Friday, December 14, 2012

Holiday Vignettes

Bi-Rite Market in San Francisco

Every year at the beginning of December I get to visit San Francisco because my daughter sings in a Christmas concert.   I was there last weekend and the city was sparkling with holiday decorations.  Twinkling lights and lavish displays were everywhere and there was holiday magic in the air. "The Nutcracker" was playing at the War Memorial Building, the hotels were decorated with garlands and Christmas trees, and the department stores had windows filled with wreaths.   But this time I enjoyed seeing the quieter, gentler displays of Christmas decor. Everywhere I looked I saw artfully designed vignettes of holiday cheer and I was inspired by all this festive beauty. Especially in the wonderful shops, boutiques, and food markets for which the city is famous.  Here are some of the happy scenes that caught my eye.

The Gardener in Berkeley carries much more than gardening items

There were beautiful vignettes all around

They have Christmas decorations and interesting books -- I bought the book on typography

Musicians at The Gardener playing holiday music

Fourth Street in Berkeley

Everything you could want for the holidays at The Pasta Shop

Panettone, Italian Christmas bread

Holiday foods from Britain

Pomegranates at the Ferry Building

Quince Paste from Happy Girl Kitchen 

Scharfenberger Chocolate

Heath Ceramics

Cowgirl Creamery

Raclette from Cowgirl Creamery

Tempting display of honeys and jams at a bakery

Locanda Restaurant in a festive mood

"Din Don!  merrily on high
In heav'n the bells are ringing;
Din don!  verily the sky
Is riv'n with angel singing."

(A French carol sung by the San Francisco Lyric Chorus)

 We heard  beautiful music and saw many lovely things in San Francisco.  The city by the bay really sparkles at this time of the year.  I hope you are enjoying the sights and sounds of the holidays in your neighborhood!

Top photo by Megan Taylor


  1. So many pretty things! I am trying my best to get into the Christmas spirit and these photos are definitely helping. Also, that raclette looks delicious.

  2. All of those holiday treats look wonderful. I would have done some serious damage at the Foods from England display.

  3. What fun! SF is fun any time of the year but the Christmas season sounds best of all. I was there in October and the Heath stall in the Ferry Building was on my must do list. Now I must find the Gardener in Berkeley. Your photos are so fun. What a great way to spend the pre-holidays!

  4. I love these cheery holiday photos! I went to a Christmas concert last night in a retirement community near my home and it was lovely. There's nothing like beautiful music to get me in the Christmas spirit.

  5. Sunday, I remember the year we lived just outside SF. Christmas was indeed a magical time. I love the simple and organic vignettes. Bonnie

  6. Such a feast for the senses! Your photos as well as Megan's bring San Francisco to me in the most delightful way, Sunday. Thank you.

  7. Beautiful post, I love every photo. Beautiful

  8. Oh Sunday these shop images are so inviting...I love that you took us along on your shopping expedition!
    Thank you.

  9. I remember the raclette from last year's post...I still haven't tried it and it looks delicious. Looks like you had a wonderful time, I love 4th street in berkeley also.