Sounds, Savors, and Shops

Tips and suggestions from the volunteers at the California Welcome Center-Oceanside.

There are so many enjoyable ways to spend the holiday season in Oceanside. On San Diego’s North Shore, we have a different approach to “colder” weather; we embrace this time to shop locally, engage in our theatres, do some home cooking and travel to the local mountains.

The volunteers at the California Welcome Center in Oceanside love their community and love to share their ideas and suggestions of things to do while in the area. Check out these local hotspots for shopping, favorite holiday foods and their suggested musicians and songs during the holiday season.

What are your favorite local shops in Oceanside?

“The California Welcome Center is my shopping center. I buy something every time I volunteer there which is twice a month” – Jacky C.

“I like to browse the Oceanside Harbor Village shops. They have a lot of Oceanside stylized gifts that are good for the holidays. Topping things off with an easy walk for lunch or dinner at Lighthouse Oyster Bar and Grill. We often pick something up from the fresh seafood market downstairs before heading home.” – Richard K.

“I love thrift shopping in Oceanside! Most of them are on Coast Highway such as D.A.V, Captain’s Helm, Estate Sale Warehouse and the new Sea Hive Marketplace in South O is amazing!!” – Tanya C.

“I love having ACE Hardware in downtown Oceanside, not needing to travel far for all of my household needs. L & M Gifts is wonderful to shop in year-round, but especially during the holidays. They have holiday ornaments that I love. If I need to pick up a special food item for a party, I visit Petite Madeline Bakery & Bistro. Their All Day Buns are my favorite!” – Dot R.

What are the best things to do here in the “winter”?


“I loved taking part in Sip N Shop this year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. It gave me the chance to get to know new shops downtown and try a lot of flavors ‘sipping’ what I wouldn’t have tried otherwise. It was nice seeing the Sip N Shop participants walking around with their lanyards, talking about which place to check out next. In just one day I was able to fill out a Shop Local Passport to enter to win prizes which was also fun!” – Dot R.

“Visiting the small town of Julian and Palomar Mountain for some snow fun. I also enjoy attending the San Diego Nighttime Zoo and “O Wondrous Night” at SeaWorld. As a kid growing up, I loved driving through Oceanside seeing the holiday lights on houses.” – Carla P.

“The theatre during this time is fabulous at The Star Theatre. There is Annie (always a good one to see) and the CYT group performing Hairspray. At Brooks Theatre they are performing Miracle on 34th Street which is amazing and great that they brought it back! I also enjoy the sunsets in winter at the beach. This is when you are more likely to see the green flash along the horizon.” – Pat R.

What is a recipe you like to share during this season?

“I don’t do much baking anymore but I would probably not be forgiven if I didn’t make my mom’s no bake pretzel/white chocolate/M&M treats. As my kids have grown and now have their own families, they also make them. I use red and green M&M’s at Christmas, pastel in the spring.” – Judi B.


  • Spread mini pretzel twists (if you can find round ones, better yet!) out on wax paper on a jelly roll pan
  • Melt white chocolate chips in the microwave until smooth and almost liquid-y
  • Drop onto the pretzels and then place M&M’s on top
  • Stick in refrigerator to ‘set’, approximately 15 minutes
  • Peel off of the wax paper, pop in mouth and make more!

“My mom’s infamous pecan pie, it has even won prizes.” – Carla P.

“Our family likes to get together to make decorated sugar cookies. Frosting ends up everywhere and weird colors are created. Lots of fun.” – Donna H.

“Sweet potato casserole, made with real sweet potatoes and pecans on top.” – Pat R.

What’s on your Holiday playlist?

“Casting Crows, Andre Bocelli, and Amy Grant Christmas albums. I love listening to them in my car or at home while baking goodies.” – Teri F.

“Anything Natalie Cole, Josh Groban, Nat King Cole, or Mannheim Steamroller.” – Dave G.

“I’m still a kid at heart, Jingle Bell Rock, Frosty the Snowman, Twelve Days of Christmas and Silent Night. As a kid, we use to do drive through nativity scenes listening to these songs.” – Carla P.

“I enjoy singing Christmas carols with my grandchildren.” – Richard K.

“Must ‘hear’ music I love to sing with is All I Want For Christmas Is You by Mariah Carey, Santa Baby by Madonna, Blue Christmas by Elvis Presley, This Christmas by Gloria Estefan and traditional songs of Joy to the World and White Christmas.” – Lydia P.

Published: December 5, 2017

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