Before you start getting all misty-eyed as you ruminate about the good ol' days, when fun stuff like stealing the Baby Jesus from the Reseda Community Center's manger scene became a holiday ritual, there were legitimate, important customs to uphold at Christmastime. To put meaning back into your life, explore more than 100 years of Southland traditions at the Homestead Museum's A Southern California Christmas. The annual holiday gala offers bilingual performances of Las Posadas by Escuela de Bellas Artes de Pomona, Bob Baker's marionettes, Victorian music by Fleet Street Band, vintage jazz by Ian Whitcomb & His Bungalow Boys (doubt he'll sing “You Turn Me On”), vintage automobiles, period decorations, strolling carolers, historic-house tours and, of course, a visit from Kris Kringle himself. Free, but food and shopping will cost you. Now, about that Baby Jesus….

Sun., Dec. 13, 1-5 p.m., 2009

LA Weekly