Who doesn't have fond memories of gluing together ramshackle gingerbread houses with snow-white frosting and candy decor in elementary school? Well, the gingerbread architects at the Palace Hotel are lightyears ahead in their mastery of building starchy structures than we ever could have imagined, and this Friday, November 26th you can see their work on full display and vote for which you think is the most magnificent until December 31st, all for a good cause.
Local sports luminaries, 7x7 and other sponsors are banding together at AT&T Park on Tuesday, December 7th to raise awareness for children in need this holiday season.
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.
Our friends at Liquor.com call port the fruitcake of alcohol. Holiday guests will bring you a bottle and because few people know what to do with it, it gets shoved to the back of the liquor cabinet and forgotten. But they've dug up a very good reason for you to dust off that old bottle you've had and finally uncork it.
Holiday pop-up shops are appearing everywhere these days, but at Gilman Village in Berkeley on the corner of 10th & Gilman streets, you can get fed while snagging gifts. From now until December 24th, you can get goodies from chic home boutique Trove, handcrafted haven Ethnic Arts, Show Place Art, and the special Gilman Village Pop-Up Shop, plus cocktails and delicious snacks from T-Rex BBQ like barbecued oysters, ribs, deviled eggs and hand cut fries.
Thanksgiving is the best holiday in existence, because pretty much all that's required of you is eating...and drinking. We asked Monk's Kettle cicerone and human beer encyclopedia Sayre Piotrkowski for his picks for the best seasonal brews (all with high-alcohol content! goodbye family awkwardness!) to pair with your turkey feast:
A bunch of gentlemen's clubs around town, like Larry Flynt's Hustler Club, Roaring 20's, the Condor, Centerfolds, Little Darlings and more are hosting the SF Fire Fighters' Toy Program to collect holiday goodies for kids.
On Saturday, November 20th, the toy drive kicks off its ongoing collections at these clubs through December 19th. Bring a new, wrapped toy or monetary donation and you'll receive free admission to the club of your choice. Dancers will also be giving lap dances for charity all night long.
There are plenty of stores known for their extravagant holiday window displays, but given the choice, I prefer to ogle the ones at Anthropologie. As you'd only expect from the store, they're always as pretty, fresh, and unique as all get-out. But aside from all the beauty, I'm mainly checking them out to cop ideas for my own holiday decorations.
Each year I make the same promise to myself to sit down and make my own set of holiday cards that are at once beautiful, ever so slightly witty, and 100 percent personalized. Every year, without fail, I break that promise. Sigh! It takes a lot of time and work to be that perfect. This year I'm getting an early start, and I've decided to be honest with myself about my capabilities, or lack thereof. Rather than spending far too long designing the perfect card in my head, then quickly scrapping the idea after realizing (again) that my creative skill does not equal the creativity of my ideas, I've decided to outsource things. Enter Minted, a crowdsourcing stationery site based in San Francisco.