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Holiday Affairs

Occasions For Being Merry and Maybe Even Finding Gifts

The winter holiday season can be at turns trying and filled with merriment. There is much to stress about -- which holiday party invitations to accept or decline, what dish to bring to the holiday gathering, how to stave off the pounds, how to balance your gift-giving spirit with the desire to stay on top of your finances and how to survive family gatherings. With incessant reminders and proclamations about the dismal state of the economy, San Francisco has not been spared from the crunch. But our vibrant city has much to offer this holiday season to lift you out of the blues.

This year it may be as tempting as ever to participate in Adbusters’ Buy Nothing Day -- today, November 28 for residents of North America, and November 29 for the rest of the world. Rationale behind Buy Nothing Day is to “opt out of consumer culture completely, even if only for 24 hours” in the interest of consuming less and caring for Planet Earth more. While I’m all for sustainable practices and materials, I’m also for supporting local businesses, artists and designers. We’re lucky San Francisco provides many avenues in the green and non-corporate veins. There are plenty of goings-on and ways to do good while supporting locals and having fun. Here are a sprinkling of ideas to get you started.

Candystore: Greeting Cards For a Cause
Mission darling Candystore Collective is selling appealing holiday cards to support Tipping Point, a Bay Area organization that screens non-profits stringently to find the most effective groups that help individuals and families break the cycle of poverty and become economically independent. 100% of all Tipping Point card sales go to the organization. If you won’t be able to get to Candystore, Tipping Point is also selling the cards directly from their website ( $25 buys a pack of ten holiday cards plus envelopes, but the best part is it also buys a flu shot for a child who wouldn’t otherwise have access to preventative health care, three books for a middle school student, or a one hour job counseling session for an under- or unemployed adult.

Minnie Wilde Black Friday Sale
Today through Sunday November 30th, Minnie Wilde on 21st in The Mission will be hosting a Black Friday Sale. Every single item in the store will be 25% off. The adorable Daisy Dress from the Spring collection steps perfectly into winter paired with some black tights, booties, a boyfriend cardigan and a leather jacket. Normally $175, if there are any left in stock you can snag it for $130. The Janna Hooded Jacket is another fashionable find and works well with San Francisco weather. Good gifting for yourself or any stylish women in your life!

Berkeley Artisans Holiday Open Studios
Get across the pond over the weekend for some art and inspiration at the 18th Annual Berkeley Artisans Holiday Open Studios, taking place four consecutive weekends starting November 29th. Over 100 artists and craftspeople will open the doors of their studios, workshops and galleries to the public during this free self-guided tour.

Open studios are an exciting way to find one-of-a-kind gifts while being treated to a glimpse of the working spaces and processes of many talented artists.

Bazaar Bizarre
Peruse handmade goods including but not limited to letterpress stationery, pottery, handbags, baby clothes and body products from over 110 indie crafters and designers from across the country at Bazaar Bizarre this Sunday November 30 at the San Francisco County Fair Building in Golden Gate Park. A traveling indie craft show that started in Boston circa 2001, this year’s San Francisco edition features live music by local band StitchCraft. Nosh on vegan cupcakes from Sugar Beat Sweets while you shop (SBS strives to use organic and local products whenever possible).

UPS Community Volunteers (or the “men in brown”) will be serving up refreshments to benefit Self-Help for the Elderly, an organization serving over 25,000 seniors in the Bay Area via nutrition programs, low-income housing, job placement and other services.

$1 admission, with 50% door fees donated to Out of Site Center For Arts Education -- the only school-based org serving public high school students with free after school, weekend and summer programs in visual and performing arts. Even if you don’t intend on purchasing anything, supporting local non-profits, participating in a craft workshop and finding inspiration for crafting your own gifts are fantastic reasons for attending this sure-to-be-fun bazaar.

Lightbox’s Crafty Hour
Lightbox, a newly founded San Francisco artist collective, is hosting a Happy Hour craft show at Madrone Lounge on December 3. What can you expect if you attend? DJs and happy hour drink prices with of course, a healthy dose of crafting! Even better, this event is free.

Pandora’s Trunk: Runway Show + Holiday Design & Craft Sale
Lower Haight’s Pandora’s Trunk has teamed together with Brava Theater to present runway shows at 8 and 10pm on Thursday, December 4. The lobby of the “enormously gorgeous vaudeville theater” will feature indie craft and design set to a backdrop of live music (violas and saws!). Admission is free.

Chrome Bags Winter Bike Bash
Local messenger bag company Chrome is hosting their first annual Winter Bike Bash at their warehouse on 4th Street Friday, December 5. What could be better than eye candy, live music, free booze and valet bike parking from the one and only San Francisco Bike Coalition? And yes, admission is free!

Holiday Art Stroll
Presented by 18th & Treat Street Studios, this Art Stroll touches down on Saturday, December 6 and will feature live music by the Geoff Brennan Trio -- a local jazz regular at establishments like Enrico’s, Pearl’s and Yoshii’s. Admission is free, and you can peruse ornaments, jewelry, photography, fused glass, paintings, greeting cards, baby and dog clothing, and more all while imbibing wine and munching on tasty apps.

RISD Alumni Sale
Over 30 Bay Area alumni from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) will be selling hand crafted jewelry, ceramics, home wares, toys, glass works, prints, paintings, drawings, sculpture, textiles, cards, photography and more. The 12th annual Alumni Sale will take place December 7 at Fort Mason Building A, and admission is free.

Feria Urbana
Another reason to head over the Bay Bridge: on December 13, Pizzaioli, a wood-fired pizza restaurant in the Temescal district of Oakland, will play host to this winter’s Feria Urbana (urban fair). Pick up things from and meet local artists and designers who price their unique handcrafted items accessibly. Admission is free, and as a plus, Pizzaioli serves Blue Bottle coffee!

KPFA Crafts & Music Fair
Ten dollars may seem a bit steep for admission to a craft/music fair, but it’s put on by KPFA, our country’s first community supported radio station. Every year this fair purportedly draws more than 10,000 collectors, craft enthusiasts and holiday shoppers who come for the work of 220 craftsmakers and artists from all over the country, gourmet food and live music. The 38th Annual KPFA Crafts & Music Fair will be held December 13 and 14 at the Concourse Exhibition Center, with a plethora of exhibitor categories including ceramics, fair trade products, glass, jewelry, leather (including wares by South San Francisco-based Wooly Rascals: locally handmade moccasins for $49.95!), mixed media, metal, printmaking and more.

Candystore Collective
3153 16th Street
Cross: Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

Tipping Point Community

Minnie Wilde Black Friday Sale
Friday - Sunday, Nov 28 - 30
3266 21st Street
Cross: Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

Berkeley Artisans Holiday Open Studios
November 29-30
December 6-7
December 13-14
December 20-21
11am - 6pm

Bazaar Bizarre
Sunday, November 30th
10am - 5pm
Admission: $1
San Francisco County Fair Building
Golden Gate Park, San Francisco

Lightbox Presents: The Crafty Hour
Wednesday, Dec 3
6 - 9pm
Admission: Free
Madrone Lounge
500 Divisadero St
SF, CA 94117

Pandora’s Trunk Turns Troubadour
Thursday, Dec 4
6 - 11pm
Admission: Free
Brava Theatre
2781 24th Street
Cross: York Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

Chrome Bags Winter Bike Bash
Friday, Dec 5
Admission: Free
Chrome Bags Warehouse
580 4th Street
Cross: Brannan
SF, CA 94107

Holiday Art Stroll
Saturday, Dec 6
7 - 10 pm
Admission: Free
The Coffee Bar
1890 Bryant Street
Cross: Florida Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
Dec 6 7-10pm

RISD Alumni Sale
Sunday, December 7th
9:30am - 5pm
Admission: Free
Ft. Mason, building A (Marina Blvd & Buchanan St)
San Francisco, CA 94123

Feria Urbana
Saturday, Dec 13
10am - 3pm
Admission: Free
5008 Telegraph Avenue
Cross: 51st Street
Oakland, CA 94609

KPFA Crafts & Music Fair
Saturday - Sunday Dec 13, 14
10am - 6pm
Admission: $10 entry
Under 17 free
Concourse Exhibition Center
635 8th St
Cross: Brannan