No one's making any promises about bells ringing, but it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Orange County.
Holiday decorations are going up; some have been on display for some time. Some South Coast Plaza merchants began dressing windows the week after Halloween, said mall spokeswoman Rita Feichtmann. The plaza's maintenance department, however, didn't begin decking the halls until Nov. 10, when manazanita balls were placed in planters inside the shopping mall and lights strung on its exterior.
Construction began Nov. 13 on Santasfaction--a "magical village where children can visit Santa" amid giant toys and fictional characters--for its opening this Friday.
In the city of Orange, meanwhile, Public Works Department crews also had a jump on holiday cheer.
"We started putting up decorations last Tuesday," said Al Rivera, director of community services.
But isn't hanging yuletide decorations before Thanksgiving like sneaking a peek at packages before Christmas morning? If people have complained, Rivera said he hasn't heard about it: "It takes us over a week to get them up, and we want to have them ready to go on Dec. 1."
Feichtmann agreed: "This is the natural process of building excitement."