- Photo courtesy of Jack London Square
Tree Lighting in Jack London Square
Have a Christmas tree in your living room? That’s cute. Is it a 55-foot Shasta Fir covered in 5,000 sparkling white lights, decked out in more than 600 ornaments, and positioned in front of a picturesque waterfront view? Oh, it isn’t? Then, maybe you want to come down to Jack London Square for the city of Oakland’s annual tree-lighting ceremony and see what a real tree is like. On Friday, Dec. 1, the tree will be lit for the season amidst live music from local performers, tasty drinks, and holiday treats. There will even be an appearance by the man of the season, Santa Claus, who’s most definitely keeping a watchful eye over those trying to get their names off the “naughty” list by dropping non-perishables and unwrapped toys off at the on-site donation drive.
— Rick Paulas
Friday, Dec. 1, 5 p.m., free. Jack London Square, Broadway and Embarcadero, Oakland
- Photo by Beppe Sabatini
In the nick of time for you deadline-driven holiday shoppers, KPFA 94.1 FM, the country’s first community-supported radio station, is holding its 47th annual crafts fair to benefit the station. For the third year running, it’ll be held inside the historic Craneway Pavilion on the Richmond waterfront, where natural sunlight will filter through its windows to show off the wares of more than 200 artisans and craftspeople, everything from textiles to ceramics, photography to painting. KPFA will be broadcasting live from the event, and musical performances will start around noon. There’s plenty of parking on-site, and a free shuttle will be available from the Richmond BART for those in need of a lift.
— Rick Paulas
Saturday, Dec. 16, and Sunday, Dec. 17, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., $12, $8 for seniors/disabled, free for kids. 1414 Harbor Way So., Richmond, CranewayCraftsFair.com
- Photo by Timothy M. Schmidt
The Second City’s Dysfunctional Holiday Revue
The traveling version of Chicago’s legendary Second City comedy ensemble — the troupe that launched a thousand Saturday Night Live careers, from Tina Fey to the good Belushi — comes to Berkeley Repertory Theatre for the first time. This month of shows will focus on holiday shenanigans: those awkward forced family gatherings, the weirdness simmering below the surface of your favorite Christmas carols and classic holiday films, surely something about office culture. The fast-paced shows, like all Second City performances, combine pre-written sketches with on-the-fly improvisation, and hold nothing sacred. They’re a good antidote to battle the constant saccharine drip of the holiday season. — Rick Paulas
Tuesday, Dec. 5 through Sunday, Dec. 31, various times, $45-$60. Peet’s Theatre at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre, 2025 Addison St., Berkeley, BerkeleyRep.org
A Gingerbread Tea
Camron-Stanford House, the last remaining Victorian mansion along Lake Merritt, hosts four afternoon tea parties every year. In addition to the usual selection of finger sandwiches; tiny desserts; scones with strawberry jam, imported clotted cream, and lemon curd; and beverages from French gourmet tea company Mariage Frères, this special holiday edition on Dec. 9 will feature a variety of ginger-themed teas. Kids age 6 and up are welcome — they’ll love decorating their own gingerbread cookies to take home. You’ll also receive a booklet detailing the history of afternoon tea and the recipe for Camron-Stanford’s scones. While you’re there, check out the Gingerbread Christmas exhibit, which shows how Victorian families traditionally decorated for the holiday. It runs from Nov. 26 to Jan. 7. Register for the tea in advance online as seats are limited. — Janelle Bitker
Saturday, Dec. 9, 2-4 p.m., $45, Camron-Stanford House, 1418 Lakeside Dr., Oakland, CSHouse.org
12th Annual Jingletown Winter Open Studios/Art Walk: 25+ artists will be showing their work throughout the neighborhood. Meet the artists, learn about their work, buy unique gifts for the holidays. Dec. 2-3, 11 a.m.-6 p.m., free. Jingletown various locations, between Park and Fruitvale bridges, Oakland. www.facebook.com/events/144205319546450/
45th Holiday Sale: Shop for gifts at the Potters' Studio. Opening reception on Sat., Dec. 2, 6-8 p.m. Nov. 25-Dec. 24, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. The Potters' Studio, 1221 Eighth St., Berkeley, BerkeleyPottersStudio.com.
Berkeley Artisans Holiday Open Studios: A free self-guided tour of 100 professional artisan studios and galleries. A diverse assortment of fine arts and craft: blown glass, ceramics, ornaments, menorahs, furniture, garden art, floor cloths, clothing, modern textiles for home and body, leather bags, jewelry, art made of up-cycled materials, sculpture, lighting, photography, paintings, printmaking, mosaics, stained glass, and more. Map and list at BerkeleyArtisans.com and in EBX weekly during the event. Starting Nov. 25, Saturdays, Sundays, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Continues through Dec. 17, free, BerkeleyArtisans.com. Berkeley Artisans Open Studios, 2547 Eighth St. #24 A, Berkeley.
HERE (Part 1) BAC's Artists Annual Exhibition: BAC's Artists Annual Exhibition is a celebration of our members who form the deep and rich art community that makes Berkeley Art Center such a unique organization. This salon-style exhibition features small works in a variety of media. Dec. 10-Jan. 19, free. Berkeley Art Center, 1275 Walnut St. (in Live Oak Park), Berkeley, BerkeleyArtCenter.org.
Holiday Lounge 6: The studio has been busy as elves creating loads of craft objects. So, once again under the guidance of NIAD staffer and fantastic retail merchandiser Peter Gravener, we are filling the storefront, and the backroom as well, with seasonal items and unique gifts: quilts, coloring posters and books, baskets, monographs, wall hangings, tree ornaments, hats and scarves and mittens, ceramic animals and more. Dec. 1-29, free. NIAD Art Center, 551 23rd St., Richmond, NIADArt.org.
Holiday Open Studios: 30+ artists will be showing their works. Come by for refreshments, great food, live music, and creative company. Our artists will be presenting handmade art that is affordable and perfect for holiday presents. We are upstairs from Farm Burger and Philz Coffee. Sat., Dec. 2, noon-6 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 3, noon-6 p.m., free, www.facebook.com/events/796627130525730/. Firehouse Art Collective Gilman Studios, 1313 9th St., Ste. 210/2nd Floor, Berkeley.
Holiday Show: More and More: An exhibition featuring beads, jewelry, and trinkets in Juan Aguilera's sculptural creations; gratify the desire for more in Paul Field's scenes, where sundry characters fill every inch of his drawn tableaux, or with the densely packed repetition of forms covering Ricardo Gaitan's work; and push the limits of what's naughty and nice with nude punk angels crafted of wood by Casey Byrnes and Kim Clark's drawn celebrations of bawdy celebrity culture. Dec. 1-Jan. 11. Creative Growth Art Center, 355 24th St., Oakland, CreativeGrowth.org.
Lovely Littles Holiday Group Art Show, First Friday Reception: We will be showing more than 100 pieces in a variety of media created by more then 20 artists. Fri., Dec. 1, 6-9 p.m., free. Creative Framing & Gallery, 2700 Park Blvd., Oakland.
Opening Reception for All Of The Light: As we move into December, the days have been getting shorter, and we enter the darkest time of the year. Instead of relying on the sun, we create our own light. Through contrasting light and dark, subtle tonal gradations, or vibrating color contrasts, the works in All of the Light, organized by Gina Borg, either depict perceptions of light, or they create a light of their own. Free holiday treats and music by Bill Zindel. Sat., Dec. 9, 1-4 p.m., free. NIAD Art Center, 551 23rd St., Richmond, NIADArt.org.
Richmond Art Center's 55th Annual Holiday Arts Festival: Join us for Richmond Art Center's biggest event of the year, our annual holiday arts festival! More than 60 artisans will be displaying and selling their work. Come buy art, jewelry, ceramics, toys ,and textiles from local artists while enjoying gourmet food trucks and food vendors. Our nonprofit partners will be on-site, including Rosie the Riveter Trust, Girls Inc. of West Contra Costa, NIAD Art Center, and RYSE Youth Center. Sun., Dec. 3, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., free. Richmond Art Center, 2540 Barrett Ave., Richmond, TheRichmondArtCenter.org.Arts & Crafts
Holiday Sparkle Workshop: Add some creative time to your wish list. Join us for two sparkly projects with artist Kristina Young. Make your own snow globes for holiday decoration and colorful rock place markers for the table. Materials are included but bring family photos if you wish to include some. Sat., Dec. 16, 1-4 p.m., free. Berkeley Art Center, 1275 Walnut St. (in Live Oak Park), Berkeley, BerkeleyArtCenter.org.Health, Wellness, & Sexuality
Embody Gratitude: Thanksgiving Benefit Class: This holiday, give time to connect in and embody deep gratitude. Move through a mindful, fluid and intentional flow that will leave you feeling uplifted, anchored, and at peace. Bring to light the joy of simple mobility and radiate the pulse of community as we move into the season of togetherness. Thu., Nov. 23, 9-11 a.m., $25; greater donation amounts available. Namaste Rockridge, 5416 College Ave., Oakland, ilovenamaste.com.
Family Nia: Thanksgiving Benefit Class: Nia teaches us to be balanced and integrated. It relies on the wisdom of many different cultures and practices - finding strength from each to help us develop self-healing and awareness of mind and body. Like this practice, we too must gather strength and wisdom from many different places when going through times of turmoil. We must reach out to the others, offering help and being receptive to it as well. Thu., Nov. 23, 9-10 a.m., $20; greater donation amounts are available. Namaste Berkeley, 2820 Seventh St., Berkeley.