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Planning makes holidays even happier

By: Loryll Nicolaisen, Journal staff writer
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In order to ensure some happy holidays, a little planning’s in order. There’s a lot of festive fun to be had through the end of 2009, and now’s the time to grab your calendar and start filling in the days with as much holiday cheer as possible. Good eats Whether you’re busy entertaining out-of-town guests or just really don’t want to cook, local restaurants and businesses can help alleviate some of the holiday stress that comes with feeding family and friends, no matter how big your party. One option for busy hosts and hostesses is to place an order now for a holiday dinner. Auburn’s Raley’s and Bel Air are among those in the supermarket chain offering a variety of take-home dinners ranging from traditional ham and turkey meals complete with the fixings to newer options including a Fiesta Tamale Kit to a vegetarian-friendly butternut squash ravioli dinner. “Turkey and ham are very popular, but there are lots of other options too,” said Amy Davis, Raley’s representative. Meals, which range in price from $39.99 to $99.99, are available for pick-up Dec. 22-24, serve anywhere from four to 10 people, come with complete instructions and can be ordered online — customers can save $5 by ordering at raleys.com, Davis said — as well as over the phone or in the store. Wondering what you get? Take, for example, the Alaskan Sockeye Salmon dinner, which goes for $59.99 if ordered online. The meal serves six and comes with pastry wrapped apricot-stuffed Brie, salmon, a mustard cream sauce, steamed asparagus, roasted potatoes, dinner rolls and a chocolate cake. Auburn’s Raley’s is located at 13384 Lincoln Way and can be reached at (530) 885-0669. Bel Air is located at 2222 Highway 49 and can be reached at (530) 889-8626. Still hungry? • Anyone and everyone is welcome to dig into Auburn’s annual Community Christmas Dinner, which starts at 2 p.m. Dec. 25 at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 1279 High St. Call (530) 885-4515 for more information or to volunteer. • Lou La Bonte’s, 13460 Lincoln Way, serves its traditional buffet spread from 2-8 p.m. on Christmas day. Call (530) 885-9193 for further information. • Latitudes is currently taking reservations for Christmas Eve dinner. The restaurant is located at 130 Maple St. in Auburn. Call (530) 885-9535 to secure a table. • Celebrate New Year’s Eve with dinner at Bootlegger’s Tavern & Grill, 210 Washington St., now taking reservations for Dec. 31. Call (530) 889-2229 for reservations. Counting down No matter how 2009 treated you, there’ll be plenty of reasons to celebrate 2010 in Auburn and the surrounding area. Alfred Lee, owner of the Power Club and Ballroom, is excited to ring in 2010 and hopes to provide a one-stop shop for New Year’s Eve revelers. The Power Club party begins at 8 p.m. Dec. 31 and includes a comedy act featuring Brian Scott Jagger, three live bands, hors d’oeuvres, a dessert bar, no-host bar with drink specials, a champagne toast at midnight and DJ dancing from midnight to 2 a.m. “It’s the party of the decade,” Lee said. “It’s the best value for the money. It’s the coolest bar in Auburn.” Tickets are $50 and are available — advance purchase highly suggested — at the Power Club, 195 Harrison Ave., Auburn. Call (530) 305-5052 for additional information. Another Downtown Auburn party spot is The Arts Building, home to PlacerArts’ Rock’n New Year’s Eve Party. This is a first for PlacerArts, said Angela Tahti, executive director. The party features live music by the James Moseley Band, hors d’oeuvres and a midnight champagne toast. Tahti is excited for a band to set up shop in the Arts Building. “I think it’s going to be a lot of fun,” Tahti said of the celebration. “The music they cover, any tune they play you know you’ll want to move with it.” Tickets for PlacerArts’ New Year’s Eve party are $35 and are only available for advance purchase. Call (530) 885-5670 or see PlacerArts.org for more information. 2010 or bust • The Club Car, 836 Lincoln Way, celebrates New Year’s Eve with four-course dinners, live music by Loose Change featuring Jamal Walker, a champagne toast, balloon drop and more. Reserve a table by calling (530) 887-9732. • Café Zorro, located at 5911 King Road in Loomis, hosts a New Year’s Eve party starring the William Mylar Band. New Year’s Eve at Café Zorro includes a special menu and complimentary non-alcoholic beverages for designated drivers. Call (530) 663-1612 for information. • Pistol Pete’s Brew & Cue, 140 Harrison Ave., presents Pruno, a local band set to perform starting at 9 p.m. Dec. 31. Call (530) 885-5093 for more information. • California Club has New Year’s Eve festivities in the works. Stop by 1580 Lincoln Way or call (530) 885-6453 for details.