I can’t wait for Black Friday to end so I can bring out the Christmas lights, blow up my plastic, inflatable Santa Clause and put a manger on the roof. Then, I help my folks hang tons of those fake looking, so called icicle lights and put that white coating on the tree. Nothing says Christmas like fake snow in Southern California.  When relatives visit from back East, they always get a kick out of the surfers and skate boarders crowded along the Venice Beach boardwalk.  You see lots of guys in shorts and tees with those furry Santa’s elves hats on and sunglasses to block the glare of the sun off the sand.  And who doesn’t love the parade of dogs going by with those fake antlers on their heads.  Out here, you’re as likely to smell barbeque on the grill as you are a turkey frying in the backyard.  But that’s life in La La land.  What we’re more likely to have in common is sitting around with a cold one and the game controllers in hand, beating the brains out of each other’s characters and racing to win before the free download from Origin runs out.

Sorting through the free downloads is a great way to unwind after a day at the beach.  Origin makes tons of free stuff available, but they also have cool prices on the latest games and accessories so when it’s time to put a new tool in your arsenal, you’ll have lots to choose from.  If you shop Origin, you’ve got to start with Groupon, so you don’t pay full price.  That way when you pre-order Mass Effect: Andromeda Strain, or buy Titanfall you know you’ll be paying way less than the list price. They even have full games for free, talk about a Merry Christmas.

Now that we have the 70” big screen, the whole family can watch the action.  Getting together with family is much better when my cousins show up.  We can battle it out for hours and not have to worry about time running out cause we have 48 hours with some games.  And when we do purchase the ones we want to keep, we just apply that Groupon code and watch the price drop faster than a player in Battlefield 1.  That’s Southern California for you.  The snow might be fake, but the battle is real!