Chestnuts roasting, the smell of fine pine and perky peppermint, or in the case of Malibu, visions of palm trees and papaya. You may opt in and spin a few tunes from local music man Herb Alpert, who has just released a collection of holiday favorites with a TJ Brass twist. It’s something that’s sure to get you in the spirit.
For many, holiday downtime will mean catching up on your must-see movie list, and this year, there is something for everyone in Santa’s stocking.
Malibu’s Adam Sandler and longtime neighbor Dustin Hoffman have received rave reviews for the “Meyerowitz Stories,” also starring Ben Stiller and Emma Thompson.
Adam is already a critic’s choice nominee for best comedy actor.
Speaking about comedy and new releases, you’ll find Woody Allen’s “Wonder Wheel.” It’s a little light on laughs but big on performances with Jim Belushi, Justin Timberlake and Kate Winslet in the starring roles.
For one of the more unusual choices of the season, check out “The Shape of Water.” Guillermo del Toro splashes into this fantastic holiday flick.
“The Shape of Water” rose with a high tide of acclaim and won the Golden Lion Award in Venice. Starring Octavia Spencer and Sally Hawkins, it’s 100 percent fantasy and pure fun. H2O has garnered 14 critics’ choice award nominations, including best picture and best actress.
Speaking of top notch performances, Gary Oldman has gotten high praise for his spot on portrayal of Winston Churchill in “The Darkest Hour.”
In the pick-up category, there’s “Blade Runner 2049.” The edgy top-drawer sequel takes you to another world much like the first.
For epic adventure, revisit “Lawrence of Arabia.” The 1962 extravaganza stars Peter O’Toole, Omar Sharif and Anthony Quinn. It’s worth a second look on the big screen.
For the little ones, don’t forget family favorite “Mary Poppins” with Malibu’s Dick Van Dye and Julie Andrews and for the ultimate feel good Christmas movie, there’ s nothing better than “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
The newly released “The Greatest Show” takes you under the big top with all its thrills and frills. On a smaller scale, Matt Damon enjoys life’s little pleasures in “Downsizing.”
But the biggest blockbuster of them all may be “The Last Jedi.” In this Star Wars sequel, the search continues for the truth behind the force in “Star Wars Episode VIII.” You’ll return to a magical space trip with Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver and Oscar Isaac, plus original cast members Mark Hamill and the late Carrie Fisher.
There are lots to choose from, so enjoy! May your days be merry and bright and may the force be with you!