HOLIDAY GUIDE 2011: Guide your sleigh's runners towards these concerts, parties, bazaars, and bizarre
La Cocina gift fair Its cryptic but tasty-sounding "tamale alley" should provide enough of a draw, but La Cocina's gift fair also promises local vendors selling organic olive oils, handmade pasta, and mushrooms nourished by recycled coffee grounds. Pretty easy to stomach.
Dec. 9, 5-9 p.m., free. Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts, 2868 Mission, SF. www.lacocinasf.org
Winter Wunderkammer holiday art sale The most you can spend here on one item is 50 bucks, the least a dollar. Accompanied by spiced wine and tunes, small-format works from local artists are on sale. Proceeds from this walk-in curio cabinet benefit The Lab and participating artists.
Opening party Dec. 9, 6-11 p.m., free. Also Dec. 10, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., free. The Lab, 2948 16th St., SF. (415) 864-885, www.thelab.org
California Revels Ah, the revels. This year, the interactive period presentation will sit you smack down at the Round Table. Dance and sing, young knight — no one's mocking you at this costume-heavy conclave.
Dec. 9-11, 16-18; Fri. 8 p.m., Sat. and Sun. 1 p.m. and 5 p.m., $19-52. Scottish Rite Theater, 2850 19th Ave., SF. (510) 452-8800, www.californiarevels.org
SF Ballet's Nutcracker Even with its lampoonable name, the Nutcracker remains a incomparable date choice for its lush costumes, fantastical storyline, and ability to trigger childhood flashbacks.
Dec. 9-25, various times, $25–$285. War Memorial Opera House, 301 Van Ness, SF. (415) 865-2000, www.sfballet.org
Misfit Toy Factory For one evening, artists cobble together sculptures, toys, and gifts under one roof to the beat of DJ Yukon Cornelius. Items are sold at the end of the evening for a fixed price of forty dollars.
Dec. 10, 7-10 p.m., free. Root Division, 3175 17th St., SF. (415) 863-7668, www.rootdivision.org
The Revolutionary Nutcracker Sweetie A radical alternative to the holiday classic, Dance Brigade's version features Clara, an undocumented worker, a homeless Sugar Plum Fairy, and an angel of resistance.
Dec. 10, 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.; Dec. 11, 1 p.m. and 5 p.m., $15–$17. Brava Theater, 2781 24th St., SF. www.dancemission.com
Hanukah festival of light Geared towards the younger set and their handlers, the JCC East Bay's festival of light features storytelling, menorah making, dreidel games, and a concert by Isaac Zones, a mainstay in the Bay's Jewish music scene.
Dec. 11, 10 a.m-2 p.m., $5. JCC East Bay, 1414 Walnut, Berk. www.jcceastbay.org.
"Holidays: Christmas, Chanukah, and Other Festive Celebrations" lecture Library docents present an examination of paintings from around the world dealing with everyone's favorite subject: the giving, feasting, and receiving endemic to the holiday season.
Dec. 14, 6:30-7:30 p.m., free. Glen Park branch library, 2825 Diamond, SF. (415) 355-2858, www.sfpl.org
Mechanics' Institute holiday gift and poster sale The staggeringly lovely Mechanics' Institute hosts a large sale of hard-cover and paperback books, gifts, and posters straight from its library.
Dec. 15, 4:30-6:30 p.m., free. Mechanics' Institute, 57 Post, SF. (415) 393-0100, www.milibrary.org
Holiday youth mariachi concert Three zestful youth mariachi bands perform traditional Mexican holiday music, providing an energizing segue into a sometimes exhausting season.
Dec. 16, 7:30 p.m., $10. Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts, 2868 Mission, SF. (415) 643-2785, www.missionculturalcenter.org