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FA L L / W I N T E R 2010


Fake tree or real tree? You decide! [8] Survive this year’s company party [46] Build your own no-melt snowman [51] See an amazing hand-turkey gallery [61]

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it comes to Christmas—and Thanksgiving, and Hanukkah, and New Year’s Eve, and assorted other celebrated days—it seems that anything goes. People wear outfits they wouldn’t be caught dead in other times of the year. Earrings flash and twinkle. Knit sweaters depict smiling snowmen and flying reindeer. Santa hats become appropriate head coverings for just about any social situation. Radio stations start playing non-format music, co-workers hum cheery tunes, and food appears practically everywhere you look: at home, in the office, through the mail. While most—if not all—of the above would be considered tacky, overindulgent, or both in the spring or summer, holiday revelers not only put up with kitchiness, they revel in it. Chalk it up to tradition, if you’d like. If you grew up with big-bulbed outdoor lights, shiny aluminum trees, and dense fruitcake, you probably still have a soft spot for it all. And that’s OK. In fact, it’s to be celebrated. That’s our idea, anyway, and the theme behind this year’s Holiday Guide. In anticipation of sticking black olives on our fingers and opening a can of cranberry sauce, we decided to explore the cheesiest parts of the holidays, not to condemn them, but to elevate them to gaudy heights. Don’t be embarrassed by your candy-cane mug that comes out of the cabinet once a year. Go ahead and put those little antlers on your cat. Wish passersby a hearty season’s greeting. Enjoy the most wonderful time of the year.

Ryan Miller

executive editor

TOP OF THE FLOCK Lena Rushing’s turkey headdress marries creativity, elegance, and kitsch.

Happy holidays! What exactly is kitsch?.........................................................6 Plastic takes on reality ......................................................8 Plan for holiday cheer! ...................................................15 You know you love tacky ...............................................44 Party with your co-workers ........................46 Meet a white elephant .............................48 Get crafty this season .................................51 Give from the heart .................................58 Artists make handy turkeys .....................61 Get the perfect picture ..................................66 Blow up your decorations ..........................69 Resolve to make resolutions ........................ 70



Publishers Bob Rucker Alex Zuniga

1010 Marsh Street, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 (805) 546-8208 New Times © 2010

Executive Editor Ryan Miller


Read the Holiday Guide online at and

Contributors Amy Asman Christy Heron Alycia Kiley Nick Powell

Colin Rigley Andrea Rooks Ashley Schwellenbach Ariel Waterman Anna Weltner Proofreaders Susan Stewart Ryan Miller Advertising Topher Cajas

Kay-Kay Clapp Colleen Garcia Katy Gray Rhonda O’Dell Rene Rodriguez Tracey Joyner Scuri Georgia Shore Jamie Zlotky Editorial Design Heather Walter Jeff Cannon

Production Jason Cope Dora Mountain Brendan Rowe Christy Serpa Photograhper Steve E. Miller

Holiday Guide

is published annually and distributed in San Luis Obispo and Northern Santa Barbara counties by New Times. For more information or to be included in next year’s publication, please call us at (805) 546-8208. Deadline

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do an inflatable Santa, a handknit sweater with prancing reindeer, and a photo of a smiling family garbed in matching denim and perched in a huddle on their front doorstep have in common? They’re mainstays of the kitsch carnival that comes to town in early November, rifles through your fridge, polishes off the last of the turkey, belches loudly, and skips town after the last of the New Year’s champagne has been drunk. What’s kitsch, you ask? In The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera describes kitsch as “a world in which sh-- is denied and everyone acts as though it does not exist.” This aesthetic ideal is embodied by Communist May Day celebrations that mandate uniformity and collective cheer amongst participants. In his pages-long expostulation on the tiny, offensive word, Kundera transforms it into an enemy; an “image of home, all peace, quiet, and harmony, and ruled by a loving mother and wise father;” and, at last, “an integral part of the human condition.” This is not to suggest inflatable Santas are an integral aspect of the human condition, or evil; we’ll

Get an introduction into the world of kitsch save those arguments for other writers in other years. But how to distinguish kitsch from non-kitsch: This is the question. Most frequently, the word—which originated in German art markets in the 1860s and 1870s—is associated with the sentimental, vulgar, pretentious, or crass. Which hasn’t stopped any number of magazines, websites, and shops from claiming the word the better to market their wares. Which leads to yet another kitsch conundrum. Can kitsch be ironic? Self-aware? And what do Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanza, and New Year’s have to do with any of this? In much the same manner that kitsch is, by definition, not terribly fashionable, the holidays have collectively established a reputation for themselves as somehow crude. Hovering around a television set—backs to the carcass, mere minutes recovered from the feast—the family establishes itself as a unit. The family glories in its uniformity, the immensity of its appetites, its propensity for good cheer, its red-cheeked figures masquerading

as Elvis Presley and Little Bo Peep. There’s an undeniably grotesque element to the holidays, an undercurrent of kitsch that even the classiest of celebrants cannot deny. But the magic of the holidays is such that we revel in it. We don the hand-knit sweater. And accessorize with a pair of plastic snowman earrings. We load our trees—real and faux—with baubles. Feeling secure in the knowledge that what we are doing is right—culturally, socially, and morally. It is for the good of the family, if not the neighborhood, nation, and entire world, that we celebrate. And we reconcile ourselves to kitsch’s negative connotations because it also carries the implicit promise of home and comfort. Nothing is safer than kitsch. It can never really go out of style because it was never really in style. o New Times Managing Editor Ashley Schwellenbach is kitschy-chic. Send comments to

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From my plastic heart to yours BY ANNA WELTNER


Urban legends. Misperceptions. Sometimes outright lies. All these things have tarnished the image of the Christmas tree, according to the National Christmas Tree Association, a tree growers’ advocacy group. Threatened by the popularity of artificial trees and wreaths, the NCTA has launched what it refers to as the “great de-myth-ification campaign,” a strongly-worded backlash against fake tree people. The NCTA means serious business. The NCTA is pissed off. You may think of the holidays as a joyful time for friends and loved ones to come together. That’s really precious of you, but you are sorely mistaken. The holidays are actually an annual summit for traditionalists to air their grievances against a menace of cheap, soulless artificiality. It’s a time when the canned is pitted against the homemade, the electric against the candle-lit, the boxed or store-bought against the bakedfrom-scratch. And it only happens once a year. The NTCA has a webpage dedicated to defending the dignity and standing of the real Christmas tree against artificial imposters, like the kind of fake tree Balsam Hill puts out. In the Christmas spirit, the myths are written in green, their contradictions in red. The red part, a scathing attack on the fake tree, is kind of intense. It’s retribution gift-wrapped in good cheer. It even latches onto the fake tree’s admittedly humble roots as the brainchild of German toilet bowl brush company Addis: “Regardless of how far the technology has come, it’s still

Take a synthetic stroll down aisles of holiday fakery

Real FILE photo

Fake vs. Real continued on page 10



‘Regardless of how far the technology has come, it’s still interesting to know the first fake Christmas trees were really just big green toilet bowl brushes.’ snarky comment from National Christmas Tree Association website

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Fake vs. Real from page 8

interesting to know the first fake Christmas trees were really just big green toilet bowl brushes,” sneers the site. “Jeez,” said New Times aloud, very much taken aback. “Why does anyone ever get an artificial tree then?” Cuesta PR man, former Trib reporter, and fake tree person Jay Thompson had the answer: “Why artificial? It holds all the ornaments.” Yes. The bendy branches can be manipulated to hold just about any ornament. Thompson scored his 6-foot beauty at an after-Christmas sale for $5. It even came pre-wired with lights. But trees are not the only holiday tradition threatened by fakery. What about food? Turkeys are rapidly losing their places on the Thanksgiving table, too. Around this time last year, vegan and San Luis Obispo native Judith Lautner was featured in a CNN article about meatless Thanksgivings. Even after 25 years of eschewing meat, Lautner said she didn’t miss the traditional Thanksgiving turkey, opting for veggie dishes and (gasp) homemade Tofurkeys. What? Tofurkey? Is this a slap in the face of tradition? New Times bothered chef, local celebrity, and general all-around nice person Debbie Duggan with this question. Fortunately for the community—but unfortunately for this story—Duggan doesn’t subscribe to the whole us vs. them take on holiday authenticity. No fightin’ words from her, just some poignant ones about the meaning and the intention that goes into a holiday meal being all that really matters. “The

food is just the frosting on the cake,” Duggan noted wisely. And since turkey probably wasn’t even on the menu at the first Thanksgiving dinner (to really go authentic, salmon would be a more accurate choice, Duggan said), Tofurkey is no further off the traditional mark than turkey is. Take that, turkey-gobblers. So we know Thanksgiving and Christmas are battlegrounds for traditionalists and fakers to duke it out, but what about Hanukkah? New Times tried unsuccessfully to join the wax candle vs. electric debate that surely must be raging at temples in San Luis Obispo and Santa Maria, but nobody got back to us. It’s that hardcore. Here’s something festive you might think transcends cultural, religious, and dietary leanings: fire. By now, pretty much everyone is likely aware that even the glow of leaping flames in a hearth has a fake counter-

part called the pre-recorded fire. Unhappy with his crappy gas fireplace in the holiday season, then-SLOcal Mark Grimes said, “I used to put my TV in the fireplace with the prerecorded fire … the TV was a big tube TV that didn’t really fit, so it stuck out about a foot out of the fireplace. Everyone loved it, though.” Fake-tree-person Thompson also admitted to use of a fake fire DVD, which he said is now a holiday tradition in his household. With the use of fire DVDs (such as Ambient Fire: The Ultimate Video Fireplace—but there are others), you can save yourself the muss and fuss of actual flames. And they can be replayed every year. Or all year. In hi-def. 190 mins. Looping. You may think, “Sure, there have been a few cheapenings when it comes to holiday celebrations. Some of us might celebrate the birth of Jesus with green toilet brushes and curl up around televised fires, but it’s not like they’re going to make the word ‘Christmas’ shorter to save money on holiday signage or anything like that, right?” Fools! Just when you think there’s nothing left to skimp on, no more corners to be cut, that’s when they go and do the unthinkable. Even the very essence of Christmas has been pillaged: Xmas, a word so accepted by society that even this spellchecker didn’t flinch at it, now advertises tree lots and saves space in window displays across America. The final frontier has been crossed. With a giant X. o New Times Arts Editor Anna Weltner marks the spot. Contact her at



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THE DOWNTOWN PASO ROBLES LIGHTING CEREMONY takes place on Nov. 26 at 5:30pm in the downtown City Park. Free admission, candlelight caroling, free songbook, refreshments, and meet the elves and Mrs. Claus. Info: or 238-4103. SANTA’S HOUSE IN MISSION PLAZA opens Nov. 26 at 10am. Take a photo with Santa and enjoy free snacks, entertainment, and crafts. Spend $5 to take your own photo, $7 for a photo in a souvenir frame, or spend $10 for both. Open through Christmas Eve. Info: or 541-0286. LIGHTING OF THE PALMS takes place on Nov. 27 from 4-8pm with a live performance from Incendio. Stay warm with complimentary hot cocoa, cider, and appetizers. This is a family friendly and festive evening of watching the majestic palms light up the sky while surrounded by your

loved ones. Bring unwrapped toys Society Open House at the historic for Toys for Tots. Come to the Cliffs IOOF Hall. Santa will be in the VilResort, 2757 Shell Beach Road. Info: lage Dec. 1-25 on Wed. and Fri. from 3-5:30pm and Sat. and Sun. 773-2511 or 773-5000. ARROYO GRANDE HOLIDAY from noon-4pm. Info: 473-2250 or CHRISTMAS IN THE VILLAGE includes a Christmas concert on THE HOLIDAY TREE IN MISNov. 28 featuring the Grace Bible SION PLAZA in San Luis Obispo Church Choir at 3:30pm at the Rotary will be on display Nov. 30-Jan. Bandstand, tree lighting, a live Nativ- 3. This 25-foot tree will keep Misity scene at Harvest Church on the sion Plaza glowing with holiday cheer lawn, and a free outdoor screening throughout the holidays. Info: downof It’s a Wonderful Life at the Rotary or 541-0286. Bandstand. Dec. 5: Elegant Christ- CAMBRIA HOLIDAY IN THE mas in the Village and the Historical PINES EVENTS provide a festive ambiance as the village of Cambria celebrates the season with decorations and brilliant holiday lights. Find a list of participating businesses offering reduced rates, discounts, and gifts during the month of December. The annual Festival of Trees takes place on Dec. 1 at 6:30pm at 1000 Main St., Hospitality Night happens on Dec. 2, and the Allied Arts Holiday home tour is Dec. 4. Concerts and a Christmas bazaar also takes place. Info: 9273624, (click on Calendar, then December), or JULEFEST TREE LIGHTING CEREMONY is Dec. 3 at 5 p.m. in Solvang

A lovely thing about Christmas is that it’s compulsory, like a thunderstorm, and we all go through it together

—Garrison Keillor

2010 Holiday Guide


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Gilbert Reed’s A Christmas Carol, presented by Ballet Theatre San Luis Obispo, takes place Dec. 3 through 5. Performances are Saturday at 2 and 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. in the Spanos Theatre at the PAC in SLO. Tickets cost $20 to $35. Info and tickets:,, or 756-2787.


Park, on the corner of Mission Drive and First Street in Solvang. Enjoy live entertainment, meet special guests (including the Clauses!), and try cookies and hot chocolate. Info: ATASCADERO HOLIDAY TREE-LIGHTING takes place Dec. 3 at 6pm in the downtown Sunken Gardens. There will be holiday music and St. Nick. Free admission. Info: atascaderomainstreet. org or 462-0177. SANTA’S WORKSHOP AND HOLIDAY CRAFT FAIR takes place on Dec. 4 from 10:30am6pm with the tree lighting at 5:45pm. Find handmade and homemade items and entertainment. 993 Ramona Ave. in Grover Beach. Info: or 473-4580. SLO MODEL RAILROAD ASSOCIATION’S CHRISTMAS TRAINS IN THE VILLAGE takes place Dec. 4-5 from 10am-4pm on Saturday and from 10am-8pm on Sunday. There will be multiple running model train displays, history exhibits, and family fun. This is a free event, although donations are suggested. At

Listings continued on page 16


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2010 Holiday Guide

THE 35TH ANNUAL SLO HOLIDAY PARADE “LIGHT UP THE the Historic Odd Fellows Hall, located at 128 HOLIDAYS” takes place on Dec. Bridge St. in Arroyo Grande. Info: or 3 from 7-9pm in downtown SLO. This event is free to the public and includes 773-4173. CAYUCOS CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHT- more than 100 parade entries from ING takes place on Dec. 5 at 5pm at the groups marching, riding bicycles, corner of Ocean and ‘D’ streets. An evening to riding on cars, or in trucks and/or ring in the Christmas Season with festivities, semi-trucks. Info: food, cheer, carols, and a visit from Santa. Info: or 541-0286 or LOMPOC’S ANNUAL HOLIDAY 995-3538 or THE CLASSIC CAROUSEL IN MISSION PARADE starts at 6pm on Dec. 3 PLAZA is entertaining kids from Dec. 6-26. and runs floats along H Street. Follow This carousel offers rides for $3. Info: down- up with a tree-lighting ceremony at Centennial Square: 875-8100. or 541-0286. SHELL BEACH HOLIDAY STROLL takes SOLVANG’S JULEFEST PAplace on Dec. 9 from 5-9pm. Merchants along RADE starts at 11am on Dec. Shell Beach Road help visitors get into the holi- 4 at Mission Santa Ines, moving day spirit by providing shopping, refreshments, west on Mission Drive, left on 4th live music, grab bags for the kids, and a Surfin’ Street, left on Copenhagen Drive, and ending at the post office on Santa. Info: or Alisal Road. See and hear local groups marching and performing, and meet the Clauses! LIGHTED BOAT PARADE IN ARROYO GRANDE hosts its eighth annual MORRO BAY features local boats holiday parade on Nov. 28 at 5pm with a decorated with lights for the holiday Christmas sing-a-long and tree lighting at the season, cruising the harbor after conclusion of the parade. Info: 473-2250 or dark. Enjoy live music and shopping on Dec. 4 from 6:30-8:30pm at the marinas. Info:, 772continued on page 19 2128, or 772-4467.

Listings from page 15



The night of

her dreams The Civic Ballet of San Luis Obispo presents Lori Lee Silvaggio’s The Nutcracker with performances Dec. 11 at 2 and 7 p.m. and Dec. 12 at 2 and 6 p.m. Tickets start at $15 for students and seniors and $28 for general admission. See it at the PAC at Cal Poly in SLO. Info and tickets: pacslo. org or 756-2787.


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Listings from page 16

THE 16TH ANNUAL CHRISTMAS PARADE OF LIGHTS illuminates Santa Maria’s Betteravia Road starting at 5:20pm on Dec. 4. PASO ROBLES CHRISTMAS LIGHT PARADE takes place on Dec. 4 in Downtown Paso Robles. The parade starts at 7pm. Applications to participate are available online. Info: or 238-4103. SOUTH COUNTY HOLIDAY PARADE takes place on Dec. 4 beginning at 10am at the corner of 16th Street and heads west down Grand Avenue. to 8th Street, where it spills out at the Ramona Garden Park. Info: or 473-4580. THE 49TH ANNUAL OLD TOWN ORCUTT CHRISTMAS PARADE starts at noon on Dec. 11 at South Broadway and Clark Avenue. Info: 937-0158.


CHRISTMAS AT THE DANA ADOBE is an open house that takes place Dec. 4 from 1-3pm starting with a Las Posadas pageant, featuring local children singing traditional songs. Other highlights include a piñata, hot drinks and Mexican treats, and docent-led tours. The open house recreates an 1850s California Christmas, including the trimming, refreshments, and activities that would have

been a part of holiday celebrations during the rancho era. Admission is free. The Dana Adobe is located at 671 South Oakglen Ave. in Nipomo. Info: 929-5679 or OCTAGON BARN HOLIDAY LIGHTS are on display starting at dusk Dec. 4 and are on display through Jan. 3. Volunteers interested in helping string lights can email Located at 4559 S. Higuera St. Enjoy a local historical icon that has been restored by The Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County. Info: 544-9096 or TREES OF THE SEASON AT THE DUNES CENTER takes place on Dec. 8 from 4-6:30pm and raises money in support of environmental education and after-school programs for local school children. Raffle tickets can be purchased to enter to win a decorated tree or wreath. Tree/wreath raffle tickets are $1 each, wine/art raffle tickets are $5 each, and admission is free. Live music and refreshments will be served. Awards will be given for people’s choice for best tree/wreath. The Dunes Center is located at 1055 Guadalupe St. in Guadalupe. Info: 343-2455 or JACK HOUSE CHRISTMAS OPEN HOUSE AND CANDLELIGHT TOURS take place Dec. 10-11 from 5-8pm and Dec. 12 from 1-4pm at the Historic Jack House, located at 536 Marsh St. in downtown SLO. Tickets are $2. During this Victorian Christmas event, enjoy cookies and refreshments. Info

and tickets: 781-7300 or CHRISTMASTIME AT HEARST CASTLE invites visitors to take tours of The Assembly Room, The Refectory, and The Morning Room, featuring lavish decorations of hand-made garlands, brilliant red poinsettias, and two 18-foot Christmas trees fully decorated with lights and traditional ornaments. See it through Jan. 1. There are evening tours most Friday and Saturdays through Dec. 30, and beginning Dec. 10 the evening tours are nightly through Dec. 23. On Dec. 11 Pismo Beach Recreation is offering an excursion to the castle; info: 773-7063. General info: 1-800444-4445 or

Association (T-MHA). This event includes refreshments and a silent auction. At the Ludwick Community Center, located at 864 Santa Rosa St. in SLO. Info and tickets: 540-6511. THE UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST (CONGREGATIONAL) OF SLO HOLIDAY EVENTS include a Readers’ Theatre presentation of Dylan Thomas’ Under Milk Wood Nov 20-21 at 2pm. Admission is $10 and tickets are available at the door, at Boo Boo records in SLO, Volumes of Pleasure in Los Osos, Coalesce Bookstore in Morro Bay, or online at There is a Thanksgiving Breakfast Service on Nov. 21 at 10:30am in Fellowship Hall. The Fair Trade Fair is on Nov. 21 at 10:30am and goes till early afternoon at the Fellowship Hall. Shop from area fair trade vendors. 11245 Los Osos Valley Road. Info: 544-1373 or KIWANI’S AUCTION takes place on Nov. LOPEZ LAKE TURKEY FESTIVAL is on 20 at 6pm and is an evening of fast-paced Nov. 21 from 10am-3:30pm, along with fun and support for Transitions Mental Health the inaugural Fall Family Concert in the Park featuring The Mighty Croon Dogs. Activities include 5k Turkey Trek, Tiny Mile Turkey Trot, Turkey Calling Contest, Kids Carnival, Face Painting, Bounce House, Climbing Wall, Free Nature Boat Cruises and Hayrides, and more at the Lopez Lake Recreation Area located at 6800 Lopez Drive in Arroyo Grande. Info: slocounty or 788-2386. LIGHTING OF THE HANNUKAH MENO(1934) RAH starts on Dec. 1 at 5pm. The lighting

More holiday events

. . as we go along, walking in a winter wonderland.

—“Winter Wonderland”

2010 Holiday Guide


takes place above the steps at the Old Mission church. Immediately following the first night’s candle-lighting ceremony will be a Hanukkah party full of songs and cheer. The candle lighting continues through Dec. 8. All nights begin at 5pm, except Friday at 4pm. Each night is sponsored by a different Jewish organization in SLO county. Mission Plaza in downtown SLO. Info: 426-5465 or WREATH-MAKING POTLUCK is a free event on Dec. 2 at 6pm. Make a beautiful decoration for your home and share in the spirit of giving at this fun-filled event. At the Library/ City Hall Conference Room, located at 1000 Spring St. in Paso Robles. Info, registration, and supply list: 237-3870. CAMBRIA ALLIED ARTS HOLIDAY HOME CLASSIC is a holiday visit to six homes in Cambria happening on Dec. 4 from 10am-4pm. This year’s selection of homes ranges from sophisticated to cottage, with something for everyone’s taste. Tickets are $20 and may be purchased at the Cambria Chamber of Commerce. Info: 9271858 or CHANUKAH CHUPLAH celebrates the fifth night of Chanukah on Dec. 5 from 4-7pm. This is a family-friendly event with fun and educational activities for all ages. Join in a Chanukah song session and lighting of the traditional holiday lights. The adult admission

Listings continued on page 20

Yang-Sheng Foot Spa The Traditional Chinese Art of foot reflexology massage is one of the most unbelievably relaxing treats.


Mark you calendar for our Holiday Open House Saturday and Sunday December 11th & 12th

Enjoy Adelaida wine while you shop! Wine gifts, local artists, holiday treats from Vintage Gourmet, and more. Admission is free. ($10 tasting fee waived with wine purchase)

Adelaida Cellars 5805 Adelaida Rd. Paso Robles, CA 93446 800.676.1232 ext. 19

Foot Bath in a wooden barrel with aromatic petals and green leaves.

45 Min. Foot Massage pounding on the soles of the feet Massage

and kneading the legs and toes.

head, shoulder and back while dunking the feet into a wooden barrel.

Foot Reflexology Massage w/ Free back, neck & shoulder

$28/45 min. Oriental Aroma Body Massage $50/60 min.


Gift Cards Available

Foot & Whole Body Massage $40/60 min.

By appointment or Walk-Ins Welcome. Open 7 Days a Week 9:30am-9:00pm

San Luis Obispo 805-788-0888 698 Marsh Street

Pismo Beach 805-773-1888

513 Five Cities Drive

Santa Maria 805-925-1888

2345 S. Broadway • Suite B


New Times & Santa Maria Sun present

Listings from page 19 includes wine and olive oil tasting, an adult version of the traditional dreidel game, two raffle tickets, and prizes; the children’s admission includes crafts, games, story telling, and other Chanukah-themed activities. There will be a raffle, holiday craft and gift fair, and traditional holiday food will be on sale. Tickets start at $5. Come to Congregation Beth David, 10180 Los Osos Valley Road in SLO. Info and tickets: 544-0760 or HOLIDAY DIVA NIGHT AT APPLE FARM takes place on Dec. 7 with champagne and chocolate tastings, shopping, and discounts. Free. At 2015 Monterey St. in SLO. Info: 544-2040 or WOODS HUMANE SOCIETY HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE is Dec. 11 from 10am2pm. Activities include pet portraits with Santa, workshops, works of art created by the sheltered cats, microchip clinic, and tours. Please bring donations of cleaning supplies, office supplies, or animal care supplies to the shelter and enjoy warm cider, coffee, holiday treats, and share some holiday warmth with the homeless dogs and cats. 875 Oklahoma Ave. in San Luis Obispo. Info: 543-9316 or THE LIVING NATIVITY at the Templeton Presbyterian Church takes place Dec. 17-19 at 7pm. Actors and live animals will por-

2010 Holiday Guide

tray the events of the night when Jesus was born. Caroling, refreshments, and the sights and sounds of Christmas. Free. Refreshments start at 6:30 and the program at 7pm. 610 S. Main, on the lawn at 6th and Main. Info: at 434-1921. A HOLIDAY HOME TOUR AND CANDLELIGHT TEA is 12:30 to 5 p.m. on Dec. 23. The Lompoc Hospital Foundation Tour sponsors a tour of spectacular homes decorated for the holidays, followed by Holiday Tea at Ocean’s Seven Café. Info: 736-4005. ANNUAL POLAR BEAR DIP welcomes adventure lovers to ring in the New Year by running into the ocean. (Some swimmers will be in costume.) This event is for the brave, the insane, and the people who love to watch. Each of the hundreds of people who participate gets a certificate. The festivities begin at 10am on Jan. 1 at the Cayucos Pier (the dip is at noon). Info: 995-1200 or

The things a girl will do for a mink coat.

—Christmas in Connecticut (1945)

ANNUAL “WINTER BIRD FESTIVAL” MORRO BAY presents walks, cruises, workshops, speakers, displays, sketching trips, and vendor booths in honor of this “Globally Important Bird Area,” home to or visited by more than 200 bird species. Attendees can participate in 35 land, ocean, and bay field trips. Register by Jan. 5 for the Jan. 14-17 event. Info and a complete schedule of the events: 1-800-231-0592, 772-4467, or SHARING THE DREAM takes place on Jan. 17 and Feb. 24. This concert and festival honors the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Info: MENTAL WELLNESS FORUM is a free event takes place on Jan. 28 from 8:30am-noon. “Journey of Hope” is an inspiring and educational mental wellness forum with Kevin Hines, who speaks about his own suicidal thoughts and his attempt to end his life by jumping off of the Golden Gate Bridge. At the New Life Church, located at 990 James Way in Pismo Beach. Info: or

The annual Surfrider Free Fall Art Benefit takes place on Nov. 27 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and features local artists, music, food, and beverages from around the county. Come to the Cayucos Vets Hall at the pier. Free admission. Pictured is a piece by Charlie Clingman. Info:

Suck reef

Listings continued on page 23


Starting at $39

The “Spirits” of the Season are at Black Sheep • Savor Seasonal Drink Specials & Martinis • Enjoy Great Lunches & Dinners • Friendly Prices • Happy Hour Daily 3-6pm • Open 11am-2am thru the Holidays 1117 Chorro St. SLO 805.544.SHEEP•

The corner of Morro & Monterey in charming downtown San Luis Obispo 546-8706 Bring your old gold jewelry into Serengeti West Jewelers and use it as cash. Receive an additional 20% when used toward any new in-store purchase or store credit.

New Times & Santa Maria Sun present

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Café Musique’s, Chartered South of France River Boat Cruise Uniworld River Royale, priced from $2799/pp plus air. Fully escorted from the Central Coast. May 7th-15th (Paris & Barcelona pre/post packages available) 30 Day Cruise Voyage to Hawaii & Tahiti. Cruise roundtrip from San Diego to Hawaii & Tahiti. Sep 29, 2011 Spend 30 days aboard Holland America’s Westerdam. Special prices include transportation from SLO County. Priced from $5899.00 per person, Balcony.

81 Higuera St. STE 150 • SLO • 541-4141 •

2010 Holiday Guide



New Times & Santa Maria Sun present



8 05 . 5 4 4 .G E M S

New Times & Santa Maria Sun present

Listings from page 20

snow Let it

HOLIDAY HARMONY AND TREE LIGHTING CEREMONY takes place on Dec. 3 from 5:30-8pm at the Beach Bum Holiday Rental parking lot, located at Dolliver and Pomeroy in downtown Pismo Beach. Kids can frolic in fresh snow or go bonkers in the bounce house. There will be crafts, cookie decorating, live music, carolers, and Santa. Free. Info: 773-7049 or COWBOY CHRISTMAS invites everyone to enjoy a visit from Santa, 10 tons of snow, a toboggan run, pony rides, arts, crafts, refreshments, and country and Christmas music in Templeton on Dec. 4 from 10am-3pm at Templeton Community Park (5th Street at Crocker). Info: 434-2099, templetonchamber. com, or SLO CHILDREN’S MUSEUM on Dec. 4 from 11am-3pm presents the Snow Spectacular with snow making classes, real snow cones, and playing in the snow in an outdoor area. 1010 Nipomo St. in downtown SLO. Info: or 544-5437. THE VINE STREET VICTORIAN SHOWCASE takes place on Dec. 11 from 6-9pm on Vine Street between 8th and 21st streets.

This free gift to the community from the Downtown Paso Robles Main Street Association, El Paso de Robles Area Historical Society, and the City of Paso Robles includes 14 blocks of the joyous sights and sounds of the holidays with caroling, singers, snow, letters to Santa, live Nativity, Scrooge, the Snow King and Queen, along with all the beautifully decorated homes on Vine Street Info: or 238-4103.

WINTER WONDERLAND takes place Dec. 11 in downtown Atascadero from 6-9pm and features snow piles, snow slides, food, music, fire engine rides, and the Elks Little Train. Free admission. Info: or 462-0177.

Wrapupit Christmas at my house —fairs, bazaars, and

is always at least six or open houses seven times more pleasant than anywhere else. We start drinking early. And while everyone else is seeing only one Santa Claus, we’ll be seeing six or seven. —W. C. Fields

HOLIDAY BOUTIQUE AT THE PAVILION ON THE LAKE takes place on Nov. 20 from 10am-3pm. Local craft vendors will display a variety of handmade items that make wonderful holiday gifts. Free to attend. 9315 Pismo Ave. in Atascadero. Info: or 470-3178. HOLIDAY CRAFT AND GIFT BOUTIQUE is 9am-4pm on Nov. 20 at the Edwards Barn, 1095 Pomeroy Road, Nipomo. Shop for arts, crafts, and gift items from more than 40 vendors. Info: JUL HUS, 1580 Mission Dr. in Solvang, holds an open house with door prizes and refreshments 10am-4pm on Nov. 20. SWIM AND TENNIS CLUB HOLIDAY GIFT BOUTIQUE takes place on Nov. 20

Anniversary Sale 15% OFF ALL BIKES & ACCESSORIES Including Kids Bikes. Limited to stock on hand.


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473 - 8324 • 1343 West Grand Ave • Grover Beach

from 11am-4pm at the Paso Robles Swim and Tennis Club. Get ready for the gift giving season by enjoying local wine and food while shopping for unique crafts and high end gifts for your loved ones. Admission is free. 2975 Union Road. Info: 239-7397. CHANUKAH BAZAAR means that there’s no need to go to L.A. for Chanukah supplies and gifts. Congregation Beth David is holding their annual bazaar sale on Nov. 21 with new menorahs, dreidels, wrapping paper, and more, as well as games and activities for the kids. Noon2pm at Congregation Beth David, located at 10180 Los Osos Valley Road in SLO. Info: 5440760,, or HOLIDAY ARTS AND CRAFTS FAIRE AT THE AVILA BAY CLUB takes place on Nov. 21 from 11am-4pm and features local artists displaying unique hand-crafted items, quality specialty gifts, and more. This event is free. The Avila Bay Athletic Club and Spa is located at 6699 Bay Laurel Drive. Info: 595-7600, Ext. 103, or COUNTRY CHRISTMAS CRAFTS FAIR AND BOUTIQUE takes place Nov. 26-27 from 10am-4pm and features more than 100 vendors with prizes and refreshments at the SLO Vets Memorial Building at Monterey and Grand. Info: 466-0191 or “THE COLORS OF CHRISTMAS,” the Los Padres Artists Guild annual Christmas show, is 2-10pm on Nov. 26, 9am-6pm Nov. 27, and

2010 Holiday Guide


10am-4pm Nov. 28 at the Abel Maldonado Community Youth Center in Santa Maria. Find silk artists demonstrating their talent and others displaying their work, including assemblage, fused glass, wearable art, photography, and more. CHRISTMAS STREET FAIRE brings vendors from around the world with their arts and crafts items. Enjoy a snack and listen to the live entertainment on Nov. 28 from 9am-4pm in downtown Morro Bay off of Morro Bay Blvd. and Main Street. Free. Info: 1-877-478-9477, 772-4288, or MOLE HOLE HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE is 7:30-9pm at 1656 Mission Dr. in Solvang on Dec. 3. Find hot cider, cookies, and the Sweet Adelines singers. Info: 729-2959. GROWING GROUNDS HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE takes place on Dec. 3 from 2-7pm and includes craft demonstrations, wreath making, live music, refreshments, raffle prizes, Poinsettias, and fresh cut trees. At 956 Chorro St. across from the Mission in downtown SLO. Transitions Mental Health Association is helping children and adults to live, work, and grow in this community. Info: 544-4967 or CITY OF PASO ROBLES CRAFT BAZAAR takes place on Dec. 4 from 9am-4pm at the Centennial Park Gym, located at 600 Nickerson

Listings continued on page 24


New Times & Santa Maria Sun present

Listings from page 23 Drive in Paso Robles. Enjoy shopping from 50 handmade crafters and a free children’s area available while you shop. Admission is free. Info: 237-4741 or HOLIDAY IN THE PLAZA ART AND CRAFT FAIR takes place Dec. 4-5 from 10am-4pm at Mission Plaza. Find handmade items for the holidays and free musical entertainment. Info: 781-7300 or ALTERNATIVE GIFT FAIR IN SLO takes place on Dec. 5 from 9:30am-2pm. Attendees can give cash donations directly to organizations participating in the fair in honor of family and friends, as well as buying Fair Trade chocolates, gourmet coffee, teas and nuts, and purchasing unique Fair Trade handicrafts and jewelry from around the world. First Presbyterian Church is located at the corner of Marsh and Morro streets. Info: 543-5451 or HOLIDAY GIFTIQUE will offer unique gifts on Dec. 5 from 11am-5pm. Local glass art, ceramics, and jewelry can be found at Casa Morica Glass Studio, located at 1662 Knoll Road in SLO. Info: 787-0308 or moricaglass. FAMILY CARE NETWORK HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE takes place Dec. 8-9. Celebrate the children and families of the Family Care Network. Each event includes a potluck

2010 Holiday Guide

St. Nick

Crazy for

Santa’s House in Mission Plaza opens Nov. 26 at 10 a.m. Take a photo with Santa and enjoy free snacks, entertainment, and crafts. Spend $5 to take your own photo, $7 for a photo in a souvenir frame, or $10 for both. It’s open through Christmas Eve. The annual parade is Dec. 3 from 7 to 9 p.m. in downtown SLO. Info: or 541-0286. PHOTO COURTESY OF SLO DOWNTOWN ASSOCIATION

dinner, games and crafts for kids, as well as live entertainment. The Santa Maria event is Dec. 8 at the Santa Maria Fairgrounds from 3-7pm. The SLO event is on Dec. 9 at the San Luis Nazarene Church from 3-6:30pm located at 3396 Johnson Ave. in SLO. Info: 781-3535 or CHRISTMAS BY THE BEACH OPEN HOUSE takes place on Dec. 10 from 5:308:30pm on Ocean Avenue, sponsored by participating Cayucos merchants in conjunction with the Cayucos Chamber of Commerce. Free horse carriage rides, special offers, raffles, entertainment, and refreshments. Info: Z FOLIO GALLERY presents an open house

from 4-7pm on Dec. 10 at 1685 Copenhagen Dr. Find art and jewelry, sip mulled wine, and meet Jack Morrison. Info: 693-8480. TRIBAL FUSION FAIRE takes place Dec. 18-19 from 10am-1pm on Saturday and from

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas …

—“White Christmas,” written by Irving Berlin (1940-2)

e s u o H n Holiday Ope Dec. 11-12th Join us in our Tasting Room

Open Hours are 10am-5:30pm with appetizers and live music both days from 1-4pm. Mulled Wine, Tempting Treats & Holiday Cheer Wine Specials, Shipping Discounts & Deals on Gift Items Gourmet Foods & More

10am-7pm on Sunday. There will be holiday shopping, live performances, music, international cuisine, and tribal workshops. At the SLO Vets Hall, located at 801 Grand Ave. Info: 5447662 or TRADITIONAL HOLIDAYS AT THE APPLE FARM take place through Dec. 18 with Santa making an appearance on Saturdays from 10am-2pm, strolling carolers, home-baked holiday treats, shopping, and there’s even a chance to win prizes by finding the missing elf, Dash. Open daily at 7am, closes at 9pm weekdays, and 10pm on weekends. 2015 Monterey St. in SLO. Info: 544-2040 or

Spirits and


HOLIDAY COOKIE BAKING WORKSHOP is on Nov. 20 in Shell Beach. Info: 773-7063. TURKEY TROT RUN/WALK YMCA FUNDRAISER takes place on Nov. 20. This 5k fun run/walk for the whole family begins at 9am at 1020 Southwood Drive in SLO and

Listings continued on page 27


Give the Gift of

Gift Certificates Available Adam Abroms, M.D. Ahmad Amir, M.D. Robert Higginbotham, M.D. Christopher Hulburd, M.D. William McRee, M.D. Craig Merrill, M.D. J. Brent Oldenburg, M.D. Mark Sherman, M.D. Rupert Chowins, O.D.

Open House is Free Our way of saying “Buone Feste” “Happy Holidays” to our customers

1315 N. Bethel Rd., Templeton Off Hwy 46 West Toll free 888.DAM.FINE

(805)545-8100 · San Luis Obispo · Santa Maria · Pismo Beach · Paso Robles · Morro Bay Optical Concepts (Santa Maria) · Pacific Coast Vision Center

New Times & Santa Maria Sun present

2010 Holiday Guide


HOLIDAY CAMPS Flip Into Fall HARVEST GYMNASTICS & CHEER CLINIC November 23 & 24 Tues: 4:00-8:00pm Wed: 9:00am-1:00pm

Boys and Girls ages 5 and up

Flip Out For The Holidays



December 20, 21, 22 (Mon-Wed) December 27, 28, 29 (Mon- Wed)

“Kids Club” Before & After care available!

Call for More Info: 547-1GYM(1496)

547-1GYM (1496) 4484 Broad St., SLO


New Times & Santa Maria Sun present

2010 Holiday Guide

Change of a Dress PRESENTS

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950-A Los Osos Valley Road

Los Osos 528-8288

Open Tuesday – Saturday 10:30am - 5:30pm

Thanksgiving Delights New Frontiers’ deli has everything you need for your Thanksgiving experience • Freshly Baked Pies • Homemade Stuffing • Fresh Cranberry Sauce • Mashed Potatoes & Gravy • Holiday Sweet Potatoes • Freshly Roasted Hormone& nitrate-free Turkey Breast


The new home of Ballet Theatre San Luis Obispo

We’ve moved - see us at our new location: 1531 Froom Ranch Way • San Luis Obispo (Los Osos Valley Rd. near Home Depot) 805.785.0194 • Hours: Mon.Sun. 8-9

New Times & Santa Maria Sun present

Listings from page 24

includes a continental breakfast, T-shirts, aid stations, and prizes. $20-$25. Info: sloymca. org or 543-8235. THANKSGIVING DINNER at the Pismo Beach Vets Hall, located at 780 Bello St., takes place on Nov. 24 from 1-7pm. Meal delivery is available. All are welcome. Info: 773-7018. ANNUAL MORRO BAY THANKSGIVING DINNER takes place on Nov. 25 from 1-3pm at the Morro Bay Community Center, located at 1001 Kennedy Way. Presented by The Morro Bay Peace Officers’ Association and the Rotary Club of Morro Bay. Call Morro Bay Trans-it at 772-2744 for a free ride to the dinner. Info: 772-6284. ILLUMINATING EVENING AT VINA ROBLES takes place on Dec. 3 from 5:307:30pm. Festivities include the ceremonial lighting of the towering Christmas tree, a special holiday performance by the Templeton High School Choir, holiday beverages, and treats. Complimentary. Guests are encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy to benefit Toys for Tots. 3700 Mill Road in Paso Robles. Info: or 227-4812. PRESIDIO VINEYARD AND WINERY holds a holiday open house 5:30-8:30pm on Dec. 3 at 1603 Copenhagen Dr., suite 1, Solvang. Enjoy wine tasting and light hors d’oeuvres. Cost is $10.

MOROVINO HOLIDAY FOOD AND WINE PAIRING takes place on Dec. 3 from 5-7pm and features easy holiday appetizers paired with award-winning Morovino wines. $10. The Morovino Winery Tasting Room is located at 550 1st St. in Avila Beach. Info: 6271443 or LUCAS AND LEWELLEN VINEYARDS OPEN HOUSE is 5-8pm on Dec. 3 at 1645 Copenhagen Dr., Solvang. Taste Silver King Port paired with Roquefort and chocolates. The event is free for members, $20 for guests. Info: 1-888-777-6663 or HEARST HOLIDAY FEAST is a Silver Anniversary holiday feast taking place on Dec. 4 and is provided by the Friends of Hearst Castle. Info and RSVP: EBERLE WINERY HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE takes place on Dec. 11 from noon4pm with carolers, barbecue, festive shopping, free gift-wrapping, and more. At 3810 Highway 46 East. Info: or 238-9607. POMAR JUNCTION VINEYARD OPEN HOUSE takes place on Dec. 11 from 11am5pm. 5036 E. El Pomar Road in Templeton. Info: 238-9940. WINE COUNTRY CHRISTMAS takes place on Dec. 11 from 11am-5pm at Le Vigne Winery. Build your own gift basket or select from pre-built gift baskets and visit the 1947 Pullman Rail car decorated like The Polar Ex-

press. Le Vigne Winery at Sylvester Vineyards is located at 5115 Buena Vista Drive in Paso Robles. Info: 1-800-891-6055. MOROVINO WINERY’S HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE invites you to relax to holiday harp music, nibble on goodies, and sip wines while you browse art, wine, jewelry, gourmet food products, and home accessories on Dec. 11 from 2-5pm and includes complimentary wine tasting. The Morovino Winery tasting room is located at 550 1st St. in Avila Beach. Info: 627-1443 or CASTORO CELLARS HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE takes place Dec. 11-12 from 10am5:30pm. Enjoy appetizers and live acoustic music by singer/guitarist Jon Ward from 1-4pm both days. Stop in for mulled wine, tempting treats, holiday cheer, tasting room specials, and discounts. Castoro Cellars Tasting Room is located at 1315 N. Bethel Road, Templeton. Info: 238-0725 or NEW YEAR’S EVE DINNER takes place on Dec. 31 from 7pm-1am at Robert Hall Winery. This is a night of old Hollywood glamour with a gourmet meal and live entertainment as you celebrate at the 2010 Golden Winery of the Year (voted by the California Mid-State Fair.) Tickets are $125 for Cavern Club members and $150 for non-members. Located at 3443 Mill Road in Paso Robles. Info and tickets: 2391616, Ext. 24, or NEW YEAR’S EVE AT LIDO is on Dec. 31

You are invited to experience Executive Chef Tim Hulbert’s

Thanksgiving Day Menu Make your reservations today


‘Tis the Season for


Many Cheers

Oven roasted Tom Turkey stuffed with

Fresh baby green beans with parsnips and baby carrots

Book online at or or Call (805) 549-0800


Roast prime rib au jus

Room Rates and in-house dining

(excluding alcohol and Holiday dinners. Subject to availability.)



Dinner Special

and Receive

Yukon gold mashed potatoes with roasted garlic and bleu cheese Sweet yam mashed potatoes

House salad


mances by PolyPhonics, The University Singers, Early Music Ensemble, and the Cal Poly Brass Ensemble, all conducted by Christopher Woodruff. A carol sing-a-long also takes place. Tickets prices: $17 and $20 for general admission, $16 and $19 for seniors, and $10 for students. In the Cohan Center at Cal Poly. Info: 756-2406, 756-2787, or music.calpoly. edu/calendar. JULEFEST SING-A-LONG invites everyone to meet at the gazebo in Solvang Park on Dec. 15 for caroling and presenting awards to Julefest window decorating contest winners from 3:30-4:30pm. SHEPHERD OF THE VALLEY carols in Solvang Park with cookies and hot chocolate 5-7pm on Dec. 18. FORBES PIPE ORGAN HOLIDAY CONCERT AND SING-ALONG takes place on Dec. 19 at 3pm in the Christopher Cohan Center at the PAC at Cal Poly in SLO. Tickets are $15 for adults and $8 for students. This is a fundraiser for the PAC’s Youth Outreach program. Info and tickets: or 756-2787. ARROYO GRANDE ROTARY CLUBS VILLAGE OF ARROYO GRANDE SING- CHRISTMAS AND HOLIDAY SING A-LONG takes place on Nov. 28 following ALONG takes place on Dec. 19 at 4pm. See the parade. Info: 473-2250 or arroyograndevil- and hear the Village Carolers of Studio Sing, Sing, Sing; the Nipomo High School Band; the CAL POLY CHOIRS’ “A CHRISTMAS Estero Bay Brass Quintet; and the Combined CELEBRATION” takes place on Dec. 4 continued on page 28 at 8pm. This festive concert includes perforwith seatings at 5 and 9pm and includes a five-course prix-fixed dinner and live music by Three Martini Lunch. Tickets start at $95 and include a Champagne toast and favors with the 9pm seating. At the Dolphin Bay Resort in Shell Beach. Info: 773-4300 or SLO RESTAURANT MONTH is in January. Participating restaurants will feature three course prix fixe menus for $30 per person. Reservations recommended if not required. Info: CAMBRIA ART AND WINE FESTIVAL takes place Jan. 28-30 with events happening all weekend including jazz music, wine tasting, raffles, receptions, art show, artist demos, and an artists’ faire. The hub of the weekend will be the Vet’s Hall located at 1000 Main St. Info: or 927-3624.


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2010 Holiday Guide

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New Times & Santa Maria Sun present

Listings from page 27 Choirs from the Arroyo Grande United Methodist Church and the Grover Beach First Presbyterian Church. Santa Claus, the dancing Sugar Plum Fairies from the Coastal Dance and Music Academy, and pianist Rudolph Budginas will make an appearance. Proceeds benefit music and arts programs of various South County schools. Tickets start at $5. 487 Fair Oaks Ave. in Arroyo Grande. Info: 489-9444 or

Music for the season

ECUMENICAL ADVENT SERVICE takes place on Dec. 1 at 7pm. This concert features choral music, instrumentalists, soloists, and liturgical dancers, and includes participants from the community churches, reflecting the ecumenical tone. Free. At the Community Presbyterian Church, located at 2250 Yorkshire Drive in Cambria. Info: 909-1108 or BROWN BAG CONCERTS are held the first Friday of each month at noon in Wilson Hall, at First Presbyterian Church, at the corner of Marsh and Morro in SLO. Dec. 3: Christmas Special, ‘The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.’ Info: 543-5451 or A MODERN GOSPEL CHRISTMAS takes place on Dec. 3 at 8pm and celebrates their 13th anniversary with a unique presentation

2010 Holiday Guide

of holiday and gospel music in a modern expressive style. The House of Prayer Church Choir is uplifting, enlivening, and inspiring. Tickets prices TBA. In the Cohan Center at Cal Poly in SLO. Info and tickets: and 756-2787. THE NEW WORLD BAROQUE ORCHESTRA HOLIDAY CONCERT takes place on Dec. 3 at 7:30pm and on Dec. 5 at 2pm. Members of the combined Paso Robles High School Choirs conducted by Mary Schmutz will be performing their sixth annual Winter Holiday Concert featuring excerpts from Handel’s “Messiah” at the newly restored Mission San Miguel Arcángel Church. The event will also include music and performances celebrating the seasonal traditions of Hanukkah and the Native Californian solstice ceremonies. The Sunday program will include a reenactment of an old California Missions Christmas tradition, the beautiful old Pastorela Los Pastores—The Shepherd’s Play, followed by a children’s piñata celebration. At the Mission San Miguel. Info: 467-2131,, or SLOFOLKS CHRISTMAS CONCERT FEATURING GOLDEN BOUGH takes place at Coalesce Bookstore on Dec. 3 at 7pm. Golden Bough is rooted in the traditional Celtic music of Ireland and Scotland. 845 Main St. in Morro Bay. $20. Info: 772-2880. JOY TO THE WORLD is a SLO Vocal Arts Ensemble holiday concert taking place on Dec. 4 at 8pm. Tickets range from $10-$35 and will

showcase holiday music from around the world, from Mozart and Beethoven, to the ‘Kyrie’ featuring steel drums. At the San Luis Obispo Mission, located at 751 Palm St. Info and tickets: 541-6797 or CUESTA HOLIDAY CHOIR CONCERTS feature the Cuesta Chamber Singers, Voce, Mixed Choir, and Encore and takes place on Dec. 5 and 11 at 7:30pm at the Cuesta CPAC. A matinee takes place at on Dec. 5 at 3pm at the SLO United Methodist Church, located at 1515 Fredericks St. in San Luis Obispo. Tickets are $7 and $10. Info: 546-3198 or academic. JOY TO THE WORLD is an encore performance by the SLO Vocal Arts Ensemble, taking place on Dec. 5 at 3pm. Tickets range from $13-$33 and will showcase holiday music from around the world, from Mozart and Beethoven, to the ‘Kyrie’ featuring steel drums. At the PAC at Cal Poly. Info and tickets: 541-6797 or A NIGHT OF HOLIDAY STRINGS, presented by Central Coast Strings, is Dec. 9 from 7-8pm at the Shepard Hall in the Santa Maria Public Library, 420 S. Broadway, Santa Maria. The show is open to listeners 14 and older. A VERY MARIACHI DIVAS SHOW is 8-10pm on Dec. 9 at Chumash Casino. Hear their “ranchengue” music, fusing ranchera and meringue into a Christmas show. Info:

Ralphie: “I want an official Red Rider, carbine-action, two hundred shot, range model air rifl e.” Santa: “You’ll shoot your eye out, kid.” —A Christmas Story (1983)

CUESTA COLLEGE WIND ENSEMBLE CONCERT—“HOLIDAY FESTIVAL” celebrates the joy of the season with holiday music featuring the Cuesta College Wind Ensemble, with Jennifer Martin as conductor, and takes place on Dec. 12 at 7:30pm at the Cultural and Performing Arts Center, Main Stage at Cuesta College and features the music the of Dana Wilson, Mozart, Sousa, Annon, and others. Tickets are available at the door and cost $7-$10. Info: 5463195 or A RITA COOLIDGE CHRISTMAS lights up your holiday season at the Clark Center in Arroyo Grande on Dec. 12 at 7pm with this two-time

Grammy winner and her hits “Higher and Higher” and “The Way You Do the Things You Do.” Tickets are $36-$48. Info and tickets: 4899444 or SANTA BARBARA CHORAL SOCIETY CHRISTMAS comes to St. Mark’s-in-the-Valley Episcopal Church, 2901 Nojoqui Ave., Los Olivos, at 4pm on Dec. 12. Hear Benjamin Britten’s “Ceremony of Carols.” A suggested $10 donation per person will be accepted at the door. Info 688-4454 or CHRISTMAS “WRAP” TRIO with Woody DeMarco performs 2-3:30pm at the Solvang Park gazebo on Dec. 18. THE CUESTA MASTER CHORALE HOLIDAY SPECIAL takes place on Dec. 18 at 8pm and features beautiful seasonal music at the Christopher Cohan Center, located at the PAC at Cal Poly in SLO. Tickets are $13-$28. Info and tickets: and 756-2787. CELEBRATE NEW YEAR’S EVE WITH THE SYMPHONY on Dec. 31 with a preconcert champagne reception at 6pm. The concert takes place at 7:30pm and features an entertaining and uplifting evening of pops music with soprano Maria Jette and the SLO Symphony. At the PAC, located at 1 Grand Ave. at Cal Poly in SLO. Tickets range from $25-$55. Reception tickets are sold separately for $55. Info and tickets: or 543-3533.

Listings continued on page 31

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New Times & Santa Maria Sun present

Listings from page 28 UNFINISHED BUSINESS PRESENTS ‘60S ROCK ‘N’ ROLL NEW YEAR’S EVE on Dec. 31 with dinner and dancing starting at 6pm. Tickets are $75. Benefits the Arroyo Grande Knights of Columbus. At the South County Regional Center, located at 800 W. Branch St. in Arroyo Grande. Info: 929-5211,, or MUSIC FOR THE NEW YEAR takes place on Jan. 9 from 3-5pm. Soprano Maria Jette performs traditional Yiddish folk songs at Congregation Beth David, located at 10180 Los Osos Valley Road in SLO. Tickets range from $15-$35. Info and tickets: or 543-3533.

By students, for everyone

CUESTA NIGHT BAND performs on Nov. 19 at 7:30pm on the main stage of Cuesta College’s Cultural and Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $7 for students, seniors, and Jazz Federation members, and $10 for general admission. Info and tickets: 546-3198 or CUESTA COLLEGE CHAMBER MUSIC CONCERT takes place on Nov. 20 at 7:30pm in the experimental theater of Cuesta

College’s Cultural and Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $7 for students, seniors, and Jazz Federation members, and $10 for general admission. Info and tickets: 546-3198 or WIND BANDS IN ‘BANDFEST’ takes place on Nov. 20 at 8pm. Presented by the Cal Poly Music Department and featuring a spectacular evening with dazzling performances by the “Pride of the Pacific” Mustang Band, Cal Poly Wind Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, and taking place at the Cohan Center in SLO. Info: or 756-2787. FALL JAZZ CONCERT takes place on Dec. 3 at 8pm in the Spanos Theatre. University Jazz Bands No. 1 and No. 2 and the Cal Poly Jazz Combos will perform an eclectic mix of jazz standards and modern compositions. Tickets range from $6-$10. Info: 756-2406, 7562787, or AN INSTRUMENTAL STUDENT RECITAL takes place on Dec. 3 at 11am in the Davidson Music Center, room 218 on the Cal Poly campus. Free. Info: 756-2406 or CUESTA COLLEGE NORTH COUNTY CHORUS presents this winter concert conducted by Cassandra Tarantino on Dec. 5 at 7pm, featuring Benjamin Britten’s “Ceremony of Carols” with Jennifer Sayre on Harp, and guest singers from the Central Coast Children’s Chorus. At


A soprano


Celebrate New Year’s Eve with the Symphony on Dec. 31 with a pre-concert champagne reception at 6 p.m. The concert takes place at 7:30 p.m. and features an entertaining and uplifting evening of pops music with soprano Maria Jette and the SLO Symphony. Hear them at the PAC, 1 Grand Ave. at Cal Poly in SLO. Tickets range from $25 to $55. Reception tickets are sold separately for $55. Info and tickets: or 543-3533.

Listings continued on page 32


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New Times & Santa Maria Sun present

Listings from page 31 the Atascadero United Methodist Church, located at 11605 El Camino Real. Tickets are $7 and $10. Info and reservations: 546-3195. CUESTA COLLEGE WIND ENSEMBLE performs on Dec. 8 at 7:30pm on the main stage of Cuesta College’s Cultural and Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $7 for students, seniors, and Jazz Federation members, and $10 for general admission. In SLO. Info and tickets: 546-3198 or CUESTA COLLEGE JAZZ ENSEMBLES perform on Dec. 10 at 7:30pm on the main stage of Cuesta College’s Cultural and Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $7 for students, seniors, and Jazz Federation members and $10 general admission. In SLO. Info and tickets: 546-3198 or CUESTA COLLEGE CHOIRS perform on Dec. 11 at 7:30pm on the main stage of Cuesta College’s Cultural and Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $7 for students, seniors, and Jazz Federation members, and $10 for general admission. In SLO. Info and tickets: 546-3198 or CENTRAL COAST CHILDREN’S CHOIR performs Dec. 11-12 during two holiday concerts featuring “The Gift of Song” at Trinity Lutheran Church in Paso Robles on Saturday at 3pm and at United Methodist Church in San Luis Obispo on Sunday at

2010 Holiday Guide

6pm. More than 90 children make up six levels of singers, including San Luis Obispo County’s only boy’s choir. Tickets are $8-$15. Info and tickets: 541-5323 or 464-0443, or SLO YOUTH SYMPHONY’S HOLIDAY CONCERT takes place on Dec. 5 from 3-5pm. Ensembles of all ages perform music to get the audience in the holiday spirit. Tickets range from $8-$15. At the Clark Center for the Performing Arts at Arroyo Grande High School located at 487 Fair Oaks Ave. Info and tickets: or 543-3533. MBHS AND LOMS WINTER BAND CONCERT takes place Dec. 13-14 at 7pm at the Cohan Center at Cal Poly in SLO. The combined bands of Morro Bay High School and Los Osos Middle School perform. Ticket prices TBA. Info and tickets: and 756-2787. CUESTA COLLEGE JAZZ COMBOS ENSEMBLES will perform on Dec. 14 in the experimental theater of Cuesta College’s Cultural and Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $7 for students, seniors, and Jazz Federation members and $10 general admission. At 7:30pm in SLO. Info and tickets: 546-3198 or academic. SAN LUIS OBISPO HIGH SCHOOL CHOIR WINTER CONCERT will take place on Dec. 15 from 7-9:30pm at the Performing Arts Center at Cal Poly in SLO. Tickets are $10




Santa’s Workshop and Holiday Craft Fair takes place on Dec. 4 from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. with the tree lighting at 5:45 p.m. at 993 Ramona Ave. in Grover Beach. Find handmade items and entertainment. The South County holiday parade takes place on Dec. 4 beginning at 10 a.m. at the corner of 16th Street and heads west down Grand Avenue to 8th Street where it spills out at the Ramona Garden Park. Info: or 473-4580. and may be purchased at the door. With the LMS choir. Info: or 756-2787.

More music

STEYNBERG CONCERTS: Nov. 30: Valerie Johnson and Al B Blue; Dec. 11 with the Jill Knight Trio at 7:30pm. The gallery is located

Allan Hancock College Youth Dance presents

at 1531 Monterey St. in SLO. Tickets are $15. Info: 547-0278. DIANA JONES performs on Nov. 19 in a solo show at the Coalesce Bookstore at 7pm for $15 and on Nov. 20 with Jill Knight at Castoro Cellars at 7:30pm for $20. Coalesce Bookstore is located at 845 Main St. in Morro Bay and Castoro Cellars Winery is at the corner

New Location! Protect your privacy, rent a private mailbox.

of Hwy 46 West and Bethel Road in Templeton. Info: 772-2880, 238-0725, or TELLABRATION! is on Nov. 20 at 7pm. A night of story and song to celebrate the richness and wonder of fall; the evening features Shannon Savage performing traditional ballads and

Listings continued on page 35

Western Village Shopping Center


• Drop-Off • Shipping • Packing • Mailboxes • Notary • Copies 24 lb paper

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Friday & Saturday, December 17 & 18, 7 p.m. Sunday, December 19, 2 p.m. EthEl PoPE Auditorium, SAntA mAriA high School

Tickets can be purchased in advance at the PCPA Box Office: $13 adults/$10 students, seniors, children At the door: $14/$11 • Info: 922-8313

Mission Creek Postal Center ph. 805-354-0417 • fax. 805-354-0418 2027 S. Broadway Ste. B Santa Maria, CA

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2010 Holiday Guide


n t a f W o . r I . . l s C l a h m r t i s A


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New Times & Santa Maria Sun present

2010 Holiday Guide

Don’t be “That” Guy!


Stay focused on sobriety. Don’t be drawn into unhealthy party activities just because your friends are. Leave a party if it becomes uncomfortable. Politely excuse yourself after you have fulfilled your obligation. The unpleasant “face” of alcohol and/or drugs usually shows itself later in the festivities. Always have your own ride home or another escape plan. Organize: If your office is planning a party, volunteer to be the “organizer” or another position besides, bartender or the person who goes to the store to buy all the champagne! Action: This is the MOST important thing when you want to stay clean and sober! Don’t just think you are not going to drink or use drugs. Take ACTION! When you get restless call a sober friend or go to a 12-step meeting. Meditate! Eat! Food can be a very effective way to stop craving for drugs or alcohol. Respect other people’s right to celebrate. Remember; YOU are the one with the issue of addiction. Control: You CAN NOT control other people’s actions! People change when they ingest alcohol and other mind altering chemicals and that’s not your problem. If you become uncomfortable, politely disengage yourself from the situation. The only thing you CAN CONTROL is your RESPONSE to situations, and it’s always better to “respond” to things as opposed to “reacting” to them!

Do yourself a favor, call today for a same day appointment!


Visit our website at for more information.

San Luis Obispo Addiction Recovery Center


BLACK FRIDAY BLOW OUT SALE Friday, November 26, 9am-7pm

Don’t miss Le Vigne’s Black Friday Blow Out Sale! After your early morning shopping, stop by and “wine” down with Mimosas served 9am-12pm, first one on us, while finishing your holiday shopping! We will be sampling a vast assortment of Gourmet foods including artisan cheeses, mustards, olive oil and balsamic vinegars, and much more! Every hour will feature a new sale on a different wine or gifts. Who knows what we will mark down next! Take advantage of our pre-made gift baskets and gifts all at 25% off or 30% off for La Famiglia! All Le Vigne Wines and most of the Kiara wines will be on sale for prices so low you will be amazed!


Fabulous Gourmet Holiday Gift Baskets Sparkling Wine - $65 per case

While supplies last, cross country shipping available

Polar Express Reading • Sunday Dec. 5 & 12 4:30pm, 5:30pm, 6:30pm & 7:30pm

ALL ABOARD!!! Join us for our traditional holiday fundraiser for the Family Care Network Climb aboard Le Vigne’s 1947 Pullman Train cars for the reading of the holiday classic “The Polar Express.” Kids will be treated to hot chocolate & Christmas cookies. Adults will be treated to wine & cheese. $20 donation per person. Each reading is limited to 30 people. Kids with the best pajamas will win a prize. RSVP Required. Space is limited.

Tickets: $20 Adults, $10 Kids


Le Vigne Winery at Sylvester Vineyards 5115 Buena Vista Dr. Paso Robles 805.227.4000 or 800.891.6055 or

New Times & Santa Maria Sun present

gave to me…

The annual SLO Museum of Art Holiday Market will be open Nov. 26-Dec. 31 and features artful gifts for the holiday season including holiday ornaments, fine jewelry, textiles, home décor, ceramics, and pottery in the Nybak Wing at 1010 Broad St. at the west end of the Mission Plaza in downtown SLO. Hours are from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. On Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Eve, the market closes at 3 p.m. Admission is always free, yet donations are appreciated. Info: 543-8562 or


Listings from page 32

Zette Harbour—traditional storyteller—spinning stories of enchantment and mystery. Tickets are $5 and up and can be purchased online or at the door. At SLO Country Club , located at 255 Country Club Drive in SLO. Info: 441-6688 CAL POLY SYMPHONY FALL CONCERT: “ALL ROADS LEAD TO BACH” takes place on Nov. 21 at 3pm at the Cohan Center featuring Paul Severtson, co-concertmaster of the San Luis Obispo Symphony, and Brynn Albanese, violinist in Café Musique as well as several of the nation’s top orchestras, in a performance of the “Concerto for two Violins in D minor.” Tickets are $6-$12. Info: 756-2406, 756-2787 or music. MARIACHI LOS CAMPEROS DE NATI CANO performs on Nov. 26 at 8pm at the Performing Arts Center. Cal Poly Arts presents ‘Viva Mexico!’ celebrating the country’s colorful history and traditions through song and stories. Student and adult tickets range from $16-$42. Info and tickets: 756-2787 or PONEMON CONCERT SERIES WITH CAFE MUSIQUE is on Nov. 28 at 3pm. With the merging of five very different musical backgrounds, theirs is a sound that is the perfect marriage of classical, swing, gypsy, folk, tango, and originals. The $18-$20 ticket includes re-

San Luis Obispo welcomes you. This holiday season, take the stress out of shopping and make it a fun outing in San Luis Obispo! Shop a little, grab a bite to eat, shop a little more, and maybe eat a little more. Check out before your trip to view merchant and restaurant profiles, parking information and upcoming events and promotions. Follow us on: Text the word SLO to 67777 to receive all the latest coupons and specials and be entered to win a FREE iPod Nano!


My true love

freshments. At Congregation Beth David, located at 10180 Los Osos Valley Road in SLO. Info and tickets: 544-0760 or EARL THOMAS AND THE BLUES AMBASSADORS perform on Dec. 4 at the Vets Hall in SLO. Info: AN ACOUSTIC EVENING WITH JON ANDERSON (THE VOICE OF YES) takes place on Dec. 8 at 7:30pm at the Spanos Theatre. A solo guitar and vocal evening with the man who was the sound of the seminal rock group. Tickets are $38. Info and tickets: 7562787 or SLO WIND CONCERT presents its holiday concert, “Let Everything That Breathes,” inspired by the words of the 150th Psalm and taking place on Dec. 11 at 3pm at SLO United Methodist Church, located at 1515 Fredericks St. in San Luis Obispo. Tickets are $15 for general admission or $12 for students and seniors. Info and tickets: or 456-3333. CAMBRIA COMMUNITY CHORALE CONCERTS take place Dec. 11-12 at 3pm and feature holiday music performed by the 50-voice chorale and the Coast Union Bronco Chorus. At the Community Presbyterian Church, located at 2250 Yorkshire Drive in Cambria. Tickets are $15 and children under 12 get in free. Info: 927-4028 or BLIND BOYS OF ALABAMA—“GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN” perform on

2010 Holiday Guide


Dec. 16 at 7:30pm at the Performing Arts Center. Cal Poly Arts presents the special holiday engagement, filled with high energy, sweet harmonies, and old-time gospel. With special guest, Ruthie Foster. Student and adult tickets range from $16-$42. Info and tickets: 756-2787 or W. TERRENCE SPILLER FACULTY PIANO RECITAL: “LISZT COMMEMORATIVE” takes place on Jan. 7 at 8pm. This event celebrates Liszt’s 200th birthday and features works by Johannes Brahms, Paul Hindemith, and Franz Liszt. Tickets are $10 for general admission and $6 for seniors and students. At the Spanos Theatre at Cal Poly in SLO. Info: 756-2406, 756-2787, or music. ERIC HENDERSON performs on Jan. 14 at 7pm at Coalesce Bookstore and on Jan. 15 at 7:30pm at Castoro Cellars with master guitarist Andres Segovia. Coalesce Bookstore is located at 845 Main St. in Morro Bay and Castoro Cellars Winery is at the corner of Hwy. 46 West and Bethel Road in Templeton. $20. Info: 772-2880, 238-0725, or GUITAR MASTERS perform on Jan. 14 at 8pm in the Spanos Theatre. Cal Poly Arts presents finger-stylist Andy McKee, rocker Eric Johnson, and steel-string musician Peppino D’Agostino in a masterful showcase.

Listings continued on page 36


New Times & Santa Maria Sun present

Listings from page 35 A pre-show lecture is scheduled. Tickets are $38 for general admission and $30 for students. Info and tickets: 756-2787 or RED BARN CONCERT includes a Jan. 22 show with the Evie Ladin Band performing old-time banjo with an edge. 2180 Palisades Ave. in Los Osos. Info: or 528-4530. FESTIVAL MOZAIC WINTERMEZZO SERIES takes place Feb. 11-13 with the Festival Chamber players Caroline Campbell on violin, Scott Yoo on violin, Andrew Smith on cello, Paul Woodring on organ, and Susan Davies on piano, playing works by Mozart, Bach, Moszkowski, and Sergei Prokofiev at various locations in SLO. Info: 781-3009 or

I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. —Ebeneezer Scrooge

2010 Holiday Guide



A Christmas Carol … or something like it

THE HOLIDAY EXTRAVAGANZA plays Nov. 18-Dec. 31 at The Great American Melodrama in Oceano. First up is a heart-warming tale of holiday magic, a one-act version of Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol, followed by the fractured fairy-tale opera, Sleeping Beauty, or You Snooze, You Lose, and finally the music of the season is celebrated in the unique “Holiday Vaudeville Revue.” Tickets range from $20-$22, with discounts for seniors, students, active military, and children available. Info: 4892499 or GILBERT REED’S A CHRISTMAS CAROL presented by Ballet Theatre San Luis Obispo hits the stage Dec. 3-5. Reed’s masterful telling of the Dickens classic in this lively ballet will delight the entire family. Performances are Sat. at 2 and 7pm and Sun. at 2pm in the Spanos Theatre at the PAC in SLO. Tickets are $20-$35. A youth outreach performance will be presented on Dec. 3 at 11am. Youth outreach tickets are $8. Info and tickets:,, or 756-2787. READERS’ THEATRE: MRS. BOB

CRATCHIT’S WILD CHRISTMAS BINGE takes place Dec. 22-23 at 8pm. This playful, cracked look at the perennial Dickens Christmas classic finds the Ghost’s magic is off and Scrooge and the Ghost keep showing up at Bob Cratchit’s house way too early. At the SLO Little Theatre located at 888 Morro St. in SLO. Tickets are $7-$10. Info and tickets: or 786-2440.

Dec. 3-5 and Dec. 10-12 at the Templeton Performing Arts Center. This traditional version of the holiday classic features more than 60 dancers, and is perfect for audiences of all ages. Tickets are $22 for adults, $17 for seniors 65 and up, and $15 for children under 12. Tickets: 1-800-838-3006,, or 239-3668. THE NUTCRACKER PRESENTED BY THE CIVIC BALLET OF SAN LUIS OBISPO is Lori Lee Silvaggio’s version, hitting the stage on Dec. 11 at 2 and 7pm and Dec. 12 at 2 and 6pm. NUNCRACKERS! THE NUNSENSE CHRIST- Tickets start at $15 for students and seniors, and MAS MUSICAL hits the stage Thursday-Sunday $28 for general admission. Don’t miss the holiday Nov. 19-Dec. 19 at 2 and 8pm. This first “TV season’s most magical and exciting tradition. Info Special” filmed by the Little Sisters of Hoboken and tickets: or 756-2787. (the Lil’ Hobos) is an uproarious addition to the Nunsense series featuring new songs “Twelve Days Prior to Christmas,” “Santa Ain’t Comin’ to Our House,” “We Three Kings of Orient Are Us,” NIPOMO HIGH SCHOOL DRAMA PRESand “It’s Better to Give than to Receive!” Tickets ENTS THE WIZARD OF OZ taking place range from $15-$25. The San Luis Obispo Little Dec. 2-4 at 7:30pm with a matinee on Dec. Theatre is located at 888 Morro St. in downtown 4 at 1pm. Directed by Robyn Metchik, musical San Luis Obispo. Info: 786-2440 or slolittle direction by Mark Robertshaw, and choreography by Suzy Miller. One hundred Lucia Mar students NUTCRACKER PRESENTED BY EVERY- from Nipomo High School, Paulding, and Mesa BODY CAN DANCE takes place on Nov. 27 Middle schools and will incorporate a variety of at 7pm and Nov. 28 at 3pm in Clark Center. dance and musical numbers. The Drama DepartSayat Asatryan will dance the leading roles. 487 ment continues to raise funds for their trip to ScotFair Oaks Ave. $10-$17. Info: 498-9444 or clark- land next summer where they will be performing Nunsense at the world’s largest performing arts THE NUTCRACKER BALLET will take place festival. 487 Fair Oaks Ave. in Arroyo Grande.

Nutcracker productions

By students, for everyone

Under “more stage”

Tickets range from $10-$17. Get tickets at the door or by contacting the Clark Center in Arroyo Grande. Info: 474-3300, Ext. 6, 4899444, or BABES IN TOYLAND is presented by Coastal Chamber Youth Ballet. Experience the magic of Toyland with all of its fanciful characters including Mary Contrary, Tom Tinker, Bo Peep and her sheep, the Three Blind Mice, Tweedle Dee and Dum, beautiful dolls and gypsies, and many more. Show times are Dec. 11 at 1 and 6pm. Tickets are $18-$22. The Clark Center is located at 487 Fair Oaks Ave. in Arroyo Grande. Info: 489-5678,, or ACADEMY OF CREATIVE THEATRE PRODUCTION: THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE, directed by Shelagh Garren, hits the stage Jan. 14-30. Tickets are $8-$12. At the SLO Little Theatre, located at 888 Morro St. in SLO. Info: or 786-2440.

More stage

PETER PAN, about the flying boy who won’t grow up, plays at PCPA in the Marian Theatre in Santa Maria, 800 S. College Dr., through Dec. 23. Matinees start at 1:30pm, evening shows start at 7pm. Tickets cost $29.50-$32.50 for adults. Info: 922-8313 or

Listings continued on page 39

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2010 Holiday Guide


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2010 Holiday Guide

Support our Secret Angels & Warm Coat Drive

Secret Angel

Gift Drive

Brighten a child’s holiday!

Select an angel wish list from our tree and delight an underprivileged child in the community! Gifts collected

Nov. 30 - Dec. 16th 9am - 4pm

Coat Collection San Luis Trust Bank is collecting clean, reusable coats to donate to county wide charity organizations. Drop off times are

Monday - Friday, Nov. 30 - Dec. 29th 9am - 4pm

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San Luis Obispo · 541-9200

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Listings from page 36 MYSTERY DINNER THEATER—GOLDEN GIRLS HOLIDAY MYSTERY—MEET BLANCHE’S NIECE takes place every Sunday evening at 5pm Dec. 5-Jan. 30. The dinner theater performances are at The Spyglass Inn Restaurant, located at 2305 Spyglass Drive in Shell Beach. The $48.95 ticket price includes dinner, show, sales tax, and wait staff gratuity. Reservations are required. Dress is casual or come in your holiday finery. Info and reservations: 489-3875 or visit HO HO HO HO: A HOLIDAY DRAG SHOW features four gender illusionists, including two stars from Rupaul’s Drag Race. Doors open at 7pm on Dec. 10 at SLO Brewing Co., located at 1119 Garden St. in downtown SLO. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased online at or at the door. Info: 543-1843. NATIVITY PAGEANT, presented by a community group, plays for free at 5 and 7pm at 420 Second St., Solvang Festival Theater, and includes a choir and live animals. The Fossemalle Dancers perform at 4 p.m. Info: 1-800468-6765. THE GRINCH WHO STOLE CHRISTMAS shows Dec. 17-18 at 2 and 7pm at The Clark Center for Performing Arts in Arroyo Grande. This adaptation of the Dr. Seuss classic How The Grinch Stole Christmas is a musical narrated

by the Grinch himself. $10-$14. Info: 473-0377 or LEGENDS SHOW FEATURES FRANK SINATRA and Ray Charles, Nat King Cole, Patsy Cline, Elvis, and Judy Garland Dec. 31Jan. 15 at 2 and 8pm. Tickets are $35. At the Clark Center in Arroyo Grande. Benefits Nipomo High’s drama department. Info: 4899444 or

Art and films

forseason the

ART AFTER DARK is the open house of galleries all over downtown SLO on the first Friday of the month (not December) from 6-9pm (times and events vary). Info:, 544-9251, or call your favorite gallery directly. MORRO BAY ART WALK takes place the second Friday of every month at the Embarcadero from 5-8pm. Sample food and wine and talk with local artists. Free. Info: 772-1068. BRYCE WILSON FILM EVENT: New Times’ “Blast From the Past” columnist, Wilson, presents a classic Technicolor movie masterpiece from 1948 at the San Luis Obispo Library on Nov. 20 at 2pm. A young ballet dancer is torn between the

man she loves and her pursuit to become a prima ballerina. Free snacks and water are provided by the Friends of SLO Library. 995 Palm St. in SLO. Info: 781-1215 or SARP’S EVENING WITH AN ARTIST is a Nov. 20 event featuring Julie Conway, a local watercolor artist who paints a wide variety of subjects, as well as fine wines, a cocktail supper, live music, raffle, and silent auction. From 6-9pm at Edna Valley Vineyard, located at 2585 Biddle Ranch Road in SLO. Info: or 545-8888. THE ARTFUL HOLIDAY GIFT SHOW at the Gallery at the Network takes place Nov. 26-Jan. 31 with original paintings and prints; unique, handcrafted Christmas decorations; and gifts by local artists. 778 Higuera St., suite B in San Luis Obispo. Info: or 595-7054. SURFRIDER FREE FALL ART BENEFIT takes place on Nov. 27 from 10am-5pm and features local artists, music, food, and beverages from around the county. At the Cayucos Vets Hall located at the end of the pier. Free admission. Info: ATASCADERO ART AND WINE TOUR features an artists’ reception hosted by participating businesses on Dec. 3 from 5:30-8:30pm. This event is free and citywide. Info:,, 704-1126, or

Listings continued on page 40



      

 

2010 Holiday Guide

One of


An Illuminating Evening at Vina Robles takes place on Dec. 3 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Festivities include the ceremonial lighting of the towering Christmas tree, a special holiday performance by the Templeton High School Choir, holiday beverages. and treats. This event is complimentary. Guests are encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy to benefit Toys for Tots. Come to 3700 Mill Road in Paso Robles. Info: or 227-4812.




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Listings from page 39 ART IN THE VINEYARD AT TOLOSA WINERY takes place on Dec. 5 from 11am5pm and features more than 30 local artists and craftsman as well as live music, wine tasting, and appetizers. Free admission. 4910 Edna Road in SLO. Info: 704-8128, or SLO YMCA COFFEEHOUSE EVENT is on Dec. 10 and features a display of artwork from their art classes with live piano music and holiday treats. 1020 Southwood Drive in SLO. Info: 543-8235 or CAA’S “HOLIDAY EXTRAVAGANZA ARTS AND CRAFTS FAIRE” features art on display from Dec. 10-Feb. 10 with a reception on Dec. 12 from 1-3pm at the Cayucos Art Gallery at the foot of the Cayucos Pier. Hours are Wed.-Sun. from 1-4pm. Info: 995-0732. ARTS OBISPO presents Sky Bergman’s “Burma (Myanmar)” through Dec. 15 with an Artist’s Happy Hour Talk taking place on Dec. 2 at 5:30pm. In the Creamery, Suite 165 at 570 Higuera St. Info: 544-9251 or JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL takes place Jan. 22-23 at the Palm Theatre. The film festival will include shorts, documentaries, features films, as well as a family film on Sunday. The festival will also include children’s activities and guest filmmakers. Info: or 295-0890.

2010 Holiday Guide


A child’s

Info and tickets: and 756-2787. TEDDY BEAR TEA takes place on Dec. 11 from 2:30-3:30pm for children ages 3-9. Dress in your best and bring your favorite stuffed animal to this holiday event filled with music, SLO CHILDREN’S MUSEUM EVENTS in- crafts, and tea. At the San Luis Obispo Library clude a caramel apple making class Nov. 26- Community Room, located at 995 Palm St. 28 at various times. Dec. 16 from 5-8pm: Tickets are free but pre-registration is required. Free Moonlight Hours with the SLO Symphony. Info and tickets: 781-5775 or Celebrate Beethoven’s birthday with two free MISSION PREP CHRISTMAS CLASSIC performances by SLO Symphony’s Chamber takes place Dec. 17-21. In its 12th year, this Musicians and the Superbows. Hot chocolate event features some of the finest high school reception to follow. Dec. 18 at noon, 2, and basketball players and teams in the country, 4pm and Dec. 19 at 2 and 4pm: graham competing for tournament honors in SLO. Info: cracker cottage workshops. Dec. 26-30: 543-2131 or Dry Ice Laboratory, Dec. 31 from 10am- HOLIDAY MAGIC AT THE ZOO takes 3pm: Noon Year’s Eve Party featuring live place on Dec. 18 from 10am-4pm at the entertainment with local performers. The big Charles Paddock Zoo. Join the animal care staff countdown and balloon drop is at noon. 1010 at the zoo as they give “special” gifts to the Nipomo St. in downtown SLO. Info: animal residents. Visit with Santa, too! 9100 or 544-5437. Morro Road in Atascadero. Tickets start at POLAR EXPRESS READINGS take place on $4.25; free for children 2 years and under and Dec. 5 and 12. There will be four readings Zoo Society Members. Info and tickets: 461at 4:30, 5:30, 6:30, and 7:30pm at Le Vigne 5080 or Winery at Sylvester Vineyards, located at 5115 THE VICTORIAN TEDDY BEAR TEA Buena Vista Drive in Paso Robles. Info: 227- takes place on Dec. 18 from 2-4pm. Dress 4000 or up your teddy bear and come to tea and visit CLARA’S TEA PARTY takes place Dec. with Santa and Mrs. Claus, the Elves, and a 11-12 at 12:30pm. Enjoy an exclusive tea par- Snowman. Tickets are $7 for children under 12 ty with the Sugar Plum Fairy and her friends, and $13 for adults and include a commemophoto opportunities, and a special treat. Tickets rative teacup and saucer. At the Paso Robles are $15. At the Cohan Center at Cal Poly in SLO. Golf Club, located at 1600 Country Club Drive

Let us help you Enjoy the Sounds of the Holiday Season!

in Paso Robles. Info and tickets: 238-4103 or WINTER ZOO CAMP takes place Dec. 20-23 and 27-30 from 10am-4pm at the Charles Paddock Zoo for children ages 3-9. Campers will enjoy learning about the Zoo’s animals through games, crafts, up-close animal encounters, and behind-the-scenes tours. Each camper receives a Zoo Camp T-shirt and snacks will be provided. 9100 Morro Road in Atascadero. $120 per week or both weeks for $220. Pre-registration is required. Registration and info:, 461-5000, or 470-3172. CENTRAL COAST GYMNASTICS HOLIDAY SUPER CAMPS are Mon.-Wed., Dec. 21-23 and Mon.-Thurs., Dec. 27-30. 9amnoon or 9am-3pm. The theme is Circus Circus. Central Coast Gymnastics is located at 21 Zaca Lane, suite 100 in SLO. Info: 549-8408 or SKATEBOARD HOLIDAY CAMPS are Dec. 27-29 for ages 8-16 starting at 9:30am in Atascadero. Info: 461-5000 or

of giving A season

WINTER WONDERLAND BENEFITING SLO WOMEN’S SHELTER takes place Nov. 19 from 5-8pm and features goodie

bags, prizes, special giveaways, catering by Neon Carrot, live DJs, trunk shows by 3-Dot, Fidelity Denim, and J. Shoes, a photo booth with photographer Richard Fusillo. At Ambiance in SLO. RSVP: 540-3380. KEEP OUR HISTORY ALIVE volunteers are needed on Nov. 20 from 9am-noon at the historic Rios-Caledonia Adobe in San Miguel. This beautiful, century-old inn and stage stop is found eight miles north of Paso Robles, just after the San Miguel off ramp from Highway 101. Painting signs, staining picnic tables, planting wisteria, and more. 700 S. Mission St., in San Miguel. Info: 544-1777 or THANKSGIVING DINNER at the Pismo Beach Vets Hall is Nov. 24 from 1-7pm at 780 Bello St. Call to volunteer. Info: 773-7018. HOSPICE SLO LIGHT UP A LIFE features lights shining on 11 Hospice of San Luis Obispo County Memorial Trees in communities throughout the Central Coast. The community is invited to attend these heartwarming ceremonies to remember loved ones lost or honor a living family member or friend. Dec. 5-10. Info: 544-2266 or FAMILY CARE NETWORK volunteers are needed to help with set up, decorating, food preparation and service, and clean up following the events taking place Dec. 8-9 in Santa

Listings continued on page 43

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2010 Holiday Guide



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Listings from page 40

Maria and SLO. There are also opportunities to sponsor a craft table or help with gift-wrapping from Nov. 29-Dec.16. Info: 706-0568 or SPONSOR A CHILD FOR THE HOLIDAYS through Dec. 30. Remember the true spirit of giving this season by sponsoring a Child for the Holidays. Every holiday season, FCNI children, youth, and families fill out wish list cards, indicating their gift requests. Info:, 7813535, or RETIRED AND SENIOR VOLUNTEER PROGRAM can match your talents and interests with community needs, including long-term care ombudsman, caring caller, senior nutrition program, Food Bank, American Cancer Society, and Big Brothers/Sisters. Info: 544-8740. AMERICAN RED CROSS needs licensed health professionals to become part of the Disaster Health Services Program. Info: 543-0696 or ACHIEVEMENT HOUSE needs volunteers to work with developmentally disabled adults. Info: 543-9383. ADOPT-A-GRANDPARENT seeks seniors 50 and older to work with SLO Parks and Rec. Info: 781-7068. AIDS PROJECT CENTRAL COAST needs volunteers for Necessities of Life Food Pantry and desk. Info: 349-9947.

CARING CALLERS needs volunteers to read to seniors, write letters, and more. Info: 5477026, Ext. 17. CENTRAL COAST SENIOR CENTER in Oceano needs able-bodied volunteers to do various activities, like answering phones, calling Bingo, etc. Info: 481-7886. CHILDREN’S HOPE FOUNDATION seeks volunteers to greet families with newborn babies. Info: 549-0586. EMERGENCY FOOD MINISTRY needs

volunteers to sort and give donated food. Info: 489-2309. EOC HOMELESS SHELTER needs volunteers with open minds. Info: 541-7616. FIVE CITIES MEALS ON WHEELS needs volunteer drivers to deliver meals. Info: Betty, 773-2053. FOOD BANK COALITION OF SLO COUNTY needs drivers and volunteers for warehouse support activities. Info: 238-4664 or

With candied cherries, lollipops, and

peppermints Clara’s Tea Party takes place Dec. 11-12 at 12:30 p.m. at the Cohan Center at Cal Poly’s PAC in San Luis Obispo. Enjoy an exclusive tea party with the Sugar Plum Fairy and her friends and partake in photo opportunities. Tickets are $15. Info and tickets: and 756-2787. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE PAC



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FRIENDLY RIDES FOR SENIORS meets the needs of homebound seniors in North County. Info: 237-3880. HABITAT FOR HUMANITY needs volunteers at its warehouse and thrift store on Saturdays. Info: 782-0687. HOSPICE needs volunteers for grief counseling. Info: 544-2266. HOTLINERS NEEDED FOR CRISIS INTERVENTION: Call Mike Bossenberry at 5446016 after 3pm for information.

2010 Holiday Guide


NECESSITIES OF LIFE PANTRY needs volunteers for daytime shopping. Info: 349-9947. NIPOMO AREA SENIORS CLUB would love to see more volunteers to help out at the center. Greet visitors, answer phones, and help in the kitchen for senior nutrition. Info: 544-8740. NORTH COUNTY HUMANE SOCIETY needs volunteers for office work, cat care, and more. Info: 466-5403. NORTH COUNTY WOMENâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S SHELTER needs crisis volunteers for intervention assistance. Bilingual people are a plus. Training is provided. Info: 461-1338. PASO ROBLES FOOD BANK needs volunteer truck drivers. Info: 238-4664. ROAD TO RECOVERY PROGRAM seeks volunteers to drive cancer patients to appointments. Info: 1-800-ACS-2345 or SAN LUIS OPTIMISTS INTERNATIONAL needs speakers and assistants. Info: 781-2630. SENIOR NUTRITION PROGRAM OF SLO COUNTY seeks volunteers to prepare and deliver lunches to homebound seniors, especially in Oceano. Info: 541-3312 or 489-5149. VOLUNTEER SLO offers opportunities with local agencies. Info: 756-2176 or WOMENâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S SHELTER PROGRAM needs volunteers to assist with victims of domestic violence. A 40-hour training is provided. Info: 781-6401, Ext. 202, or beth@womensshelter o


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2010 Holiday Guide

Merry Kitschmas! Several

years ago, I spent the holidays work ing for Christmas stores in Phoenix, Ariz. (There’s nothing more kitschy than a scene of Victorian carolers spread across a cactus-filled rock garden in Sun City.) The store itself was filled with such themed trees as sports trees covered in football, baseball, soccer ball, and basketball ornaments, plus team logos, players, and paraphernalia. And don’t get me started on the critter ornaments, especially pets dressed as little angels. I guess all dogs do go to heaven. Lighting the tree is now as simple as plugging in a fiber optic faux fir, but in my day we had to work for the pretty! We had to untangle strands of lights, then plug them in and inch our way along looking for the burned out bulbs by unscrewing old ones and screwing in new ones. These babies got hot, so if you left the string on more than two minutes, you got screwed! My tree is not lit at all. It sparkles and glimmers on its own. The aluminum tree, born in the Atomic Age of the 1950s, is enjoying a resurgence in retro-popularity. Mine was made by Holiday Industries in Portsmouth, Virginia, in 1960, and Mom found it at a yard sale in God’s little waiting room: the retirement community of Sun City. Every year, I lovingly remove each of its

many branches from their individual paper tubes and carefully insert them into the silver painted dowel set in a tripod stand. It’s illuminated by a color wheel lamp underneath that changes from red to green to blue to yellow. The result is pure magic!

Kitsch crèches

St. Francis of Assisi created the first crèche —or nativity scene—in 1223, and it has become popular on mantles, coffee tables, lawns, and carport roofs. Poor Francis had many visions, but he never envisioned the tacky life-sized plastic yard crèches and inflatable nativities in a globe, complete with blowing snow. Wait, wasn’t Christ born in a Mediterranean climate? Nevertheless, crèches have become universal, and I’ve seen some beautiful crèches and some that—well, not to be irreligious—look like hell. One of the worst or best, depending on your leanings, is by king of kitsch Thomas Kinkade, with an oversized Joseph who looks like he has a glandular condition, and a predatory Mary appearing ready to pounce on a blonde baby Jesus. Wait, wasn’t Christ a Hebrew born in a Mediterranean country? Other awful or awfully cute nativities, again you


be the judge, include various critters like raccoons, bears, cats, and dogs as the characters. I’ve seen a Veggie Tales manger scene (peas on earth, good kale to men), a cowboy crèche (yee-haw-leluiah!), and the Precious Moments nativity with baby cow, baby sheep (that looks like a shorn poodle), baby angel, baby Jesus, and baby Mary. Huh? And why is there holly on her veil? Wasn’t Christ born in ... oh, never mind! Just plain tacky (and probably confusing for some) is the jolly old Santa Claus, head bowed and kneeling at the manger, red-and-white hat clutched in his hands. Ho-hoholy night? So who really sees you when you’re sleeping?

Kitsching around

My favorite kitsch pieces are the ticky-tacky houses of my grandma’s putz village. These miniature Christmas towns of cardboard were manufactured in Japan after World War II. Their roofs were covered with sparkling mica, their windows coated with colorful gels, lit with a Christmas bulb in each house set on sparkle cotton batting, to simulate snow and hide the electric cord. As a child, I used to fantasize over these tiny

Kitsch continued on page 45

Guadalupe Cultural Arts & Education Center Come visit us during the Holidays! American Indian Market Place

Jewelry, Arts & Crafts • December 1st – 24th

U.S. Native Warrior Photo Exhibit Currently on display until January 1st, 2011

Christmas Caroling

All Welcomed • December 22nd

1st Winters Night

Winter Solstice Celebration • December 20th

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Bringing in the NEW YEAR concert presented by Viva el Arte De Santa Barbara • Saturday, January 8th, 4:00pm & 7:30pm The Guadalupe Cultural Arts & Education Center provides the history of Guadalupe, and the surrounding areas. Providing educational cultural awareness of diverse community groups and ethnicities through arts, presentations and educational classes. We invite schools, clubs and social groups to tour our facility.

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Kitsch from page 44 houses, imagining the people who lived in them. I still do, eschewing modern versions made of porcelain and ceramic. I have tea towels featuring costumed reindeer: Dashing Dasher in tux and top hat, Prancer pirouetting in a tutu, and Blitzen offering a tottering toast with a martini. I also have a toilet seat cover of Santa smiling up you. When you lift the lid, he has covered one eye. Yes, he sees you when you’re peeing!

If I had some Hanukkitsch

Let’s not forget the other side of kitsch, which doesn’t discriminate on cultural or religious grounds. I’ve seen some terrific Hanukkah kitsch, including a golf bag on its side with places for candles along the top and a golf ball on green to hold the shamash candle used to light the others. Judaica web sites sell sports and even a scoreboard menorah, a menorah with ballet slippers en pointe as candle holders, and a fire truck menorah, which is kind of an oxymoron, when you think about it.

2010 Holiday Guide


Never give up kitsch-ing

Holiday kitsch transcends the visual or tangible and can even be found in music, television, and film. Check out Esquivil Merry Xmas from the SpaceAge Bachelor Pad, if you can find a copy, or Neil Diamond singing Hanukkah songs. Mom and I loved watching the Bob Hope, Andy Williams, Perry Como, and Mitch Miller Christmas specials on TV, and she still cries when she hears Perry croon Franz Schubert’s Ave Maria. And I may be one of the few people who can boast to having sat through, in a movie theater, the 1964 holiday stinker, Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, in which alien invaders kidnap the jolly old elf. So get out there and get your kitsch on. Buy somebody a Chia pet, wear an ugly seasonal sweater and a headband with antlers, and dress up the dog as one of Santa’s elves. You know you want to because, like me, you love it! o Ariel Waterman really likes wearing her favorite holiday sweatshirt with Disney’s 101 Dalmations piling up to form a Christmas tree. Send comments to

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Reading this might save your job BY CHRISTY HERON

It’s time to navigate the delicate world of proper etiquet te during your holiday work bash If

acting crazy at holiday parties were a capital Her expertise was passed down from her mother: offense, I’d be long dead by now. “It was a game to us—but a knowledgeable game.” Whether it’s over-imbibing, flirting mercilessly, or When asked about the annual office party, Miss giving too many gift cards, I have committed all of the Etiquette broke it down for New Times. Some rules standard faux pas. This year, I wanted to be a better are meant for the employees, while some should get partygoer, so I sought out the best for advice. filed away for the employers, the hosts of the soiree. “The best” turns out to be local author, advice columnist, and etiquette expert for more than four • Never have an open bar at an decades, Anita Shower, AKA event. Have a set limit of drinks so “Miss Etiquette.” guests stay civilized. “An open bar is Miss E currently teaches for asking for trouble,” Miss E said, and the Grover Beach Recreation Deshe observes that you don’t have to Do us all a favor, save partment and has even lectured serve alcohol at the event itself; atyourself $10,000, and keep unruly sorority gals at Cal Poly. tendees can find libations at another She explained: “Etiquette is A location afterward. a few numbers to Z: announcements, bathroom, • Don’t arrive already intoxicated. in your phone, such as: courtroom, divorce, elopement, • No silly gifts or gift cards at Taxi: 234-8294. flowers, graduation, holiday, ingift exchanges. “Gift cards are so Sober Scooter: 602-8621. vitations, jewelry, knife, lipstick, tacky,” Miss E says. But if you get Santa Maria Cab: monograms, neighbors, office, one, or something similarly tacky, 739-5454. pet, Quaker Wedding Ceremono re-gifting. Return it to the store or ny, restaurant, stationery, thank donate it. you notes, umbrella, voice mail, wedding, yachting, • Don’t give your boss a gift unless you’ve worked for and zoo.” him or her for seven years. Um, knives? • During party conversations, don’t ask about a per“Etiquette isn’t what you want to do. It’s a set life son’s parents if you haven’t seen them in awhile. Don’t course. It is how you act and how you are civil,” Miss ask where a spouse is if he or she isn’t around. When in Etiquette said. She gained local popularity in 1992 doubt, “Ask permission to ask.” after a KVEC radio appearance.


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• For a gift, give a book, something people would keep forever. “Very few people do this,” Miss E says. “I’d give a book on the person’s local area, poetry, or history book. Or even a nice writing instrument and stationery. I’m more interested in giving something that means something as opposed to something that will be consumed the next day. The most important thing is to think about what the recipient would want and present it with lovely paper, and a bow, and card. • If you’re bringing a date to your office party, introduce him or her properly. Examples: Not “This is my boyfriend,” which sounds like you’re saying, “Hi, this is a sack of potatoes.” Instead, try “May I present my handsome boyfriend, Glen.” “You want to say something that people will hang onto … so they will want to meet that person,” Miss E says. • For discussion, always talk about weather (believe it or not, it’s actually the No. 1 topic of conversation), sports (you don’t have to like sports, but know what’s going on in the sporting world), titles on the bestseller list, and headlines for the day.

The aftermath

• A handwritten thank you note within


three days of the hosted event is suggested. Thank the organizers only once for being host to the party, say you had a wonderful time, and sign your full name. There shouldn’t be any abbreviations. Affix an actual postage stamp.

Miss Etiquette’s list of rules

1. Remember that at all times you are representing this company. 2. Realize your behavior is viewed as a mirror image of this company. 3. When attending holiday parties sponsored by this company, behave with manners and respect. 4. It’s suggested that when you attend holiday parties sponsored by this company, you arrive appropriately dressed. This means that you will be respectful of yourself, of fellow employees, and of management and administration, and that you will conduct yourself in a manner fitting an employee of this company. Libations are to be kept at minimum. 5. Language and cleavage are to be kept incheck and in line. 6. Remember your pets do not enjoy holiday parFor all of your etiquette ties, especially employerneeds, visit miss-etiquette. sponsored events. com or e-mail Miss 7. Realize that when Etiquette at anita@missyou have to do “damage control” the next business She can day, ask the person you answer your questions insulted during the party if online or can be booked you may have a moment for lectures or talks. of their time. If you’re granted an “audience,” explain yourself and apologize. Be sure to advise your boss or supervisor that you were successful with your “damage control” effort. “It’s common sense,” she says.

Dear Anita

Christy’s must-haves

1. If it’s a boat party, buy the wrist bracelets that prevent seasickness. The black color coordinates fabulously with any outfit. 2. Band aids. 3. Pre-program taxi phone numbers into your phone. The last thing you want to do is drunk dial 234-TAXI from a Blackberry with a full keyboard. It’s impossible. If you’re a serious drinker, pin your address to your lapel. 4. Business cards and a pen. 5. A full stomach. 6. A laminated copy of Miss E’s rules. Never leave home without them. o New Times Calendar Editor Christy Heron has no common sense. Invite her to your AA meeting at

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2010 Holiday Guide



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The white elephant in the room PACK THE PACHYDERM For a memorable white elephant gift, consider an actual white elephant.



of my fondest holiday memories isn’t about a gift I gave someone else, or even one I received. Nintendo Entertainment Systems and ice skates are up there, but not quite at the same level as the Festivus Angel. It was one of our first awkward Christmas gatherings. My newly formed stepfamily decided one year to do away with the traditional gift-giving and tried instead for a white-elephant Christmas. It was a welcome change because, with a mixed family comprised of kids who had long since left the nest— we skipped the torrential mixed-family period and moved straight into uncomfortable semi-annual visits—and the fact that my dad, brother, and I were ill-equipped to compete in my Mormon stepmom’s ridiculously hardcore holiday games, the family was in need of some bonding experiences. Enter the Festivus Angel, a poorly sculpted, tiny clay angel my stepsister’s then-boyfriend had found at some thrift store and decided to name in honor of Frank Costanza’s alterna-holiday from Seinfeld. Everyone wanted the angel— a worthless piece of nothing with a cute name and just the right amount of creepy charm. For a few years after that, the angel made reappearances, prompting annual feuds as to who would walk away with


the kitschy trophy, which by that time had lost a hand and was suffering a severe lack of attached paint. Those were the good days, back when our Christmases centered on fun for adults, and before my other stepsister started shooting out children like some sort of ultra-fertile Mormon clown car. Lately it’s been more about wrangling the children, and we’ve settled back into the more traditional holiday traditions. My family doesn’t do the white elephant thing anymore, but there’s still hope for you. The Oxford Dictionary defines white elephant as a “useless possession.” The Urban Dictionary defines it as “A party where people get together and have a game where you unwrap, steal, and trade off presents never actually useful in real life.” But I digress. With each year presenting more of a challenge than the year before when it comes to finding new present ideas, a white elephant gift is an opportunity to make the meaningless and frivolous kind of wonderful and memorable. Some may tell you a gift should be desirable, but they’re patently wrong. makes the claim that “the gift should be something someone would actually want or use. It should be in new or good condition.” To which any person

White elephant continued on page 49


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White elephant from page 48

who isn’t catatonic or dead would rightfully respond, “WRONG!” Don’t overthink this thing. You’re going for bizarre here. Colorful socks: eh, not bad. A toy you found in a gas station bargain bucket: you’re getting closer. Now for the rules. There are variants, but the basic game goes as such: Gather at least four people to keep things spicy. Everyone brings a wrapped gift. Prepare slips of paper numbered one through however many people you’ve dragged in. The person who draws No. 1 chooses a gift, opens it, and displays it to the crowd. From there on, it’s warfare. No. 2 can choose a wrapped gift, or steal any unwrapped gift if he or she decides to be a conniving twerp. And so on, with people unwrapping or stealing until everyone has something. Now, like Monopoly, this process can carry on indefinitely if you don’t set some ground rules. For example, rules vary as to how many times a gift can be tossed around, but a cap of three to four “owners” should keep your game from devolving into what may later be remembered as the “white elephant massacre of 2010.” That’s what the Interweb had to say, but I needed an expert, so I called my

stepmom, Jan. “Why don’t we do the white elephant thing anymore?” I barked at her. “In our family?” she said politely. “Yeah,” I pouted. “It’s just been hard to get everyone together,” she said, “but now that we have a request, I think it should become a tradition.” My stepmom said her family used to play the white-elephant game when she was a kid. But comparing her version to those I found online is like comparing the space shuttle to a paper airplane. I asked her about the best gifts—the sparkly and thoughtful vs. weird and obnoxious debate. Sure, some people are more serious about it, playing off themes like kitchen accessories, she said. “But, you know, who wants to do serious things? It’s a fun thing.” And she, too, remembered the Festivus Angel, which has taken a beating over the years. But the age has also given it a bit of charm, maybe enough to make Michelangelo jealous: “It’s just like valuable statues of ancient Italy.” o New Times News Editor Colin Rigley is eyeing that box with the big bow and airholes poked in it. Contact him at

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Warm ’70s glow not included BY ANDREA ROOKS


up the sleeves of your reindeer sweater, slurp up some eggnog, and raid the recycle bin—it’s holiday craft time. This year, you don’t need to buy anything special to make generation-green versions of three classic kitsch crafts: a glowing snowman centerpiece, a popcorn chain, and a gingerbread-man ornament. Old books, tissuepaper, paper bags, and other recyclables get remade into these holiday decorations. Most steps of the projects are straightforward enough to be completed with the help of all members of the family—just decide ahead of time to what extent toddlers, glue, and buttons should mix. o Freelancer Andrea Rooks has an irrational fear of snowman centerpieces. She can be reached at

snowman Papier-mâché


ince Coastal California seldom sees snow, Frostylovin’ souls must resort to inflating light-up caricatures or placing plastic orb-men alongside their palm trees. Here’s a project that brings a jolly happy glow to your front lawn or living-room window. photo BY ANDREA RooKS

Kitsch, Christmas, and crafts seem to go hand in hand in hand


Supplies: Three balloons (I recommend a dark color), white glue (such as Aleene’s Tacky Glue), bristle paint brush (at least 1-inch wide), roughly 25 sheets of white tissue paper, tape, three jars, plastic bowl, water, buttons, fabric scraps, black cardstock/ construction paper/pre-made top hat, orange construction paper/cardstock, candle (tea light, votive, or small pillar).

Crafts continued on page 52


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2010 Holiday Guide

Crafts from page 51 Step 1: Cover work surface with several layers of newspaper or a waterproof tablecloth. Step 2: Inflate the balloons; one small, one medium, one large. Tape balloons to the jars to keep them stable. Step 3: Mix water and glue in the plastic bowl—at least 1:1; I recommend a little more glue than water. Cut tissue paper into 4-inch squares and/or strips.



Step 4: With the paintbrush, cover one of the balloons with a layer of the glue mixture. Avoid covering the very top and very bottom of each balloon (you’ll need a hole all the way through your snowman). Place the strips or squares of tissue paper onto the balloon; cover the tissue with another layer of the glue mixture. Step 5: Repeat step 4 to create four layers of tissue and glue. A dark-colored balloon makes it easier to see the thickness of your tissue-paper layers. Try to make the layers uniform in thickness around the balloon until almost opaque.

Step 6: Repeat steps 4 and 5 for the remaining balloons. Let dry completely—it may take up to three days, depending on temperature and humidity. Step 7: Pop the balloons if they haven’t deflated already; remove balloons from papier-mâché shell. Reshape the tissue paper orbs; I recommend flattening the tops and bottoms so they fit nicely onto each other, snowman style.

Step 8: Once reshaped, assemble the snowman—largest orb on the bottom, then medium, then smallest on top—and glue into place. Let dry. photo BY StEVE E. MILLER

Step 9: Decorate your snowman—make a face with buttons; roll a carrot nose out of cardstock; assemble a black top hat (a haberdasher I am not; neither can I recommend that you try to make a top hat, unless you’ve got lots of free time. Rather, I suggest you purchase a doll hat and cut a hole in the top to vent the candle). Make a scarf out of fabric scraps. Step 10: Place your snowman over a lit candle and enjoy the ambiance.

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Crafts continued on page 54

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Crafts from page 52


2010 Holiday Guide



hat’s not to love about those ornaments that appear edible—you know, the ones that look like someone baked a gingerbread house and immortalized it with a dozen layers of shellac? Real cookie cottages and their delectable denizens are even better, but those calories—and/ or layers of shellac—add up over the holidays. Instead, send the kitsch without the calories with one of these gingerbread-inspired projects. photo BY ANDREA RooKS




Step 2: Cut a square out of a paper bag; trace along the outside of the cookie cutter on the paper cut from the bag. Cut out the gingerbread-man shape.


Step 2: Place the cookie cutter so the left hand and left foot of the gingerbread person line up along the fold of the paper. Using a pencil, trace the outside of the cookie cutter. Cut out the gingerbread-man shape—you should be able to open it like a card.

Crafts continued on page 56



Step 3: Place the cookie cutter on the white paper; trace along the outside of the cutter. Cut out the gingerbread-man shape; glue it to the right inside face of the paper-bag card. The white paper will reinforce the card and make a clean space for your greeting.

Step 4: Decorate the front of your gingerbread man using buttons, ribbon, and rick-rack trim.


Supplies: a paper grocery bag, an empty cardboard food box (such as one formerly containing macaroni and cheese), white paper (i.e. printer paper), a gingerbread-man and/or gingerbread-woman cookie cutter, glue, scissors, pencil, ribbon or rick-rack trim, buttons. Card step 1: Cut out one of the narrow, folded sides of the paper bag; fold in half along the crease. If there’s writing on your paper bag, be sure to fold the paper so the outside of your card will be solid brown.

Ornament step 1: Open and flatten the cardboard food box; place it so the plain, brown inside of the box is facing up. Trace along the outside of the cookie cutter on the brown cardboard. Cut out the gingerbread-man shape.

Step 3: Glue the paper to the back of the cardboard gingerbread man. You now have two brown sides of a gingerbread man. Step 4: Decorate the front of your gingerbread man using buttons, ribbon, and rick-rack trim. Use a small hole punch or needle to make a hole in the top of the ornament; tie ribbon or twine through the hole, make a loop.


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Crafts from page 54


Paper popcorn


punch, or a die and a die-cutting machine), pencil, needle, 8 feet of thick thread/embroidery floss. Step 1: Draw a 1 1/2-inch to 2-inch circle onto your paper, and then cut out the circle with the scallop-edged scissors. (If you have a punch or a die, use that instead.) Repeat until you have 100 scalloped circles.

Step 2: Using regular scissors, cut a slit from the edge of each scalloped circle to its center. photo BY ANDREA RooKS


olve the tinsel-vs.-garland debate with this “popcorn” string that won’t go stale. Supplies: white and/or cream-colored paper (old books, scrapbook paper, wrapping paper— just about anything will work), scissors, glue, scallop-edged scissors (or a scallop-circle craft

Step 3: Make each circle into a cone by pulling the paper edge on one side of the cut over the paper on the other side of the cut so that it overlaps—the scalloped edges don’t have to line up. Glue the overlapped portions of paper together.


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Step 4: Once all the glue has dried, sew the cones into a garland. First, tie a slip knot at one end of the thread and thread your needle. Next, photo BY ANDREA RooKS pierce the threaded needle through one cone near the peak—in one side and out the other. Push the cone all the way down the thread to the knot. Do this for each remaining cone.

Step 5: Tie a slip knot at the other end of the string. Space out the cones as desired along the garland.



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2010 Holiday Guide

012 58

It is

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more blessed to give than to receive.” That’s not necessarily a mantra we all embrace as the holidays rapidly approach. The pressure is on. We scramble to find, buy, make, or invent something—anything—to give our family and friends. The best presents to unwrap are the ones that illustrate the giver’s thoughtfulness. What’s worse than receiving a silly trinket because your aunt felt obligated to give you something? And then you feel guilty and hope you’re not spotted chucking the doodad in the trash. Jehn Veium, a sassy Linnaea’s barista in San Luis Obispo, recently complained about gifts given just for the sake of being given, “things that in no way brighten my life.” “It generates a bunch of crap,” Veium said. Cuesta student Bo Pierce admits most of the holiday presents he receives go straight to the garbage: “They are too terrible to re-gift.” So even if it’s small (or nothing at all), remember to give gifts of quality. Even a decorative card will do. Consider a jar of thick, fruity jam, or, for far-away relatives, a shipment of local oranges


Make your presents thoughtful, meaningful, or maybe even intangible

or apples. Then when your loved ones are spreading jam on their morning toast or biting into a See Canyon apple, they’re thinking of you. It’s fine to ask people what they need. Cal Poly Regional Planning graduate student Jean Long and her four sisters call each other as the winter approaches, asking what the others could use. Certainly avoid sloppy gift giving. Just because your younger brother is a surfer doesn’t mean he wants anything with a wave on it. “My sister loved dolphins when she was little,” said Sally Love, a native Central Coaster. “Now she’s grown up and married, and her house is filled with kitschy dolphin crap.” Giving an experience is the more fulfilling (and expensive) option. Gift certificates to favorite restaurants, plane tickets, and tickets to museums, plays, and concerts are all good ideas. Love’s best “experience” gift: “I was in Germany at my boyfriend’s house. They allowed me to dec-

orate the tree and let me share my tradition. That was a wonderful, intangible gift.” Occasionally, frivolous gifts work, too. “I typically mass produce my gifts and give the same thing to all my friends,” Pierce said. “One year I gave plastic pigs in a blanket. It was a hit.” Long got a plastic pencil sharpener shaped like a mushroom: “I love mushrooms. I love when someone thinks about you. That’s more important than what the token is.” You can easily go wrong giving clothing (it’s hard to get the size and style just right). Lauren Cook, who can be found behind the bar at Big Sky Café in San Luis Obispo, experienced such a problem when her grandmother sent her a box of sweaters. “There were like 15 of them—duplicates, too,” Cook said. “Three were identical red sweaters. The

Giving continued on page 59

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Giving from page 58 sweaters were all labeled $2.99 from Fred Meyers in Oregon.” Leaving the price on (especially when it’s cheap) is definitely inappropriate. So is giving a negligee or adult gifts, even if you think they’re funny. Also, don’t give something because you believe the other person is lacking it. For instance, avoid acne face wash for your teen cousin whose skin is as rebellious as her personality. Giving what you perceive others need could lead to disaster or a political discussion. Both Craig Jacobson’s brothers are hardcore Republicans. “I would NOT give them a donation to the Worldwide Wildlife Fund,” he said. You can’t go wrong giving books, food, money, or really anything handmade. Consider giving to a charity in the name of your loved one. Pick an organization he or she would want to support, like the Sierra Club for an environmentalist

or Habitat for Humanity for a socially involved friend. Gus James is an avid reader and asks himself, “Does this person read? If so I buy them a book they might be interested in. But I go a little more splurgey, like I’ll get them an illustrated book. If they don’t read, I usually don’t give them anything.” Cook is a self-proclaimed good gift giver. Her philosophy is to buy quality things, but to buy less. Think Smart Wool socks. She believes the ingredient to a good present is knowing a person’s values, time, and effort. But, really, what can be a nicer present than presence? Visit home (whether or not you bring anything), cook together, and celebrate whatever you celebrate. o

2010 Holiday Guide


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Artists take license with a childhood project JEFF CLAASSEN


holidays are a tough time for turkeys. Fear. Dread. Wondering if your time has finally come. Yet, in a twisted sort of way, turkeys have also become a kind of emblem for the time of year when they make the harrowing journey from yard to dinner table. In honor of their bravery and sacrifice—and because we thought it would be fun—New Times invited local artists to draw inspiration from hand turkeys rendered by schoolchildren in anticipation of Thanksgiving. Nine artists created interpretations of the classic hand turkey—some macabre, some whimsical, most downright beautiful. J —New Times Managing Editor Ashley Schwellenbach

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Turkeys from page 61 62





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How to prevent a disaster

Everybody say ‘Eggnog’!


holiday family portraits: time-honored keepsakes grandparents love to display proudly over their fireplaces but that inspire loathing in children. Unfortunately, coordinating these gems of family togetherness frozen in time can become anything but jolly.

M ‘ ayhem at the Mission’: a cautionary fable

Yuletide spirit was definitely not in the air at the San Luis Obispo Mission on a recent Sunday morning when city police officers responded to complaints of indecent exposure and excessive noise. According to initial police reports, morning churchgoers were leaving Mass when they saw a boy skinny-dipping in the bear fountain in Mission Plaza. The boy’s mother, who was later identified as Emily Cratchit of 1234 Christmas Tree Lane in SLO, was reportedly perched on top of the largest bear and screaming at her son to exit the pool immediately. “She kept hollering, ‘Timmy, you get out of that fountain right now!’ and ‘Don’t make me get in there, young man!’” a parishioner later told a reporter. When officers questioned the boy’s father, Bob Cratchit, about the incident, he said: “It’s these sweaters Emily has us wearing for this blasted Christmas card

photo. They’re ugly as sin. I told her we didn’t want to wear them, but would she listen? Of course not!” Upon overhearing what her husband had to say, Mrs. Cratchit promptly punched Mr. Cratchit in the face. It took officers several minutes to pry Mrs. Cratchit off of her spouse. Once Mrs. Cratchit was subdued, officers placed her under arrest for aggravated assault and escorted her to a police vehicle waiting nearby. Another officer was dispatched to coax young Timmy out of the fountain. The boy’s clothes had reportedly gone missing, so the officer offered him “the ugly as sin” Christmas sweater as a towel. Unfortunately, the debacle didn’t end there. Not long after arriving on the scene, officers were alerted to a strange moaning sound coming from the creekbed. Upon inspection of the area, they found the Cratchits’ uncle, Ebenezer Scrooge, writhing in pain and stinking of Scotch. According to the police report, the Cratchits’ teenage daughter Belinda saw her uncle wander off toward the creek sometime during the photo shoot. A flask was found on Mr. Scrooge’s person, but police later revealed the half-full container has since gone missing. “It’s too bad I—got that as a present for—Uncle Scr—ooge last Christ—mas,” Belinda said through a string of hiccups. When asked about the incident, Dr. Jacob Marley, a local marriage and family therapist, told reporters the incident was probably a result of the pressure Mrs. Cratchit felt “to make this Christmas absolutely perfect.”


The happier reality

Photographer and Central Coast resident Sarah Kathleen said the best way to ensure a successful family portrait session is to find a photographer who “makes you and your family feel comfortable.” On top of viewing the photographer’s work, set up a time to meet him or her face to face. And don’t be afraid to ask questions. It’s also important, especially for a family-themed portrait, to have a photographer who works well with children. “Getting your picture taken is awkward and unnatural as it is, so I like to engage with my clients,” she said. “Some people think you shouldn’t talk at all when you’re getting your picture taken. But a good photographer will get the shots.” And, of course, there’s the all-important question of “What should we wear?” She suggests staying away from “the whole matchymatchy thing,” a la ugly Christmas sweaters or the typical jeans-and-white-shirt uniform. “You probably shouldn’t say, ‘OK, kids, you can wear whatever you want!’” she cautioned. “You should coordinate at little bit, but you want to wear clothes that say something about who you are as a person and as a family.” o Santa Maria Sun Managing Editor Amy Asman is ready for the holidays. Celebrate or commiserate with her at

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Inflatable Christmas BY ANNA WELTNER


the topic turns to the inflatable, your mind probably wanders. Where it goes, I cannot say. Perhaps you think of bounce houses and birthdays. Perhaps you think of bachelor parties, beer, bombshells, and boobs. Maybe you think of balloons or of babies; I don’t know. When you fall ill or have a birthday, you may receive a balloon. If you’re about to be married, your buddies might gift you with a blow-up doll. If you’re a car dealership having a sale, you might advertise the event by placing a large inflatable figure on your roof. Whatever the occasion, inflatables are for everyone. But inflatables really come out of the package during the holiday season. Just look around you. Giant cartoon-character-shaped balloons float over New York, their aerial advances broadcast around the country into homes redolent with the smells of roasting turkeys. Perhaps an air-filled Santa on his sleigh will greet you from the lawn of your neighbor, while down the street, the baby Jesus is born to a blowup Mary while an airhead Joseph bobs his head proudly in the breeze.

CHRISTMAS LITE Air-filled reindeer capture the buoyant bounce of Santa’s steeds.

On the hollow cheer of colorful things filled with hot air But inflatable things are not always so pleasant. If you do something foolish, for example, you may be likened unflatteringly to an “air-head.” Inflatables—especially big ones that blow over—also lead to fatal and near-fatal accidents every year. Experts in the field, such as William H. Avery of Systems Safety Management USA, recommend taking precautions such as avoiding inflatable things on windy days and supervising children who play with inflatable toys. With safety in mind, also take the time to remember that inflatable toys aren’t just for the kids; former Tribune reporter and established grownup Jay Thompson is the proud owner of a 5-foot inflatable reindeer. He bought the creature years ago, he said, as a prop for the Morro Bay Lighted Boat Parade. “Over the years, the reindeer became part of

the family during holidays,” he recalled. The reindeer continued to enjoy a happy familial status without usurping any of the family members, until one day in December … When his wife couldn’t attend a Christmas party, Thompson brought the reindeer instead as a joke. “Afterward, several of us went to a local watering hole,” he said. The reindeer attended that excursion, too. At the bar, the reindeer was quite popular with one woman who wished that she, too, had an inflatable reindeer for times when she didn’t have a date to a holiday shindig. You see, inflatable things, like the holidays, delight people of all ages. The germ of an idea began to develop. New Times phoned up Jesus Penueles, sales associate at Diamond Adult World of Santa Maria, asking, “Do you see a surge in blow-up doll sales during the holiday season? Perhaps because people are lonely, in need of a companion?” After establishing that the call was not a prank, Penueles said, “No, they stay the same.” “They sell constantly,” he added. Just like inflatables, Christmas is something that spans generation gaps and brings the young and old together. And just like Christmas, inflatable things are happy, bright, and temporary. In fact, because of their temporary nature, inflatables could just as easily be referred to as “deflatables.” Actually, inflatables are probably the best metaphor for the holiday season. Looming, filled with hot air, made larger than life, they fill space but have little actual content. Then, once their day in the wintry sun has passed, they are deflated, made small, allowed to droop and wilt sadly like Christmas trees on Jan. 3, or put in a closet with the Christmas stockings and china, to gather dust until next year. o With the help of a trusty time machine, New Times Arts Editor Anna Weltner was able to assign this article to her younger self so the grownup Anna could focus on other deadlines. Contact her at



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Welcome to 2011!

Maybe now’s a good time to clean up your act

New Year’s Eve is the quintessential American holiday. It’s like being born-again or reincarnated, but with more drinking and zero religious prerequisites. It’s a proper night of capitalist decadence, and anyone can take part as long as he or she vaguely resolves to be a better person afterward. There are many things that separate man from the animals, but for the sake of this article, let’s pretend it’s his desire for self improvement that matters most, more than video games or even speech (although it’s clearly speech). Eons ago, we weren’t content with ignorance and suffering. We studied the world around us and slowly learned how best to overcome its unforgiving savagery: by working together, setting rigorous social standards, and mercilessly mocking anyone who failed to meet them.

ready for anything. I had a new goal, and it seemed within easy reach. I would become the best Nick that I could be.

Rude awakening

Being good ruins your usual routine like a horrible hangover (see what I did there?) and requires a dedication that most Ritalin-addled Americans lack. I, for one, was smoking again within weeks. I ate right for a solid month and a half, and only managed to postpone procrastination until the spring semester started. But I didn’t abandon this noble New Year’s tradition. I resolved to resolve harder next time, and I won’t be alone. I asked several prominent locals for professional advice. With these tips, we can conquer our resolutions together, whether you want to lie less, read more, or quit smoking. Maybe you’re really fat. Either way, selfimprovement doesn’t come easy, but it can come hard.

Words of wisdom

“New Year’s resolutions are pretty bogus,” said Sydney Eaker, a licensed family therapist who enjoys ruining the themes of my articles. “I applaud people for trying to use it as a catalyst for change, but it doesn’t work, usually.” Eaker defined habits as deeply ingrained patterns of behavior that can’t be changed on a sudden whim. No one can alter an established pattern until he or she is truly ready, Eaker said. Scheduling a personality transformation around the calendar photo BY StEVE E. MILLER often proves futile. Her advice is to write Revel in youR wRongs: Self-improvement doesn’t down a real plan for change come easy, but there are ways to make your positive resolution stick. and keep the document somewhere visible—on your refrigerator or taped to a desk. She also stressed the importance of telling your friends and developing a network of supporters who will hold you to your A holiday without rituals and symbols is as meaningresolution. less as a liberal arts degree. The champagne and fire“You need to be reminded every day,” Eaker said. works are necessary traditions that reinforce the night’s “It takes about 30 days of actively practicing a new celebration of surviving another year, letting go of the behavior before it can become routine.” past, and hoping for a better future. For a brief annual moment, we’re united as a culture by the gathering in Times Square and that bafflingly iconic ball dropping. Eaker’s view of resolutions was rather disheartening. If you’re lucky, you can ring in the new year with a Luckily, we live in 21st century California, where mystikiss. If not, you get a flagrant reminder of your inadcal, new age meditation trumps science every time. equacy as a human being. Nothing says “it’s time for a I called Natural Healthy Balance and spoke with Dr. change” better than soul crushing loneliness! Mary Kay Stegner. She’s been practicing in SLO for 17 I missed the kiss last year. years as a certified medical and clinical hypno-therapist. As the clock struck 12, I was puking in my backyard, “Sometimes that push for January is what it takes to heaving on my hands and knees with stomach acid finally address unwanted behavior,” Stegner said. “Cliniburning in my nostrils. It was easily the most spiritual cal studies have long documented that hypnosis can be experience I’d ever had with vomit. I felt purged, an effective method.” like I was entering the new year utterly empty,

A night of magic

Unleash your potential

For $100 a session, Stegner will get her patient’s personal history and explain the way subconscious feelings influence conscious actions. Then she guides the patient into a meditative state where the body is incredibly relaxed and the mind is ultra alert and open to suggestions. “Once they understand the habit is not logical or rational, we can place the right message in the subconscious mind,” Stegner said. “Then, the new behavior will feel effortless and automatic.” For example, if junk food is your fix, Stegner can readjust your feelings about food so healthy meals look deliciously appealing and fatty stuff looks greasy and gross. You’ll actually want to follow your resolution. During the first session, Stegner makes a recording the patient can take home and use to reenter the meditative state, reinforcing desired suggestions. “It has to feel right your brain to accept it,” Stegner explained. “No one can be hypnotized into doing something they don’t want.” She said most of her clients find her through word of mouth or physician referral, so something must be working. For a Santa Maria-style hypnosis, call Tranceformations at 928-9911.

Local resources

Probably the most common resolutions are to quit smoking and to lose weight. Both involve overcoming physical and psychological addictions that can seem insurmountable. According to the National Cancer Institute, smoking kills an estimated 438,000 people each year. It’s simply not worth it, no matter how cool it makes you look in front of teenagers. Kathleen Karle, a counselor with the public health department’s tobacco control program, listed a variety of free services available for struggling smokers. There are group classes available (call 781-5564 to enroll) in San Luis Obispo, Paso Robles, and Grover Beach. The county also provides free nicotine replacement therapies and a smoker’s help line (1-800-NO-BUTTS). Santa Maria residents can call the Tobacco Prevention Settlement Program at 346-7275 for help kicking the cancer sticks. “It takes the average smoker seven to nine attempts to quit successfully,” Karle said. “It can be discouraging, but it is possible and it’s worth the effort.” There are also resources available for those looking to get into better shape. Cal Poly’s Rec Center is free for students and features a weight room and gym. Cuesta has a weight room as well, but you have to enroll in a lifting class before you can use it. Scot Craycraft, a manger at SLO Athletic Club, said most gyms offer New Year’s specials and that his will probably drop enrollment rates and give away free sessions with personal trainers. “There’s definitely an influx after New Year’s,” Craycraft said. “Most people stick it out for two or three weeks tops, unless they’ve got a personal trainer. We’re in a country that wants results right away.” Don’t feel too bad if you give up early on your resolution. There’s always next year. o Nick Powell is an intern at New Times. His resolution is to stop forcing awkward high fives. Send comments to

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Holiday Guide 2010  
Holiday Guide 2010  

Your guide to arts and entertainment in San Luis Obispo County