What a great irony it is that the season that brings the most commitments-travel, family get-togethers, gift-giving routines-also brings with it the most distractions. Balancing holiday festivals, openings, shows, benefits, and receptions with obligatory party duties can grow tricky indeed. Below, we’ve assembled a few tips to help you get a head start on all the fun stuff to come this holiday season. Happy shopping!

1) New Home for the Holidays: Santa Barbara Arts has opened a second gallery for the holidays in La Arcada Court (1113 State St.) in the space previously occupied by the Dianna Bottoms Gallery, thus promising that no State Street shopper’s art or craft needs will go unattended to this holiday season. For more info, call 884-1938 or visit sbarts.org.

2) Delectable Desserts: On Saturday, December 13, the Carpinteria Arts Center hosts Think Cupcakes, its first annual cupcake baking contest. Everyone’s invited to devise their most delectable cupcakes and bring a dozen to the Arts Center (855 Linden Ave., Carpinteria), where they’ll be tasted, judged, and possibly named the most delicious. Those not inclined toward baking, but possessed of a sweet tooth nonetheless, should note that the remaining cupcakes will be available for purchase after the competition. For more info, call 684-7789.

3) Handmade Goodies: The Yes Store, a craft cooperative with more than four decades of history behind it, recently opened up its latest incarnation at 1014 State Street. Founded on ideals of the 1960s, the operation is owned in equal part by all its members and governed by a board elected by them. “In spite of every challenge thrown into [our] path, we have survived,” wrote the store’s advertising and media contact Marilyn Loperfido. “And that in and of itself is a miracle! The founding tenets of our group have stood the test of time in regard to personal growth, and financial and economic forces that have affected us throughout the years.” For more info, call 963- 9937 or visit theyesstore.com.

4) ‘Tis the Season: Fairview Gardens, one of the oldest organic farms in Southern California and a veritable oasis of agriculture in the heart of our suburban environment, has been hit hard by the expense of recent renovations. Through Sunday, November 30, the Santa Barbara Art Association is lending a hand with a benefit show featuring nearly 100 paintings, photographs, mosaics, and frescoes. Art aficionados and agriculture supporters alike can stop by Gallery 113 in La Arcada Court to buy something and thus give a little help to the gardens. For more info, call 967-7369 or visit fairviewgardens.org.


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