Laguna Beach Christmas kickoff at Montage Resort on 11/29

 Laguna Beach Christmas kickoff at Montage Resort on 11/29

During the holiday season in Laguna Beach, we take on many of the characteristics of Seuss’ Whoville. In fact, now that I think about it … and given the Christmas warmth-and-cheer freak that I am … it could be why I chose to settle here in the first place.

So, in this Whoville resident’s opinion (which should carry a lot of clout), there’s nothing better to kick off the holiday season than the annual Christmas tree lighting event at the Montage Resort. It happens this Monday night (Nov. 29th), from 4:30 – 7:30 p.m. In the three hours, the Montage Laguna Beach offers a veritable feast of drink, food, holiday carolers, live music, children’s activities and more. But there’s nothing better than the magnificent tree lighting, which takes place shortly after 4:30 on the Montage grounds just past the pool by the Studio restaurant. (That’s right. Skip out of work early and grab your kids – this is a great moment as holiday moments go.)

 Laguna Beach Christmas kickoff at Montage Resort on 11/29

This past week, a 55-foot White Fir tree made its trek from Lassen County (on the northern edge of California) to our little Laguna berg, rounding its final corner into the Montage Resort on Friday afternoon.

In the four days that have followed, crew from Ambius under the direction of their OC Sales & Design Expert Chris Karl (who, ehrm, did eventually find his way out of the hole they’d prepared for our Fir), stabilized the tree and began to weave 24,000 lights into its branches. Howling winds on Saturday night tried to bring the big tree down, but Karl’s team has since been patiently rectifying its lean and rewinding lights to prep for the big Monday night event.

 Laguna Beach Christmas kickoff at Montage Resort on 11/29

For the last several years, the Montage Laguna Beach has continued to endear itself to locals here in Laguna Beach … a tall order for anyone who chooses to construct a monumental resort on the cliff edge of Laguna Beach. When the Montage first opened its doors in 2003, there were more than a few locals who were prepared to hate it.

The resort could have goose stepped in with enough power and cash to sway a small country – and many locals expected this very end – but the Montage chose, instead, to take a higher, classier road with consistent, committed focus on a happy co-existence with its longtime Laguna beach residents. Over the years, the Montage has done a number of things right, one of which was quietly (yet fervently) supporting its resident art colony and the local businesses here in town by sending thousands of Montage visitors on exploration tours of Laguna Beach. Though residents might have expected a classic Whoville Grinch, the resort’s leadership surprised us all … I’m sure it even carves a roast beast somewhere in Whoville on each magical Christmas day.

So, come on down and celebrate Laguna’s successful co-existence with the Montage and its international visitors. “Welcome Christmas, bring your cheer!”

This article first appeared in The Best of Laguna Beach

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