History teacher keen on 'Sleigh Ride'

HOLIDAY GLEE CLUB

The Examiner asked The City’s songbirds and community chorus members to describe their favorite seasonal music and why it inspires them.

Greg Paxton, Crowden School history teacher

Favorite music:
“Sleigh Ride”

Why:
“It’s a great instrumental piece that appeals to anyone listening, it evokes spirit and joy of the season, and you can act it out!”


SOMETHING TO READ

Some Kind of Beautiful Signal

Edited by Natasha Wimmer and Jeffrey Yang ($14.95)

This nifty anthology published by the Center for the Art of Translation includes fiction, poetry and essays by international writers; the entries are featured side by side in English and their original languages.


LEND A HAND

San Francisco SPCA: Volunteers are needed to collect donations and answer questions about animals available for adoption in Macy’s windows. [8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Macy’s, Stockton and O’Farrell streets, S.F.; RSVP: (415) 554-3087 or www.sfspca.org]

HOLIDAY HAPPENINGS

Celebrations

Kwanzaa celebration: The Village Project’s seven-day Kwanzaa celebration, highlighting the seven principles of Kwanzaa, begins. The focus is on Umoja (unity) today. [6 p.m., West Bay Conference Center, 1290 Fillmore St., S.F.]


Theater

Santa satire: Combined Artform presents Dave Sedaris’ “Santaland Diaries,” adapted by Joe Mantello. The stage comedy presents Christmas through the eyes of a Macy’s elf. [8 p.m., Eureka Theatre, 215 Jackson St., S.F.]

New musical:
TheatreWorks presents “A Christmas Memory,” a musical based on Truman Capote’s story about the friendship of a shy boy and his eccentric cousin. [2 and 7 p.m., Lucie Stern Theatre, 1305 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto]


Comedy

Pot shtickers: Kung Pao Kosher Comedy presents “Jewish Comedy on Christmas in a Chinese Restaurant.” Wendy Liebman headlines the show this year. [5 and 8:30 p.m., New Asia Restaurant, 772 Pacific Ave., S.F.]


Parks

Holiday flora: The San Francisco Botanical Garden features presents “’Tis the Season for Holiday Plants,” an exhibit of plants that are an integral part of the holiday season. [10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Golden Gate Park, S.F.]

Winter science:
The Academy of Sciences is featuring “’Tis the Season for Science” events. Attractions include “Cold-Blooded Live Animals” and “Arctic Exploration.” [11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Golden Gate Park, S.F.]


Dance

Holiday ballet: San Francisco Ballet presents “Nutcracker.” The popular production features Tchaikovsky’s music, 200 costumed characters and a San Francisco setting. [2 and 7 p.m., War Memorial Opera House, 301 Van Ness Ave., S.F.]


Animal world

Antlers are in: “Reindeer Romp” continues at the San Francisco Zoo through New Year’s Day. Four antlered guests — Holly, Velvet, Peppermint and Belle — are on view. [10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 1 Zoo Road, S.F.]

AROUND TOWN

Dance

Tango show: “Forever Tango” is back. Luis Bravo’s stage show celebrates the art of tango with 12 dancers, a vocalist and an 11-piece orchestra. [2 and 7 p.m., Marines Memorial Theatre, 608 Sutter St., S.F.]

Music

Blues artist: Blues veteran Lucky Peterson performs at Biscuits and Blues. Multi-instrumental talents and a soulful vocal style distinguish his music. [8 and 10 p.m., 401 Mason St., S.F.]

Jazz singer: Jazz and blues stylist Kim Nalley — known for putting her own stamp on the American songbook — presents “Let the Good Times Roll,” a New Year’s Eve show. [7 p.m., Rrazz Room, Hotel Nikko, 222 Mason St., S.F.]


Visual art

Art show: Cantor Arts Center presents “Extreme Makeover,” an exhibit containing new contemporary-art works selected from the center’s enhanced collection. [11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Stanford University, Palo Alto]

Theater

Local zaniness: The ever-evolving “Beach Blanket Babylon” presents two shows today. For the uninitiated, the revue is a zany spoof of pop culture, with extreme hats. [2 and 5 p.m., Club Fugazi, 678 Beach Blanket Babylon Blvd., S.F.]


BRUNCH

Izzy’s Steaks and Chops: Chef Joe Kohn’s brunch menu includes steak-house and breakfast dishes. Selections include stuffed French toast with brioche bread, Grand Marnier cream cheese, strawberries and maple syrup; prime-rib sandwich with horseradish cream and french fries; skirt steak and eggs with potatoes and biscuit; and smoked-salmon Benedict. [10 a.m. to 2 p.m., 3345 Steiner St., S.F.; (415) 563-0487]


GAME OF THE DAY

NFL

  • 49ers at Rams
  • 10 a.m., Fox (KTVU, Ch. 2)

The Niners invade St. Louis, where they need a victory over the Rams to keep their playoff hopes alive.


OTHER HIGHLIGHTS

NFL: Michael Vick and the Eagles meet the struggling Vikings. [5:20 p.m., Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, NBC (KNTV, Ch. 11)]

College football: Florida International and Toledo meet in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl. [5:30 p.m., Ford Field, Detroit, ESPN]

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