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Holiday Guide to Everything

From festive recipes and local holiday events to DIY gift ideas and party etiquette

It's the most wonderful time of the year in Palo Alto. The city is bursting with holiday cheer, festive lights and more. Check out our Holiday Guide to Everything, including where to get inexpensive stocking stuffers, recipes for winter cocktails, a roundup of holiday events and more to make your season bright!

Gift Giving

Big families, bigger lists: As families grow, gift-giving becomes an exponential challenge

There's not much time to determine who's been naughty or nice when it comes to gift-giving in large families. By mid-October, Jenna and Matthew Adams of Mountain View had already drawn names for their Christmas gift exchange. With five daughters ranging from 4 to 14 years old, Jenna's four siblings and Matt's six, plus grandparents ... the list just keeps growing.

Inexpensive inspiration: From stocking stuffers to Secret Santa treasures, less pricey gifts abound

The challenge: find holiday gifts for everyone within locally owned stores along the Peninsula — all under $15. Instead of resorting to gift cards or crowded big-box stores, check out the small but mighty gift shops and boutiques bundled within downtown areas.

Holiday Food

Tales of turkey and tempeh: Local 'turkey experts' share stories, recommendations

Roasted, fried, smoked or deconstructed — there is an abundance of ways to cook a turkey for Thanksgiving. Or is a turkey even necessary? Here are ways to change things up at the dinner table this holiday season.

Festive Drinks

Winter libations: Give thanks this year for cocktails and mocktails

This year, don't neglect the libations. Holiday food and flavors yield excellent cocktail (and mocktail) combinations. Get your wheels turning with ideas and recipes from local bar managers and beverage directors.

Invitation Etiquette

Invites for all: Stationery, invite experts share tips and tricks for holiday party invitations

Stationery and invite experts share tips and tricks for holiday party invitations this season, such as what to include on invites, how to dress up snail mail, and how to use mail apps and digital invites.

Holiday Events

Holiday highlights: Local organizations, artists host a bounty of seasonal entertainment

Before or after your stroll down the streets to gaze at Christmas lights, the Midpeninsula has more holiday events and traditions to offer from "The Nutcracker" ballets to comedy shows.

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Short story writers wanted!

The 34th Annual Palo Alto Weekly Short Story Contest is now accepting entries for Adult, Young Adult and Teen categories. Send us your short story (2,500 words or less) and entry form by March 27, 2020. First, Second and Third Place prizes awarded in each category. Sponsored by Kepler's Books, Linden Tree Books and Bell's Books.

Contest Details