On Friday, December 4, Oakland’s Jack London Square drew crowds for a festive tree-lighting ceremony to celebrate the holiday season. Live music filled the square as the Oakland School for the Arts’ Vocal Rush, Chamber Choir and Jazz Guitar Ensemble performed holiday favorites. Other entertainment included performances by the Tap Dancing Christmas Trees and West Oakland Middle Schools’…

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creche

For Christmas this year, Leo Keegan set out to create a nativity spectacle at the Cathedral of Christ the Light, the seat of the Catholic Diocese of Oakland. The result was the Starlight Festival: seventeen unique displays of the crèche, or nativity scene, each an interpretation of the biblical story of Jesus’ birth

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Drinkers sample holiday ales fro KerstBier Fest

The Trappist was overflowing Friday as thirsty Oaklanders tossed one back in honor of KerstBier Fest—a two-day celebration of the rich brews of the season. On offer at the downtown pub that specializes in artisan and speciality brews were about 30 beer varieties from Belgium, Norway and the US.

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Roughly 1,200 Oakland families have signed up so far to receive toys through the Mayor's Community Toy Drive this year. New, unwrapped toys can be donated in bins located around the city.

At this time of year, many parents grab up lists to Santa and race to the mall in hopes of nabbing the year’s hottest toys to hide under the tree. But for Nombuyiselo Gqajena, an Oakland mother living at the Henry Robinson Multi-Service Center—a transitional housing facility—Christmas presents great emotional and financial stress.

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