SF LIFE: Let’s Shop, Holiday Happenings, Entertainment

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Ready, set, shop!  It’s Black Friday and although the sales began a week or so ago, you are probably already out giving your credit card a workout. We have some local finds for you – support small business owners when you can whether it’s one of the many fairs or shopping your favorite neighborhood store. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas as decorations pop up, so we have some fun Holiday entertainment heading your way. If you prefer something more traditional, well we have theatre options that don’t even mention jingle bells. And The Three Tomatoes is presenting a Masterclass Zoom series in Feng Shui.

Holiday Fairs

December 3 – 4. The Museo Italo Americano

Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture hosts the “Mercatino di Natale | Italian Christmas Market 2022.” The market offers fine crafts and delicious cuisine for the holidays, including artisan Italian food, unique handmade jewelry, Italian fashion and accessories, art objects, and one-of-a-kind craft items made by Italian artisans. Get the details.

Dec. 3. The Baltic Fair

We at the Three Tomatoes are always looking for unique gifts and the Baltic fair might just have some unexpected items. Makers, sellers, and artisans from the local Estonian, Latvian, and Lithuanian communities offer a variety of gifts for everyone on your list. Whether modern, traditional, or folk-inspired — you will find it among the jams and preserves, Baltic-style breads and cakes, locally produced honey, traditional straw ornaments, beach glass jewelry, handmade dolls, prints, embroidered textiles and clothing, wool socks, handmade accessories, ceramics, Baltic books, clay sculpture, holiday decorations, handmade cards, and Christmas chocolates. Latvian Hall – 425 Hoffman Ave. December 3rd. 10 – 5. Get the details.

Shopping Small and Local

We found a darling new store in San Carlos called Lark. After a long career in the nonprofit world, owner Angela Kalayjian, a personable Tomato, has opened this delightful store featuring many female artisans.  The products are ones that are thoughtfully curated. Textiles, décor, artwork (some from San Carlos local women artists) books, cards and gifts fill this homey store with joy.

WomenCraft is one of the vendors providing unusual items. It is a Fair Trade certified social enterprise in Tanzania. Their mission is to increase economic opportunity in the post-conflict tri-border area of Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania. Through WomenCraft, artisans advance themselves, stimulate their communities and inspire the world around them.  We love women empowering women. Stop by and shop local. Get the details.

Holiday Entertainment

Now – Dec. 24. SMUIN’s The Christmas Ballet

Oh tomatoes, so many fun traditional and original shows are here for your Holiday fun. One of my personal favorites is SMUIN’s The Christmas Ballet. There are new surprise as well as the chance to see a treasure trove of festive favorites. Classic ballet, tap, wing and more are featured in this exuberant celebration. Shows are in December in Mountain View, Carmel and San Francisco. www.smuinballet.org

Holidays with the San Francisco Symphony

Make merry this holiday season as the San Francisco Symphony presents a dazzling lineup of star-studded concerts. There are festive family films like Elf with live orchestra, a cheeky Holiday Gaiety show with drag legend Peaches Christ, timeless hits with velvet-voiced crooners like Harry Connick, Jr. and Seth MacFarlane, majestic choirs, a Merry-Achi Christmas, and much more. https://www.sfsymphony.org/

Dec. 4. Holiday Harmonies 2022


Acapella groups really entertain, and Holiday Harmonies 2022 comes to The Bayfront Theatre in Fort Mason. Five of the Bay Area’s best acappella groups are returning to put on the third annual (minus pandemic years) Holiday Harmonies concert! Featuring pop & holiday tunes. All proceeds go to Care for Children, a service project of The Art of Living Foundation. Get the details.

 Dec. 2-3. The Gay Men’s Chorus

They lead the way with joyous and tuneful music as they ring in the holiday season with their much-anticipated annual tradition, Holiday Spectacular. The music will be spectacular, the costumes will be fabulous, and the dancing will be thrilling. There will be  holiday favorites, including Jingle Bells and I’ll Be Home for Christmas, classical choral works—including Sure on this Shining Night, and unexpected originals, including a holiday-themed Cher medley…yes, that Cher! Friday Dec. 2nd and Saturday December 3rd. Get the details.

Dec. 9-18. KITKA

A most unusual women’s singing group, KITKA, brings performances to various locations around the Bay. KITKA is an American women’s vocal arts ensemble inspired by traditional songs and vocal techniques from Eastern Europe and Eurasia. Founded in 1979 as an offshoot of the Westwind International Folk Ensemble, Kitka began as a grassroots group of amateur singers from diverse ethnic and musical backgrounds who shared a passion for the stunning dissonances, asymmetric rhythm, intricate ornamentation, and resonant strength of traditional Eastern European women’s vocal music.

Since its informal beginnings, the group has evolved into an award-winning professional touring ensemble known for its artistry, versatility, and mastery of the demanding techniques of regional vocal styling, as well as for its innovative explorations in new music for female voices. Their “Wintersongs” program this year focuses on the music of Ukraine, and they will be raising funds and awareness for humanitarian aid organizations. https://www.kitka.org

Now – Dec. 31. Natasha, Pierra & The Great Comet of 1812


The West Coast Premiere is playing now through the end of December at The Ashby Stage in Berkeley. Shotgun players present this award-winning musical extravaganza now through the end of December. The Stage has transformed into a 19th century Russian nightclub, with cabaret tables, Russian vodka, and an immersive and unforgettable theatrical experience. Shotgun Players is offering a free drink voucher to anyone arriving in a 19th century Russian costume, including waistcoats, breeches, empire waist gowns, faux fur hats and stoles, and embroidered coats! Such fun, we love dressing up. Get tickets.


  • Kim Selby

    Kim Selby, the SF life editor of The Three Tomatoes, is your gal for info on what’s hot and happening in the beautiful bay area. Having lived on the Left Coast for 27 years, after almost a decade in NYC, she has explored and continues to have adventures all over the San Francisco area. Passionate about fashion, formerly with GLAMOUR magazine and Fashion Director at Saks Fifth Avenue , Palo Alto, Kim produced fashion shows in the bay area for over 20 years. She now creates events to empower, delight and inspire women, aka “Tomatoes”. Learn more about Kim at www.kim-selby.com

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