will be taken and childcare is available.

The Friends of Languages at Long Beach City College will host a “Happy Holiday Daze” fundraiser from 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15, in a private home. Tickets are $40 for one or $35 for two or more. The money raised helps fund scholarships for students studying a foreign language or English as a second language. Call 938-47867.

The public is invited to the Committee of 300 Holiday Party and Fundraiser for the Long Beach Police Foundation from 6 to 9 p.m. Monday, Dec. 16, at Gladstone’s, 330 S. Pine Ave. Highlights include an opportunity drawing and a silent auction. A $20 donation is suggested for admission.

The Long Beach Camerata Singers present “Handel’s Messiah” at 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 21, in the auditorium at Long Beach City College, 4901 E. Carson St. Tickets are $30 (preferred seating is $40) and $10 for LBCC students. Visit www.longbeachcameratasingers.org.

The Bixby Knolls Business Improvement Association’s Christmas Party is 7 to 10 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 19, at the Petroleum Club, 3636 Linden Ave. Mexco69 and Bearcoon will provide the music. Tickets are $5 at the door.

On Saturday, Dec. 21 and Sunday, Dec. 22, carolers will stroll Second Street in Belmont Shore and there will be two-hour free parking.

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