To-do list for holiday fun

Filoli at night
Eliza Ridgeway/Town Crier
Holiday lights illuminate the gardens and walk-ways at Filoli.

Although the pandemic has canceled many travel plans and events for the holidays, a variety of local activities are still on the calendar, some virtual and others in person but socially distanced. A rundown of holiday events follows.

Sweet memories: The cookie that soothes the tummy

Anise Cookies
Courtesy of Blanche Shaheen
Anise sesame cookies are crumbly, nutty and tender to the bite.

The holidays can be a frenetic mix of stress and festivities, where mounting bills, social obligations and long lines intermix with family gatherings, spiritual activities and sparkling lights.

Home baking adapts for holidays spent at a distance

Chocolate Chip Cookies” width=
Eliza Ridgeway/Town Crier
A special 100% whole wheat chocolate chip recipe – easy for bakers of all ages to deftly whip up – comes as a gift to readers from Mountain View's The Midwife and the Baker

The flavors and ingredients of the Bay Area holiday season reflect who we are – cooking with mochi flour from the pantry or with pomegranates from a neighbor’s yard. Whether your family specialty features mung beans, dulce de leche or a hearty glug of coffee liqueur, you’re probably making your foods for an altered audience this year.

Gifts that give back: Los Altos shopping from the heart

Adventure Toys
Olivia Treynor/Town Crier
Picking gifts at local stores such as Adventure Toys on Main Street makes a double gift of your endeavor.

Anything you buy from a local merchant is a gift to the shop owner, the employees and the economy.

Manufacturers of some items are specific in their benefits, donating a portion of proceeds to a selected charity or cause. In those cases, you are essentially giving a triple gift – to the merchant, the charity and your gift recipient.

Grounded in the garden: Local experts share tips on seasonal planting

S.M. Lieu/Special to the Town Crier
Casey Carsten cooks with the produce she and her husband, Jack, grow in their garden, including lemons. Casey is a contributing writer and food critic for several Bay Area publications.

Gardeners, start your engines and get growing.

This is the optimum time to plant your winter garden – even though it’s still technically summer. Cool-season vegetables need enough warm weather to grow and develop good root systems before cold weather sets in.
If that’s not reason enough to plant now, consider other benefits, both practical and therapeutic, of starting a winter garden.

By Design: Combining bohemian and classic styles

Lauren Edith Anderson/Special to the Town Crier
Aboriginal art from Australia hangs above an intricately carved dowry chest from Rajasthan, India.

As I wandered through a client’s home in Redwood City for the first time, I couldn’t help but notice unique objects all over the house – among them, an intricately carved chest, an elegant wood dining table and gorgeous pottery. I learned that the husband and wife had amassed a collection of one-of-a-kind, handmade items from all over the world through years of traveling for work.

SpecialtyMagazines advertise


The Town Crier publishes six different glossy magazines throughout the year that are inserted into the newspaper.

You can view the latest magazine as a PDF here 
or explore our archive of past issues.  


Our magazines include:

  • Camps (1/29)
  • Family Spotlight (2/26)
  • Living in Los Altos (3/25 & 9/30)
  • Home & Garden (4/29 & 8/26)
  • Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival Magazine (7/8)
  • Home for the Holidays (11/18)

To advertise, contact our sales department by calling (650) 948-9000 or email [email protected].

To offer submissions to editorial, contact editor Bruce Barton at [email protected].

Schools »

Read More

Sports »

Read More

People »

Read More

Special Sections »

Special Sections
Read More

Photos of Los Altos

Browse and buy photos