Maybe it's the unusual timing of Hanukkah, which is so early that it begins the day before Thanksgiving. Perhaps people just can't wait to pump up their inflatable lawn Santas. Either way, here are the November holiday happenings in the Midpeninsula. A round-up with many more festive events happening in December will run in next week's issue of the Voice.
Art and exhibits
Palo Alto's Cubberley Studios artists open their doors for their annual holiday open studios on Nov. 16 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The 20 artists work in textiles, collage, sculpture and other media. The studios are in the Cubberley Community Center at 4000 Middlefield Road; more info is at lindagass.com/events.html.
Gallery House's holiday show and sale runs Nov. 17 through Dec. 24, with ceramics, jewelry, photography, textiles and paintings. Items are chosen with an eye to giftworthiness in various price ranges; pieces on the $55 Art Wall all have the same price in honor of the gallery's 55th anniversary. The gallery is at 320 S. California Ave., open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sundays from 11 to 3. Go to galleryhouse2.com.
The "Nutcracker" season starts in November at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, thanks to the Pacific Ballet Academy. Performances of the classic are Nov. 29 at 1 and 6 p.m., Nov. 30 at 1 and 6 p.m., and Dec. 1 at 12:30 and 4 p.m. Tickets are $30/$26. The center is at 500 Castro St. Go to mvcpa.com.
Young professionals celebrate Hanukkah with the annual "Light It Up!" party at Hillel at Stanford, 565 Mayfield Ave., on Nov. 23 from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. This year's theme is "Venetian Ball," with live music, dancing, blackjack and, of course, dreidel. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Go to paloaltojcc.org.
Gift shoppers can buy purses, jewelry, fragrances, hand-woven scarves, Nicaraguan art and other items at the holiday boutique at All Saints' Church at 555 Waverley St. in Palo Alto from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 23. Proceeds benefit the church's outreach programs. Go to asaints.org.
Woodside's Filoli mansion and gardens starts up the nine-day "Ice Fantasy: New Traditions" holiday fundraiser on Nov. 29, with the historic rooms turned into a holiday showcase. Choral ensembles and other musicians will perform. Ticket prices for events range from $25 to $85. Filoli is at 86 Canada Road; go to filoli.org.
Palo Alto lights its Lytton Plaza Christmas tree on Nov. 30 with a tree-lighting and snowman competition planned from 4 to 7 p.m. The plaza is at 202 University Ave. Go to cityofpaloalto.org.