What do you wish for?

Do you base our choices on what you want, or what you think you're supposed to want? Let yourself feel what you feel and want what you want, THEN engage your mind in the process. The best wishes are born from your heart.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Molly Blue Dawn's List of Yule-y Events for 2012

There are so many wonderful Yule-related events happening from late November through early January, I've created this season-long guide.  If something you love is not included on the list, please let me know about it ( mollmac@gmail.com ) so that I can include it in my weekly
e-mails.  There are two sections to this list - Yule-Related Events and Places Decorated for the Holidays.  

Section One - Yule-Related Events

Downtown Campbell Holiday Extravaganza
Thursday, November 15, 6:00-9:00PM
Villa Ragusa, 35 South 2nd Street, Campbell
$5 donation

“The Downtown Campbell Business Association presents a Holiday Extravaganza on Thursday, November 15, 6:00-9:00PM, at Villa Ragusa. We'll be featuring fabulous pre-holiday shopping specials from Downtown Campbell merchants and delicious food tastings from local restaurants.

Price of admission is one new children's book or a $5 donation to the Assistance League of Los Gatos-Saratoga.”

The Snowy Day
The Art of Ezra Jack Keats
Thursday, November 15 - Sunday, February 24
Contemporary Jewish Museum, 736 Mission Street, San Francisco, 415-655-7800
see museum website for detailed schedule and admission information

“The Snowy Day and the Art of Ezra Jack Keats is the first major exhibition in the United States to pay tribute to award-winning author and illustrator Ezra Jack Keats (1916–1983), whose beloved children’s books include Whistle for Willie (1964), Peter’s Chair (1967), and The Snowy Day (1962) - the first modern full-color picture book to feature an African American protagonist. Published in 1962, at the height of the civil rights movement in America, the book went on to become an inspiration for generations of readers, transforming children’s literature forever. The exhibition features over eighty original works by the artist, from preliminary sketches and dummies or preparatory books, to final paintings and collages, including examples of Keats’s most introspective but less-known output inspired by Asian art and poetry.”

Saturday, November 17, 5:00-8:00PM
SOFA Arts District, South A Street and Sebastopol Avenue, Santa Rosa

“Bring your family, friends and party spirit to the coolest, most lively holiday extravaganza of the year! Once again Santa Rosa’s SOFA Arts District will kick off the season by hosting Winterblast. Winterblast is a joyful street party celebrating the arts and community. The event attracts visitors of all ages and is sure to bring smiles to everyone’s faces.

Dance to the music of local bands as you enjoy the evening’s attractions including open art galleries and studios, local food vendors, a Kids-Zone, street performers and more. Once again the highlight of the evening will be the one-of-a-kind SOFA Parade featuring what else but sofas! (Visitors in costume are invited to join the parade!)”

A Christmas Carol at San Jose Rep
opens Wednesday, November 21, playing through Sunday, December 23
see website for schedule and ticket details
San Jose Repertory Theatre, 101 Paseo de San Antonio, San Jose

“Rick Lombardo’s musical adaptation of this classic holiday story is a feast for the senses, full of popular Victorian carols, lavish period costumes, and actors playing over a dozen traditional instruments.

Be enchanted and amazed as you follow Scrooge on his transformational journey to rejoin the world, find redemption, and discover what it means to be fully human. This timeless tale is a must-see tradition for any family.”

The San Rafael Parade of Lights and Winter Wonderland
Friday-Saturday, November 23-24,
see website for detailed schedule
along 4th Street from B Street to Lootens Place, San Rafael

“Downtown San Rafael will once again host its annual holiday Parade and Winter Wonderland. In its 33rd year, the event features a Holiday Marketplace with arts and crafts, live entertainment, children’s activities, free snow sledding, and one of the largest Holiday Parades in the Bay Area.
In 2010 the event was attended by people from all over Marin County. It enjoys a very local feel and is known as a great destination for people of all ages. The event starts at noon with free snow sledding and kids’ activities, then is followed by the Holiday Marketplace at 2:00PM and the Parade at 5:30PM.

Following the Parade, Santa, Ms. Claus and other costumed characters arrive with the Mayor of San Rafael to the center of town in the City Plaza to light the official Holiday Tree. Following the Tree Lighting Ceremony, Santa and friends are available for a meet and greet with the kids.”

Sonora Christmas Craft and Music Festival
Friday-Sunday, November 23-25, Friday-Saturday 10:00AM-5:00PM, Sunday 10:00AM-4:00PM
Mother Lode Fairgrounds, 220 Southgate Drive, Sonora (East of Modesto)
adults $7, seniors and students (13-18) $5, children (6-12) $2, under 6 free
see website for coupon for $1 off admission
parking $5
for more information, please call 209-533-3473

“The 38th Anniversary of the legendary Sonora Christmas Festival will be held November 23, 24 and 25, 2012. This highly regarded festival features over 150 great quality craft artists, up tempo and varied music, street performers, costumed elves and twinkle trees, carolers, a wide selection of home-cooking style festival kitchens and bake shops, all in festive, brightly colored craft halls. The Spirit of Christmas is definitely present here! Also, don’t miss the annual Christmas Parade in downtown Sonora on Friday November 23rd at 5:30PM.

Kids Area
Pictures with Santa
The Merry Elves and Twinkle Trees
Take a ride on the Polar Express Train
Play Area by AirPlay - Bounce Houses and Slides
Juggling, Storytelling and Music!

Family Entertainment
Mirth and Glee Carolers (all 3 days)
Captain Jack Spareribs (all 3 days)
Comedy Industries - Comic Juggling, Escape Artist  
International Street Performers Scotty Meltzer and Katrina Grinn”

Sing Along Sound of Music
opens Friday, November 23, playing through Sunday, December 2
see website for detailed schedule
Castro Theatre, 429 Castro Street, San Francisco
Special Admission: $15  

“For those of you not yet converted, Sing-A-Long Sound of Music is a screening of the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical in glorious widescreen, complete with subtitles so that the whole audience can sing along! In addition to belting out the tunes, goody bags will be handed out to everyone and audience members can add to the fun by dressing up as a favorite character for the costume contest!”

Holiday Tree Walk
Friday-Sunday, November 23-25
and Saturday-Sunday, December 1-2
Roaring Camp Railroads, 5401 Graham Hill Road, Felton, 831-335-4484
see website for schedule admission details

“Get in the holiday spirit by bringing family and friends to ride Roaring Camp’s daytime steam train to Bear Mountain.  At the summit, guests may sip hot cider and delight in viewing a tree-lined walk of beautifully decorated holiday trees.  Trees are provided by Patchen California Christmas Tree Farm, Los Gatos.

To add to the festive spirit and bring hope to families in need, visitors may bring a new and unwrapped toy to Roaring Camp’s depot to benefit Santa Cruz County’s Toys for Tots campaign. Toys collected will be distributed through participating agencies to children who otherwise would have less.  For each donated toy, Roaring Camp will deduct $2 per train ticket, whether purchased online or in person.  Guests are requested to avoid donating toys of aggression or unpacked stuffed animals.”

The Velveteen Rabbit
presented by ODC
Friday, November 23 - Sunday, December 9
Lam Research Theater, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 700 Howard Street, San Francisco
see website for schedule and ticket details


“Join us for this beloved Bay Area holiday tradition. ODC/Dance enlivens Margery Williams’ classic tale of a well-worn nursery rabbit that becomes real. Told through music, dance and a powerful narrative, The Velveteen Rabbit celebrates the unique relationship between a little boy and his stuffed rabbit, and the enduring power of love.

Brimming with wit, festive costumes, madcap characters and the perfect amount of holiday cheer, ODC/Dance - one of America’s most exciting and acclaimed contemporary dance companies, returns to Yerba Buena Center for the Arts to present their 26th season of the beloved Bay Area production!”

The Great Dickens Christmas Fair!
Friday-Sunday, November 23-25, and every weekend through December 23, 10:00AM-7:00PM
Cow Palace Exhibition Halls, 2600 Geneva Avenue, Daly City
$25.00 - various discounts may apply, and season tickets are available - see website for details
Parking fees are $10.00 per car charged by the Cow Palace
Free shuttle available from Glen Park BART Station

"Celebrate the Holiday Season in Victorian London!

The Great Dickens Christmas Fair 2011 garnered splendid reviews! New guests, as well as regular patrons, flocked to the Fair in record numbers. The spirit and good feeling in the streets of our Victorian London was inspiring! We look forward to an even more spectacular Fair this year.

2012 marks the 200th Anniversary of the birth of our progenitor Charles Dickens. Our celebration at the 34th annual Great Dickens Christmas Fair is part of a world-wide recognition of his life and works. Join the party each and every day of this year's Fair! Begin your preparations here.

The bustling streets of London, immortalized for all time by the mighty pen of Charles Dickens, form the living backdrop of your excursion into Christmas Past. You are a living part of a Victorian Christmas card come to life!

A Bay Area tradition since 1970, the Great Dickens Christmas Fair returns to the San Francisco Cow Palace Exhibition Halls for five weekends in 2012, including the Friday after Thanksgiving, from Friday, November 23 through Sunday, December 23, from 10:00AM 'til 7:00PM.

Created by Ron and Phyllis Patterson, the fair is now produced by Kevin and Leslie Patterson and Red Barn Productions, who continue the family tradition of theatrical excellence through authenticity, participation, and playfulness.

Come wander the lanes of Victorian London, as the glow of twilight settles upon the city, with the scent of pine boughs and freshly baked scones floating in the air and the sound of carolers and holiday merrymakers accompanying your stroll.

London is larger - over 120,000 square feet to explore!
Visit shops bedecked with Christmastime finery and filled with unique treasures.
Stop in for a hot toddy or a pint of Lagunitas at Mad Sal's Dockside Ale House, where the low-life hang out and the high-born drop in.
Raise a champagne toast to the holidays at Fezziwig's Warehouse, the most cheerful spot in London.
Enjoy rollicking entertainments on six stages and in the streets.
Feast on fine foods from the British Empire and beyond.
Rest a spell in Cuthbert's Tea House, for a sip of hot tea and cucumber sandwiches or scones.

Experience the joys of Christmas past at the Great Dickens Christmas Fair!”

This is one of my favourite Yuletide traditions, and, really, one of my favourite things in the whole wide world.  And don't be fooled into thinking it's not extremely Pagan-friendly just because it's a
"Christmas" event. Christmas not Pagan, you say?!  It is too! Especially in a simulated Victorian London reconstructed by Bay Area Faire Geeks.  It's lousy with Pagans, I'm tellin' ya!  Next time
you're at PantheaCon, picture the people around you in corsets and/or top hats, and you'll realize they're the same people you saw at Dickens, just dressed more diaphonously...

You can get a season pass for $80, and the Fair is running a total of 11 days this year. There is soooo much to do and see (and eat and buy, if you want to spend money...), I heartily recommend going as many times as you possibly can!  With characters from the works of Charles Dickens roaming the streets, as well as historical figures of the Victorian Age (and a few non-Dickensian fictional ones), it's wall-to-wall entertainment.  You can dance and play parlour games at Fezziwig's Warehouse, you can watch a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta, a traditional English pantomime, and various variety acts at the Victoria and Albert Music Hall, you can sing sea shanties with the sailors, you can hobnob with authors, explorers, and inventors at the Adventurer's Club, you can be amazed at the wonders of the Legion Fantastique, you can take child-like glee in meeting Father Christmas, riding a hand-spun carousel, and seeing a Punch and Judy show, you can take adult-like glee in reveling in the naughtiness at Mad Sal's, the wondrous mechanical models of the Dark Garden display windows, and even the extra naughtiness of Saucy French Post Cards.  Delight in watching Scrooge turn from nasty to nice over the course of the day!  Hear Mr. Dickens himself read aloud from A Christmas Carol - spellbinding!

If you drive, plan to carpool, because the Cow Palace charges for parking.  But you don't have to drive, because you can take the free shuttle from BART, and get a discount on your admission for doing so!  The free shuttle will be operating between Glen Park BART station and the Cow Palace from 10:15AM-7:00PM each day of the Fair.  Bring your BART ticket to the box office and get a discount on your admission.  http://www.dickensfair.com/cowpalace

The Dickens Fair is the place to bring your donations for Toys for Tots!  
Get $3 off regular admission with your Toys for Tots donation.

If you love anything about the month of December, you will adore The Great Dickens Christmas Fair!  If you wish you could attend a Renaissance Faire in the dead of winter, this is the place for you!  If watching A Christmas Carol on the stage or screen is not participatory enough for you, come and live it in glorious 3D, with full colour, rich surround-sound, the ultimate Christmas-y smell that wafts from the yummy cinnamon crunch almonds, the warm, cozy flavour of hot buttered rum or chocolate egg nog*, possibly even the realistic feeling of one of Sal's gals in your lap...  It just doesn't get any better than this!

*Yes.  You read that right.  Chocolate.  Egg nog.  Chocolate egg nog.

Santa’s Riverboat Arrival
Saturday, November 24, 11:00AM
Golden Eagle Shopping Center, 280 E Washington Street, Petaluma

“Santa and Mrs. Claus sail into the Petaluma River Turning Basin aboard a tugboat at noon and disembark in the Golden Eagle Shopping Center on E. Washington Street to greet children and distribute candy. Performers will be on hand at the shopping center starting at 11:00AM.”

Rockridge In The Snow
Saturday, November 24, 3:00-6:00PM
near Rockridge BART Station, 5660 College Avenue, Oakland

“Children’s Play Area with Snow!
Live Holiday Entertainment!
Visit with Santa and his helpers!
Bring donations for One Warm Coat http://www.onewarmcoat.org
and Toys for Tots http://www.toysfortots.org

Berkeley Artisans Holiday Open Studios
Saturdays-Sundays, November 24-25, 11:00AM-6:00PM
and every weekend through December 16
locations throughout Berkeley -  see website for map

“Over one hundred professional artists, craftspeople and galleries at studio buildings in Berkeley, California will open their doors to the public during the 22nd annual Berkeley Artisans Holiday Open Studios.
All manner of fine art and craft will be shown, including blown glass, functional and decorative ceramics, ornaments, Menorahs, lamps and lighting, painted and custom furniture, garden art, floor cloths, one-of-a-kind clothing, textiles, dolls, leather bags, many styles of jewelry, sculpture, photography, paintings, original prints and works on paper, musical instruments, mosaics, work from recycled materials, and artisan food products. All work is handcrafted, and many pieces are one-of-a-kind.

This self-guided tour presents a unique opportunity to meet the artists, to buy original and creative gifts, and to see working craft studios. The art walk gives viewers a glimpse into the creative process, and the opportunity to sign up for classes and workshops. Many studios are in the same building, or are clustered within walking distance.

This much anticipated, popular event is known for the high quality of the work shown. A free Map and Directory is available showing all participants. This event is FREE.”

Christkindlmarkt in Petaluma
Sunday, November 25, 10:00AM-4:00PM
Hermann Sons Hall, 860 Western Avenue, Petaluma

“Enjoy traditional crafts, food, music and entertainment from Germany, Austria and Switzerland and have your child's photo taken with Santa.“

Roy Zimmerman's PeaceNick Concert - Happy Humanist Holidays!

Thursday, November 29, 7:00PM   
UU Fellowship of Stanislaus County, 2172 Kiernan Avenue, Modesto
$18 or pay what you can

Saturday, December 15,  7:00PM   
Emerson Coffee House at First UU Church of Stockton, 2737 Pacific Avenue, Stockton
$18 or pay what you can

How does a Lefty Pacifist Humanist celebrate the Christma-Hanu-Rama-Ka-Dona-Kwanzaa season?  By playing his usual songs about war, ignorance and greed, plus some about holidays.

You'll, laugh, you'll cry, your heart will bleed.  It's beautiful.

It's a Wonderful Life
from the film by Frank Capra
adapted for the stage by James W. Rodgers
opens Thursday, November 29, playing through Sunday, December 16
(see website for detailed schedule)
Town Hall Theatre, 3535 School Street, Lafayette

“Remember, no man is a failure when he has friends.

Lisa Anne Porter returns to direct the stage adaptation of Frank Capra's timeless classic It's a Wonderful Life.  George Bailey, his life and finances in ruin, decides the world will be better off without him - until he is paid an unexpected visit.”

Town Hall Theatre is a nifty little local theatre company in Lafayette, in an historic building which used to be the town hall.  Or possibly a barn.

Alan Kline’s The Holiday Shindig
Dance Party and Potluck
Friday, November 30,
Potluck 6:30-8:30PM, Waltz Lesson 7:00-8:00PM, Open Dancing 8:00-11:30PM
Temple Beth Hillel, 801 Park Central Street, Richmond
$7 for dance, Dance lesson is free!

“The days are getting shorter, the rain has started and we're about to start hearing Christmas music in stores, in other words it's time for Alan's Holiday Shindig. This is my all-inclusive Holiday dance party and potluck. Not only will we have Christmas and Hanukkah songs, but we'll celebrate the whole year from President's Day to Halloween. Really hope you can join us! As always there'll be a potluck, free waltz lesson and then 3 1/2 hours of dancing every dance style we know.”

A Broadway Holiday
presented by Curtain Call Performing Arts
Friday-Sunday, November 30-December 2 and December 7-9,
Friday-Saturday 8:00PM, Sunday 2:00PM
California Conservatory Theatre, 999 E 14th Street, San Leandro
see website for ticket details

“Cantare! is the Bay's newest choir and is a San Leandro-based community chorus that specializes in singing new musical theatre and new works. The repertoire will draw from unexpected shows beyond the MTI canon while still retaining the charm, wit, depth, and emotion associated with Broadway's most beloved musicals. A Broadway Holiday is the first of two concerts that Cantare! will put on this season, and it's sure to bring cheer to your holiday!”

A Christmas Carol: A Play with Carols
presented by Stage 1 Theatre
Friday-Sunday, November 30-1 and December 7-9,
Friday-Saturday 8:00PM, Sunday 2:30PM
Newark Memorial High School Theater, 39375 Cedar Boulevard, Newark
see website for ticket details
plus a special performance on Thursday, December 6, 8:00PM, $10 at the door

“Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, adapted and directed by Brian Allan Hobbs, is a song-filled holiday classic for the entire family. Miserly Ebenezer Scrooge, the curmudgeon everyone loves to hate; the ghost story of the Spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Future; the festive Fezziwigs; over 20 holiday songs in glorious choral harmony; dancing; the darling Cratchit family with the ever hopeful Tiny Tim; and an unrequited love story offer a memorable tale of human transformation that will steal your heart in this special time of the year.”

A Christmas Carol
opens Friday, November 30, playing through December 24
see website for schedule and ticket details
American Conservatory Theater, 415 Geary Street, San Francisco

“The Bay Area's favorite holiday tradition returns to A.C.T. with a sparkling, music-infused A Christmas Carol. Bring your family, bring your friends, and check your humbugs at the door!”

Holiday Treats
Puppet Shows with Nick Barone
various dates in December
various locations throughout the Bay Area

“Holiday Treats is an original thirty minute Christmas show from Nick Barone Puppets. Filled with lovable and friendly monsters and six or more holiday-like songs, this comical story is designed to delight families and children of all ages.”

San Jose Heritage Holiday
Saturday, December 1, 11:00AM-4:00PM
Tea seatings at 11:00AM and 2:00PM
Fallon House, 175 West Saint John Street, San Jose
Holiday Tea tickets are $45 and include admission to Heritage Holiday
Reservations required, please contact Juanita at 408-918-1045 or JLara@historysanjose.org

“You are cordially invited to join us for the annual Heritage Holiday Tea, Saturday December 1st at the Fallon House Historic Site. Guests will be greeted by costumed performers from Shady Shakespeare Theatre Company who will have a Victorian attitude and manners to match!  Listen to live music by Lyric Theatre and sip champagne in the garden while you await your seating.

Once seated, delight in sweet and savory sandwiches, baked scones, tarts and sweets beautifully prepared by Zona Rosa Catering.  Sample teas perfectly brewed by Satori Tea, and add just  a touch of Willow Glen Honey.  After the Tea, tour the Fallon House decorated for the holidays.  Then shop the San Pedro Market just across the street.

Ticket purchase includes a chance to win Tea for 2 at Satori Tea or 4 Tickets to Lyric Theatre’s Production of Brigadoon!”

Petaluma Downtown Merchants Holiday Open House
Saturday, December 1, 11:00AM-5:00PM
Downtown Petaluma

“Join Downtown Petaluma Merchant's for a Holiday extravaganza!  Each participating store will have Holiday festivities, entertainment and/or refreshments. Enjoy a Horse and Wagon ride through Scenic Downtown, get your face painted and don't forget to get your picture taken with Santa!

Our 2012 Holiday Open House will feature:
The Bel Canto Quartet will perform in various locations from 2:00-4:00PM
Free Face Painting in Putnam Plaza from 11:00AM-4:00PM
Free Balloon Art by Paula Moors in Putnam Plaza from 12:00-4:00PM
Horse and Carriage Rides for children leaving from Putnam Plaza 12:00-4:00PM.  Only $3!”

America's Children's Holiday Parade
Saturday, December 1, 2:00PM
along Broadway from 11th Street to 20th Street, Oakland

“It begins the holiday season.. a fun time of year.  It makes children of all ages stand up and cheer!  There are giant balloons that fly high in the sky.  They are causing oohs and aahs as they pass by.  We have dancing trees and floats on parade.  There are marching bands, drill teams and clowns on that day!  It’s fun to watch kids see their favorite stars.  Hey there’s Snoopy, Miss Rosa, Clifford and Lars!  It’s a holiday celebration for the whole family to enjoy.  It even features Santa for all girls and boys.  America and the world can watch this great show.  It comes from the City of Oakland, a place all a-glow.

Plans for the 13th Annual America’s Children’s Holiday Parade are well underway and it promises to bring together more children’s stars, new floats, giant balloons, terrific marching bands and entertaining entries along with new and exciting elements.”

Fantasy of Lights
Saturday, December 1, 3:00-7:00PM
Cudworth Mansion, 2040 Union Street, San Francisco

“On December 1, Union Street kicks off its annual Fantasy of Lights Holiday celebration, where young and old alike can enjoy festivities to begin the holiday season. Thousands of holiday lights set off the Victorians, transforming Union Street into a magical backdrop for Santa and a team of elves to celebrate along with jugglers, live ponies dressed as reindeer, a monkey, face painters and balloon artists.

Come to the Metro Theater, 2055 Union Street, and help decorate the Union Street Gingerbread House from 3:00-7:00PM or decorate a cupcake from 3:00-5:00PM!

Santa will arrive in front of the Metro Theater, 2055 Union Street, at 5:30PM, where he will sit available for pictures until 7:00PM.

Donate toys for needy children through the SF Firefighters Toy Program. Collection barrels will be available on Union Street at the event and throughout the holiday.

This is truly a holiday tradition that should not be missed.”

Weihnachtsmarkt: German Holiday Market
Saturday, December 1, 3:00-7:00PM
German International School of Silicon Valley, 310 Easy Street, Mountain View

“7th Annual German Holiday Market - Weihnachtsmarkt.
With vendors, student performances, live music and German food.”

Annual Carol of Lights Festival
Saturday, December 1, 4:00-8:00PM
Downtown Campbell, E. Campbell Avenue and Central, Campbell

“Kicking off the holiday season in downtown Campbell will be the traditional Carol of Lights, a celebration for kids of all ages. The event is scheduled for Saturday, December 1 from 4:00-8:00PM with bounce houses, a petting zoo, pony rides, musical entertainment, dancers, Santa Claus and for great play fun, SNOW! This event is manned entirely by volunteers and is funded through recycling, sponsorships, and many community donations.”

A Service of Lessons and Carols
a Free Family Concert with San Francisco Renaissance Voices
Saturday, December 1, 7:30PM
Seventh Avenue Presbyterian Church, 1329 Seventh Avenue, San Francisco

“Members of San Francisco Renaissance Voices, our Artists-in-Residence join the group's lead tenor Corey Head and students from his vocal studio for a traditional service of lessons and carols.  The service began in 1918 at King's College (Cambridge, England) and we are delighted to bring this Christmas-time tradition to you, with plenty of audience sing-a-long.  A festive reception of holiday treats follows the service.”

Holiday Tea and Tours at the Ainsley House
Saturday, December 1 - Tuesday, December 11
Ainsley House, 51 N Central Avenue, Campbell
Reservations required, please call 408-866-2757

“Join us for an elegant and relaxing afternoon and get in the holiday spirit! The Campbell Historical Museum and Ainsley House Foundation's popular Holiday Teas will be held every afternoon December 1-11 in the Carriage House.  The traditional English-style teas feature delicate sandwiches, holiday sweets, and champagne as well as a guided tour of the Ainsley House, decorated in its holiday finest.

In the beautiful, historical Ainsley House in Downtown Campbell, all of its 15 rooms will be transformed into a warm, enchanting celebration of Christmas, decorated by local interior designers, house decorators, florists, and volunteers and featuring a special holiday boutique, full of unique delights for holiday shoppers.

The donation/fee for the Tea and Tour is priced at $30 for members and $35 for non-members. Please phone 408-866-2757 today to make your reservations. This is a wildly popular program and seating is limited - act now before we're booked up!  All proceeds benefit the Campbell Historical Museum and Ainsley House Foundation, a non-profit organization that seeks, through the Museum and Ainsley House, to promote Campbell history and educate the public about the region's rich past.”

Santa’s Fantastic Musical Revue
Saturdays, December 1, 8, 15 and 22, 11:00AM and 2:00PM
The Retro Dome, 1694 Saratoga Avenue, San Jose, 408-404-7711
see website for ticket details - several packages available

“Santa’s Fantastic Musical Revue
For ages 3+

A 45-minute all-singing, all-dancing stage show followed by 60 minutes of interactive Imagination Stations and a Visit with Santa and his Elves.

Each year in Christmastown, Santa hosts a huge holiday party - but when Rudolph takes a detour and can’t get Santa to the stage for showtime, Santa’s favorite show stopping elves save the day by jumping in to play all the roles, keeping the audience entertained while Santa makes his way home. Santastic! wraps up the most beloved scenes and melodies from Rudolph and Frosty to that mean one, Mr. Grinch - all of which are guaranteed to delight even the biggest Scrooge! There’s audience participation and plenty of other holiday cheer packed into this celebration of all things Santa! PLUS, at the end of each performance, the guest of honor makes it snow!

Santastic! features a talented ensemble of triple threat youth performers to tackle Motown, big band, and rock ’n roll versions of popular holiday songs and stories in this 45-minute one-act musical. After each performance, the cast will lead an hour of post-show activities including Photos With Santa and his elves and Interactive Imagination Stations for making holiday cards, cookie decorating and more!

Enjoy Discount Pricing If Reserved By Thanksgiving (midnight on November 22)”

Luther Burbank Home and Gardens Holiday Open House
Saturday-Sunday, December 1-2, 10:00AM-4:00PM
Luther Burbank Home and Gardens, 204 Santa Rosa Avenue, Santa Rosa
$2, Children 12 and under free

“The public is invited to this popular annual community event! Enjoy a 33-year community tradition and begin the season’s celebrations by visiting the historic Home and Gardens of Luther Burbank. Experience a charming reminder of bygone days when you tour the home decked out in Victorian holiday finery inside and out.

See the latest exhibit and shop for unique Burbank-related items in the Carriage House Museum and Gift Shop.

FREE PARKING is available at First and D Streets, and enjoy FREE RIDES on Rosie the Trolley to and from the Dickens Holiday Craft Fair held at the Finley Community Center.”

Snow Day in the Gourmet Ghetto!
Sunday, December 2, 10:00AM-3:00PM
Andronico’s parking lot, 1550 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley

“Free Event For Children Of All Ages

Take a snow day in the Gourmet Ghetto. Bring your boots and mittens to play in the snow that is predicted to gently fall in Andronico’s parking lot at 1550 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley on Sunday, December 2. Visit with the Snow Queen, make holiday crafts, and sip hot cider."

Children’s Holiday Party
at The Allied Arts Guild
Sunday, December 2, 12:30-3:00PM
Sunset Room, The Allied Arts Guild, 75 Arbor Road, Menlo Park, 650-322-2405

“We have an exciting new format for children from 4-8 years old accompanied by an adult.

Puppet Show by Magical Moonshine Theater Company (a hit last year)
Heather Magic - magic, comedy and juggling show!
A personal visit with our very own Santa with photo op for parents.
Cookies and juice

Make your reservations now!
Send a check for $25 per person (payable to Friends of Allied Arts) to:
Sally Knorp
1000 Trinity Drive
Menlo Park CA 94025

Please include your email or phone number so your reservation can be confirmed upon receipt of your check.  Your name will be at the door in lieu of a ticket.
Cancellations for reservations before November 29.”

with Kitka Women’s Vocal Ensemble

Sunday, December 2, 4:00PM
St. Bede's Church, 2650 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park

Friday, December 7, 8:00 PM
St. Paul's Church, 114 Montecito Avenue, Oakland

Saturday, December 8, 8:00 PM
Old First Church, 1751 Sacramento Street, San Francisco

“Few things evoke the magic of the winter holidays as the transcendent splendor of the human voice. Kitka has researched and discovered a treasure-trove of seasonal music from a wide variety of Eastern European ethnic and spiritual traditions. Wintersongs showcases material ranging from rousing Slavic folk carols to lush, meditative Eastern Orthodox sacred choral works... from pre-Christian incantations for the longest nights of the year to Medieval Sephardic Chanukah songs to original new pieces inspired by the beauty and mystery of wintertime.”

A Christmas Evening At The Patterson House
Friday, December 7, 5:00-8:45PM
Ardenwood Historic Farm, including the Patterson House, 34600 Ardenwood Boulevard, Fremont
Adults $6, Children $4

“Join us for a magical evening holiday open house. The Patterson House Museum will be elegantly lit in all of its Victorian splendor! Each room is a journey into Christmas past filled with holiday music and cheer.”

Dickens Family Victorian Holiday Party
Friday, December 7, 6:00-9:00PM
Falkirk Cultural Center, 1408 Mission Avenue, San Rafael, 415-485-3328
$10 Adults, $7 Children

“Partake in a holiday treat as you go back in time to Victorian England and meet Charles Dickens, listen to him read from his famous works, watch his characters come alive (look out for Scrooge), meet and greet the true Father Christmas, play Victorian parlor games, dance and sing with our Victorian family and make traditional holiday crafts. Light food and drink will be served. A true family event. ”

A Little House Christmas
adapted from the stories by Laura Ingalls Wilder
presented by Peninsula Youth Theatre
Friday and Saturday, December 7-8,
Friday 9:30AM and 11:00AM, Saturday 11:30AM and 1:30PM
SecondStage, Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro Street, Mountain View

“Two classic stories from the most beloved childhood on the prairie:Mr. Edwards meets Santa Claus and The Christmas Horses."

Christmas Revels - A Theatrical Celebration of the Winter Solstice
Friday-Sunday, December 7-9 and 14-16
Fridays at 8:00PM, Saturdays and Sundays at 1:00PM and 5:00PM
Scottish Rite Theater, 1547 Lakeside Drive, Oakland
See website for detailed ticket prices and parking information.

“This year we will be taking you to the shores of the Adriatic in 1520, where three members of the Guild of Fools have been commissioned to provide the Solstice festivities for the small town of Prosecco. To delight the villagers, they decide to present the story of the Wise Men from the East. The music, dances and customs they employ range from Italy through the Hapsburg Empire to the Balkans.

Much goes well, and much goes comically wrong as they wrest the light from the clutches of darkness and propel us all into a new year.”

My experience with The Christmas Revels is that it is both ridiculously fun and sublimely moving.

Alameda Holiday Home Tour
Saturday, December 8, 9:30AM-4:30PM
around the city of Alameda - locations will be provided with ticket purchase
$35 in advance, $40 on the day

“Guests follow their heart as the Alameda Family Services League presents its 42nd Annual ‘42 Years of Holiday Magic’ Alameda Holiday Home Tour. The tour, Alameda’s premier fundraising event, will be held Saturday, December 8, 2012 from 9:30AM to 4:30PM. Home is where the heart is as all proceeds go to the organization that has as its sole goal: Serving Families, Strengthening Our Communities - Alameda Family Services. The Holiday Home Tour features a variety of Alameda’s architectural style homes decorated for the holidays. Always in early December, the date is early enough for guests to include gift and holiday decor shopping at the Gift Boutique. Also on sale are holiday packaged baked goods, candies, and specialty food items at the Gourmet Shop. A Holiday Dessert Tea is served to cheer the heart and palate. See our Events page for more information. Booklets are presented to each guest providing a map of the tour and description of each home.”

Santa Claus is Coming!
Saturday, December 8, 10:00AM-1:00PM
McConaghy House, 18701 Hesperian Boulevard, Hayward
$2 program fee for children, $3 tour fee for adults

“Family program at the McConaghy House

Ho, Ho, Ho! Meet the jolly man himself! We will make snow globes and paper garlands, and listen to winter-time stories.
Enjoy cookies and cider, and visit with Santa from 10:00AM-1:00PM.”

Gamble Mansion Holiday Puppet Shows
Saturday, December 8, shows at 10:00AM, 11:30AM, 12:00PM
Gamble Mansion at Elizabeth Gamble Garden, 1431 Waverley Street, Palo Alto
reservations required

“Holiday Treats is an original thirty minute Christmas show from Nick Barone Puppets. Filled with lovable and friendly monsters and festive songs, this amusing story is designed to delight families and children of all ages.

Join us! Light refreshments will be served on the Patio.

The Puppet Show is in the Carriage House. Ages 3+ accompanied by an adult.
This is a perfect outing for Grandparents!”

Community Seed Yule Ball
Saturday, December 8, 5:00-11:00PM
Clubhouse, Harvey West Park, 326 Evergreen Street, Santa Cruz
$5-$10 donation appreciated; no one turned away for lack of funds
bring a potluck item (see details below) and a canned food donation

“Come one! Come all! Bring the kids! Pack up Gramma and Grandpa! Bring everyone to the gala Yule Celebration!

Dining, Dancing, Silliness, Solemnity, Merry Making!

Potluck Dinner. If you can make it, they will surely eat it.
Earth Signs: Main dishes / Air Signs: Salads / Water Signs: Side Dishes / Fire Signs: Desserts
Community Seed will provide Coffee, juices and sodas. (sorry, CS is strictly sober.)
Please label your dish will all of the ingredients, for those with allergies. There is a full kitchen on hand should items need to be heated up or cooled off.

Come dressed in your bestest Holiday outfit, if you like. Black tie with fairy wings is welcomed. (Your ‘sacred jeans’ will also do just fine.)

Dancing with DJ Yari, who will be spinning a wide variety of tunes from all eras to get us ALL moving and groovin.

The fabulous Photo Booth returns!

Rafflerafflereaffleraffle! This year we will again be having TWO raffles, one for the youngsters and one for the grownups. Fabulous prizes will be provided by our area Witchy stores, local artists and YOU (If you have anything that you’d like to donate as a raffle prize).
(Proceeds from the raffle will go to offset the cost of the event and any profit will be added to the CS general fund, helping to provide over 30 Pagan events for the Santa Cruz area, every year.)

How much fun is the Yule Celebration? THIS MUCH FUN: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150455964664222.382844.123128869221&type=1

You must come! Save the date, December 8th, research what delectable dish you will be bringing, and start planning that outfit now! We’ll see you – and the whole family – on December 8th!

Questions? More information? Donations? email us at info-at-communityseed.org or call 831-469-0336.”

Lighted Boat Parade
with the Petaluma Yacht Club
Saturday, December 8, 6:30PM
Turning Basin, 10 C Street, Petaluma

“In a dramatic evening spectacle, a flotilla of decorated, lighted vessels glide into historic downtown at the Turning Basin at about 6:30PM. The lighted boats remain docked in downtown throughout the night behind the Great Petaluma Mill.”

A Christmas Carol at McConaghy House
Saturdays, December 8, 15 and 22, 4:30PM and 7:30PM
McConaghy House, 18701 Hesperian Boulevard, Hayward
Tickets are $25. Seating is limited. Call 510-581-0223 for tickets.

“A Special Theatre Performance

Don’t miss this unique theatrical experience of Charles Dickens’ timeless tale A Christmas Carol inside the McConaghy House. The audience moves from room to room following actors and musicians as they bring the story to life. This one hour show will combine the telling of Dickens' ghost story with the home’s preserved Victorian-era beauty in a celebration of the Christmas spirit. Join the performers after the show for a merry cup of hot cider.”

Holiday Out with Thomas
Saturday, December 8 - Sunday, December 23
Roaring Camp Railroads, 5401 Graham Hill Road, Felton, 831-335-4484
see website for schedule admission details

“Join beloved storybook friend, Thomas the Tank Engine, for a holiday event in Santa Cruz. . Aspiring engineers and their families are invited to spend the day with their favorite No. 1 engine for a 25-minute round-trip Thomas train ride departing from the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.  Ticket price includes a ride on the Boardwalk’s historic Looff Carousel, a ‘make and take’ Thomas ornament, photo opportunities with Sir Topham Hatt and Thomas the Tank Engine, and other fun activities.”

Crucible Gifty Holiday Sale
Saturday-Sunday, December 8-9, Saturday 12:00-6:00PM, Sunday 12:00-4:00PM
1260 7th Street, Oakland
Free admission

"A fun day for the whole family! Our open houses are a wonderful way to experience the excitement of The Crucible's 56,000 sq. ft. studio, where furnaces roar and sparks fly. Check out exciting live demonstrations including welding, glass working, metal casting, blacksmithing and much much more. Catch amazing fiery performances and wander through a maze of vendors with handmade crafts, perfect for last minute gifts. You get to support local artists and community arts education for youth and adults while you get your last minute shopping done at the Bay Area's most unusual holiday celebration.”

Kitka's 2nd Annual Wintersongs Community Sing
Sunday, December 9, 5:00PM
Nile Hall in Historic Preservation Park, 668 13th Street, Oakland
Donations accepted

“Few things evoke the magic of the winter holidays as the transcendent splendor of the human voice. Kitka has researched and discovered a treasure-trove of seasonal music from a wide variety of Eastern European ethnic and spiritual traditions. Wintersongs showcases material ranging from rousing Slavic folk carols to lush, meditative Eastern Orthodox sacred choral works... from pre-Christian incantations for the longest nights of the year to Medieval Sephardic Chanukah songs to original new pieces inspired by the beauty and mystery of wintertime.”

Winter Solstice Drum Circle
Sunday, December 9, 6:00PM
Sacred Stream Center, 2149 Byron Street, Berkeley, 415-333-1434
For more information, e-mail info@sacredstream.org

“Equinox and Solstice Drumming Circles

We hold drumming circles four times a year to come together to honor the season and to focus on healing for the community and the earth. We invite you to join us.

You do not have to be experienced in drumming or shamanism to attend. It is recommended that you know how to journey, though not required.

If you have a drum or rattle, please bring it. Some drums and rattles will be available to borrow.”

A Christmas Carol
presented by Curtain Call Performing Arts
Friday-Sunday, December 14-16 and 21-23,
Friday-Saturday 8:00PM, Sunday 2:00PM
San Leandro Arts Center, 2200 Bancroft Avenue, San Leandro
see website for ticket details

“This musical extravaganza ran for ten years at Madison Square Garden. In 2004, this version became the basis of an NBC Hallmark Entertainment special (teleplay adaptation by Lynn Ahrens) featuring Kelsey Grammer as Scrooge, and an array of stars. But even without starry casts and spectacular trappings, our annual production of A Christmas Carol retains its emotional power and pure joy thanks to the marvelously told story and beautiful score.

Curtain Call Performing Arts was founded in June 2008 to bring the magic of Broadway style theatre to the greater San Francisco Bay Area.  Performing in the heart of the East Bay at the San Leandro Arts Education Center and Castro Valley Center for the Arts, the company has produced critically acclaimed musicals such as Aida (2009), Into the Woods (2010), Suessical (2011), and an annual production of A Christmas Carol.”   

20 Harps for the Holidays
Saturday, December 15, 4:00PM
Los Altos United Methodist Church, 655 Magdalena Avenue, Los Altos
$15 general, $12 children 4-12 and seniors 60+

"Annual 20 Harps for the Holidays Concert

We invite you to an afternoon of festive holiday harp music at our fourteenth annual concert! Held every year in December, the program includes a selection of traditional carols, classical music, and a variety of holiday music.

Each concert features harp solos and ensembles, including our studio ensemble, which has in recent years provided the sight and sound of more than twenty harps on a single stage.
We are delighted to welcome back Paul Hurst as guest artist this year. Paul is a superb harpist who wowed us all with his virtuoso musicianship and charming personality when he last played for us five years ago. His programs invariably have something for everyone, and always leave his audience marveling at his talent. If you have heard him perform before, you will want to hear him again. And if you have not, this is a great chance to acquaint yourself with this superlative performer.”

Gaskell Victorian Holiday Ball
Saturday, December 15, 7:30PM
Oakland Scottish Rite Center, 1547 Lakeside Drive, Oakland

"Ye Gaskell Occasional Dance Society has been sponsoring Victorian Ballroom dances for over 20 years. We currently sponsor 6 balls a year at the Scottish Rite Temple in Oakland.
We have live music played by the Brassworks of San Francisco, a group of 5 brass horns and a
drummer led by Frank Davis. The dances feature Victorian Waltzes, Polkas, Schottisches, Mazurkas, and set dances such as the Sir Roger de Coverley and the Congress of Vienna.

The general format of the dance is three 40 minute and one 30 minute sessions of live music, with three 20 minute breaks. We also occasionally have other entertainment during the breaks such as Morris dancing. The first set starts at 8:30 PM, with the last set ending at Midnight. Starting at 7:45 PM is a dance workshop where members of the Society quickly cover the basics of waltzing, polkas and the schottische.

Dress is 19th, 20th, or 21st Century Formalwear - Admission may be refused for those inappropriately dressed.

Refreshments are potluck finger food with the Society providing both fruit punch and ice water."

Twisted Christmas
Saturday, December 15, 7:30PM
The Glaser Center, 547 Mendocino Avenue, Santa Rosa
$20 in advance, $20at the door, ages 11 and up

"For the tenth time,  journalist David Templeton assembles a line-up of hilarious actors, comedians, musicians and surprise guests for an evening of outrageously inappropriate holiday-themed short stories. Join us for stories of survivalist gingerbread men, ghostly Christmas Eve intruders, a Santastic Voyage inside the body of Santa Claus, and much much more.”

Holiday Classic Weekend  
at Playland-Not-At-The-Beach
Saturday-Sunday, December 15-16, 10:00AM-5:00PM
Playland-Not-At-The-Beach, 10979 San Pablo Avenue, El Cerrito
see website for admission details

“Come help us celebrate every holiday of this special season with Rudolf, Frosty, Hanukkah Charlie and all the classic characters. Kids will have their choice of holiday craft activities so they can take a little piece of Playland's magic home with them.”

Magic Toy Box Tea
Saturday and Sunday, December 15-16, 12:00PM and 3:00PM seatings available
Falkirk Cultural Center, 1408 Mission Avenue, San Rafael, 415-485-3328
$25 Adults, $22 Children, $45 for one Adult and one Child together

“The second weekend in December is a magical holiday tour de force at our elegant Queen Anne Victorian. Music, magical toys which come to life and high tea- Victorian style. Homemade tea sandwiches, sweets, hot chocolate, tea and so much more. Bring your favorite bear or special toy and join the fun.

This event is hosted by the Cultural Affairs Service League and takes place inside the house with antique tea settings, live music and fun activities. Bring your camera and dress up for fun for an elegant child-friendly afternoon. Activities often include life-sized Toys, a fun raffle and opportunities for photos with your bears and friends (bring your camera!). Get your reservations early as space is limited. Two seatings on Saturday and two seatings on Sunday - 12 and 3 each day.”

The MeshugaNutcracker!  
A New Chanukah Musical
Saturday-Sunday December 15-16, 7:00PM
The Retro Dome, 1694 Saratoga Avenue, San Jose, 408-404-7711
$36 through November 22, $44 after November 22, $100 preferred seating package

“In December 2003, the World Premiere of The MeshugaNutcracker! played to packed houses, delighting Jew and Gentile alike. Since then the show has given audiences throughout the country a fun-filled musical theatre experience that celebrates the miracle of the oil and the heroes that made it happen.

This year, Bay Area audiences can enjoy the songs and stories at the heart of the production in a two-night-only concert run, featuring eight award-winning and masterful singers who will breathe new life into the enchanting score by Tchaikovsky with original lyrics by Shannon Guggenheim and rousing new arrangements of Chanukah standards by Stephen Guggenheim and Tom Tomasello.

Tickets are on sale now with a $100 preferred seating package that includes a post show reception and the live recording, or the concert only ticket at $36 ($44 after November 22nd).”

Honor the Darkness
An Afternoon Of Participatory Singing
Sunday, December 16, 1:30-4:30PM
Scared Stream Center, 2149 Byron Street, Berkeley
suggested donation $15-$25, no one turned away for lack of funds

“Honor the Darkness: An Afternoon Of Participatory Singing
with Kate Munger, Betsy Rose and Terry Garthwaite

In celebration of the depth of the darkness and the promised returning of the light, we will call on many traditions and cultures who sing about this juicy and important time in our year’s unfolding.  Please bring your singing friends of any gender and join us.

Betsy Rose is a singer, songwriter and community activist whose insight, warmth, humor, wit and wisdom have added a wealth of songs to the world of folk and progressive music for over thirty years.”

A Winter Wonderland
with The Academy of Classical Ballet
Sunday, December 16, 1:30PM and 5:00PM
Campbell Heritage Theatre, 1 W Campbell Avenue, Campbell
$15 show only, $20 show and Snowman Soiree

“A Winter Wonderland takes place deep in woods, on the cusp of Fall turning into a glorious Winter.  Watch as the Winter Fairy, along with the help of her Ice Sprites, turn the land into ice and snow, while bringing to life many of the characters that make every holiday story so great.  We don’t want to give too much away, but some of those characters include: Penguins, Wolves, Elves, Candy-Canes, (a few surprises!) and much, much more.  Be amazed as the season unfolds before your eyes and brings all of the smiles and fun that comes with it.  You’ve never seen a Winter quite like this!

Meet the cast in costume at our Snowman Soiree following the show.”

Holiday Open House at the Ainsley House
Saturday, December 16, 5:30-8:00PM
and Thursday, December 20, 5:30-8:00PM
Ainsley House, 51 N Central Avenue, Campbell

“This December, the historic Ainsley House in Downtown Campbell will be transformed into a magical holiday wonderland! Please join us for one of two special nighttime open houses (December 16 and December 20), where the lights and the decorations can be fully enjoyed in all their splendor. Visitors will take a self-guided tour through the decorated Ainsley House and be treated to refreshments in the Carriage House.

In the beautiful, historic Ainsley House in Downtown Campbell, all of its 15 rooms will be transformed into a warm, enchanting celebration of Christmas.  The house will be decorated by local interior designers, house decorators, florists, and volunteers and feature a special holiday boutique, full of unique delights for holiday shoppers.”

David Sedaris’ Santaland Diaries
Wednesday, December 19 - Saturday, December 29
see website for schedule details
Eureka Theater, 215 Jackson Street, San Francisco

“Santaland Diaries - 11th Smash Year!!!

Combined Artform is celebrating eleven years of the San Francisco tradition, Santaland Diaries by David Sedaris and adapted to the stage by Joe Mantello.  David Sinaiko puts on his elf hat and boots to return to the Eureka Theatre as everyone's favorite elf, Crumpet. No one captures the craziness of the holidays like David Sedaris. Come see the show that critics and audiences love and keep coming back for more and spend the holidays with Combined Artform at the Eureka Theatre.

Nominated for a SF/Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award for Best Solo Performance.

Called by some America's premiere humorist, Sedaris creates a brilliant evocation of Christmas as seen from the other side through the eyes of a Macy's elf.  Our hero confronts the screaming children, bossy parents, flaky elves, and apathetic Santas with hilarious results!”

Sherehe Ya Mwedzi: A Ceremony for the Solstice Moon
Thursday, December 20, 7:30PM
The Sacred Forest, Oakland, RSVP for exact location
for more information, call 510-827-3997 or e-mail iyamahea@thesacredforest.org

“Inspired by African spirituality, our Full Moon Ceremonies honor the Moon and the Water Spirits. The ritual commemorates hope and renewal through song, healing movement and mbira meditation. Participants are encouraged to bring their own symbol of renewal to place on the altar upon arrival. No fee for admission, and all are welcome. Directions forwarded upon our receiving your RSVP.”

A Christmas Carol staged reading
by Charles Dickens, adapted for B8 by Maureen-Theresa Williams
Thursday, December 20, 8:00PM
Cue Productions Live, 1835 Colfax Street, Concord
$20, $15 Students and Seniors

“Butterfield 8 presents a world-premiere adaptation of A Christmas Carol, created for the company by Co-Artistic Director Maureen-Theresa Williams. This staged reading uses only the original text to paint a verbal picture of Charles Dickens' London, in the style used to create B8's popular Pride and Prejudice.

Join us for an evening of Victorian holiday cheer, and a new telling of the story you only think you know!”

Winter Solstice Celebration
Friday, December 21, 3:00PM
Three Trees Retreat, 809 F Lewis Road, Watsonville
All are welcome. Donations accepted if you choose
for more information and to RSVP, please contact Jack and Sequoia Cheney at 510-557-4981

“You are invited to a very special Winter Solstice Celebration honoring this time of less daylight, personal re- evaluation and internal growth.  Join us for a day of creation featuring sacred artwork, a traditional sweat lodge purifying body and spirit and inviting new pathways and perspectives.

Come join the community.  Bring your hearts, your minds, your hopes and dreams to honor the winter season.

What to bring:  Family including children (they will love the art work) layered clothing.  Food, water, instruments, and your sense of humor.

For the sweat Lodge:  
Men: Shorts and a towel.
Women: Loose dress or shorts and shirt that cover Knees and elbows and a towel.
For all: Bring tobacco wrapped in red cloth as an offering to the Lodge leaders and Fire keepers. Honoring all our relations.

Cost: All are welcome. Donations accepted if you choose

When: Friday, December 21 This will be a two part ceremony.
3:00PM:  Sacred Art work
6:00PM: Sweat Lodge - fire starts at 5:00PM

3:00PM  We will have a brief ceremony around the fire welcoming winter and inviting the blessing of the 7 directions, followed by sacred art work. We will be making Death and Life Arrows from colored string, shells, feathers and natural items found at the ceremony site. This ceremony is based in prayer and intention. We thoughtfully create art objects that represent what we want in our lives.

Death arrows embody the those things we wish to release or leave behind in the upcoming season.  As the end of the Mayan Calendar is here... what are you releasing as we move into a new vibration?

Life arrows embody those things we wish to invite and set intention for in the coming season and year.

6:00PM Traditional Sweat Lodge - fire starts at 5:00PM

8:30-9:00PM:  Community potluck meal

Call in the Magic...
Join us as we are reminded of our connection to all of Mother Earth's sacred elements and the privilege of our existence as spiritual creators.”

Winter Solstice in Muir Woods
Friday, December 21, 3:00-8:00PM
Muir Woods, 1 Muir woods Trail, Mill Valley

“Solstice is at 11:12AM UTC, 3:12AM PST, but our celebration will be later that day in the afternoon. It will feature skits and songs followed by the Abbot's Bromley antler dance through Muir Woods.”

Sonoma County Pagan Network Yule Celebration
Friday, December 21, 7:00PM
Luther Burbank Art and Garden Center, 2050 Yulupa Avenue, Santa Rosa
$3-$5 donation requested, no one turned away for lack of funds

“Special Winter Solstice Event with Oberon Zell Ravenheart and Morning Glory Zell. More details to come soon.”

Diana’s Grove Winter Solstice Ritual for Women
Saturday, December 22
dhyana Center Lofts, 186 N. Main Street, Sebastopol
$10-$25 suggested donation.  No one turned away for lack of funds.

“Diana's Grove presents our annual Winter Solstice ritual on December 22nd at The dhyana Center Lofts, 186 N. Main Street, Sebastopol; please save the date! More details to follow...”

‘Twas the Night Before Sketchfest
An SF Sketchfest Christmas
Saturday, December 22,
Elf at 12:30PM, Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas at 3:00PM,
Scrooged at 5:30PM, Bad Santa at 8:30PM
Castro Theatre, 429 Castro Street, San Francisco

“SF Sketchfest, the people who bring you the San Francisco Comedy Festival, present The Good (Emmet Otter; Elf), The Bad (Bad Santa) and The Humbug (Scrooged) of classic holiday entertainment in a full day of programming at the Castro Theatre featuring special guests,
costume contests and more! A little something for everyone! Events are individually priced or buy the all-day pass for $40!

10th Anniversary Screening
All Ages! Bring the Kids!
12:30PM, $10
Will Ferrell stars as the lovable and naïve Buddy, raised by an elf at the North Pole, who journeys to New York to meet his estranged human family. He gets a tough and funny lesson about the real world, all the while maintaining his infectious enthusiasm and changing those around him for the better. After all, ‘Smiling is his favorite!’ Rated PG.

SF Sketchfest and The Jim Henson Company Present
Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas
35th Anniversary!
and The Bells of Fraggle Rock
with special guest Dave Goelz
All Ages! Bring the Kids!
3:00PM, $15 Adults, $10 Kids 12 and under
Celebrate Christmas with the whole family at this special screening of Jim Henson’s classic tale about Emmet and Ma, who are poor but loving musical folk in Frogtown Hollow. Emmet Otter will be preceded by a rare chance to enjoy the classic holiday episode of Henson’s beloved Fraggle Rockseries, The Bells of Fraggle Rock. On hand to kick off the afternoon with an introduction will be famed puppeteer Dave Goelz (Boober from Fraggle Rock, Will Possum from Emmet Otter). Rated G.

25th Anniversary Screening
with special guest Bobcat Goldthwait
5:30PM, $15
Bah-Humbug, the Bill Murray way! Scrooged, the dark comic update of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, stars Murray as Frank Cross, a cynical television programming executive visited by three eccentric ghosts on Christmas Eve, who force him to look back on his life, and the one-that-got-away (Karen Allen). Before the screening, special guest Bobcat Goldthwait will be on hand for a discussion and audience Q&A. Rated PG-13.

Bad Santa (Director’s Cut)
with special guests Terry Zwigoff, Tony Cox and Lauren Tom
Featuring Bad Holiday Storytelling presented by Porchlight and Peaches Christ Productions
Recommended for mature audiences
8:30PM,  $20
Oscar-nominated filmmaker Terry Zwigoff (Crumb; Ghost World) presents his director’s cut of the darkly comic Bad Santa, the story of conmen (Billy Bob Thornton and Tony Cox) who dress as Santa and his little helper to rob department stores. Pre-show will feature rare clips and photos along with “true bad holiday” stories. Afterward, Zwigoff, Tony Cox (Thornton’s partner-in-crime Marcus) and Lauren Tom (Marcus’s materialistic wife, Lois) will discuss the film. Come dressed in your baddest Santa gear. Rated R.”

Winter Solstice Concert
with Solstice Women’s Vocal Ensemble
Saturday, December 22, 7:00PM
The Finnish Hall, 1970 Chestnut Street, Berkeley
$15 Adults, $10 Children/Seniors

“Let Solstice's holiday repertoire ease you into the peace and warmth of the season with our first Winter Solstice concert of the year, and consider picking up our brand new holiday recording Winter Solstice (released later this fall) to stuff your stockings with!”

Women of Windham Hill Winter Solstice Concert
sponsored by The Sacred Stream Foundation
Saturday, December 22, 7:30-10:00PM
San Francisco, exact location given with RSVP
$40 before November 20, $45 at the door
for more information or reservations, call 415-333-1434 or e-mail info@sacredstream.org

“The Women of Windham Hill gather once again for a Winter Solstice concert at the Sacred Stream. This time it is on the actual solstice! Last year, Barbara Higbie, Lisa Lynne and Liz Story, three of the most popular artists of the Windham Hill music label reunited for this special concert joined by renowned musicians in their own right, George Torterelli and Aryeh Frankfurter. Blending genres, instruments (including Celtic Harp, bamboo flute, piano, violin, acoustic bass and a nyckelharpa) and fine storytelling, this ensemble mesmerizes audiences with their first notes. Join us for this special event and you'll know why the Windham Hill Winter Solstice albums sold millions!

Please note that this concert is in a private home. A reception with the artists follows the concert.”

Wacky Winter Wonderland  
at Playland-Not-At-The-Beach
Saturday, December 22 - Tuesday, January 1, 10:00AM-5:00PM
(Closed December 25)
Playland-Not-At-The-Beach, 10979 San Pablo Avenue, El Cerrito
see website for admission details

“Playland-Not-at-the-Beach is open every weekend and most holidays, but for this last week of the year, we're going to let visitors in Monday through Friday. Join us for special activities and family fun for an entire week, so come see us more than once if you can. A great way to pack a bit more fun into the year before it is over. Whether you are 5 or 105, you deserve to have a bit more fun!”

Boar's Head Festival and Mid-Winter Gala

Saturday, January 5, 6:30PM
Seventh Avenue Performances, 1329 Seventh Avenue, San Francisco

Sunday, January 6, 3:00PM
First Lutheran Church of Palo Alto, 600 Homer Avenue, Palo Alto

“We combine our two most popular events this year for a grand celebration of Twelfth Night and Mid-Winter presided over by her Royal Majesty, Queen Elizabeth I!  

The evening begins with a silent auction accompanied by the most delicious appetizers
in the realm washed down with mead and wine; her Majesty then invites you and a magical, mysterious guest or two, to a concert at her court to end the Yuletide season with a celebration of The Boar’s Head - the world’s oldest continuously celebrated Yuletide feast for over 650
years, with the music of Medieval through Contemporary England and lots of chances for you to sing along.  Legend has it that a scholar was studying a book of Aristotle while walking through the forest on his way to Midnight Mass.  Suddenly, he was confronted by an angry wild boar.  Having no other weapon, the resourceful Oxonian rammed his metal-bound philosophy book down the throat of the charging animal, whereupon the brute choked to death.  That night the boar's head, finely dressed and garnished, was borne in procession to the dining room, accompanied by carolers singing ‘in honor of the King of bliss.’  After the concert you’ll enjoy a feast featuring wassail, king’s cake and traditional meat and vegetable pies.”

Victorian Tweflth Night Ball
presented by PEERS
Saturday, January 5, Doors Open 6:45PM, Dance Lesson: 7:00PM, Dancing
Begins: 8:00PM
Masonic Lodge of San Mateo, 100 N Ellsworth Avenue, San Mateo

“Dance, sing, feast and game at the season’s loveliest old-fashioned holiday party - a 12th Night Ball hosted by Mr. and Mrs. Fezziwig from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Bangers and Mash, the Bay Area’s most irresistible country dance band, will play a variety of Viennese and rotary waltzes, polkas, mazurka waltzes, schottisches, the Lancers, reels, and other set dances popular in the early and mid-19th century (As usual, all set dances will be taught or called and partners are not required. Indeed, introductions to partners will be cheerfully provided!).Suggested costume is evening or day dress from 1837 through 1870 (the heyday of Dickens’ literary career), any class. Modern evening dress is, as always, a completely acceptable substitute for period costume, and there is no dress code for the evening. Ladies, if you’re wearing a ball gown or evening gown, please be sure to bring a wrap since the ballroom will be cold before the dancing starts.  Once we start dancing, the ballroom warms up beautifully!

Intermission entertainment includes an interactive performance by the Peerless Music Hall and a special performance by our guest of honour, Mr. Charles Dickens. Gamers may enjoy either an intellectual game of whist or a rollicking game of Wink, and the evening will conclude with a glorious Hallelujah Chorus sing-a-long.

To sustain us through this vigorous evening of  dancing, punch and a light Old English snack buffet will be served (As usual, your potluck contributions to Mrs. Fezziwig’s kitchen are very welcome).”

Section Two - Places Decorated for the Holidays

Glittering and Gold Christmas at the Ainsley House
Thursdays-Sundays, November 15 - December 20, 12:00-4:00PM
Ainsley House, 51 N Central Avenue, Campbell
$8 Adults, $6 Seniors, $4.50 Youth 7-17,  Children under 7 Free

“In the beautiful, historical Ainsley House in Downtown Campbell, all of its 15 rooms will be transformed into a warm, inviting home for the holidays with the theme of A Gold and Glittering Holiday.  The entire house will be decorated by local interior designers, house decorators, florists, and volunteers and will feature a special holiday boutique, full of unique delights for holiday shoppers.”

Holiday Traditions at Filoli
Let There Be Magic!
Friday, November 23 - Saturday, December 1
See website for schedule and admission details
Filoli Center, 86 Canada Road, Woodside

“Each year the historic House and Visitor and Education Center are transformed into a magical showcase of holiday decorations, holiday merchandise, gifts and exceptional personal and household items. Come to enjoy a delicious meal and then be delighted by the sights and sounds of the themed decorations and musical groups while you shop. Guests leave this festive event feeling the spirit and joy of the holiday season.

The Filoli mansion architect, Willis Polk was known for combining classical styles with rustic elements. So lives Mr. Polk’s vision for the theme of this year’s event, Discover the Magic. Included are new and old fantasy elements which will surprise and delight all ages. New fowl feathered friends have been located. Butterflies, nature and garden accents will be included in the merchandise and decorations. A modern–day wizard will charm the foyer Christmas trees,
while old–fashioned garden gnomes will take their place as they would in a whimsical garden space.”

Holiday Train of Lights
Friday, November 23 - Sunday, December 30
see website for detailed schedule
boarding at Niles Station, 37001 Mission Boulevard, Fremont
or at Sunol Depot, 6 Kilkare Road, Sunol
$25 (see website for discount offers)

“The Pacific Locomotive Association, Inc., operators of the Niles Canyon Railway, present the 2012 Niles Canyon Railway Train of Lights.

The Niles trains will depart at 4:30PM, you can see the canyon and sunset.
The Sunol trains will depart at 7:30PM, and this ride is all about the lights.

Experience the magic of our brightly decorated holiday train, covered with thousands of lights, as it winds through Niles Canyon on a round-trip ride of approximately one hour from Sunol to the Niles district of Fremont.

Trains also leave Niles at 4:30PM. See our website for details.

This annual fundraising event is presented to benefit the non-profit Niles Canyon Railway. We are sincerely grateful for all of our supporters who help our living history museum continue to operate and grow.”

Shadelands Holiday Faire and Victorian Tea
Saturdays and Sundays, November 24 - December 9, 10:00AM-4:00PM
Shadelands Ranch Historical Museum, 2660 Ygnacio Valley Road, Walnut Creek

"Since 1983, the Holiday Faire has been a seasonal tradition at Shadelands. During this two-week event, over 35 vendors will offer a wide variety of hand-crafted items and gifts for sale inside the Museum. Open every day from 10:00AM-4:00PM. Admission and parking are free.

Coinciding with the Holiday Faire, Shadelands also hosts three-course tea luncheons with seatings at 11:30AM and 1:30PM. Tickets are $28.50 per person. Groups are welcome. Many families and friends maintain an annual tradition of attending the teas. Call the Shadelands office for reservations from October 1.”

Santa Cruz Holiday Lights Train
Saturday, November 24 and December 1,2,8,9,15,16,21,22,23
Roaring Camp Railroads, 5401 Graham Hill Road, Felton, 831-335-4484
see website for schedule admission details

“Vintage excursion cars, adorned with thousands of colorful lights, roll through the streets of Santa Cruz as passengers lend their voices to holiday carols, sip hot spiced cider. and listen to musical entertainment. Continue the merriment with inclusive activity at Santa's Kingdom at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Departs from the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.”

Stories of the Season
Saturdays-Sundays, November 24-December 23
Saturdays 10:00AM-4:00PM, Sundays 1:00-4:00PM
McConaghy House, 18701 Hesperian Boulevard, Hayward
Adults $5, Students and Seniors $3, Children under 10 Free

“Explore the Victorian-era home this season where each room's decorations are inspired by a different and much-loved Christmas story.”

Casa del Pomba
352 Hillcrest Avenue, Livermore
Friday, November 30 - Tuesday, January 1,
see website for detailed schedule

The most amazingly decorated private home in the Bay Area, possibly the world!
If you've never explored Livermore, now you have a reason to mount an expedition to this fascinatingly remote land!

Also, you might want to try the Snow Miracle http://www.facebook.com/pages/Snow-Miracle-at-the-Donut-Wheel/150035955809
at The Donut Wheel, 2017 1st Street, Livermore, 925-447-8190.

Livermore is a festive place!

Holiday activities at Ardenwood Historic Farm
Saturday-Sunday, December 1-2, 10:00AM-4:00PM
Ardenwood Historic Farm, including the Patterson House, 34600 Ardenwood Boulevard, Fremont
$8.00 adults, $6.00 seniors (62+ yrs.), $5.00 children (4-17 yrs.),free for ages 3 and under

“Celebrate the holiday season in Victorian style! Visit the beautifully decorated Patterson House, sing Christmas carols, search for the Yule log, and visit Father Christmas. Listen to live musical performances, puppet shows and enter our home-made Christmas Cookie baking contest (bring your cookies and recipe with you). The day also includes an abundance of Christmas crafts, music, and Country Kitchen treats.”

Holidays at Dunsmuir
Saturdays and Sundays, December 1 - December 16, 11:00AM - 4:30PM
Dunsmuir-Hellman Historic Estate, 2960 Peralta Oaks Court, Oakland
see website for detailed schedule of events

"A Holiday Tradition is one of Dunsmuir Hellman Historic Estate’s premier events.  For three consecutive weekends, visitors tour the magnificent 37-room mansion, which features turn-of-the-century holiday decorations. Guests enjoy strolling the lovely 50-acre estate. Visitors can indulge in the Adult or Children’s Holiday Teas, ride the romantic horse-drawn carriage, and sip something warm while being entertained by holiday performers. They also can enjoy a light lunch or snack located in the Carriage House Café, while filling their holiday shopping list by purchasing from the mansion gift shop or the Carriage House crafters. The kids enjoy the Kid’s Zone with pony-rides, holiday face-painting, crafts and the Breakfast with Santa. "It is a wonderful way for families and friends to celebrate the Holiday. This year, the Oakland Ballet will be our main attraction performing an excerpt of The Nutcracker."

I loved visiting Dunsmuir House at Christmas when I was a child!  It is a beautiful, magical place, at its best when full of festive holiday cheer.

Holiday Open House at Rengstorff House
Thursday, December 6, 7;00-9:00PM
Rengstorff House, 3070 North Shoreline Boulevard, Mountain View

“Enjoy the Rengstorff House dressed in holiday finery, Join in singing of Christmas carols while nibbling on a festive array of goodies.

The Rengstorff House, Mountain View's oldest house, is one of the finest examples of Victorian Italianate architecture on the West Coast.”

Christmas Tours of the Patterson House
Thursday-Sunday, December 6-9 and December 13-16,
Thursdays and Fridays 1:00PM, 2:00PM and 3:00PM
Saturdays and Sundays 11:00AM, 12:00PM, 1:00PM, 2:00PM and 3:00PM
Ardenwood Historic Farm, including the Patterson House, 34600 Ardenwood Boulevard, Fremont
Adults $4, Children $3 (in addition to Farm admission)

“The Patterson House Museum has been transformed into a Victorian Christmas fantasy.  Celebrate the holiday season 1900s style. Enjoy a docent-led tour of the farm’s elegantly decorated centerpiece.”

Fairy Winterland
Fridays - Sundays, December 14-23, 12:00PM-7:00PM
Children's Fairyland, 699 Bellevue Ave, Oakland
$8 per adult + one child

“In December, Fairy Winterland celebrates the winter holidays of many cultures: Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, Las Posadas, Diwali, and Chinese New Year. Join us for stories, crafts, a festival of lights, and a visit from Santa.

For one modest admission fee - $8 for each adult and child over the age of 1 - you’ll enjoy:
Performances by our renowned Storybook Puppet Theater
A Festival of Lights Parade each day at 6:30PM
Special holiday storytelling, magic, and entertainment
A daily visit from Santa Claus
Holiday-themed arts and crafts
Unlimited rides
And many more special surprises!

The park is open from noon to 7:00PM during Fairy Winterland (weather permitting).”

Have a ridiculously fun and sublimely moving December!

As they say at The Revels, Welcome Yule!

Molly Blue Dawn, White Christmas, with Evergreen Leaves and a Holly Berry as Red as any Blood...

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