SF LIFE: Holiday Happenings, Shows, Freebies, Sound Healing
Well friends, hope your Thanksgiving was memorable and not too filling, and now begins the dash to Hanukkah, Kwanza and Christmas. We have found an abundance of entertaining shows to lift your holiday spirits. You can also find many free activities to help you celebrate the season. Speaking of your spirit, if you need a little “ohm” time, check out these sound-healing experiences located in our area. And we recommend shopping local to support our economy!
From shows to gingerbread castles, you will find something for everyone this holiday season.
Scrooge In Love!
Returns to the Gateway Theatre due to the glowing reviews of years past. Chock full of all your favorite ghosts and characters from ‘A Christmas Carol,’ the show starts precisely a year after the Dickens’ tale. An optimistic, charmingly funny and deeply emotional show that asks how do you reconcile the past with the present? Find a reformed Scrooge looking for his lost love, Belle, and revisiting past, present and future with hilarious, ghostly friends. Side splitting and hopelessly romantic. Get tickets.
Dec. 7. Silent Films
Kick off the holiday season at the glorious Castro Theatre with the San Francisco Silent Film Festival’s “A Day of Silents.” It may be just the tonic for too much family, too much turkey and too much football. See five silent programs—all with live musical accompaniment—for less than the cost of six sodas at the multiplex. http://www.castrotheatre.com
Dec. 5-8. “A Holly Jolly Holiday” at Feinstein’s
A two-time Emmy Award and five-time Grammy Award nominee, Michael Feinstein returns to San Francisco, the city where he launched his career, with A Holly Jolly Holiday. In this all new show celebrating the magic of the season, Feinstein will perform holiday favorites as well as classic standards from the Great American Songbook at the intimate venue that bears his name, Feinstein’s at the Nikko.
Dec. 23-25. Kung Pao Kosher Comedy
Get your laugh on at the 27th annual “Kung Pao Kosher Comedy: Jewish Comedy on Christmas in a Chinese Restaurant.” It is so wacky and wonderful, and our family attended last year. Chinese food and laughter all at a communal table. So much fun and different than anything else out there. Dec. 24-26 at New Asia Restaurant. http://www.koshercomedy.com
We have a Thanksgiving gift for all of you today. It’s a beautiful performance by Christina Connors singing “We Live on Borrowed Time” from her solo album “Dream Bigger…Songs of Hope, Healing, and Inspiration,” and you can listen to the song on our special Thanksgiving Day Happy Hour Podcast. Listen in now.
For more than a century, The Fairmont San Francisco has enchanted us with holiday festivities and exuberant ambiance. Starting tomorrow the hotel unveils the two-story, life-sized Gingerbread House in the grand lobby. This edible abode will stand more than 25 feet high and features more than 6,000 house-made gingerbread bricks, more than 1,500 pounds of candy and over 3,000 pounds of royal icing. Makes my graham cracker concoctions seem a little lame! The Fairmont, 950 Mason St., SF
Don’t know how to skate? Kaiser Permanente invites beginner skaters to the Holiday Ice Rink in Union Square to come learn from professional skate instructorsevery weekend morning from 8:30 – 9:30. Lessons are free (including skate rental) to those who sign up in advance. Available for ages 3 to 300. If you fall on your fanny, so what, just get some hot chocolate! Get details and free tickets.
Sound Healing has become the wellness activity du jour and who doesn’t want a little calming during this season of sometimes stress. For those who are unfamiliar, these are sound-meditation sessions during which practitioners sit or lay with eyes closed and “bathe” in healing sounds and vibrations produced by crystal bowls, tuning forks, and rainforest sticks. Devotees claim its benefits include relief from chronic pain, digestive issues, stress, and depression. If this sounds like what you need to quiet that monkey mind, here are a few Bay Area experts to help you relax and Zen out.
Sound Meditation SF
Sound Meditation SF hosts a monthly sound bath for hundreds of devotees at such locations as Grace Cathedral in addition to seasonal meet-ups at the Conservatory of Flowers. Students lay in savasana while the instructor uses gongs, crystal singing bowls, shamanic drums, and chimes to create healing vibrations. soundmeditationsf.com
This beautiful travel memoir with exquisite illustrations is a perfect holiday gift. Get it on Amazon.
Resonate: Sound Heals at Halcyon
If you want to try sound healing by making your way through a rotating roster of SF’s most experienced sonic practitioners, Halcyon’s new Thursday night sound experience might just be your new happy hour. One-hour sessions range from pure sound baths to yoga with sound, depending on the specialty of the instructor. Classes are currently running at least once a month. Occasional Thursdays; 314 11th St. (SoMa), halcyon-sf.com
Yogi Abigail Tyler
Each month, sacred yogi Abigail Tyler and her team throw a multisensory celebration to welcome the new or full moon. The evening events include breath work, chanting, reiki, a discussion of the lunar phases, and sound healing using chimes, rattles, a Chilean cactus rain stick, and a variety of singing bowls. The Center SF offers additional sound healing events with different practitioners. 548 Fillmore St. (Lower Haight), thecentersf.com.