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, December 9, 2014

Molly Blue Dawn's List of Events for the Week starting Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Events are now being posted on the Pantheon Foundation website’s calendar: http://pantheonfoundation.org/events

A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote, Network For A New Culture North Bay Monthly Meeting, Found Footage Festival, Holiday Tea and Tours at the Ainsley House, Holiday Luncheon at Gamble Garden, Belrose Holiday Tea Party, Martinez Arts Holiday Boutique, The Totalitarians, Craft Mixer with Hayward Area Historical Society, Mock Vintage Metallic Bulb Reflectors, The Wiz, Holiday Open House at Rengstorff House, Numeric Forecast for 2015, Motown Bingo, Huicholes: The Last Peyote Guardians, Pairings: Grasses, Acoustic Soul Stories: A Series Of African Portraits, Beloved Strangers, Crumbs: a Cinderella Story, The Velveteen Rabbit, It's A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play, The MeshugaNutcracker, Jolly Juliana - An Original Melodrama and Holiday Vaudeville, It's A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play, The Dragon Play, The Golden Girls: The Christmas Episodes, Branches and Berries, Sharon and Winter Knight - Rabbit Warren House Concert, History Mystery Tour, 11th Annual Slavic Choral Christmas Concert, Access Consciousness for Holiday Stress, Secrets of the Sleeping Brain, Mystery Mystery Science Theater 3000, Eighth Annual Project For Awesome, The Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming, KMLZ: Holidaze, Swearing In English, Now And At The Hour, Madame Gufay's Lovelutionaries, Christmas Revels - A Theatrical Celebration of the Winter Solstice, Cinderella, North Oakland Holiday Craft Fair n' Market, Alameda Holiday Home Tour, Tour of the Bay Model Center Recycle and Transfer Station, Handmade for the Holidays, Holiday Crafts Day, Holiday on the Farm, Berkeley Farmers' Market Holiday Craft Fair, Christmas Parade and Holiday Market, Day in the Life 1901, Monthly Open Village Celebration, Pain to Progress, Weihnachtsmarkt: German Holiday Market, Wreath Crafting, Bird Natural History and Identification at Lake Merritt, Holiday Fixit Clinic at Albany Community Center, Children's Holiday Festival at History San Jose, The Sacred Well Annual Magical Holiday Market, Wild Edible Plants Foray, Build a Rocket!, Ancestral Apothecary Open House and Herbal Soiree, Santa Beer Crawl in Downtown Martinez, Community Seed Yule Social, Lighted Boat Parade, Old Time Maritime Christmas, South Bay Yule, Bay Area Heathen Yule Dinner, Gaskell Ball, Broceliande CD Release Concert: Wassail!, Accordion Babes Revue, Holiday Open Studio at Slow Burn Glass, Holiday Classics Weekend, Occidental Holiday Crafts Faire, Holiday Brick Show, Guglielmo Winery's 26th Annual Holiday Faire, The Great Dickens Christmas Fair!, Bazaar Bizarre Holiday Show, A Holiday Tradition at Dunsmuir House, Telegraph Avenue Holiday Street Fair, Goddess Crafts Faire, Crucible Gifty Holiday Sale, Holiday Tree Walk, Santa Cruz Holiday Lights Train, The Emerald Cup, Winter Open House Social and Sale, Magic Toy Box Tea, Handcraft Holiday Market, Wintersongs with Kitka Women’s Vocal Ensemble, The Amazing Bubble Show Returns, Winter Wonderland Snow Globes, Holiday Puppet Show - The Nutcracker, A Winter Wonderland, A Scottish Christmas with Stewart Tartan Pipes and Drums, I Dreamed of Rain: Occidental Community Choir’s Winter Concert, Holiday Concert with Island City Opera, Foundation of the Sacred Stream Holiday Party, The Second Annual Tannenbaum Toast, Holiday Open House at the Ainsley House, Altarena Playhouse Holiday Sing-Along!, Fifth Annual One-Minute Play Festival, Harry Shearer and Judith Owen present: Christmas Without Tears, Wooden Spoon Carving

A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote
a reading by Livermore Shakes
Wednesday, December 10, 5:30PM and 7:30PM,
and December 17
Swirl on the Square, 21 S. Livermore Avenue, Livermore, 925-447-1400
$35 per person includes performance, tapas sampler and one glass of wine

“Celebrate the season with friends, family, or co-workers and Shakespeare’s Associates artists as they present a staged reading of Truman Capote’s holiday classic, A Christmas Memory. Guests will enjoy delicious wine and tapas from Swirl on the Square as the artists perform. The venue only seats 40 people so it will be an intimate holiday celebration!”

Network For A New Culture North Bay Monthly Meeting
Wednesday, December 10, 6:00-10:00PM
LoveJourney Temple, Sebastopol, exact address given upon RSVP
$10-$20 suggested donation

“Our community is deeply enjoying hosting the Network for a New Culture evenings for the North Bay at the beautiful retreat center, LoveJourney.
Network for a New Culture (NFNC) is part of a larger global movement to create local communities where transparency, self-awareness, love, trust, and compassionate honesty are the new cultural norms.  We believe that it takes a village to raise consciousness.  We, of course, intend that our work and play together will be transforming not only for our small communities, but for the community of the world as well.
We will start our evening at 6:00PM with a delicious potluck dinner. Please bring something fun and nutritious to share.

At 7:00PM, we then gather for dancing and community building exercises. Following this, we will move into the ZEGG Forum.  One of the main elements of our time together will be a ZEGG Forum.  If you have not yet participated in a Forum we request that you arrive at 6:30PM for an important orientation meeting.
Feel free to stay after the event to dance, hot tub, schmooze, and snuggle.

Please RSVP by phone at 707-824-1117, or by email to jackie@lovejourneytantra.com. This helps us know how many to plan for.

We request a $10-$20 voluntary donation at the event to cover costs of the space and travel expenses of forum facilitators, as needed.

We can always use extra help with parking, set up, potluck clean-up, and take down. If you can help please contact Rachel Dawson at 805-421-8869, or radiantearth@gmail.com.

ZEGG Forum is a facilitated awareness and communication process for groups of 12 to 50. It was designed in the Zegg community in Germany as a way for the community to be able to communicate with itself. It provides an artistic way of personal sharing where an individual moves in the center of the circle and shares whatever is alive in them. Our true motivations, our deep feelings, longings, ideas, and emotions become revealed.
This focus on transparency, sharing, and clarifying unsolved situations makes it an invaluable catalyst for growth. Forum is a personal process in a social context.  We discover how our personal issues resonate with everyone, and learn how each theme is part of a common human experience.  Many people have had life changing experiences from what they are able to see about themselves in their expressions and from the mirroring of a loving community.
We also have an opportunity to experience how we can feel more connected to ourselves and the group when we speak directly about our own present time experience, rather than telling a story about something which is not fully alive for us in the moment.”

Found Footage Festival
Wednesday, December 10, 9:15PM
The New Parkway Theater, 474 24th Street, Oakland, 510-658-7900

“The Found Footage Festival is a one-of-a-kind event showcasing videos found at garage sales and thrift stores and in warehouses and dumpsters throughout North America. Curators Joe Pickett (The Onion) and Nick Prueher (Letterman, Colbert) take audiences on a guided tour of their latest and greatest VHS finds, providing live commentary and where-are-they-now updates on the people in these videotaped obscurities. From the curiously-produced industrial training video to the forsaken home movie donated to Goodwill, the Found Footage Festival resurrects these forgotten treasures and serves them up in a lively celebration of all things found.

Among the new clips featured in the 2014 program:
A new exercise video montage featuring a Christmas-themed workout, a martial arts fitness regimen called Tiger Moves, and a tape called Butt Camp

Newly unearthed footage of the world's most obnoxious home shopping hosts, John and Johnny (c. 1987), and the long-awaited reunion orchestrated by the FFF curators

Exclusive footage of the Chef Keith news prank the curators pulled on news stations in the Midwest over the holidays.

A bizarre instructional video from 1997 with the redundant title, How to Have Cybersex on the Internet

The New Parkway Theater is a community-centered cinema and pub located in Oakland's Uptown district. Sit back and relax in our cozy couches while watching our new releases, cult classics, and fabulous special programming. Plus, enjoy yummy food and local beer and wine in our café or even delivered right to your theater seat all at affordable prices!

Every week we have something for everyone... from Doc Night to Baby Brigade and Nerd Nite to Party at the Parkway, and everything in between. Also, join us on the mezzanine for free, non-film events like Open Mic Mondays, Tasty Tuesdays, Pop-Up Art Wednesdays, Trivia Thursdays, and First Fridays.

The New Parkway = Film. Friends. Food. Fun on Tap.”

Holiday Tea and Tours at the Ainsley House
Wednesday-Saturday, December 10-13, see website for detailed schedule
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 traditional English-style Holiday Teas in the Carriage House 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, all of its 15 rooms will be transformed into an enchanting celebration of Christmas decorated by local interior designers, house decorators, florists, and volunteers.  The Ainsley House's Holiday Boutique, full of unique delights for holiday shoppers, will feature seasonal gifts, ornaments, tea accessories, and more.

Teas will be held at 1:00PM and 1:30PM on December 3-7 and December 10-13.  Admission is $40 per person. This is a wildly popular program and seating is limited - act now before tickets sell out!  For more information and to purchase tickets, please phone 408-866-2757.

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.”

Holiday Luncheon at Gamble Garden
Wednesday-Saturday, December 10-13, 12:00-1:30PM
Elizabeth F. Gamble Garden, 1431 Waverley Street, Palo Alto
$25, Please call 650-329-1356 for reservations

“Join us for our very special Holiday Luncheons December 9-13 (Tuesday-Saturday). The house is decorated, and a special menu is created especially for the holidays. The Holiday Luncheons are the perfect setting for your next birthday celebration, ladies lunch, lunch date, book group, or end of the year celebration.

The Holiday Luncheons are $30 for members and $38 for non-members. Please call the office at 650-329-1356 for reservations.

Reservations are required for all luncheons, no cancellations.

You may consider 60% of the cost as a donation. Sorry, we are not able to accommodate special dietary requests.

A non-profit horticultural foundation in Palo Alto, south of San Francisco, Gamble Garden’s two and a half acre property includes formal and demonstration gardens, as well as an historic house, carriage house, and tea house.

The garden is free and open to the public every day.”

Belrose Holiday Tea Party
Wednesday-Saturday, December 10-13, 1:00-4:00PM
The Belrose Theatre, 1415 Fifth Avenue, San Rafael
$25 per person
reservations required, please call 415-902-5188 or e-mail 2TeaOrNot2Tea@att.net

“Tea Parties at The Belrose are Back!
Come enjoy four weeks of The Belrose Tea Party with family, friends, and co-workers.
Wednesdays through Saturdays, 1:00-4:00PM
$25 for this experience includes:
A Pot of Fine Tea
Tea Sandwiches
Petit Fours
Cookies and Scones”

The Belrose Theatre is a beautiful and truly magical place!

Martinez Arts Holiday Boutique
Wednesday-Sunday, December 10-14,
through December 21
see website for detailed schedule
Old Martinez Train Depot, Ferry Street near Marina Vista Avenue, Martinez, 925-228-8160
Free admission

“Handmade gifts by local artisans that are truly unique and crafted with care.”

The Totalitarians
A National New Play Network World Premiere by Peter Sinn Nachtrieb
Wednesday-Sunday, December 10-14,
Wednesday-Thursday 7:00PM, Friday-Saturday 8:00, Sunday 5:00PM - final week
Z Below, downstairs at Z Space, 450 Florida Street, San Francisco
see website for ticket details

“Z Space is thrilled to present the first play commissioned for us by our in-house playwright, Peter Sinn Nachtrieb.

We might be on the brink of revolution in Nebraska. Penny, a compulsive and compulsively watchable candidate for state office, enlists the help of Francine, a silver-tongued operative. Francine's husband Jeffrey, a doctor, is lying to his dying patients - one of whom opens his eyes to Penny's nefarious plans for the Cornhusker State. The Totalitarians is a raucous dark comedy about the state of modern political discourse, modern relationships and how easy it is to believe truths without facts.”

Craft Mixer with Hayward Area Historical Society
Thursday, December 11, 5:00-7:00PM
HAHS Center for History and Culture, 22380 Foothill Boulevard, Hayward

“Ever wish you could make holiday gifts yourself instead of running from store to store trying to find something unique? Join us for a fun night of crafting! We’ll provide supplies for various projects, or bring one that you’re already working on.  Holiday drinks will be available for purchase at The Cannery Cafe.”

Mock Vintage Metallic Bulb Reflectors
with Tiffanie Turner
Thursday, December 11, 6:30-9:00PM
Handcraft Studio School, 5885 Doyle Street, Emeryville, 510-332-6101
$70, limit 15 students

“Inspired by beautiful vintage holiday decorations of days gone by, Tiffanie will teach you how to make wonderful and festive mock-vintage metallic bulb reflectors for your holiday twinkle lights. In this workshop, you will learn to laminate metallic crepe paper, cut, form, and layer a variety of reflector shapes, and create a nostalgic but fresh string of holiday light adornments for your home or to use as a gift. Bring your twinkle lights if possible for best fit (not required, but helpful).

All skill levels welcome, but please note we will be using X-Acto knives and a little elbow grease to cut through the layers of paper. Cutting mats and knives will be provided for your use.

Tiffanie Turner is an architect, artist, and performer who began working passionately in paper last year. Since then, her work has appeared on numerous art and lifestyle blogs, the San Francisco Chronicle, One Kings Lane, and in her recent San Francisco solo gallery show entitled HEADS. Tiffanie has taught classes for Martha Stewart Living and online for creativeLIVE, and currently teaches workshops in several different paper techniques around the Bay Area and beyond under the moniker papel SF.”

The Wiz
Thursday, December 11, 7:00PM
The Cerrito Theater, 10070 San Pablo Avenue, El Cerrito

“See a whole new Oz, with Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, and Richard Pryor!

You’ve been to Oz before, but never like this. Come see a fantastic, re-imagined musical that sees Dorothy, played by Diana Ross, transported by a snowstorm into a land that is entirely new to her.

She and her little dog find themselves in a phantasmagorical version of Manhattan. They make new friends: a scarecrow from a junkyard, played by Michael Jackson. Also a broken-down tinman from a decaying amusement park, played by Nipsey Russell. And the third new friend is a cowardly lion (Ted Ross) who has been pretending to be a statue.

The four of them have many amazing adventures and close calls with the Wicked Witch of the West, as they go off in search of the Wiz - Richard Pryor - who can grant their wishes.

The Wiz was a huge hit on Broadway, and then was made into this delightful film, directed by Sidney Lumet.

The Wiz plays once only on Thursday, December 11, at 7:00PM. All seats are $8. Moviegoers are advised to get advance tickets at the box office or online, as shows may sell out. Arriving early is a good idea, in order to choose your seat and also order delicious food and wine or beer.

Once you visit Scene, you’ll want to come again and again. It’s the atmospheric wine/food bar on the right side of the lobby - a great place to enjoy a special menu, such as panini, snacks, and salads - or have them brought to your seat while you enjoy the movie!”

Holiday Open House at Rengstorff House
Thursday, December 11, 7:00-9:00PM
Rengstorff House, 3070 North Shoreline Boulevard, Mountain View

“Join the Friends of R House once again as we celebrate the holidays with our annual open house. This lovely event combines the sounds of holiday carolers, the tastes of warm cider and sweet treats, and a visit from Father Christmas. There is no fee for this event, though Donations are gratefully accepted.

Holiday Toy and Pajama Drive
Help the Friends of R House fill the donation box at the Rengstorff House. Once again the Friends of R House is teaming up with Community Services Agency of Mountain View to help bring some holiday cheer to our community. We are looking for donations of all kinds, but most especially gifts of new and unwrapped toys or pajamas for kids and teens, or gift cards. Gifts for teens especially sought after so if you can, held us fill the box and give something back this holiday season.”

Numeric Forecast for 2015: The Gate to Transformation, Abundance, and Power  
with Akiva Satnarayan
Thursday, December 11, 7:00-9:00PM
The dhyana Center, 186 N. Main Street, Sebastopol
$20, 2 for the price of one - Bring a guest for free.

“Creating harmony and abundance in your relationship, career and money.  This two-hour workshop will give you the know-how, to identify what actions you need to take to cultivate a clear purpose in the year to come. With 10 simple tools to cope, prepare and work with the cosmic forces in 2015!”

Motown Bingo
Thursday, December 11, 7:30PM
Rhythmix Cultural Works, 2513 Blanding Avenue, Alameda
$25 for 10 games

“Get ready for an unforgettable evening of music, dance, and dramatic reversals of fortune all mixed up in this funkalicious Bingo extravaganza. Featuring 10 rounds of performance art spectacle, live entertainment, and soulful songs, with celebrity ball callers and more special guests.

Only $25 for 10 Games and the chance to win ALL cash prizes up to $200. Dig out your slinky sequins or platform heels and dance down memory lane from Motown to Parliament.”

Huicholes: The Last Peyote Guardians
documentary film screening
Thursday, December 11, 7:30PM
Throckmorton Theatre, 142 Throckmorton Avenue, Mill Valley, 415-383-9611

“This important, sensitive, and beautiful new film was named Best Documentary Film by the Red Nation Film Festival, and portrays the struggle of the Wixarika people to save their most sacred site, Wirikuta, the site of their pilgrimages from time immemorial, from Canadian mining companies.

In addition to being of interest from a social, spiritual, journalistic and artistic standpoint, the film has become the cutting edge of the movement to save Wirikuta and has the official approval of the tribal authorities of the four main Wixarika territories, in addition to the Wixarika Council of Ceremonial Centers.”

Pairings: Grasses
with Clay Reynolds and Chef Loretta Keller
the second Thursday of each month, 7:30-10:00PM
Exploratorium, Pier 15, San Francisco, 415-528-4444
$15, 18 and over

“In culinary terms, pairings match complementary or contrasting flavors to create a pleasing complexity. Hosted by Clay Reynolds and Chef Loretta Keller of SeaGlass Restaurant, Pairings offers fresh perspectives from a range of scientists, chefs, farmers, vintners, brewers, and others to enhance your exploration of intriguing and edible topics.

Tonight’s Menu: Grasses
Ruminate on the richness of grass-based foods and spirits. Chef Loretta Keller digs up the domesticated roots of so-called wild rice and shakes loose the truth of how we get what we get, offering tastings of wild rice grown in the Great Lakes region of Northern Michigan and Minnesota. Clay Reynolds reveals how whiskey is traditionally distilled from corn, wheat, barley, or rye, and refreshes your palate with a sampling of spirits made from classic grasses as well as alternative cereals such as millet, oats, and spelt.

Join us on second Thursdays for robust presentations and refreshing conversations designed to inspire your scientific palate."

Acoustic Soul Stories: A Series Of African Portraits
with Nasambu and Piwai
Thursday, December 11, 8:00PM
Subterranean Arthouse, 2179 Bancroft Way, Berkeley
sliding scale $10-$15

“The debut of an exciting new collaborative effort - Acoustic Soul Stories: A Series of African Portraits - between AfroSoul artists Nasambu and Piwai.

Accompanied by guitar, mbira ne hosho (thumb-piano and shakers), and drumming, these two accomplished singer-songwriters offer up heart-to-heart songversations and vibrant story-telling from their respective home countries, Kenya and Zimbabwe, and beyond.

Set in intimate locations and touching on universal themes including children, war and peace, mutual respect and understanding in the global community, each performance is a completely unique experience from the next. Piwai and Nasambu have created an acoustic treat for lovers of music, Africa, and humanity. Join them on this journey!”

Beloved Strangers
presented by Un-Scripted Theater
Thursday-Saturday, December 11-13, 8:00PM,
playing through December 20
Un-Scripted Theater, 533 Sutter Street, Second Floor, San Francisco
Adults $20, Students and Seniors $10

“Beloved Strangers - As the weather grows chillier and the holidays approach, families get ready to travel from places near and far to spend time together. A lot of time together!

For better or worse, families share histories, destinies, and above all - stories. This winter, Un-Scripted Theater Company celebrates family with Beloved Strangers, a completely improvised three-act play featuring a new family, created on the spot, every night. Feeling overwhelmed by your own family this holiday season? Come spend an evening with ours instead.”

Crumbs: a Cinderella Story
Thursday-Saturday, December 11-13, 8:00PM,
playing through December 21
The Imaginists, 461 Sebastopol Avenue, Santa Rosa, 707-528-7554
sliding scale $15- $20

"Something’s gone wrong. Somethings not right. Comfort still finds them somehow in the night. Keep a close watch.

Upstairs, a landlady who controls everything. Downstairs, a household of creatures who work day and night. Far away, a Prince who has a radical idea - invite everyone to the Ball...

Timeless and timely, just in time for the darkness, the old stories and songs get to the roots. We invite you to be listeners and to dance at the Ball.”

The Velveteen Rabbit
presented by ODC
Thursday-Sunday, December 11-14 - final week
Thursday-Friday 11:00AM, Saturday 11:00AM and 2:00PM, Sunday 2:00PM,
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 700 Howard Street, San Francisco
see website for 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!”

It's A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play
presented by Tides Theatre
Thursday-Sunday, December 11-14,
Thursday-Friday 7:00PM, Saturday 3:00PM and 7:00PM, Sunday 3:00PM
playing through December 27
Tides Theatre, 533 Sutter Street, 2nd Floor, San Francisco, 415-336-3522

“This beloved American holiday classic comes to captivating life as a live 1940s radio broadcast. With the help of an ensemble that brings a few dozen characters to the stage, the story of idealistic George Bailey unfolds as he considers ending his life one fateful Christmas Eve.”

The MeshugaNutcracker
presented by Guggenheim Entertainment
Thursday-Sunday, December 11-14 - final week
Thursday-Fridays 7:30PM, Saturdays 2:00PM and 7:30PM, Sundays 2:00PM,
Marines' Memorial Theatre, 609 Sutter Street, San Francisco, 415-673-6672
see website for ticket information

“The libretto tells the tale of eight Chelmniks (citizens of Chelm, the fictional town of fools) who gather once a year to perform their Chanukah festival. Through the course of the two-act musical, they tell eight stories which celebrate and honor the triumphs of Chanukah heroes from the time of the Maccabees through modern day - all in their delightfully foolish Chelm style. This new Chanukah production has all the right ingredients for a very happy holiday: take the beautiful and melodious music from Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Ballet, mix in eight poignant and witty stories celebrating the miracle of Chanukah, and add a pinch of Chelm for flavor. Add twirling chanukiot and you'll have visions of sufganiot dancing in your head. Some might call it crazy, we call it... The MeshugaNutcracker!

The MeshugaNutcracker! is a full length musical performed in two acts. It runs approximately 2 hours including a 15 minute intermission. Latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiot (jelly doughnuts) will be available before the show and during intermission. The show is appropriate for all audiences but recommended for youth who are able to sit through a Pixar film.”

Jolly Juliana - An Original Melodrama and Holiday Vaudeville
presented by 6th Street Playhouse
Thursday-Sunday, December 11-14,
Thursday-Friday 8:00PM, Saturday 2:00PM and 8:00PM, Sunday 2:00PM
playing through December 21
G.K. Hardt Theatre, 52 W. 6th Street, Santa Rosa, 707-523-4185
see website for ticket details

“A delightful, heart-warming, extravaganza commemorating the roots of American theatre; sing-a-long, hiss, boo and cheer for a villain, hero and heroine. A merry company of players will bring you a menagerie of entertainment sure to be a highlight of your holiday season.”

It's A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play
Thursday-Sunday, December 11-14
Thursday-Friday 8:00PM, Saturday 3:00PM-8:00PM, Sunday 2:00PM and 7:00PM
playing through December 20
Town Hall Theatre, 3535 School Street, Lafayette, 925-283-1557

“It's A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play
adapted by Joe Landry
from the screenplay by Frances Goodrich, Albert Hackett, Frank Capra, and Jo Swerling
Directed by Samantha Fryer

We've got to have faith in each other.

One of the greatest stories ever told gets a new twist as this beloved American holiday classic comes to captivating life as a live 1940s radio broadcast.  With the help of an ensemble that brings a few dozen characters to the stage, the story of idealistic George Bailey unfolds as he faces great challenges one fateful Christmas Eve.”

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.

The Dragon Play
by Jenny Connell Davis
Thursday-Sunday, December 11-14,
Thursday-Saturday 8:00PM, Sunday 7:00PM,
extended, playing through December 21
Impact Theatre at La Val's Subterranean, 1834 Euclid Avenue, Berkeley, 510-224-5744
$20 in advance, $25 at the door

“In the frozen north a woman and her husband, weathering the challenges of their marriage, receive a mysterious visitor who threatens to upend their world. Decades before and thousands of miles away in the burning south, an 11-year-old boy and a 300-year-old - yet still relatively adolescent - dragon girl meet and fall in love. Far from fairy tales or airbrushed fantasies, these two achingly poignant stories alternate in a heart-rending dance of desire, longing, and commitment that spans time and geography. The intensity of the ways these characters yearn and fall for each other is like nothing audiences have witnessed on stage, and the staggering final revelation will stop your heart with its beauty.”

The Golden Girls: The Christmas Episodes
9th Annual All Drag Xmas Exdrag-a-ganza
Thursday-Sunday, December 11-14,
Thursday-Saturday 8:00PM, Sunday 7:00PM,
playing through December 21
Victoria Theater, 2961 16th Street, San Francisco, 415-863-7576

“Starring San Francisco’s four top drag luminaries, as we ring in the Holiday with, hilarity and heart. The formula is reasonably straightforward. Take 4 talented drag performers, cast them in two classic Xmas episodes of the ground-breaking and uproarious TV show: The Golden Girls, and joviality will ensue. The four drag stars are playing the characters the entire world has come to know and love are Heklina (Dorothy), Cookie Dough (Sophia), Matthew Martin (Blanche) and Pollo Del Mar (Rose). Directed by Matthew Martin.”

Branches and Berries
with Rachel O'Neal
Friday, December 12, 6:00-9:00PM
Handcraft Studio School, 5885 Doyle Street, Emeryville, 510-332-6101
$75, limit 15 students

“In this workshop we will learn how to make a hand-wired wreath using a metal frame, a variety of branches for the base and embellishing with berries, pods, grasses, and flowers. We will finish it off with beautiful ribbon of course! With proper care and storage, this wreath will dry beautifully and can be used again next season and beyond.

Rachel's lifelong love of flowers started as a little girl roller skating around the neighborhood with rubber bands on her wrist, picking flowers and selling them to her neighbors. She founded fioribei floral design studio in 2001, specializing in seasonal, locally grown flowers for weddings. Her work has been featured in Martha Stewart Weddings and ruffledblog.com. You can now find her working on an organic farm growing and harvesting flowers and vegetables, and teaching the art of flower arranging to the farm crew.”

Sharon and Winter Knight - Rabbit Warren House Concert
Friday, December 12, 6:30-9:00PM
Rabbit Warren, a private home in Hayward, address given upon RSVP
$25 includes concert and a CD
Please RSVP to Dany Atkins at purplerabbit 13 at gmail dot com

“Sharon and Winter offer their lush Neofolk Romantic style music in Hayward for the first time! Come kick of the Yule season with an evening of enchanting music!

Hosted by the Rabbit Warren folks, this show will have all the relaxed intimacy of a house concert at a very friendly price of $25 for concert AND CD of your choice.

Additional CDs will be available at holiday rates of two for $25.

Please bring food and drink to share.

Exact address will be given upon ticket purchase.”

History Mystery Tour
on board the USS Hornet
Friday, December 12, 7:00-10:00PM
USS Hornet Museum, 707 W Hornet Avenue, Pier 3, Alameda, 510-521-8448
must be age 12+
$35, must book in advance at the website below

“Is the USS Hornet really haunted? Come and see for yourself! Do you dare explore Hornet after hours?

Beat the crowds and receive a special tour of areas onboard Hornet that have not yet been opened to the public or have been reported to host unseen visitors:
Combat Information Center (CIC)
Message Center (Radio Central)
Mess Deck
Sidewinder Missile Assembly Room
Catapult Machinery Room
Sick Bay
Captain and Admiral’s In Port State Rooms
Flight Deck and Island
Focsle and Secondary Con

Upcoming dates:
Thursday, January 8, 2015
Thursday, February 12, 2015
Friday, March 20, 2015
Friday, April 10, 2015
Thursday, May 14, 2015
Thursday, June 11, 2015
Thursday, July 9, 2015

The three-hour guided tour is 7:00-10:00PM.
Everybody must bring their own flashlight. Hornet does not supply individual lights.
Cameras are welcome, but must have a neck strap.
Tour participants must wear comfortable shoes. Heels and open-toed shoes are not allowed.

Tour participants must be in good physical health as there will be lots of walking and climbing.

Due to safety reasons, children 12 and under are not allowed on History Mystery Tours.
The USS Hornet reserves the right to cancel a tour if less than 8 people sign up. Tours may be rescheduled or a refund will be issued.”

11th Annual Slavic Choral Christmas Concert
with Lowiczanie Polish Folk Ensemble
Friday, December 12, 7:30PM
Church of The Nativity, 240 Fell Street, San Francisco, 415-252-5799
$15 in advance, $18 at the door

“Lowiczanie Polish Folk Ensemble presents the 11th annual Slavic Choral Christmas Concert, a rich tapestry of seasonal carols and winter songs of East-Central Europe and the Balkans, featuring traditionally costumed Community artists from the Bulgarian, Croatian, Hungarian, Jewish, Moldovan, Polish, and Ukrainian Bay Area populations.

The Slavic Choral Christmas Concert presents powerful to the lighted-hearted performances based on the rich fabric of East and Central-European and Balkan folk and sacred holiday music. The repertoire encompasses a multitude of mesmerizing styles ranging from simple folk themes (pastorals) to close-harmonized sacred carols - all presented by Community Artists. The annual joyful Concert finale features over 60 artists onstage to lead a rousing audience sing-a-long of both European and American carols. The event's Central European holiday marketplace atmosphere is enhanced by seating under hand-hewn shingle ‘huts’, spicy aromas of mulled cider and wine - one complimentary glass per ticket holder - and the opportunity to purchase handcrafted artisan gifts.

Lowiczanie Polish Carolers and Kuzyni Band, both directed by Piotrek Filipowski

Lowiczanie Folk Band with soloist Natalia Ukrainska present trans-Carpathian winter songs

Ukrainian Bay Area Carolers, Halyna Lorczak, director

Bulgarian Koledari Group, Tanya Kostova, director

Hungarian Holiday Chorus, Jutka Mandoki, director

The winter holiday traditions of the Jewish peoples of Hungary are presented by Jutka Mandoki and Barbara Deutsch.

Soloists Anna Samborska-Young and Lilla Serlegi with Frenc Tobak on traditional folk instruments, present carols from Poland and the Croatian peoples of Hungary, respectively.

The two-hour program is visually beautiful - highlighted by traditional ethnic dress of the participating Slavic communities - and enriched by the virtuoso musical talents on display: Lowiczanie's folk orchestra (Kapela) features Susan Worland on violin, Nicolai Prisicar on accordion and Roman Titcu, formerly of the internationally-renowned band, Roma, (both are originally from Moldova) on cimbalom. Other musical surprises feature artists from of Bulgarian, Croatian, and Jewish backgrounds.”

Access Consciousness for Holiday Stress
with Sunnie Skillman
A Songbird Friday Flock Night
Friday, December 12, 7:30-9:30PM
Songbird Community Healing Center, 8297 Old Redwood Highway, Cotati, 707-795-2398
suggested donation 1 cent to $30

“The phrase ‘Happy Holidays’ is frequently used during the holiday season.
How happy are you during this time of year?
Do you feel stressed and challenged?

Discover tools to help you experience:
Stress relief
Deep peace and relaxation
Sense of well-being
Clearing of limiting beliefs
Deeper connection with others
Better sleep

Sunnie is a facilitator and teacher of a type of healing and transformational work called Access Consciousness. Some of the Access tools are hands-on energy work. Some of the tools use verbal processing to clear limiting beliefs. This work facilitates healing on all levels and can totally transform your life. Sunnie does private sessions and teaches Access classes.”

Secrets of the Sleeping Brain
with Matthew A. Walker, Associate Professor of Psychology, UC Berkeley
presented by Wonderfest
Friday, December 12, 8:00PM
Chabot Space and Science Center, 10000 Skyline Boulevard, Oakland, 510-336-7300
$15 presentation only, $25 presentation plus admission to Chabot Space and Science Center

“We spend one third of our lives asleep, yet doctors and scientists still have no complete understanding as to why. It is one of the great scientific mysteries. Sleep researcher and UC Berkeley Professor, Matthew Walker, will describe new discoveries suggesting that sleep is a highly active process, essential for improving brain functions including learning, memory, creativity, and emotional regulation.”

Mystery Mystery Science Theater 3000
Friday, December 12, 10:30PM, and the second Friday of each month
The New Parkway Theater, 474 24th Street, Oakland, 510-658-7900

“The New Parkway Theater presents a mystery episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000.

Who knows what episode we'll be playing… but you can be sure it's definitely going to be good! Please join us for a night of laughter and fun hosted by The New Parkway's own resident MST3K fan, Oliver Beckwith. The pre-show includes an MST3K trivia contest with prizes!

The New Parkway Theater is a community-centered cinema and pub located in Oakland's Uptown district. Sit back and relax in our cozy couches while watching our new releases, cult classics, and fabulous special programming. Plus, enjoy yummy food and local beer and wine in our cafe or even delivered right to your theater seat all at affordable prices!

Every week we have something for everyone... from Doc Night to Baby Brigade and Thrillville Theater to Nerd Night, and everything in between. Also, join us on the mezzanine for free, non-film events like Trivia Thursdays, Pop-Up Art Wednesdays, and First Fridays.

The New Parkway = Film. Friends. Food. Fun on Tap.”

Eighth Annual Project For Awesome
Friday-Saturday, December 12-13
wherever you have access to the internet

“The Project for Awesome is an annual event on YouTube in which thousands of video creators make videos supporting their favorite charity. Anybody is allowed to participate - simply make a video about a charity you support and post it on YouTube on December 12. Then tune into the livestream and join in the commenting and donating fun. DFTBA!*”

*Don’t Forget To Be Awesome!

The Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming
adapted from the book by Lemony Snicket
presented by Peninsula Youth Theatre
Friday-Saturday, December 12-13,
Friday 7:30PM, Saturday 11:30AM and 1:30PM
SecondStage, Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro Street, Mountain View, 650-903-6000
Friday $12, Saturday $10

“This World Premiere adaptation of the book by Lemony Snicket is the perfect way to kick off the holidays!  In this clever spin on The Gingerbread Man, the minute the Latke hits the pan he starts screaming… and he can't stop!  As he dashes through the forest he meets many creatures who don't understand - what is a Latke anyway?  And why is he screaming?”

KMLZ: Holidaze
presented by Z Space and Killing My Lobster
Friday-Saturday, December 12-13,
Friday 8:00PM, Saturday 7:00PM and 10:00PM
Z Space, 450 Florida Street, San Francisco

“The Lobsters once again team up with the Bay Area’s best new works company, Z Space, for the third iteration of this wildly successful comedy variety show in what is turning into an annual holiday extravaganza. KMLZ is the NorCal answer to Saturday Night Live; one cup 30 Rock, two pinches of Your Show of Shows, and a whole mixing bowl of holiday madness.

What do you get when you lock ten comedic elves in Santa’s workshop for 50 hours between Thanksgiving and Christmas? KMLZ: Something weird, funny, and strung out on fruitcake.  A veritable advent calendar of hilarity, KMLZ Holidaze will deck the halls with sketches about Dreidels, family, traditions, Kwanzaa, misfit toys, yule logs, and more nuts than you can crack with Mikhail Baryshnikov.”

Swearing In English
written and performed by Johnny Mercer
Friday-Saturday, December 12-13, 8:00-10:00PM
Altarena Playhouse, 1409 High Street, Alameda, 510-523-1553

“Following sold-out performances at the Ashby Stage in Berkeley, acclaimed actor and author Johnny Mercer brings his memoir series, Swearing In English, to the Altarena Playhouse for two nights only.  Proving once and for all that truth is stranger than fiction, Mercer’s tales range from a meeting with Elvis and herring fishing in Scotland to childhood pets, baseball, magic carpets, and perfect moments.

December 12 features a set of those stories, passionate, ridiculous, and rich in meaning.

December 13 is reserved for a performance of Musings Of The Unregretful, Johnny’s evocative tale of a youth spent among the wildlings of northern England in the ’70s.

Long before they were written down, these stories were told and re-told many times: to family, friends, strangers, anyone with an ear for a story who was willing to listen. Some are old, some new, several located back in England and Scotland, others close to home here in the Bay Area; they share one thing in common - they are all true. Events, people, actions taken, words spoken have been faithfully reproduced no matter how tall the tale.

Don’t miss this very special event. Johnny will be signing copies of his book of short stories, from which these evenings are drawn, after each show.

Recommended for ages 13 and up.”

Now And At The Hour
a documentary with Christian Cagigal
film screening
Friday-Saturday, December 12-13, 8:00PM - final week
EXIT Theatre, 156 Eddy Street, San Francisco, 415-931-1094
sliding scale $15-$25

“The long awaited release of the documentary performance film of Christian Cagigal's most lauded work, Now and at the Hour is finally here. Four special screenings at The EXIT Theatre, preceded by a live show by Christian. These screenings will be followed shortly after by the online release of the film.

Back in early 2011, best friends Christian Cagigal and internationally recognized filmmaker, H.P. Mendoza, filmed three special performances of Now And At The Hour before live audiences at EXIT Theatre. They added to that documentary interviews with independent theatre artists in the Bay Area. But soon, both Mendoza and Cagigal were whisked into their individual careers and successes which took them away from finishing this very DIY film project. But, the day is finally here. This December, The EXIT Theatre along with Mendoza's film company, Ersatz Film, that he co-founded with partner, Mark Del Lima, will be screening the film of Now And At The Hour before giving it its online release.”

Madame Gufay's Lovelutionaries
presented by Actors Ensemble of Berkeley
Friday-Saturday, December 12-13, 8:00PM,
playing through December 20
Live Oak Theatre, 1301 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, 510-981-6690

“Growing up in the French provinces, Madame Gufay was fascinated by news reports of the Free Speech Movement (the FSM) which fermented on the campus of U.C. Berkeley and resonated worldwide.  Now, having returned to school late in life, she has arranged to finish her last semester studying at her own personal mecca, U.C. Berkeley.  Madame Gufay is a force of nature, and her wacky, goofy efforts to experience Free Speech in the present day involve most campus life: the administration and academics, the classroom, the library, Sproul Plaza demonstrations and, of course graduation.

Madame Gufay overcomes language challenges, academic arrogance, uncontrollable urges, public drunkenness, lewd and lascivious behavior, to the fulfillment of innocent wacky, goofy dreams. To be sure, Madame Gufay and her activist Lovelutionaries do care passionately about social justice and they advocate for world peace, justice, not to mention lowering tuition for public universities! Madame Gufay's character is based loosely on the famous director Jacques Tati's Mr. Hulot who also had hilarious adventures.

Norah Foster, the enticing, engaging and eager retired manager of graduate services at the UC Berkeley Library and new late blooming playwright, wrote Madame Gufay over a period of years, incorporating many events that she personally experienced, as well as plot twists that emanated directly from her vivid imagination.  She began working as a volunteer at Actors Ensemble, and as an experiment on our part we produced her play originally as a workshop/staged reading.  It showed enough promise (and Norah enough enthusiasm in helping to get to the next step) that we have taken it upon ourselves to produce it as a full play, performed over two weekends in December.”

Christmas Revels - A Theatrical Celebration of the Winter Solstice
Friday-Sunday, December 12-14,
Fridays at 8:00PM, Saturdays and Sundays at 1:00PM and 5:00PM
playing through December 21
Scottish Rite Theater, 1547 Lakeside Drive, Oakland, 510-451-1903
See website for detailed ticket prices and parking information.

“The 29th Annual Christmas Revels: An American Journey

This year’s Revels opens in the 1930s, where our protagonist meets a mystery man who sends him on a journey east to Appalachia, south through the bayous of Louisiana, north to the mid-Atlantic states, and finally westward ho to California! It’s a crazy quilt of many colors creating the fabric of the holiday traditions we still share. Filled with Cajun music, Appalachian clogging, old folk tales, and holiday rituals that some will remember being passed down from our parents or grandparents, the 2014 Christmas Revels will see a return to familiar American carols and folksongs, toe-tapping music, and of course, plenty of laughter.

Featured performers include Rene Collins last seen in the 2000 Christmas Revels, Kevin Carr (2010) and Tristan Cunningham (2012) along with Revels regulars Shira Kammen, James Galileo, and introducing a new musical guest, Euphonia, featuring Sylvia Herold.”

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

presented by African-American Shakespeare Company
Friday-Sunday, December 12-14,
Friday 8:00PM, Saturday 3:00PM and 8:00PM, Sunday 3:00PM,
playing through December 21
Buriel Clay Theatre, African-American Art and Culture Complex,
762 Fulton Street, San Francisco
highlights from 2011 production: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4LrdJcaHZI

“This classic production of Cinderella is a timeless tale, brought to whimsical, magical life just in time for the holidays, is an uplifting re-telling of the classic fairytale, featuring all of the pageantry, hilarity, and charm of the original, but with a soulful twist.

This heartwarming story finds Cinderella, a young, beautiful dreamer, toiling away as a lowly scullery maid for her evil stepmother and stepsisters. With the help of a fabulous Fairy Godmother who makes the magic happen, Cinderella finds her Prince Charming and learns that anything is possible, even miracles.”

North Oakland Holiday Craft Fair n' Market
Saturday, December 13, 9:30AM-2:30PM
next to Saturday Feel the Beet! Farmers Market,
970 Grace Avenue, Oakland

“Come out and support local vendors, youth business, and small farmers of color...
Free Youth Facilitated  Sauerkraut workshop and tasting on Saturday the 13th.

Live Music, Bouncy House, Youth Made Products, Hot Foods, Fresh Produce, Free Food and Drinks 9:30-10:30AM both days.”

Alameda Holiday Home Tour
Saturday, December 13, 9:30AM-4:00PM
around the city of Alameda - locations will be provided with ticket purchase
$35 in advance, $40 on the day

“Guests will follow their heart as the Alameda Family Services League presents its 44th Annual Alameda Holiday Home Tour: 44 Years of Holiday Magic. The tour, Alameda’s premier fundraising event, will be held Saturday, December 13, 2014, 9:30AM-4:00PM. 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 will feature 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 gifts 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. Booklets are presented once tickets are purchased to each guest, providing a map of the tour and description of each home.”

Tour of the Bay Model Center Recycle and Transfer Station
with WildCare Family Adventures
Saturday, December 13, 10:00AM-12:30PM
Bay Model Visitor Center, 2100 Bridgeway, Sausalito, 415-332-3871

“Come with the whole family to The Bay Model Visitor Center, a fully accessible education center provides you a unique opportunity to view the complete bay-delta system at a glance. The Center gives an introduction and provides an overview of the system. We will be given  a one hour tour followed by a short walk along the bay and lunch in the park.
Directions to the Bay Model:

Coming South on Highway 101 take the Sausalito-Marin City exit and take a left at the stop light. Continue under the freeway overpass and take a right at the following stop light on Bridgeway. There will be small brown and white Bay Model direction signs along the way. Turn left on Harbor, then almost immediately turn right on Marinship Way and follow the signs to the Bay Model.

Coming North on Highway 101 take the Sausalito-Marin City exit and continue straight at the stop light, you are on Bridgeway. There will be small brown and white Bay Model direction signs along the way. Turn left on Harbor, then almost immediately turn right on Marinship Way and follow the signs to the Bay Model.

Enjoy a day of discovery and learning out in nature with the family. WildCare naturalists will lead fun family outings with the objective of deepening our commitment to taking care of our planet.

To achieve this, WildCare’s Family Adventures groups will be visiting some sites that work to preserve wildlife and our natural environment. Whenever possible, family nature hikes will be incorporated into each adventure to enjoy the local flora and fauna.  

These programs are in English and Spanish, and free to the public. WildCare strongly encourages carpooling.”

Handmade for the Holidays
Saturday, December 13, 10:00AM-2:00PM
UC Berkeley Botanical Garden, 200 Centennial Drive, Berkeley
$20 includes materials

“Join the Garden for this family program as we create gifts and festive decorations inspired by the Garden’s diverse collection of plants. Make beautiful nature-inspired crafts, including: Nature-filled globes, Mini evergreen wreaths, Greeting cards from pressed botanicals, Garden animal ornaments, and Pine cone bird feeders, Plus refreshments and good cheer! All materials provided.

Children must be accompanied by an adult. Drop-ins welcome.”

Holiday Crafts Day
Saturday, December 13, 10:00AM-2:00PM
Randall Museum, 199 Museum Way, San Francisco, 415-554-9600

“Tired of nothing but buy, buy, buy for the winter holidays?  Come to the Randall Museum for relief from consumer mania with a day of creative, inexpensive gifts and decorations you can make yourself. Enjoy live, family-friendly entertainment and tasty sandwiches or piping hot chili in our Holiday Cafe.

Roll-your-own beeswax candles, Handmade candle holders, Scented soaps, Candy houses, and more!”

Holiday on the Farm
Saturday, December 13, 10:00AM-2:00PM
Forest Home Farms Historic Park, 19953 San Ramon Valley Boulevard, San Ramon, 925-973-3284

“Enjoy a traditional holiday family experience including visits with a Victorian Santa and his reindeer, old-fashioned ornament making, a puppet show, holiday entertainment and refreshments. The Victorian Glass House Museum will be decorated for the holidays and open for docent led tours for $5 per person. In partnership with the San Ramon Historic Foundation.”

Berkeley Farmers' Market Holiday Craft Fair
Saturday, December 13, 10:00AM-3:00PM,
and December 20
Martin Luther King, Jr. Civic Center Park, Center Street at MLK, Jr. Way, Berkeley

“The Ecology Center is proud to present its 23rd Annual Crafts Market, now under new leadership! This year the Crafts Market will take place on Saturday, December 13th and December 20th alongside the Downtown Berkeley Farmers’ Market in Civic Center Park. Look forward to an even greater selection of local, handmade, and sustainable work from the Bay Area’s artists, crafters, and makers. Support your local economy this holiday season by shopping the Ecology Center Crafts Market, and stay tuned for updates, sneak peaks, and promotions!”

Christmas Parade and Holiday Market
Saturday, December 13, 10:00AM-3:00PM
Downtown Benicia

“The parade starts at 10:00AM at First and D Street and ends at H Street.  The parade features local marching bands, dancers, and the much-anticipated Santa Claus.  The Holiday Market features handcrafted arts and crafts, gourmet items and delicious foods.”

Day in the Life 1901
with the Hyde Street Living History Players
Saturday, December 13, 10:00AM-4:00PM, and the second Saturday of each month
Aboard the historic vessels at Hyde Street Pier, San Francisco
included with vessel admission, Adults $5, 15 and under free

“Step into the past as you board our historic ships. Help the sailors on Balclutha raise the staysail in the morning and return for musical fun during the afternoon dogwatch. Learn about life in 1901 from the ferry passengers on Eureka, or join Mrs. Galan on the Ark houseboat for an afternoon tea to discuss issues of the day.

December 13:
December 13, 2014:  Old Time Maritime Christmas [Special time for Old Time Maritime Christmas only 6:00-9:00] In the evening, 6-9pm, join us for our costumed Living History players Old Time Maritime Christmas. Turn back the clock to Christmas in the year 1901, where you will meet captains, wives, crews and passengers aboard the floating historic vessels.

Refreshments will be served at this magical evening program, with sea music performed by Richard Adrianowicz and Peter Kasin. Lamplit tours by a costumed nightwatchmen leave from the Hyde Street Pier entrance every 20 minutes beginning 6pm. Last tour leaves 7:40pm. Each tour lasts approx. 55 minutes. Each tour limited to 14 people. Reserve for this living history program by calling the Visitor Center, 415-447-5000, between 9:30am-4:30pm, open daily.

San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park is located at the west end of Fisherman’s Wharf, in San Francisco. The park includes a magnificent fleet of historic ships, visitor center, maritime museum and library. For more information about the park, or its public programs, please call 415-447-5000 or visit the park’s website. To contact Hyde Street Living History directly, please email David Hirzel at sfmaritime1901@sbcglobal.net.”

Monthly Open Village Celebration
at Green Valley Village
Saturday, December 13, 10:00AM-8:00PM, and the second Saturday of each month
Green Valley Village, 13024 Green Valley Road, Sebastopol
RSVP required; please e-mail gvv.events@gmail.com
Donations accepted

“On the Second Saturday of each month, we have an open-village day.  Our second Saturday event is an all day open house where potential members and interested visitors can experience a day of life at Green Valley Village.  This is when we're most prepared to orient newcomers and is the best introduction to our Village.  Guests are welcome to come for all or part of Second Saturday, which includes a work party, lunch, a tour, a skillshare, a potluck dinner, and an evening event.

Our Saturday work party generally begins at 10:00AM. Please bring work gloves and sturdy shoes, a sun hat, water bottle, and dress in layers.

Lunch is at 1:30PM.  People who participate in our work party are welcome to be our guests for lunch.  Otherwise, we ask you to bring a potluck contribution so there's sure to be plenty of food.  Email our Event Coordinator to RSVP for our Second Saturdays!  gvv.events@gmail.com (This email is only checked 2 times per week, so please be patient in waiting for a response.)

You will be guided on a walking tour to see our Farm and Pond, goats, chickens, llamas, etc. Please bring good walking shoes, a sun hat, water bottle, and dress in layers.  

We generally request a small donation for the day's events!! Remember that by giving to Green Valley Village you are supporting the continued existence of this evolving Eco-Village!!

We also have Handmade Eco-Village Products and Services Available!!  These products and services support the right livelihoods of members of our Village.  Look at the Village Marketplace section of our website to find out more about the products and services offered at our Eco-Village.  

Thank you for your support of and interest in our Village!!”

Pain to Progress
with Dr. Sara Vargas
Saturday, December 13, 11:00AM-12:00PM
Julie’s Coffee and Tea Garden, 1223 Park Street, Alameda, 510-865-2385

“Are you ready to set a new standard for yourself? Being in pain or feeling stuck is an opportunity to change your life. You can hit the snooze button or wake up!
Join Dr. Sara Vargas for an engaging talk about a life without pain, adapting to stress like a champ, and living energy rich.

Dr. Sara, chiropractor, practices Network Spinal Analysis, an evidence-based approach to wellness and body awareness. Greater self-awareness and conscious awakening of the relationships between the body, mind, emotion, and expression of the human spirit are realized through this popular healing work.

Dr. Sara practices at Oakland's Shine Center for Wellbeing and San Francisco's Magnolia Chiropractic Center.”

Weihnachtsmarkt: German Holiday Market
hosted by German International School of Silicon Valley
Saturday, December 13, 11:00AM-9:00PM
Civic Center Plaza, 500 Castro Street, Mountain View

“Back by popular demand, we will again be holding our annual German Holiday Market in Downtown Mountain View! Mark your calendars and join us on December 13 between 11:00AM-9:00PM at the plaza of the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro Street.
Come indulge in German food and drinks and browse our eclectic selection of handcrafted gifts from Germany and local artists for purchase. The day will also include musical performances by GISSV students, and, new this year, an ice rink where you can have a stab at your ice skating skills!
Run by a volunteer committee of parents at the German International School of Silicon Valley, the event offers an opportunity to explore the famous tradition of German Holiday Markets right here in Silicon Valley. All proceeds will benefit GISSV’s high-quality bilingual programs.”

Wreath Crafting
Saturday, December 13, 12:00PM
Ploughshares Nursery, 2701 Main Street, Alameda, 510-755-1102

“Join as at Ploughshares for a hands-on workshop creating holiday wreaths from the parts of plants which one commonly finds in one's neighborhood.”

Bird Natural History and Identification at Lake Merritt
with Marissa Ortega-Welch
Saturday, December 13, 12:00-2:00PM
meet outside the Rotary Nature Center, 600 Bellevue Avenue, Oakland
Free, please RSVP to info@WildOakland.org

“Lake Merritt is for the birds! Learn how the nation’s first wildlife refuge was created to protect birds, the history of the bird islands, and how the lake continues to offer a refuge for birds such as Hank, the injured White Pelican.

The winter months bring flocks of migrating waterfowl to the waters of Lake Merritt - we’ll see dozens of species that aren’t here during the spring and summer. Cormorants, loons, grebes, ducks, and other birds migrate to Lake Merritt along the Pacific Flyway, from the interior United States, and Canada. We’ll provide binoculars if you don’t have a pair, but usually the birds are so close you don’t even need them!

Birding for all levels! Come to bird for the first time, or sharpen your skills if you have some experience. Led by Marissa Ortega-Welch, Eco-Education Coordinator for Golden Gate Audubon Society.”

Holiday Fixit Clinic at Albany Community Center
with Peter Mui
Saturday, December 13, 12:00-3:00PM
Albany Community Center, 1249 Marin Avenue, Albany, 510-528-5710


“We return to the Albany Community Center on Saturday December 6 for a holiday-themed Fixit Clinic, we'll have another the following Saturday at the Albany Community Center. Hope to see you there!

Fix your broken stuff - Or at least learn more about it disassembling it.

Fixing as Giving: In the spirit of the holidays, The Fixit Clinic Elves will be on hand to spread holiday cheer helping you fix that special item for a loved one (that includes you!)
So bring your broken, non-functioning things - electronics, appliances, computers, toys, etc. - for assessment, disassembly, and possible repair.

We'll provide workspace, specialty tools, and guidance to help you disassemble and troubleshoot your item. Whether we fix it or not, you'll learn more about how it was manufactured and how it worked. This is a family-friendly event: children are heartily invited!

Your broken or non-working thing (carry-in only: no oversize items)
Accessories and tools you already own that might be helpful (e.g. phillips head screwdriver)
Any knowledge or advance research you've done on the issue
Boxes, bags and/or small containers to organize (and carry away) parts.”

Children's Holiday Festival at History San Jose
Saturday, December 13, 12:00-4:00PM
History Park, 635 Phelan Avenue, San Jose

“Join us for the annual Children's Holiday Festival! Santa will arrive at History Park aboard a historic trolley to greet children - a wonderful photo opportunity for parents! Holiday music and caroling will set the scene, with the Snow Queen leading story time. Children can create their own hand-made gifts, decorations and ornaments at a variety of craft activity stations. And everyone will enjoy seeing the historic buildings decorated for the holidays and be able to pick up a souvenir specially created by the San Jose Printer's Guild in the Print Shop!”

The Sacred Well Annual Magical Holiday Market
Saturday, December 13, 12:00-6:00PM
The Sacred Well, 536 Grand Avenue, Oakland, 510-444-9355
Free admission

“It is a Sacred Well tradition that we all cherish to gather some of our favorite local artisans and their wares to provide a festive and unique holiday shopping experience for our community!

Come on down and look for that special something and one of a kind treasure, while sipping on complimentary hot chocolate.

Together we can deck the halls, and bring life to our local economy.  

Saturday, December 13:

You will discover soul stimulating original art, prints, greeting cards, vinyl stickers, keychains, Papa Rha's elixirs and smoker's blend, and a few pieces of jewelry. Illuminate your home or gift these gems to friends for they will provide loving and healing energies to all those who bear witness to them.
Sacred By Monica Parks
Sacred is a captivating jewelry line that will showcase every aspect of your personality. These beautiful hand made pieces are made from a  wide range of different types of chains, exotic stones, and unique beads. Make a personal statement without having to say a word.

Gwen makes beaded jewelry in a glowing array of colors and patterns.  She will also be bringing some of her steampunky bits and pieces, and hand-calligraphied and decorated copies of some Goddess prayers and hymns.”

Wild Edible Plants Foray
with Feral Kevin
Saturday, December 13, 1:00-3:00PM
Sienna Ranch, 3232 Deer HIll Road, Lafayette

“Join Kevin Feinstein (Feral Kevin) on a guided tour of local edible wild plants in the hills East of the Caldecott tunnel.  Sample the promise of what the cool rainy season brings to our area in terms of foraging. In this class, as we have permission from the land owner, we are able to actually forage for many things!  So not only bring your learning hat, but your bags and clippers, too!”

Build a Rocket!
with The Engineering Club at Santa Rosa Junior College
Saturday, December 13, 1:00-3:00PM
Chimera Art Space, 6791 Sebastopol Avenue, Sebastopol, 707-861-0278
$10 includes materials and safety equipment
Ages 10+

“In this project-based learning class, we will building miniature rockets to introduce some basic yet fundamental engineering concepts and the ideas from Isaac Newton’s three fundamental Laws of Motion.

The Engineering Club at Santa Rosa Junior College and Chimera have partnered up to host innovative classes designed to foster creativity, critical thinking and excitement about engineering.

$10 per student. All materials and safety equipment will be provided. Space is limited, and we encourage you to pre-register early.”

Ancestral Apothecary Open House and Herbal Soiree
Saturday, December 13, 2:00-6:00PM
Ancestral Apothecary, 3798 Grand Avenue, Oakland

“Enjoy the wintertime with your friends from Ancestral Apothecary.

Atava and Blythe of Ancestral Apothecary and Community Herbalist will be opening up their herbal apothecaries for an afternoon of herbal festivities. Come by and sample our herbal goodies and stock up on herbal products and gifts for the season.

Items for sale include Sage Shield, Siete Flores, Elderberry Cordial, Heart Mend, Magical Bath Salts, Dream Drops and more. All products are 100% Oakland Grown!

We'll have herbal tea on tap for you to enjoy while you shop.”

Santa Beer Crawl in Downtown Martinez
Saturday, December 13, 2:30-5:30PM
along Main Street from Ferry Street to Alhambra Avenue, Martinez

“Dust off your Santa suits and ugly Christmas sweaters because it's time to head to Downtown Martinez for some holiday cheer!

Main Street Martinez hosts the annual Santa Beer Crawl on the streets of Martinez, Saturday, December 13, from 2:30-5:30PM. Come join the jolliest bunch of Santas this side of the bay as they walk around the downtown corridor of Martinez, sampling beers from over 20 great craft breweries stationed inside some of the small businesses along Main Street.”

Community Seed Yule Social
Saturday, December 13, 5:30-10:30PM
Clubhouse, Harvey West Park, 326 Evergreen Street, Santa Cruz, 831-420-5270
suggested donation of $5-$10, no one turned away for lack of funds
for more information, call 831-469-0336 or e-mail info@communityseed.org

“Come one, come all! Bring the family to A Yule Celebration!
In celebration. In joy. In merriment.

Gather at 5:30PM, Feasting at 6:00PM

Festivities to follow…..
Dancing with DJ Julian, spinning tunes from across the decades to get everyone wiggling.
Two raffles! Including one just for the youngsters.
The fabulous Photo Booth returns for your amusement.
General Fellowship and Fun as we welcome the return of the Sun….
Potluck to follow after the ritual. Please bring a dish to share and label the ingredients.
Earth signs - Greens, Air Signs - Main Dish Meat,
Fire Signs - Main Dish Vegetable, Water Signs - Dessert
Drinks will be provided

This is a child friendly event.  All CS events are Clean and Sober.”

Lighted Boat Parade
with the Petaluma Yacht Club
Saturday, December 13, 6:00PM
Turning Basin, 10 C Street, Petaluma, 707-769-0429

“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.”

Old Time Maritime Christmas
with the Hyde Street Living History Players
Saturday, December 13, 6:00-9:00PM
Aboard the historic vessels at Hyde Street Pier, San Francisco
included with vessel admission, Adults $5, 15 and under free

“Join us for our costumed Living History players Old Time Maritime Christmas. Turn back the clock to Christmas in the year 1901, where you will meet captains, wives, crews and passengers aboard the floating historic vessels.

Refreshments will be served at this magical evening program, with sea music performed by Richard Adrianowicz and Peter Kasin. Lamplit tours by a costumed nightwatchmen leave from the Hyde Street Pier entrance every 20 minutes beginning 6:00PM. Last tour leaves 7:40PM. Each tour lasts approximately 55 minutes. Each tour limited to 14 people. Reserve for this living history program by calling the Visitor Center, 415-447-5000, between 9:30AM-4:30PM, open daily.”

South Bay Yule
with The San Jose Pagan and Magick Meetup Group
Saturday, December 13, 7:00PM
Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto, 505 E Charleston Road, Palo Alto
$10 per person, $30 per family, no one ever turned away for lack of funds

“Come celebrate the Yuletide season with South Bay Circles on Saturday December 13. We'll be at the Palo Alto Unitarian Universalist Church (Fireside Room), facing the darkness of Winter while welcoming the return of the light. Join us for a powerful ritual, your favorite Yuletide carols, and some holiday cheer!
Please Bring: A dish to pass for the potluck, a beverage for yourself. Come join us!”

Bay Area Heathen Yule Dinner
Saturday, December 13, 7:00-10:00PM
Fremont Community Center, 40000 Paseo Padre Parkway, Fremont
Please bring a dish to share.

“Everybody come and Be Heathen Together!

Major meats provided by the hosts.
Bring a side dish, salad, or dessert to share.
Mead, beer, and wine are welcome.
Do you have crafts to display, or are you an entertainer?
Let us know beforehand, so we can arrange that.”

Gaskell Ball
Saturday, December 13, 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.

Of course, the usual 19th, 20th and 21st century formal wear is always welcome.

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.”

Broceliande CD Release Concert: Wassail!
Saturday, December 13, 7:30PM
East West Bookstore, 324 Castro Street, Mountain View, 650-988-9800
$15 in advance, $20 at the door

“In keeping with their annual tradition, Celtic/Medieval ensemble Broceliande will welcome in the Winter Solstice and celebrate the release of their new CD, Here We Come A-Wassailing, with a joyous concert of traditional and Early music of the season. Between them they play Celtic harp, cello, guitars, recorders, nyckelharpa, octave mandolin, flute, hardanger cello d'amore, and oboe. Join us for dances, carols, ballads, and the traditional drink of wassail after the show!”

Accordion Babes Revue
Saturday, December 13, 8:00PM
Rhythmix Cultural Works, 2513 Blanding Avenue, Alameda
$20 in advance, $25 at the door

“A Delightful Night Featuring Accordions and the Women Who Love Them!
Starring Accordionistas from the 2015 Accordion Babes Pin-up Calendar.

Three of the hottest Accordion-toting babes between Amsterdam and San Francisco will mesmerize you with melodies at Rhythmix on December 13.  Featured artists include: Jet Black Pearl with Charles Moselle (beat box cabaret), Tara Linda with Fistful of Stars (Tex-Mex/tortilla western), and Renee de la Prade with Whiskey and Women (cajun, Irish folk, punk). These sexy sirens of the squeezebox have wild songs to sing and tales to tell!  

Come spend a little time with the Accordion Babes and prepare to be amused, astonished and inspired. On the winds of the bellows, you will travel the world, through waltzes, polkas, folk shanties, rancheras, and jigs through cajun, Tex-Mex, gypsy rock, punk, and hip hop cabaret.  The beautiful, spunky women that grace our stage and the Pin-up calendar are more than just babes; they are super talented independent artists with wit, soul, and passion.

Sassy, sensual, and always entertaining, the Accordion Babes Revue shows sell out. Please get your tickets well-in advance; it is always painful to turn our friends away.

Jet Black Pearl
This fabulous Accordion Diva from the port of Amsterdam has performed on more than a thousand stages all over Europe and the West Coast, singing, rapping and beat boxing about slugs in love, criminal gurus and hallucinating butterflies.

This year at Rhythmix Cultural Works, Jet Black Pearl is proud to be accompanied by multi-instrumentalist Charles Moselle, a true master in the art of beat boxing, keyboards, saxophone and flute.

Charles Moselle
Charles Moselle is a multi-instrumentalist (piano, saxophones, flutes, drums,) and composer, known for his unusual vocal stylings and bizarre theatrical characterizations (mongolian beatboxing, zombie operettas,etc.). He attended Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute and California Institute of the Arts. Charles has performed with Robin Williams, Stan Getz, Frank Sinatra Jr., Bobby McFerrin, Stanley Clarke, Eddie Henderson, and many others.

Tara Linda and Fistful of Stars
What do you get when you blend a honey-voiced, squeezebox songstress (Tara Linda) with a wild, drumming guitarist (Rafael Herrera)?
‘Torch songs to light the border.’ -Sound Roots, World Music Review
Tex-Americana artist, Tara Linda (accordion, bass, ukulele), dug her heels deeper into Southwestern soil to serve up more festive fair with her new band Fistful of Stars.

Tara and Rafael play acoustic border serenades with a tortilla western twist; fresh, fun takes on traditional Latin favorites; plus a plethora of new cumbias, haupangos, rancheras, polkas, and wildwest tunes that will make you forget which side of the border you’re on! Fistful of Stars offers lots of original music between this songwriting duo: stellar vocal harmonies, dancing energy, and bilingual vocals alongside bass, trumpet, and percussion.  

Renee de la Prade and Whiskey Women
Whiskey and Women is an all-woman trio featuring not one but TWO accordion babes! Renee de la Prade and Joan Wilson Rueter will perform alongside Rosemary Steffy flaunting accordions, fiddles, drums, foot stomps, bluesy harmonies, and a hip-shaking show to get people on their feet. Whisky and Women play cajun music, old time, rocking Irish folk songs, and upbeat originals inspired by everything from country to punk, all with plenty of spirit. The ladies are just back from another European tour, and celebrating the release of their new CD, Medicine for the Blues."  

Holiday Open Studio at Slow Burn Glass
Saturday-Sunday, December 13-14, 9:00AM-5:00PM,
and every Saturday-Sunday through December 21
Slow Burn Glass, 2690 Union Street, Oakland, 510-832-2007
Free admission, workshops $80

“Join us this holiday season at our Open Studio! We will be teaching a Make Your Own Ornament workshop where you blow your own sparkling glass orb ornament, and Build A Snowman workshop where you can sculpt a personable solid glass snowman. We hold our workshops during our studios Open House, where you can shop and support local glass artists and pick up beautiful, one-of-a-kind gifts for your loved ones this holiday season.”

Holiday Classics Weekend
at Playland-Not-At-The-Beach
Saturday-Sunday, December 13-14, 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 all the classic characters, including Rudolph, Frosty, Hanukah Charlie and more. Spot them all and win special prizes!

Scott Alcalay performing at 1:00PM and 3:00PM.  Scott Alcalay was the very first magician to perform at Playland-Not-at-the-Beach - way back at our Sneak Peek event in 2005. Ironically that day he created exquisite balloon animals for our many guests. We did not learn until later of his magical powers. He is also the president of the Oakland Magic Circle.”

Occidental Holiday Crafts Faire
Saturday-Sunday, December 13-14,
Saturday 10:00AM-5:00PM, Sunday 10:00AM-4:00PM
Occidental Community Center, 3920 Bohemian Highway, Occidental, 707-874-2242

“Join Your Friends and Family for a Weekend of Holiday Cheer!

The Holiday Crafts Faire highlights over 35 local and regional artists, and features our traditional bucket raffle, fabulous food and beverages by a local gourmet chef, and baked goods provided by students from Salmon Creek School.

We welcome you to come and participate in the activities, take a stroll through town, and visit the local merchants and businesses. It is truly a holiday event that is not to be missed.   Proceeds from this annual fundraiser are returned to the community through programs funded by the Occidental Community Council, an all-volunteer, non-profit organization supporting local needs.”

Holiday Brick Show
Saturday-Sunday, December 13-14,
Saturday 10:00AM-5:00PM, Sunday 12:00-5:00PM,
runs through January 4
The Principled Academy, 2305 Washington Avenue, 2nd Floor, San Leandro, 510-351-6400
$2 per person, cash only at the door, Ages 2 and under Free

“An event for the whole family!

This year, we will be starting of with a winter edition of the Brickshow.
Come and see the Lego winter wonderland, pirates and maybe some friends will visit, too!

This is a special Exhibit to support the Principled Academy 7th and 8th graders. All proceeds will go to their Washington DC trip.

A miniland made out of LEGO.  From underwater to tall skyscrapers.  Prehistoric to Science Fiction.  There is something for everybody.

Get inspired by the LEGO exhibit, then put your own creativity to work with the available LEGO.  Take a picture of your creation to show your family and friends.  

Play LEGO games and compete with other visitors.  Challenge yourself to control LEGO NXT robots.”

Guglielmo Winery's 26th Annual Holiday Faire
Saturday-Sunday, December 13-14, 10:00AM-5:00PM
Guglielmo Winery, 1480 East Main Avenue, Morgan Hill, 408-779-2145
$10 Admission Fee includes Wine Tasting

“Join us for our 26th Annual Christmas at the Winery!

Are you one of those people who looks at Christmas shopping as something to be endured? We have got good news for you!  How about if you could sip delicious, award winning wine while selecting unique and beautiful gifts for everyone on your list?  How about if there was ample free parking and friendly, knowledgeable staff to help you?  Sounds like a painless way to shop during the holiday season or any time. So make the short drive to Morgan Hill and visit beautiful Guglielmo Winery.

Enjoy gourmet food, hot mulled wine, and holiday carolers!

Browse our huge selection of unique gifts!

From wine-themed gifts to custom gift baskets, you can please everyone on your list!”

The Great Dickens Christmas Fair!
Saturday-Sunday, December 13-14, 10:00AM-7:00PM
Cow Palace Exhibition Halls, 2600 Geneva Avenue, Daly City
see website for ticket details
Parking fees are $10 per car charged by the Cow Palace
Free shuttle available from Glen Park BART Station

"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 2013, including the Friday after Thanksgiving, from Saturday, November 22 through Sunday, December 21, 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.”

Bazaar Bizarre Holiday Show
Saturday-Sunday, December 13-14, 11:00AM-6:00PM
Herbst Pavilion, Fort Mason, Buchanan Avenue and Marina Boulevard, San Francisco

“San Francisco Bazaar (formerly Bazaar Bizarre SF) is celebrating its seventh year as a locally produced show! At San Francisco Bazaar, expect to find a quality handmade market including clothing, handbags, 'zines, jewelry, art prints, ceramics, and other items from more than 150 artisans and foodmakers! The show also features local food, entertainers, DJs (DJ Questosahn and The DJ Project), book signings, free DIY workshops, a free photo booth by Magnolia Photo Booth Co., a crafty charity raffle, and more!”

A Holiday Tradition at Dunsmuir House
Saturday-Sunday, December 13-14, 11:00AM-4:00PM
Dunsmuir-Hellman Historic Estate, 2960 Peralta Oaks Court, Oakland, 510-615-5555
Free admission

“City of Oakland Parks and Recreation invites you to step back in time and experience a turn-of-the-century Holiday Tradition at the Dunsmuir Hellman Historic Estate. The magnificent 16,224 square foot, 37-room mansion that volunteers would have put in more than 2,000 hours to transform into a breathtaking masterpiece of an Edwardian holiday will be open for only one weekend this year December 13th and 14th (Saturday and Sunday).

Each room is decorated with elegant holiday trees, garlands, antique furnishings and festive decorations to provide you with ideas for your own home decorations. Visitors can also enjoy a light lunch or snack at the Winter Cafe, while filling their holiday shopping list by purchasing from the Mansion Gift Shop Kids and families can begin the morning with Brunch with Santa, and afterwards enjoy games, face-painting and other activities. A Holiday Tradition is a wonderful way for families and friends to begin their own tradition and celebrate the holiday season.

This year's Special Attraction: is The Oakland Ballet's Holiday Performance on Saturday. Come enjoy the season with us!”

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.

Telegraph Avenue Holiday Street Fair
Saturday-Sunday, December 13-14, 11:00AM-6:00PM,
and December 20-21
along Telegraph Avenue between Dwight and Bancroft, Berkeley

“Holiday shoppers to the Telegraph business district will be treated to an abundance of good cheer, great music, fine food, and unique and unusual handcrafts by some of Northern California's finest artists.

This fair offers the rare opportunity to buy fine art originals and inexpensive gift items in the same place. Shoppers can choose from a tremendous diversity of arts and crafts, including jewelry, beadwork, wirework, hats, candles, leather work, silk-screened and tie-dyed clothing, pottery, wood crafts, metal crafts, paintings, henna-art, gift boxes, photography and sculptures.

Festive lights, colorful decorations, and a friendly multicultural shopping atmosphere complete the experience.”

Goddess Crafts Faire
Saturday-Sunday, December 13-14, 11:00AM-7:00PM
Sebastopol Community Center, 390 Morris Street, Sebastopol, 707-823-1511
Suggested Donation: $5-$13 (kids free)

“The Goddess Crafts Faire is a beautiful community celebration of the coming of winter through women’s art, music and dance.

Don’t miss this exquisite collection of handmade gifts by local and regional women!”

Crucible Gifty Holiday Sale
Saturday-Sunday, December 13-14,
Saturday 11:00-6:00PM, Sunday 12:00-5:00PM
The Crucible, 1260 7th Street, Oakland, 510-444-0919
Free admission

“Handmade Art for Sale

Dozens of leading East Bay artists, craftspeople and Crucible faculty members will be selling their best hand-made pieces in a holiday celebration of local creative culture. From glass to metal, wood, ceramics, clothing and much more, you’ll find the perfect gifts for the toughest people on your list. Seasonal treats, beverages and holiday entertainers make this an event all ages can enjoy.

Live industrial art demonstrations like glass-blowing, foundry pouring and opportunities to get hands-on in ceramics.

Discounts of 10% plus another $25 off Crucible classes - and more savings available for
Crucible members.

Crucible gift certificates will be available allowing you to give Crucible classes as gifts also, as will tickets to January’s Hot Couture flaming fashion show.

Bicycles for sale in The Crucible’s Bike Shop.

Win free tuition for a Crucible class!

Help us celebrate the Gear Girls, our joint venture with Oakland Fund for the Arts teaching local high school students the art of welded sculpture.”

Holiday Tree Walk
Saturday-Sunday, December 13-14, 11:00AM-7:00PM - final week
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 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.”

Santa Cruz Holiday Lights Train
Saturday-Sunday, December 13-14, 11:00AM-7:00PM,
runs through December 23
Departs from Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, 400 Beach Street, Santa Cruz
see website for schedule admission details

“Choo, Choo, Santa Claus is coming to town, not by sleigh, not by snow but by Train!

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 while Santa visits the little ones, or the young at heart! Continue the merriment with your choice of arcade games, mini-golf, or laser tag at Santa's Kingdom at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Bring the whole family for festive fun. Happy Holidays!

Dear Santa Letter:
Print out your letter to Santa Claus and have Roaring Camp Deliver it by train to the North Pole. Write your letter and bring it with you to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, there will be a North Pole mailbox just outside of the entrance to Neptune's Kingdom by the first car of the train. Roaring Camp will be making a special trip each evening after the Holiday Lights Train to drop off your letters to Santa's Home in the North Pole.”

The Emerald Cup
Saturday-Sunday, December 13-14, 11:00AM-7:30PM
Sonoma County Fairgrounds, 1350 Bennett Valley Road, Santa Rosa
see website for admission details

“The Emerald Cup is the longest running outdoor organic cannabis cup in the world.

Contests include: Medicinal Cannabis, Solvent-less Concentrates, Edibles, Topicals, and a Photo Contest.

The Emerald Cup is a community celebration honoring the year's finest sun grown medical cannabis harvest. Last year we solidified our reputation as the biggest, best, and most inspiring outdoor, medicinal organic cannabis competition in the world. From our small beginnings in Laytonville a decade ago, this event has proven itself to be the prominent celebration in the California outdoor cannabis scene. This will be our second year hosting the event at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa. and we have expanded to include more organic food, over 100 great vendors, contests, speaker panels, hands on workshops, tons of great music, PLUS some major laughs from cannabis comedians, the highly anticipated awards ceremony as well as many more attractions . At The Emerald Cup there's something for every cannabis enthusiast.”

Winter Open House, Social, and Sale
Saturday-Sunday, December 13-14, 12:00-4:00PM
Institute For Urban Homesteading, 839 60th Street, Oakland

“Free and open to the Public.

Join the party! Our year-end event is a celebration of the bounty. There will be tasting (homemade jam, bread, wine, and more), convivial people and shopping! Who could ask for more? Lots of cool handmade goodies and treats starting as low as $1. Come grab your stocking stuffers, Secret Santas and private stash. Enjoy the cheer and support the local economy. Win-win happy joy!”

Magic Toy Box Tea
Saturday and Sunday, December 13-14, 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 - 12:00PM and 3:00PM each day.”

Handcraft Holiday Market
Saturday-Sunday, December 13-14, 12:00-5:00PM
Handcraft Studio School, 5885 Doyle Street, Emeryville, 510-332-6101
Free admission

“Our second annual Holiday Market features 20 local vendors!

Macrame, Wooden Spoons, Textiles, Jewelry, Wreaths, Ceramics, Letterpress Goods and More!”

with Kitka Women’s Vocal Ensemble

Saturday, December 13, 8:00PM
Holy Cross Church, 126 High Street, Santa Cruz

Sunday, December 14, 4:00PM
St. Bede's Church, 2650 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park

“Wintersongs is Kitka's critically-acclaimed and wildly popular winter holiday program showcasing seasonal music from a wide variety of Eastern European ethnic and spiritual traditions.

For countless centuries, people around the world have utilized the power or community singing to infuse warmth, cheer, spirituality, wishes for peace, health, and good fortune into the long, dark, cold, and difficult winter season. Eastern Europe's geographic position as a crossroads between Europe and the Orient has produced an astonishingly rich and varied array of seasonal musical rituals.
Kitka's 2014 Wintersongs program will feature songs ranging from rousing Slavic folk carols; to lush meditative Eastern Orthodox sacred choral works; to Baltic pagan incantations for the return of the Sun Goddess, to Caucasus Georgian Alilos (hallelujahs); to Yiddish, Sephardic, and Hebrew songs for Chanukah; to Bosnian-Muslim ilahijas (devotional hymns); to rhythmic Balkan Romany (‘Gypsy’) tunes for the winter festivals of Vasilica and Kurban Bajram.

Traditional pieces will be woven together with new folk song arrangements and original compositions by Kitka members and contemporary American and Eastern European composers, all inspired by the customs, beauty, and mystery of wintertime.”

The Amazing Bubble Show Returns
with Louis Pearl, the Amazing Bubble Man
Sunday, December 14, 11:00AM and 2:00PM
Rhythmix Cultural Works, 2513 Blanding Avenue, Alameda
Children $10, Adults $15, Family Package including 2 Child and 2 Adult tickets for $40

“Louis Pearl has been thrilling audiences around the world for nearly 30 years with the art, magic, science and fun of bubbles. An Edinburgh Fringe favorite, he has sold out every year for the last seven years. Louis explores the breath-taking dynamics of bubbles, combining comedy and artistry with audience participation and enough spellbinding bubble tricks to keep everyone mesmerized. From square bubbles, bubbles inside bubbles, fog-filled bubbles, giant bubbles, bubble volcanoes, tornadoes and trampolines to people inside bubbles, the Amazing Bubble Man conjures shrieks of laughter and gasps of amazement from all ages. This rare show will also feature Accordion Babe Jet Black Pearl accompanying Louis with bubbly music to double your pleasure.”

Winter Wonderland Snow Globes
with Niki Baker of Foreignspell
part of the Sunday Crafternoon series
Sunday, December 14, 12:00-2:00PM
Modern Mouse, 2223 South Shore Center, Alameda, 510-814-8830
$10 includes materials and refreshments

“Here's a Crafternoon you won't want to miss - we're making handmade snow globes!

Niki Baker of Foreignspell will lead the way as you assemble a drought-friendly (aka no water needed), miniature snow globe in a jar.

Your $10 entry fee grants you full access to our Sunday Crafternoon workshop, including guided instruction, supplies, snacks and sips.

Niki Baker is a printmaker, SF native, music zealot, animal lover, Francophile, proud former Seattleite, expert whistler, food and libation enthusiast, and competent juggler. She loves hand-carving elaborate stamps and printing them on a myriad of surfaces!

Tools / supplies: jar with lid, miniature tree, faux snow, glue dots”

Holiday Puppet Show - The Nutcracker
Sunday, December 14, 12:00-4:00PM,
Performances are at 12:00PM, 1:30PM, and 3:00PM
Gamble Mansion at Elizabeth Gamble Garden, 1431 Waverley Street, Palo Alto
$15, reservations required

“Introduce your young loved ones to the holiday tradition of The Nutcracker, as performed by master puppeteer, Randal Metz of The Puppet Company. Join us in the Carriage House for the performance. Light refreshments will be served. Reservations are required.”

A Winter Wonderland
with The Academy of Classical Ballet
Sunday, December 14, 1:00PM and 5:00PM
Campbell Heritage Theatre, 1 W Campbell Avenue, Campbell, 408-866-2700
$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.”

A Scottish Christmas with Stewart Tartan Pipes and Drums
Sunday, December 14, 3:00-5:00PM
Transfiguration Episcopal Church, 3900 Alameda De Las Pulgas, San Mateo, 650-341-8206
donations graciously accepted

“You are cordially invited to a Free Concert to celebrate the season, presented by the Stewart Tartan Pipes and Drums of San Francisco.

Bagpipes and Drums, Scottish Fiddlers, Highland Dancing, Scottish Ballads.

This is a popular concert.   We recommend carpooling and allowing enough time to park.  

Bring a cushion to soften the church pew experience.”

I Dreamed of Rain: Occidental Community Choir’s Winter Concert
Sunday, December 14, 3:00PM
Glaser Center, 547 Mendocino Avenue, Santa Rosa

“The Winter Concert presents deep and timely music arising from local and more widespread environmental and social concerns. We’ll begin by doling out some hilarious audience etiquette instructions from our Maestro himself, Andy Del Monte.

In the Company of Stars asks for blessings from the stars on the cold winter's eve. We importune celestial beings as well in Blythe Klein's and Gordon Stubbe's Angels, Allaudin Mathieu's arrangement of O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, and Anton Bruckner's heavenly version of Ave Maria.

The concert honors our deep trust of salvation in the traditional spiritual Deep River and concludes with Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah.”

Holiday Concert with Island City Opera
Sunday, December 14, 4:00-5:00PM
Bellevue Club, 525 Bellevue Avenue, Oakland, 510-451-1000

“Join Island City Opera and Bellevue Club Members in the beautiful Bellevue Club's Mural Room for a one hour concert of opera arias by Verdi, Puccini and Bernstein, as well as holiday favorites performed by cast members of Island City Opera's up-coming production of Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor.”

Foundation of the Sacred Stream Holiday Party
Sunday, December 14, 4:00-6:00PM
Sacred Stream Center, 2149 Byron Street, Berkeley, 415-333-1434
Free, donations appreciated

“Join us to celebrate the season with a gathering at the Sacred Stream Center. There will be light snacks and tea and a chance to see some old friends and meet new ones. We will also have the monk store open, with a chance to buy some last minute holiday gifts. The monks' CD of chanting, The Sacred Chants of Tibet, will make its debut on that day. Be the first to get a copy! Afterwards, if you like, you can stay for the Winter Solstice Drum Circle at 6:00PM. This is a drop in occasion, no official start, but we will end at 6:00PM. Feel free to bring guests!”

The Second Annual Tannenbaum Toast
hosted by The Emperor's Bridge Campaign
Sunday, December 14, 4:00-6:00PM
The House Of Shields, 39 New Montgomery Street, San Francisco
Donations gratefully accepted

“A great Christmas tree has stood sentinel in Union Square, San Francisco, every holiday season since 1880.

Word is that this was the first public Christmas tree of its kind in the United States - and that it was Emperor Norton (c.1818-1880) who originally called for it, possibly thinking that such a tree would bring particular delight to children.

It's a legend that has the ring of truth.

Last year, on the second Sunday afternoon of December, The Emperor's Bridge Campaign celebrated this legend with a holiday party at The House of Shields - a beautifully restored 1908 bar that is just a short walk from Union Square. We called it The First Annual Tannenbaum Toast.

From the beginning, we felt that the Tannenbaum Toast had the makings of a new tradition. The gathering was such a festive success that we vowed to make it so.

So, kick off the holidays in regal style! Join The Emperor's Bridge Campaign, on the second Sunday afternoon in December, for...

The Second Annual Tannenbaum Toast

Raise a glass to the Emperor for his kindness in calling for a great Christmas tree for all to enjoy during the holidays.

And learn more about the Campaign's efforts to foster public awareness, understanding and appreciation of the life and legacy of Emperor Norton - and to become the leading public resource on the Emperor.

We'll be back at The House of Shields, where the formal Toast will be at 5:00PM.

Once again, the drink will be The House of Shields's version of the classic Boothby cocktail - created in 1908 by legendary San Francisco bartender William T. ‘Cocktail’ Boothby, during his tenure at the Palace Hotel, just across the street from The House of Shields.

Those who would like an imperial escort to the Toast can join us under the Union Square Christmas tree at 3:30PM. We'll be joined by the Emperor himself - as played by Joseph Amster of Emperor Norton's Fantastic San Francisco Time Machine - and will stroll over with him to The House of Shields at about 3:45PM.

We'll see you in the mezzanine!

Donations will be gratefully accepted.

The Emperor's Bridge Campaign is a California nonprofit public benefit corporation. We currently are in the process of applying for federal tax-exempt status as a 501(c) nonprofit organization.”

Holiday Open House at the Ainsley House
Sunday, December 14, 5:30-8:00PM
and Thursday, December 18, 5:30-8:00PM
Ainsley House, 51 N Central Avenue, Campbell

“This December, the historic Ainsley House will be transformed into a holiday wonderland! Join us for one of two evening open houses, December 14 and 18, 5:30-8:00PM, 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, 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.

Altarena Playhouse Holiday Sing-Along!
Sunday, December 14, 7:00-9:00PM
Altarena Playhouse, 1409 High Street, Alameda, 510-0523-1553
$5 suggested donation

“Join us for holiday sing-along caroling to live music!

Come in your most festive outfit! There will be merriment, yummy treats, and libations as we celebrate another great Season!

Prizes will be awarded for Best Holiday Spirit and Most Outrageous Holiday Sweater!

To help those in need this year, please bring a few non-perishable food items for The Alameda Food Bank. We have two large barrels we’d love to see filled to the brim with donated food. Let’s see if we can make that happen!

To further help those in need, we are asking for a minimum $5 donation for each ticket. All money earned will be donated directly to The Alameda Food Bank!”

Fifth Annual One-Minute Play Festival
presented by Playwrights Foundation and The One-Minute Play Festival
Monday-Tuesday, December 15-16, 8:00PM
$18 in advance, $25 at the door

“Grab a cocktail, bring a friend and prepare to have your mind blown!

The One-Minute Play Festival (#1MPF)  is a fast-paced evening of non-stop theater that will twist and turn your mind and heart - featuring brand new one-minute plays by 50+ of the Bay Area's growing talent pool of exceptional contemporary writers, including some of the most important artistic voices in the nation. Following sold-out performances in the past four seasons, this year’s festival will be the largest, most inclusive, and most ambitious collaboration between Playwrights Foundation and #1MPF to date.”

Harry Shearer and Judith Owen present: Christmas Without Tears
Tuesday, December 16, 8:00PM
The Addition, 1330 Fillmore Street, San Francisco, 415-655-5600

“A holiday show in two acts.

Judith Owen
Judith Owen's new album, Ebb and Flow, evokes the spirit of the halcyon days of the great 1970s troubadours is not accidental.

In a set of potent songs about love and loss, pain and joy, dreams and despair, the Welsh singer-songwriter fearlessly explores the duality of the human condition - and to do justice to the songs she turned to the legendary musicians who created the seventies troubadour sound.

Between them, her core band of drummer Russ Kunkel, bassist Leland Sklar and guitarist Waddy Wachtel played on many of the landmark albums from the era by the likes of Carole King, James Taylor, Joni Mitchell and Jackson Browne.

Harry Shearer
Join Harry Shearer for a rare personal appearance and interactive conversation regarding his wildly popular UK television series Nixon's the One. In the series, Shearer recreates actual audio taped conversations of Richard Nixon from the White House - interesting, funny and bizarre!

Actor… author... director... comedian… musician… philosopher… political satirist… record-company owner… and one of the best voices in the business, Harry Shearer is a comic personality and modern day renaissance man.

For the past two decades, he has enjoyed enormous success and planted the fruits of his talents in the heads of millions worldwide thanks to his voice work for The Simpsons, where he plays a stable of characters: most notably Mr. Burns, Smithers, and insufferable neighbour Ned Flanders.”

Wooden Spoon Carving
with Windy Chien
Wednesday, December 17, 10:00AM-4:00PM
Handcraft Studio School, 5885 Doyle Street, Emeryville, 510-332-6101
$175 includes materials, limit 9 students

“There is nothing like the feeling of using a spoon you made yourself. The simple acts of stirring tea or cooking food become mindful, elevated experiences. In this workshop learn the process of designing, carving, and finishing techniques. Windy will demo hands-on use of a gouge, Japanese handsaw, Japanese rasp, chisel/mallet, and cabinet scrapers to create a one of a kind cherry wood spoon.

Students will leave with a finished hand carved cherry wood spoon, gouge for future spoon making, sandpaper, and oil.

Light snacks and drinks will be served. Due to the length of the workshop, please bring a bagged lunch to enjoy at the studio or the nearby community garden.

Windy Chien, recovering techie and ex-record shop owner, has developed a singular process for carving her Fat Bottomed Girls line of spoons. Using Japanese and Swiss hand tools and working in walnut, cherry, and mahogany, she ergonomically designed the spoons to feel good in the hand and be used daily. While many methods for spoon carving exist, Windy’s style is accessible to non-professionals without access to a woodshop and requires only a small amount of space and tools.”

Have a Fair, Festive, Wild and Wonderful Week!

Molly Blue Dawn

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