It’s that time of year again and the epicenter of the holiday season is at the corner of Atlantic Avenue and Swinton at Old School Square when the 100-foot Christmas tree is lit after Santa’s arrival this Thursday night. If you can’t be in some kind of Currier & Ives village or worse, in a Thomas Kinkade painting of a cottage in the woods, then you are in the right place to be here, now, in Delray Beach, Florida.

Our dazzling weather is back, the ocean is after-dinner-mint blue, the sky is brilliant and downtown is full of life and good times, aside from the (very) sad closing of our esteemed Mercer-Wenzel. It’s time to get back out and about, shop local and celebrate the magic of this place and this time of year. Here’s what not to miss:

Nov 29: Tree Lighting and Holidays On The Ave, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., Old School Square

Dec 7: Holiday Boat Parade, 6:30 p.m., Intracoastal Waterway

Dec 8: Menorah Lighting, 5:15 p.m., front lawn, Old School Square; Holiday Parade, 6 p.m., Atlantic Avenue

Dec 15: Breakfast with Santa, 9 a.m., 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and 12 noon seatings, Delray Beach Marriott

Dec 29 and 30: Arts and Crafts Fair. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tennis Center Parking Lot

Dec 31: First Night 2013, 4 p.m. to midnight, Old School Square and downtown