SF LIFE: Tree & Menorah Lightings, Gifting, Art Without Borders
I know that visions of sugar plums, menorahs and the like are floating in your heads, Tomatoes. You can’t help it – the holidays are here. Want to light up your life? Read on for a few brilliant events. Who loves a prezzie? We all do, and wow do I have some fun ideas. Lastly, head to the Herbst theatre to hear an engaging conversation from immigrants and their influence in SF cultural life. Don’t forget to enjoy the season, hang some mistletoe and spread joy!
Light Up Your Life
The season of lights is upon us whether you celebrate in the Jewish or Christian tradition the illumination of lights is a part of our holiday celebrations.
December 2 – 9. The Bill Graham Festival of Lights is a unique and festive beginning of the Chanukah season. The 25 foot high menorah will be lit daily each day at approximately 5 p.m. in Union Square. Music and activities accompany the lighting. You will be awed.
Dec. 3. Grace Cathedral welcomes the Rainbow World Fund (RWF) World Tree of Hope, and will host the thirteenth annual tree lighting ceremony and party from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The RWF World Tree of Hope is a gift to the San Francisco Bay Area and the world from the LGBT community. It is the largest annual origami-decorated holiday tree in the world, with more than 17,000 origami cranes and stars. Wishes are sent in from around the world by mail and online at rainbowfund.org/tree. The wishes are then printed and folded into origami cranes by a diverse team of volunteers.
Dec. 7. Winter Lights in Golden Gate Park. The beauty of Golden Gate park is enhanced by winter lights and on December 7th from 4 – 8 you can witness the 88th annual lighting of the city’s official holiday tree at McLaren Lodge – 501 Stanyan Street at 6 p.m. Following the glow you can view the stunning new light art installation at the Conservatory of Flowers (100 JFK Drive) at 7 p.m.
Young ones will love the carnival activities, and those of us “over a certain age” will gasp at the Conservatory of Flowers light show which celebrates the natural wonders of the seasons with “Photosynthesis: Love for All Seasons,” a new series of artistic illuminations. www.sfrecpark.org
Dec. 4. Art without Borders
“Art without Borders: Immigrants and San Francisco cultural life” is the final chat series hosted by the Chronicle at the Herbst Theatre. Join local celeb immigrants in conversation. How have immigrants contributed to the rich tapestry that makes up the Bay Area’s cultural life?
Join San Francisco prima ballerina Yuan Yuan Tan, chef Mourad Lahlou, novelist Thi Bui, and singer Diana Gameros, in an evening of live performance, conversation, and tasty treats as they share their immigration experience and reveal how being here has allowed them to flourish as artists. All ticket-holders are invited to a pre-event reception with the Datebook team. Check it out and mingle with your favorite Arts & Entertainment writers before the show. Tickets – $25 http://www.cityboxoffice.org
“If only…”. “Have you ever wondered what it would be like to…” You name it and the site ifonly.com has it. Experiences often make the best gifts as we all have a lot of “stuff” right? Amazing curated events can be found at If only – for your spouse, partner, gal pal, mother, father, kids. Literally something for everyone.
They have experiences in many cities across the country, so you can even find something for Aunt Irma in NYC or Cousin Katie in Nashville. In the Bay Area, someone who loves their bling might enjoy designing their own piece of jewelry inspired by the SFMOMA tour. For the adventure seeker, a sea plane ride might lift the endorphins. Or perhaps an intensive overnight wilderness survival clinic. Food lovers on your list will rejoice at the many culinary offerings. Experiences include private Macaron workshops presented by the chef of DeLise in North Beach, learning how to make latte art with the “world’s” best coffee artist, a roving cheese tasting, a crabbing and crab boil, and so many more. Music lovers might like a private trombone lesson, artists an evening art tour or private sketching class.
You just have to browse, you will find the perfect gift your friends and family never knew they wanted! www.ifonly.com
A Gift That Helps
The gift of a manicure fits all your gal pals – and with SF based company, High Five, the pampering comes to you. This modern, mobile nail salon is absolutely supported by ethical labor practices! They bring the nail salon to you with easy online booking, 30-minute appointments, and cashless payment, all while providing meaningful career opportunities for women in the bay area.
High Five is based in the Bay Area and serves companies, campuses, and private events. A great idea for your book club friends, soccer moms or mother/daughter time. Clean, safe and helping other women – a win all around. www.wehivefive.com