Bay seniors looking for a variation on Christmas traditions might want to see how it is done in Scandinavia. On Saturday December from 9 to 4 at Saint Mary’s on Gough Street there will be a Swedish Christmas Fair with imported crafts, pastries, meatballs and generous servings of glögg ( hot mulled wine with cinnamon, cloves, ginger and raisins) as well as folk dancing, a Lucia chorus and, of course, essential pepparkakslandeting (cinnamon cookie decorating). Seniors $5. Tomorrow up at West Wines in Healdsburg there’s a free Swedish Christmas event with even more glögg
Bay seniors with enough memory left to recall seeing Jonathan Winters or Phyllis Diller clowning at the Purple Onion in North Beach, will be stirred to hear that it has been revived and named after Doc Ricketts , John Steinbeck’s garrulous character from Cannery Row. Downstairs this Sunday in Doc’s Lab, 17 major players from Bay Area big bands will be playing modern (i.e.midcentury) jazz and it’s free. Upstairs there’s a new, highly touted restaurant. Maybe it’s time for North Beach, like every other inch of the city, to enjoy a revival.
Bay seniors curious about what seriously extravagant holiday decorations look like might want to head south to our most magnificent monument to egomania – the Hearst Castle in San Simeon. It has been festooned as it was 90 years ago when William Randolph Hearst threw extravaganzas for his staff’s children who could pick any present they wanted from under the dozens of Christmas trees. The most over-the-top tours are the Grand Room and Evening ones. Nov.29-Dec.31 except for Christmas and New Year’s Day. $25-36 for adults, $12-18 for children.