We’re all aboard the Polar Express headed straight through the holiday season. Next stop, 2024! Your mind might still be spinning from trying to catch the latest deals but a sip of this Rosemary Negroni aperitivo will put you at ease. Skip the big box stores this season and consider procuring gifts from local purveyors. We’ve made it easy with a list of suggestions in the 2023 Local Provisions Gift Guide where you can find big gifts from small local businesses. Pair this with Michelle Stansbury’s guide to green gift giving and you’ll be set to give locally and sustainably this year. 

Between the mistletoe, menorahs, and merriment you may find yourself invited to a few holiday gatherings this month. Consider bringing this crowd-pleasing Baked Brie with Spiced Persimmons and Pears recipe that we pulled from the Edible San Diego vault. Now, pour yourself a cup of hot cocoa and let’s explore these last December festivities to get you in the holiday spirit.

Baked Brie with Spiced Persimmons and Pears. Recipe and image by Haley Hazell for Edible San Diego.

Holiday Lights Hotspots Across San Diego

Now through Jan. 1, 2024, Nightly

While snowflakes fail to fall in San Diego County, one thing is guaranteed—our city lights up with spectacular decorations each year. Neighbors compete and collaborate every December for a show that will bring joy to every child and adult alike. While you’ll find homes aglow on nearly every street, some communities come together for a display that gives the Griswold’s a run for their money. Check out this guide and map for the best spots in town for holiday lights galore but don’t skip Jingle Bell Hill in Santee, Christmas Park in Clairemont, or Christmas Circle in Chula Vista.

Kwanzaa at the WorldBeat Center. Image source: WorldBeat Center.

43rd Annual Kwanzaa Celebration

Tuesday, Dec. 26 through Friday, Dec. 29

Join the WorldBeat Center in Balboa Park for one of the longest-running Kwanzaa celebrations in the region. Each day of Kwanzaa’s yearly seven-day festival is centered around one of the Nguzo Saba or 7 principles of African Heritage. The WorldBeat center will focus its festivities around four of those days. Each day will feature a ceremonial candle lighting and libation with live drumming, Kwanzaa poetry reading by award-winning writer Johnnierenee Nia Nelson, free heirloom seeds for families, and Karamu (the traditional feast and family get down). Don’t miss out on this special opportunity to celebrate and reaffirm family, community, and culture.

Galactic Produce From Down-to-Earth Farmers

For added leisurely reading this season, make sure to check out this feature article about Ranchito Milky Way, a small regenerative farm implementing a Korean regenerative soil care style of farming and get hungry for the spring CSA season.

The stars aligned when Alyssa Brodsky and Christian Frutose met and started Ranchito Milky Way. Image courtesy of Chris Rov Costa.

From all of us at Edible San Diego, we wish you a happy, healthy, and delicious holiday season and a joyous new year!

Stay hungry, curious, and considerate,

Chef Ryan Rizzuto

Hero image: DogoraSun/iStock.

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About the Contributor
Ryan Rizzuto
Ryan Rizzuto is a chef, entrepreneur, and event curator in San Diego. You can taste his work at his own soul food popup, Southside Biscuits. Chef Ryan was nationally-recognized as a 2020 Food Hero by Edible Communities and Niman Ranch for his Covid-19-related hunger relief operations at Kitchens for Good. Follow him on Instagram at @chefryanrizzuto and his soul food and public events at @southsidebiscuits.