Ha Ha Ha Ho Ho Ho

Our annual guide to holiday happenings, Thanksgiving to Christmas



Compiled by Tori Masucci

Gadding About: Events

Festival of Lights Yountville is magnificently illuminated at annual event as Washington Street is closed to traffic—with the exception of horse-drawn buggies—for this open-air festival. Costumed caroling characters, Santa’s arrival and food booths provided by area restaurants complete the evening’s glitter. Friday, Nov. 27, 2&–8pm. Downtown Yountville, Washington Street. Free; food and drink tix, $1. 707.944.0904.

Heart of Sonoma Valley Open House Heart of Sonoma Valley Association kicks off its 25th annual open house celebration this year, showcasing 19 Sonoma Valley wineries, including Blackstone Winery, Chateau St. Jean and Kenwood Vineyards, among many others. Friday&–Saturday, Nov. 27&–28, 11am&–4:30pm. $30 per person both days; $10, designated driver. 866.794.9463. www.heartofsonomavalley.com.

Napa Christmas Parade Don mittens and scarves for the 46th annual parade through downtown Napa. Grand Marshals Roger Bubel and his wife, Michal Farrell, co-owners of Ben and Jerry’s in the Napa Town Center, kick off the night of illuminated parade entries, musical entertainment, free hot chocolate and a visit from Santa. Saturday, Nov. 28 at 5pm. First Street, downtown Napa. Free. 707.257.0322.

Holiday Celebration Downtown Windsor plays holiday host with its annual celebration, which includes horse-drawn carriage and trolley rides, children’s crafts and a visit from St. Nick, and the woman behind the man, Mrs. Claus, when they light the tree on the town green Thursday, Dec. 3, 5&–8pm. Free. 707.838.1260.

Light Up a Life St. Joseph’s hospices help to honor lives lost with annual candle- and tree-lighting ceremony. The hospice of Petaluma has its ceremony on Friday, Dec. 4, at 7pm, Center Park (the strip of trees outside McNear’s and the Mystic Theatre on Petaluma Boulevard South), Petaluma. Santa Rosa tree lighting events will be held on Thursday, Dec. 3, at the Lodge at Paulin Creek at 6:30pm; Saturday, Dec. 12, at 6pm, Railroad Square; Sunday, Dec. 13, at 6pm, at the Star of Valley at Oakmont. Events free. 707.778.6242.

Winter in the Wineries Twenty Calistoga wineries host an exclusive opportunity for participants to tour their facilities, meet the winemakers and sample their world-famous wines. Friday&–Sunday, Dec.4&–6. 707.942.6333.

Napa B&B Tour & Taste Event Go on a B&B crawl in Napa as a host of inns open for the day. Get a taste of the distinct ambiance each has to offer while sipping select wines from the area. Transportation and entertainment included. Saturday, Dec. 5, 2&–6pm. $55 per person. For list of participating hostelries and treats, go to www.napaholidaytour.com.

Petaluma Lighted Boat Parade Watch as lights combine with water at the annual Lighted Boat Parade in Petaluma, on Saturday, Dec. 5. The parade commences at the Petaluma marina around 5:30pm and arrives at the Turning Basin around 6:30pm. 707.769.0429.

The Blessing of the Olives Blessed be the olives! Olives are sanctified at the Mission San Francisco de Solano, which is open to the public on Saturday, Dec. 5, 9&–11am. Music and refreshments will also be included. East Spain and First Street East, Sonoma. Free. 707.996.1090.

Lighted Tractor Parade Celebrate small-town cheer and Calistoga’s agricultural heritage at the 14th annual lighted tractor parade, featuring a funky lineup of vintage tractors and trucks, human-powered vehicles and modern farm equipment—all decked out in sparkling lights. Santa also makes an appearance. Downtown Calistoga. Saturday, Dec. 5, at 6pm. 707.942.6333.

Luther Burbank Open House Step into the spirit of famed horticulturist Luther Burbank as his home and gardens are opened up to the public for a two-day holiday event. Tea and cookies will be served against the backdrop of Victorian decorations. Saturday&–Sunday, Dec. 5&–6, 10am&–4pm. Luther Burbank Home and Gardens, Santa Rosa and Sonoma avenues, Santa Rosa. Free. 707.524.5445.

Zen Fest Just when you thought reaching satori in Sebastopol was just an urban legend, the Stone Creek Zen Center helps to make that a possibility this year during its annual Zen Fest, now in its seventh year. This fundraising event includes items such as meditation supplies, altar materials and other Zen paraphernalia. Attendees can join in and make a prayer flag for peace. Sunday, Dec. 6, 9am-4pm Masonic Center, 373 N. Main St., Sebastopol. Free. 707.829.1129.

Handmade Happiness: Shopping

Holiday Arts & Crafts Faire Rohnert Park Recreation Department’s 29th annual fair kicks off the holiday season with a hand-made touch. Friday, Nov. 28, 10am&–6pm; Saturday, Nov. 29, 10am&–4pm. Held indoors at the Community Center, 5401 Snyder Lane. Free admission and parking. 707.588.3456.

Dance Palace Holiday Crafts Fair This shopping mecca gathers some 40 upper-echelon craftspeople under one roof for some early season shopping. Friday, Dec. 4, 3&–9pm; Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 5&–6, 10am&–9pm. Dance Palace, Fifth and B streets, Point Reyes Station. Free. 415.663.1075.

Calistoga Christmas Bazaar Community craft fair offers artisan-made art, crafts, jewelry, ornaments and other treats. Santa will also be there for photographic opportunities. Saturday, Dec. 5, 9am&–4pm. Crafts fair, Napa County Fairgrounds, 1435 Oak St., Calistoga. Lighted Tractor Parade down Lincoln Avenue at 6pm. Both events free. 707.942.4232.

Roseland Holiday Crafts Fair Help benefit Roseland Prep’s senior class while getting your shopping done. Santa will be there! Saturday&–Sunday, Dec. 5&–6, at 1777 West Ave., Santa Rosa. Saturday, 10am to 4pm; Sunday, 11am to 4pm. 707.545.0102.

Muir Beach Quilters Quilt artists and other artisans gather with handicrafts of all kinds and free activities for the kids. Perfect complement to a day at the beach; free shuttle from Muir Beach parking lot. Saturday&–Sunday, Dec. 5&–6. Saturday, 11am&–5pm; Sunday, 10am&–4pm. Muir Beach Community Center, 19 Seascape Drive. Free. 415.383.6762.

Goddess Crafts Faire Winter solstice Goddess Crafts Faire celebrates handmade gifts by local and regional women, as well as live music, tarot readings and food. Saturday&–Sunday, Dec. 5&–6, 11am&–7pm. Sebastopol Community Center, 390 Morris St., Sebastopol. $5&–$13, sliding scale. 707.823.1511.

A Dickens of a Holiday Crafts Faire Over 60 booths of juried handcrafted goodies, jewelry, household goods, ceramics and lots more. Saturday&–Sunday, Dec. 5&–6. Saturday, 9am&–5pm; Sunday, 10am&–4pm. Finley Community Center, 2060 W. College Ave., Santa Rosa. $2; under 18, free. 707.543.3737.

Alexander Valley Ladies Aid Christmas Bazaar Wreaths, cookies, jams, one-of-a-kind handmade items, hand-painted ornaments and decorated gourds and a raffle enliven this one-day crafts fair on Saturday, Dec. 6, 10am&–2pm. Alexander Valley Church, 6650 Hwy. 128, Healdsburg. Free. 707.433.4504.

Occidental Crafts Faire Now in its 24th funky year, this sweet homegrown fair features terrific home cooking as well as unique items. Saturday&–Sunday, Dec. 12&–13, a the Community Center. Saturday, 10am&–5pm; Sunday, 10am&–4pm. 3920 Bohemian Hwy., Occidental. Free. 707.874.9407.

Petaluma Craft Mafia “Running with Glitter” is the theme for this way-cool DIY spectacular and fashion show, our absolute fave fair of the season. Saturday, Dec. 19, 11am-5pm at the Petaluma Vet’s Hall, 1094 Petaluma Blvd. S. Just for Little Ones: Kids’ Stuff

‘A Christmas Carol’ Consider this play a primer for morality for the young ones, plus an introduction to the fine display of a master storyteller’s imagination in Sonoma County Repertory Theater’s production by Charles Dickens, directed by Dan Saski. Runs Wednesday&–Sunday, Nov. 20&–Dec. 20. 104 N. Main St., Sebastopol. Thursday, pay what you will; family specials available. $20&–$25. 707.823.0177. www.the-rep.com.

Santa’s Riverboat Arrival Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive at the Petaluma Riverfront on board the town’s eponymous tug to greet the children and distribute candy canes, followed by a horse-drawn procession through downtown to kick off the holiday season. Saturday, Nov. 28, at noon. Turning basin, Golden Eagle Shopping Center, on Washington Boulevard, Petaluma. Free. 707.769.0429.

Bay Area Discovery Museum Blizzard of events for the young ones with special activities run almost daily and include Gingerbread Architectural Extravaganza (Saturdays and Sundays Nov. 28&–Dec. 20; also Dec. 21&–23) and Kwanzaa Celebration Saturday, Dec. 26, 10am&–5pm. Free. Discovery Museum, Fort Baker, 557 McReynolds Road, Sausalito. $8&–$10. 415.927.0960.

‘The Winter Rose’ Cinnabar Young Rep players present a heart-warming musical based on the Norwegian folk tale “East of the Sun, West of the Moon,” in which a young girl raised in a poor family embarks on a whimsical journey and ultimately finds her happy ending. Friday&–Sunday, Dec. 4&–20. Friday&–Saturday at 7:30pm; Sundays at 2pm. Cinnabar Theater, 333 Petaluma Blvd. N., Petaluma. $10&–$15. 707.763.8920.

‘Posada Navideña’ The Instituto Mazatlán Bellas Artes de Sacramento present a two-hour music and dance show celebrating the traditions of a Mexican Christmas, focusing on Joseph and Mary’s pastorela, or journey, before the birth of baby Jesus. Friday, Dec. 11 at 7pm. Refreshments will be served at a traditional Posada celebration following the performance. Wells Fargo Center, 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa. $15&–$20. 707.546.3600. Also, Saturday, Dec. 12, at 7pm at the Lincoln Theater, 100 California Drive, Yountville. $20&–$35. 707.944.1300.

‘VOENA: Voices of the Season’ Though each member is under the age of 18, this world-renowned a cappella group has performed at the White House, the Vatican and Carnegie Hall. Over a hundred young stars in this lively group present a multi-ethnic celebration through vocal arrangements, dance and colorful theatrics. Saturday, Dec. 19 at 7:30 pm. Napa Valley Opera House, 1030 Main St., Napa. $15&–$20. 707.226.7372.

‘The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe’ Four children are relocated from London to a large country house where they discover a wardrobe that serves as an entrance to a magical, snow-covered land in C. S. Lewis’ beloved story, presented by the Sixth Street Playhouse’s student thespians. Wednesday&–Sunday, Dec. 16&–20 at 7pm; Saturday&–Sunday matinees at 2pm. 52 W. Sixth St., Santa Rosa. $10. 707.523.4185.

‘The Sound of Music’ Marin Youth Performers present this timeless Rodgers and Hammerstein’s classic based on the true story of the Trapp family singers. Friday&–Sunday, Nov. 13&–21. 142 Throckmorton Theatre, 142 Throckmorton Ave., Mill Valley. 415.383.9600.

Your Annual Sojourn: Stage

‘The Santaland Diaries’ Christmas and comedy collide in this story of one man’s search for the spirit of the season amid the hustle and bustle at Macy’s Santaland, starring Bay Area favorite David Yen. Thursday&–Sunday, Nov. 27&–Dec. 21. Thursday at 7:30pm; Friday&–Saturday at 8pm; Sunday at 2:30pm. Spreckels Performing Arts Center, 5409 Snyder Lane, Rohnert Park. $19&–$24. 707.588.3400.

‘The Nutcracker’ Petaluma City Ballet dances holiday classic. Friday&–Sunday, Dec. 4&–6, at the Evert B. Person Theatre. Friday at 7:30pm; Saturday at 1:30pm and 5:30pm; Sunday at 11:30am and 3pm. SSU, 1801 E. Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park. $12&–$23. 707.762.3972.

Twisted Christmas Live No. 7 The Bohemian’s own David Templeton assembles this event, which is a welcome and offbeat alternative to the usual holiday fare. Political satirist Will Durst, radio show host Steve Jaxon and award-winning stage actor Tim Kniffin help to craft the evening’s event based on stories having to do with survivalist gingerbread cookies, snowmen from the Twilight Zone and aliens at the Enterprise Christmas party. Saturday, Dec. 5, at 7:30pm. The Glaser Center, 547 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa. $20&–$25. 707.338.6013.

‘The Night Before Christmas’ The Healdsburg Ballet presents a holiday favorite in which Christmas Eve comes to life to the strains of ballet, jazz and hip-hop in their 14th annual production of this event. Saturday&–Sunday, Dec. 5&–6, at the Raven Theater. Saturday at 7pm; Sunday at 2pm. 115 North St., Healdsburg. $21&–$24. 707.431.7617.

‘The Nutcracker’ Ballet Califia’s production features elaborate costumes and lavish scenery. Friday&–Sunday, Dec. 11&–13. Friday at 8pm; Saturday at 2:30pm and 8pm; Sunday at 2:30pm. Spreckels Performing Arts Center, 5409 Snyder Lane, Rohnert Park. $15&–$18. 707.588.3400.

‘The Nutcracker’ The Marin Ballet brings Tchaikovsky’s time-tested and beloved ballet to life once again, in what has become a Marin tradition for the past 45 years. The after-show Candy Cane Party will give participants a chance to meet the cast, get their faces painted and take pictures. Saturday&–Sunday, Dec. 12&–13, at 1pm and 5pm. Marin Center, 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael. $23&–$35. 415.499.6800.

‘The Nutcracker’ Santa Rosa Dance Company presents annual holiday show. Friday&–Sunday, Dec. 18&–20. Friday at 7:30pm; Saturday at 2:30pm and 7:30pm; Sunday at 8pm. Spreckels Performing Arts Center, 5409 Snyder Lane, Rohnert Park. 707.588.3400.

‘Sophie & the Enchanted Toyshop’ Marin Dance Theatre presents full-length, two-act children’s ballet in which a magical toymaker whisks young Sophie away to a winter wonderland. A cast of 150 performers includes several special guest artists. Saturday, Dec. 19, at 1pm and 5pm; Teddy Bear Tea Party after matinee, $10. Marin Center, 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael. $23&–$33. 415.499.6800.

‘Tapcracker’ Funny original take on the chestnut featuring jazzy dance with hip-hop and tap flares. Saturday, Dec. 19, at 2pm and 5:30pm. Marin Center Showcase Theater, 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael. $12&–$20. 415.499.6800.

‘The Nutcracker’ Napa Valley Regional Dance Company presents its annual holiday recital. Saturday-Sunday, Dec. 19&–20. Saturday at 2pm and 7pm; Sunday at 2pm. The Lincoln Theater. 100 California Dr, Yountville. $15-$25. 707.944.1300.

‘The Nutcracker’ Under the choreography of Viktor Kabaniaev, world-wide professional dancers perform in this powerful production with live accompaniment by the American Philharmonic Orchestra Sonoma County. Saturday-Sunday, Dec. 20&–21. Saturday at 2pm and 7:30pm; Sunday at 2pm. Wells Fargo Center, 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa. $25&–$45. 707.546.3600.

Joyous Noise: Music

Christmas Jug Band Ever-changing lineup of musical tomfoolery kinda celebrates Christmas. Stripped-down quartet disguised as “Four Elves Named Moe” starts season Nov. 29 at 5pm at the Station House Cafe (11180 State Route 1, Point Reyes Station; 415.663.1515). Family-friendly revue returns Dec. 13 at 6pm at 142 Throckmorton (142 Throckmorton Ave., Mill Valley; 415.383.9600) with last North Bay shows Dec. 19 at 8pm at the Mystic Theater (23 Petaluma Blvd. N., Petaluma; 707.763.2121) and Dec. 21 at 8:30pm at the Masonic Center of Mill Valley (19 Corte Madera Ave., Mill Valley; 415. 388.2550).

The EDLOS Do the Holidays Expect irreverence and fun at this a cappella holiday concert. Friday, Dec. 4, at 8pm. Spreckels Performing Arts Center, 5409 Snyder Lane, Rohnert Park. $23-$26. 707.588.3400.

‘American Idol’ Christmas Ten American Idol finalists give their take on holiday songs. Saturday, Dec. 5, at 8pm. Lincoln Theater, 100 California Drive, Yountville. $29&–$49. 707.944.1300.

Concerts by Candlelight Stephen McKersie conducts the Marin Symphony Chamber Chorus in an interesting sensorial and aural experience, as chorus members will be situated in various points around the church, creating an antiphonal experience. Saturday&–Sunday, Dec. 5&–6. Saturday at 7:30pm; Sunday at 4pm. Church of Saint Raphael, 104 Fifth Ave., San Rafael. $30&–$35. 415.479.8100.

Piano Bar . . . for the Holidays Interactive cabaret-style performance led by singer and pianist Steve Saari changes every night, with the audience as the star. Wednesday&–Saturday, Dec. 9&–12. Napa Valley Opera House Cafe Theatre, 1030 Main St., Napa. $25. 707.226.7372.

Johnny Mathis Christmas “King of the Christmas Song” lets it rip this holiday season with full orchestra. Thursday, Dec. 10, at 8pm. Wells Fargo Center, 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa. $29.75&–$99.75. 707.546.3600.

Cinnabar Choral Ensemble Directed by Nina Shuman, the Cinnabar Women’s Chorus and Cinnabar Chamber Singers mix traditional yuletide tunes with ancient and modern music. Saturday, Dec. 12, at 8pm. 3333 Petaluma Blvd. N., Petaluma. $8&–$12. 707.763.8920.

Faith Ako’s Hawaiian Christmas Traditional songs and stories from the islands by Grammy Award nominee help to benefit Samoan tsunami victims. Saturday, Dec. 12, at 7:30pm. Wells Fargo Center, 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa. $22. 707.546.3600.

Celebrate the Holidays Wavy Gravy brings an all-star lineup for his annual SEVA Foundation fundraiser, this year featuring the David Nelson Band, Moonalice, the Rowan Brothers and surprise guests. Saturday, Dec. 12, at 7pm. 142 Throckmorton Theater, 142 Throckmorton Ave., Mill Valley. $50&–$100, sliding scale; must be purchased in advance. 510.845.7382, ext. 332.

Kingston Trio Christmas Following up their 50-year-old Christmas album, Last Month of the Year, the Trio release another holiday disc, Glad Tidings, and make the holidays once again just about folk. Monday, Dec. 14, at 8pm. Wells Fargo Center, 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa. $40&–$115. 707.546.3600.

The Many Moods of Christmas Napa High School Choir, conducted by Travis Rogers and Jamie Butler and the Napa Valley Symphony, conducted by Asher Raboy present vocal harmony through traditional carols by Robert Shaw and Robert Russell Bennett. Several ensembles within the choirs will also perform. Monday, Dec. 14, at 7pm. Lincoln Theater, 100 California Drive, Yountville. $35. 707.944.1300.

Dave Koz & Friends Saxophonist brings along David Benoit, Rick Braun, Peter White and Brenda Russell for a smooth jazz Christmas. Tuesday, Dec. 15, at 8pm. Wells Fargo Center, 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa. $19.50&–$69.50. 707.546.3600.

A Chanticleer Christmas Come celebrate this Bay Area tradition of Medieval and Renaissance works, traditional carols and moving spirituals. Tuesday, Dec. 15, at 6pm and 8:30pm. St. Vincent Church, 35 Liberty St., Petaluma. $30&–$48. 415.252.8589.

Sing-Along Messiah Ever-popular group event raises joyful noise, on-key and otherwise, to Handel’s indelible holiday tone poem. Dec. 19 at 3pm. Sebastopol United Methodist Church, 500 N. Main St., Sebastopol. $6, individual; $15, family. 707.829.4797.

Carols in the Caves David Auerbach, the “improvisator” once again takes over winery caves to play traditional and not-so-traditional music. Pre-Christmas shows focus on yuletide; post-Christmas, on the New Year and the Twelfth Night. Shows held at wineries in Calistoga and Napa. Dec. 20&–Jan. 4 at various locations. No children under 10. $40&–$65. 707.224.4222.

Singers Marin Six youth and adult choral ensembles sing seasonal songs both secular and sacred. Sunday, Dec. 20, at 4pm. Marin Center’s Veterans Memorial Auditorium, 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael. $20&–$30. 415.499.6800.

Andy Williams Christmas Show “Mr. Christmas” celebrates the most wonderful time of the year with a family-friendly revue. Tuesday, Dec. 22, at 8pm. Wells Fargo Center, 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa. $69.50&–$99.50; no children under five. 707.546.3600.

Hot Club Cool Yule Hot Club of San Francisco wonder “What Would Django Do?” when it comes to holiday hits, releasing a first album of gypsy jazz music for winter hols. They juice it up on Wednesday, Dec. 23, at 8pm at the 142 Throckmorton Theater, 142 Throckmorton Ave., Mill Valley. 415.383.9600.

Brian Setzer Orchestra For those who just can’t get enough, former Stray Cat brings his jump-jive in for a Boxing Day-and-beyond stint of rockabilly-influenced holiday cheers. Saturday&–Sunday, Dec. 26&–27, at 8pm. Wells Fargo Center, 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa. $25.75&–$85.75. 707.546.3600.



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