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Christmas

Holiday Light Extravaganzas in the South Bay

Fantasy of Lights

The holidays are coming fast and furious. While some stores have been decorated for months, last weekend was the official, albeit wet, kickoff for homes and neighborhoods around the Bay Area to flip the switch on their holiday spirit. I went hunting during my weekend trip to in the South Bay and found some standouts.

Holiday Events in Lake Tahoe

Though the weather outside is frightful – it’s not snowing and the prospects for any significant snowfall in the immediate future are grim – the Lake Tahoe area is still a delightful place to visit during the year-end holiday season.

Look of the Week: 12 Splurge Worthy Booties We Love

Spending half your rent on a pair of shoes? I know, I know -- fuggeddaboutit! But really, if there's one thing to splurge on this winter, it's a pair of delicious designer booties. Dress them up or down, and wear them all year round. We found 12 envy-ensuing booties to add to your wish list, or better yet -- go ahead and gift yourself! 

Broadway Showgirls Launches Toy Drive

On November 20th, in partnership with the San Francisco Fire Fighters Toy Program, Broadway Showgirls helped launch a month-long charitable event running from Thanksgiving through Christmas that gathered toys and money for families in need. Patrons earned entry by donating an unwrapped new toy instead of paying a cover charge. Over 11 clubs throughout San Francisco participated in the program by offering nightly benefit dances at prime business hours as well as providing toy donation receptacles for patrons and employees. The month-long promotion concluded with a check and toy presentation on Tuesday December 21st at San Francisco Fire Station #1, just in time for Christmas!

 

Tamales In Time For Christmas

Tamales, love to eat them, pain in the arse to make them.

My favorite place in town to get a tamale remains the unlikely little Sutter Cafe (330 Sutter St.) in the Sutter Stockton garage across from the elevators. Nice and small, stuffed with chicken, green olives and chilies, they're made there by a Chinese woman who lived in Mexico.

But if you're looking to buy more than one or two, Mijita—at both locations—is taking orders now for their homemade tamales. I've never had them but by the looks of this photo above, they look mighty fine.

The Golden Girls Gone Drag (For Christmas)

San Francisco has a Christmas tradition that you may not know about, but if you love The Golden Girls, drag shows, or both, you've been missing out. What apparently started as a parlor performance has earned itself a legitimate performance space at the Mission's CounterPULSE. Of note, the lovely Pollo del Mar fills Betty White's shoes as Rose Nylund, as the 4-person drag queen cast takes on two Christmas episodes of the 80s sitcom—dare I call it a cult classic—at each performance: “Twas The Nightmare Before Christmas” and “Long Day’s Journey Into Marinara.” The show runs Thursday through Saturday, tomorrow through December 23rd. Tickets are $25 a piece, available through Ticketfly.

Tree Hunting: The Best Places to Cut Down a Christmas Tree in the Bay Area

Okay, there might not be a lot of snow right  now in the Bay Area (Seattle is another story), but post-Thanksgiving marks the time to bundle up, grab some bungee cords and head out to find your perfect Christmas tree. Here are some places to chop a dandy.

WallinFarm 840 Ferguson Road, Sebastopol, (707) 823-6973

Opening on Black Friday, avoid the city chaos and head to this cozy, 6-acre mom-and-pop farm in rural Sebastopol. It's a peaceful setting, perfect for spotting a picturesque Douglas fir for your living room. And you won't have to sacrifice a few Christmas presents to be able to afford one of their trees. For a tree about 9 feet tall, you won't have to pay more than $70. Their last day of chopping is on the 22nd of December.

Market Watch: Holiday Gifts to Harvest

If anyone has the inside sccop when it comes to the Ferry Plaza Farmers market it's Lulu Meyer, associate director of market operations at CUESA. You'll see her at the market, rain or shine. Every week, she'll be giving us her short list for the market—just in time for Saturday shopping. Go to cuesa.org for more information about farmers, what's in season and market goings-on.

Do Good on Friday, and Macy’s Street Teams May Give You $25

Bestow random acts of kindness, and you may be rewarded in unexpected ways. No, we’re not recalling a message from our last fortune cookie, but the latest holiday promotion from Macy’s.

On Friday, Dec. 11, two street teams (dubbed the Macy’s Believe Newsboys) will be roving through downtown San Francisco looking for people doing good acts in their daily lives. When they spot a deserving individual, street teams will reward them for their positive deeds and acts of kindness with $25 Macy’s Believe Bonus cards, good toward future purchases at the department store.

The promotion is part of Macy’s National Believe Day, which encourages the spirit of the season through various charitable initiatives.

5 Tips for Making Holiday Travel Less of a Nightmare

If you're not from California, chances are you're one of the projected 8.1 million travelers who will be heading home by plane this holiday season. Which means--sorry to break it to you--you'll likely be spending more time than necessary sitting in the airport or on the tarmac, dealing with weather delays, air traffic, mechanical issues or overbookings. But your experience doesn't have to be miserable. Here are a few tips that will hopefully make your holiday travel a little less painful.

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