Dickens and drag queens and dreidels (oh my!) - Page 4

HOLIDAY GUIDE 2011: Guide your sleigh's runners towards these concerts, parties, bazaars, and bizarre

Is there a more festive event than a youth mariachi concert? We think not. (Dec. 16 at Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts)

Holiday Memories double feature Head back to the times of toboggans and candle-lit windows with two short films recounting rural winters of yesteryear. A Child's Christmas in Wales visualizes Dylan Thomas' Welsh childhood; The Sweater animatedly recounts Roch Carrier's Quebecois, hockey-centered upbringing.

Dec. 17, 2 p.m., free with $15 museum admission. The Exploratorium, 3601 Lyon, SF. (415) 561-0360, www.exploratorium.edu


Renegade Craft Fair holiday market For the third year and showcasing more than 250 makers and craftspeople, the Renegade Craft Fair's holiday happening can be a bit overwhelming. But it's an undeniably great answer to gifting woes: pick up jewelry, body products, paper goods, clothing, and way, way more, all DIY enough to satisfy your most loca-ttired friend.

Dec. 17-18, 11 a.m.-6 p.m., free. Concourse Exhibition Center, 635 Eighth St., SF. www.renegadecraft.com


Reclaiming Yule ritual It may be chilly outside, but Sebastapol's midwinter celebration (led by Starhawk, a leader in Bay Area earth-based spirituality) is indoors and full of warmth-inducing activities, namely dancing in honor of the Earth and Sun.

Dec. 18, 6:30 p.m., $7. Sebastopol Community Center, 390 Morris, Sebastapol. www.reclaiming.org


Solstice Eve celebration With a bonfire and roles doled out to participants (rocks, trees and mists), celebrating the longest night of the year on Ocean Beach is actually rather toasty. Bring items to release into the transformative fire — love letters are just the starting point.

Dec. 20, 3:30 p.m., free. Ocean Beach at Taraval, SF. www.reclaiming.org


Bill Graham menorah lighting The lighting itself takes place at 5 p.m., but the hours-long run-up is by no means lacking: traditional Jewish music, arts and crafts, and menorahs for every child fill Union Square starting at 3 p.m.

Dec. 20, 5 p.m., free. Union Square, SF. www.chabadsf.org


Kujichagulia celebration Kwanzaa's day of personal definition and expression comes to City Hall, followed by a candle-lighting ceremony and dinner at Gussie's, known for its fried tasties, red velvet cake, and Southern sweet tea.

Dec. 27, noon, City Hall, SF., 6 p.m., Gussies Chicken and Waffles, 1521 Eddy, SF. www.kwanzaasanfrancisco.com


Ujima celebration On Ujima, the third day of the week-long Kwanzaa holiday, community members gather to celebrate a collective spirit of responsibility and work.

Dec. 28, 3-6 p.m., free. Bayview Hunters Point YMCA, 1601 Lane, SF. www.sfpl.org


Keeping Score: Ives Holiday Symphony screening Unrecognized at the time of his death, experimentalist composer Charles Ives labored over his Holiday Symphony, which now gets fitting recognition by the San Francisco Symphony in a library concert that follows an hour-long documentary on the man.

Dec. 29, noon, free. Main Library, 100 Larkin, SF. (415) 557-4400, www.sfpl.org


Kuumba celebration Fittingly, the main San Francisco celebration of Kwanzaa's Kuumba (day of creativity) occurs in the Jazz Heritage Center, a space shared by musical hotspot Yoshi's. Celebrate the Fillmore's manifold musical virtuosos on the last day of the year.

Dec. 31, 1-5 p.m., free. Jazz Heritage Center, 1330 Fillmore, SF. www.jazzheritagecenter.org