SF LIFE: Festival of Lights, Outdoor Adventures, Local Shopping, Local Theatre
Well Tomatoes, we are in full holiday mode now and we wish a Happy Hanukkah to those who celebrate. As of this writing, most Bay Area counties are in another lockdown, no outdoor dining, no museums, you get the picture. So let’s focus on the positive. We can still stroll outside as many outdoor gardens are open, and if you have gifts to be buy, we have some more local ideas and experiences for you. A few Maker’s Markets are scheduled for outdoors (but as always make sure to check before you head out) and then come home and stream some local theatre company presentations. Listen in this week’s Happy Hour Podcast—it’s all about our lungs.
You may be one of those tomatoes who has completed all Holiday Shopping. If not, however, here are a few more ideas – all local.
Our own fashion contributor Paul Julch, a master personal stylist, has gift certificates available for that person who loves clothes, but doesn’t love shopping. Even in a pandemic Paul has been virtually styling clients to help them feel more confident (on ZOOM too). You can buy a Gift of Style for a loved one who wants to feel more comfortable and confident in their clothes. Gifts of Style include Style Portfolio (a virtual service that gives you the tools to jumpstart your style), Closet Audits, Personal Shopping and Personal Styling. He will even customize an experience! http://www.urbsuburbstyle.com
If you have an outdoor adventure lover on your list, an activity I highly recommend is kayaking. With fabulous guides of course. This year – give the gift of nature, adventure, and exercise both through Sea Trek in Sausalito. Having experienced their fun and informative guided kayak tours, I can personally recommend this. Safety, fresh air and fun. Having been gifted the full moon kayak tour, I know this would be a wonderful delight for someone in your life. Knowledgeable guides and the beauty of the bay create an unforgettable experience. Daytime adventures include a kayak from Sausalito to Angel Island with lunch on a secluded beach or a Sausalito waterfront adventure where you will see the famous floating homes up close and personal and meet the seals as well. www.seatrek.com
Art lovers will enjoy a membership to one of our renowned museums, from SFMOMA to the DeYoung to the Asian Art Museum, Contemporary Jewish Museum, Museum of African Diaspora. There are so many that would appreciate your financial assistance. Why not go to their online gift shops, purchase an item and include it with a membership. What a gift for someone on your list!
PEGGY LI CREATIONS – give the gift of bling – local bling that is. SF based jewelry designer Peggy Li has been designing creations for over 19 years. From her degree as a Chemical Engineer from UC Berkeley to her stints as a writer in LA, her trajectory has been unusual. However, her love for handmade jewelry found her fueling her passion. A chance meeting with a costume designer in LA brought her creations to TV and her work caught fire. Her materials are sourced all over the world and each piece is ethically sourced. Simple, minimalist and sophisticated, the pieces will look great in anyone’s jewelrry box. www.peggyli.com
We all know by now that succulents survive even for those of us with the brownest of thumbs. Oakland succulent designer Jennifer Ahlstrand has the most adorable and inviting pop up on College Ave. Surrounded by verdant house plants and succulents, you won’t want to leave. Pick up a succulent wreath or talk to Jen about hosting a virtual succulent making event (in the New Year) great for a family get together over Zoom. Jen sends you the cuttings before hand and you all create together. So much fun! http://www.westwindsucculents.com
Theatre- Nutcracker and A Christmas Carol
If you are someone who feels the Holiday’s aren’t complete without a Nutcracker performance, the San Jose Dance Theatre has you covered. This company produces a beautiful Nutcracker each year featuring so many talented young local dancers. Since there is no live performance, they have gone into the archives and will be streaming past productions of their acclaimed version of The Nutcracker. In addition to this, they are hosting a one time only special event featuring excerpts of The Nutcracker filmed on location around San Jose. This 2020 special event will be streamed on their digital platform and available as a stand alone streaming event from the 14th – 25th of December for just $25. www.sjdt.org
Another classic, many can’t do without is A CHRISTMAS CAROL, in particular the one produced and staged by A.C.T. in San Francisco.. Reimagined this year as a spatially-designed radio play for our virtual era, and adapted from the critically-acclaimed stage production seen by over half a million theatergoers, A Christmas Carol: On Air invites you and your household to gather together to take in this timeless story of optimism and humbugs, memories and redemptions, spooky presents and hopeful futures. Available now through December 31st. Act.sf.org