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Mid-December: the dreaded time of year for last minute shoppers. However, last minute shopping doesn’t have to be dreadful. Why not shop in a winter wonderland?

This week’s Secret of SoCal is The Grove in Los Angeles.

In 2002, Rick Caruso and company opened up The Grove. This space was previously occupied by an orchard and nursery, but evolved into the place to shop til’ you drop for Los Angeles residents. Celebrity sightings are a common occurrence at The Grove. Why is it that consumers continue to flock to this shopping center during the holiday season? Although The Grove has a typical selection of stores, the mall’s ambiance continues to attract and retain consumers.

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As I exited the parking structure off of The Grove Dr., I was immediately met with beautiful holiday decorations. Long strings of lights strung from building to building, lighting up Main Street. Walking further up the pathway, I ran right into a giant gingerbread house that even Hansel and Gretel would be jealous of. This unique house is home to Santa Clause himself. Santa has daily appearances for the month of December at the Grove, hours varying slightly from day to day.

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After being awed by Santa’s house, I took the mall’s festive trolley that runs from the Farmer’s Market to Nordstrom. Primarily, I was in awe of the Santa and friends strung from building to building near the large fountain. During the holiday season, fake snow is produced along this main street. Nothing is more festive than snowy shopping in California.

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One of my favorite decorations at The Grove was the giant Christmas tree that is located by Nordstrom. I loved seeing the joy that this decoration brought everyone as they “oohed,” “awed” and posed together for a perfect holiday picture. Adjacent to the Christmas tree is a large menorah that lights up in celebration of the eight nights of Hanukkah.

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My only qualm about shopping here during this time of year is that it can get very packed. However, all shopping malls are packed this time of year, but not all shopping malls have decorations like The Grove.

The holiday spirit is most definitely palpable at The Grove in Los Angeles during the holiday season. Visit this Secret of SoCal to enjoy a little holiday cheer and a lot of fun with family and friends. With holiday decorations as magical as Disneyland’s, your inner child will smile unlike before.

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Check back on Sunday, December 21, to see another holiday edition of Secrets of SoCal.

And remember- Take Care of This Moment.

Happy Holidays!

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