Let’s face it, dear readers. Living in—or visiting—Rancho Mirage is like waking up each morning with an abundance of beautifully wrapped presents under the tree. This no more so than at the holidays. But in addition to shopping in our great retail stores at The River (www.theriveratranchomirage.com) or Rancho Las Palmas Shopping Center…on top of gathering for office parties or personal holiday celebrations at any one of our great restaurants (www.dineranchomirage.com)…always remember that there are Yuletide-specific things to do in Rancho Mirage that are well worth planning for.

Let’s start by ice skating at The Rink at The River! Yes, real ice and you on skates al fresco under the sun or stars. If you haven’t tried it yet, you are missing out big time. Please visit //www.theriveratranchomirage.com/ for all the information you need to plan your own holiday on ice.

Or how about visiting Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa (www.rancholaspalmas.com) to check out Chef Tiburcio Neri’s almost-life-sized, themed gingerbread house? This year his motif is all about the Grinch and how he almost stole Christmas. Some 150 pounds of gingerbread dough, 48 pounds of frosting, 10 pounds of chocolate syrup, and 140 hours of work went into this spectacular creation. It’s not to be missed…

Then there’s climbing Frank Sinatra Drive to the top of the hill to pamper yourself at the spa at The Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage (www.ritzcarlton.com/ranchomirage), where you can indulge in a 50-minute Chocolate Truffle Facial or Body Wrap. Segue to a holiday drink with friends at State Fare Bar + Kitchen, and check out the towering outdoor Christmas tree that’s all lit up

Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa (www.hotwatercasino.com) is just one place to spend New Year’s Eve—especially if you love ’80s music and its accompanying videos, which will be playing all night. At The Show, there’ll be Huey Lewis & The News performing such hits as “Heart of Rock & Roll,” “Hip To Be Square,” “The Power of Love,” and more.

Over at The Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa (www.westinmissionhills.com), it’s The 12 Days of Christmas from Thursday, December 22 through Monday, January 2. Activities for adults and kids include crafts, family movie nights, and cookie decorating. Also planned are beer, wine, and tequila tastings, plus a scotch & cigars dinner. And at the spa, it’s The 12 Days of Relaxation.

It should go without saying that all of our fabulous four resorts—and quite a few of our fine dining establishments—are putting on lavish spreads for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day dinners. So check out all the websites, and celebrate the holidays Rancho Mirage-style!