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Holiday Home Tour The Junior League of Palo Alto/Mid Peninsula will host its fourth annual fundraiser, "Finishing Touches: A Holiday Tour of Fine Homes and Boutique," Dec. 2-3. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Rosewood Sand Hill, 2825 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park.
Alternative Gift Market Trinity Church in Menlo Park is hosting an Alternative Gift Market on two consecutive Sundays, Dec. 4 and 11. Proceeds support a variety of nonprofit organizations and benefit those in need. Dec. 4, 11, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Trinity Church, 330 Ravenswood Ave., Menlo Park. Call 650-326-2083.
Nativity School Christmas Tree Lot An all-volunteer run fundraiser for Nativity School. Trees available: Douglas, Grand, Fraser, and Noble Firs; wreaths and garland; flameproofing and delivery services. Through Dec. 17, Nativity School, 210 Oak Grove Ave., Menlo Park. www.nativitytrees.com
'The Secret Garden' TheatreWorks presents the musical adaptation of "The Secret Garden," based on the classic novel about a young orphan who discovers a hidden garden. Through Dec. 31, 8-9:45 p.m. $19-$72. Lucie Stern Theatre, 1305 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto. Call 650-463-1960. theatreworks.org
'Harry's Last Lecture' with Marian Wright Edelman This lecture honors the late Stanford Law Professor Harry Rathbun, who delivered his "Last Lecture" from the 1930s through the 1950s. Marian Wright Edelman, founder of the Children's Defense Fund, will speak to students on how purpose and values lead to a fulfilling life. Nov. 30, 3-4:30 p.m. Free. Stanford Memorial Auditorium, 551 Serra Mall, Stanford. Call 650-723-1762. athbun.stanford.edu/2011.html
'Is a City Manager Worth $800,000?' Learn how a team of Los Angeles Times reporters exposed corruption in the small town of Bell, California. The John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships at Stanford and the Pulitzer Prizes present a conversation with Ruben Vives, Jeff Gottlieb and Paloma Esquivel. Nov. 30, 7-8:30 p.m. Free. Paul Brest Hall at Stanford, 555 Salvatierra Walk (off Campus Drive), Stanford.
Frank Close, a professor of theoretical physics at Oxford University, will discuss his book, "The Infinity Puzzle: Quantum Field Theory and the Hunt for an Orderly Universe" on Dec. 6 at 7 p.m. Purchase of event book or $10 gift card admits 2. Kepler's, 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park. Call 650-324-4321.
Richard Heinberg "The End of Growth" describes what policy makers, communities, and families can do to build a new economy that operates within Earth's budget of energy and resources. Dec. 8, 7 p.m. Purchase of event book or $10 gift card admits 2. Kepler's, 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park.
'Every Friday is Black Friday' Fridays through Dec. 23 all black (and mainly black) dog and cat adoptions will be adopted at no charge, and all other colors will be adopted at half price. Noon-5 p.m. Pets In Need, 871 Fifth Ave., Redwood City. Call 650-367-1405. www.PetsInNeed.org
'Giving Blood Saves' Donate blood at any Stanford Blood Center location by Dec. 6 and attend a free financial planning presentation on Dec. 6. Conducted by Pat Vitucci and Associates, this seminar will include estate planning with attorney Kira King. 7:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Free. Stanford Blood Center, 3373 Hillview Ave., Palo Alto. Call 650-723-7265.
Holiday Skating on the Square Downtown Redwood City hosts an outdoor skating rink through the winter, noon-10 p.m. $12 — skates are free. Courthouse Square, 2200 Broadway St., Redwood City.
LWVSSMC Education Lecture "School Reform in the U.S.: Is There Hope?" by Deborah Stipek, Professor of Education, Stanford University. Nov. 30, 7-9 p.m. Free. Veterans Memorial Senior Center, 1455 Madison Ave., Redwood City. www.lwvssmc.org
'Voce Dramatica!' Vocalist Leslie Keenan teams with dramatic tenor Orlando McCorkle and soprano Deanna Knickerbocker, accompanied by pianist Dmitriy Cogan Dec. 3, 3:30-5 p.m. Donation for InnVision $10-20. Ladera Community Church, 3300 Alpine Road, Portola Valley. Call 650-255-1792. www.lesliesings.com
KITKA Women's Vocal Ensemble: 'Wintersongs' Seasonal music from a variety of Eastern European ethnic and spiritual traditions, including Slavic folk carols and ethereal sacred works. Dec. 4, 4-6 p.m. Advance: $27/$25/$15. Door: $32/$30/$15 ($5 for children under 12). St. Bede's Episcopal Church, 2650 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park. Call 510-444-0323. www.kitka.org
Stanford Symphony Orchestra The Stanford Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Jindong Cai, gives its first concert of the season with a performance of Mahler's Symphony No. 5 and Schumann's Cello Concerto in A minor. Dec. 2, 8 p.m. $5-10. Dinkelspiel Auditorium on Stanford Campus, Stanford.
Kids & Families
Jenni Holm: 'A Very Babymouse Christmas' The holidays are here and everyone's enjoying their favorite traditions — eating latkes, decorating for Kwanza, singing holiday songs, and most of all, being with family. Well, everyone except Babymouse. Babymouse only has one thing on her mind: presents. Dec. 7, 6 p.m. Free. Kepler's, 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park. Call 650-324-4321.
Preschool Storytime Songs, stories and activities for kids ages 3-5. Mondays, 11 a.m.-11:45 a.m. Free. Atherton Library, 2 Dinkelspiel Station Lane, Atherton. Call 650-328-2422. www.smcl.org
'Blogging for Beginners' Learn how to build a simple blog (web log), create and edit postings, design a page, add gadgets, incorporate hyperlinks, photos, videos and audio. Dec. 3, 9:30-10:30 a.m. Free. Woodside Library, 3140 Woodside Road, Woodside. Call 650-851-0147. www.smcl.org
Ballet America's 'Nutcracker' This production includes a cast of 100 local dancers alongside former principle dancers from the Joffrey Ballet. Kids can dress up like Nutcracker characters at intermission and afterward, meet the cast onstage. Dec. 2, 7 p.m. $18-$39. Fox Theater, 2219 Broadway, Redwood City. www.balletamerica.org
'Thrive: What on Earth Will It Take?' "Thrive" is a documentary that follows global consolidation and money. Dec. 3, 6:30 p.m. Advance: $12; door $16. Kepler's, 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park. Call 650-324-4321.
Holiday Handbell Concert The San Francisco State University Handbell Choir will ring in the holiday season at the History Museum. Dec. 3, 1-2 p.m. Free. San Mateo County History Museum, 2200 Broadway, Redwood City. Call 650-299-0104. www.historysmc.org
'Occupy Wall Street World Centric will show a selection of Occupy videos and discuss the movement. Dec. 2, 7:30-9:30 p.m. Free. World Centric, 2121 Staunton Court, Palo Alto. transitionpaloalto.org/
'Rodin and America' An exhibit on sculptor Auguste Rodin's influence on American artists. Through Jan. 1, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. Cantor Arts Center, 328 Lomita Drive, Stanford.