The River Holiday

I make sure I show The River—Rancho Mirage’s esteemed retail, dining, and entertainment complex on Highway 111—lots of love year-round. But I’m especially thankful for it at the holidays because the ever-efficient elf in me strikes many a Yuletide bird with a single stone when I do the majority of my holiday gift shopping there in late November and early December.

From Bath & Body Works, the brand new Raymond|Lawrence, and MAC Cosmetics to Optica, Diane’s Beachwear, and Verizon Wireless, I can cross a lot of friends and family members off my Christmas list. If I want a new outfit (or three!) for the many holiday parties I’ll be attending, I walk into Forever 21. And if I need a Santa’s tuque to wear around the desert and spread good cheer, Hats Unlimited’s got ’em.

Coffee or sweet tooth break between trips to the car to drop my bags? Starbucks, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, and Ben & Jerry’s are right there. And if I need a quick bite, I get to pick between Five Guys Burgers and Fries, Baja Fresh, or the bar at bb’s at The River (where happy hour lasts all day!).

The other fine restaurants—Babe’s Bar-B-Que & Brewhouse, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, Gioia’s Pizzeria, Yardhouse—are where I get gift certificates for my fellow foodies. For my non-foodie friends (you know, the ones who are perennially on a diet, especially after the holidays), I stop in at places like River Nails & Spa or Cinemark Century Theaters to grab a few gift cards to go.

How perfect is The River for getting holiday chores done fast? There’s even a U.S. Post Office on site where I can mail my parcels and greeting cards. (I know, I know, I’m old-fashioned; I can’t give up sending holiday cards through the mail.)

From the looks of it, there are plenty of other ever-efficient elves like me out there. With valet parking and fresh air aplenty, I really don’t know why anyone would shop anywhere else but at The River in Rancho Mirage at the most wonderful time of the year. www.theriveratranchomirage.com