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Holiday Gift Guide 

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Page 7 of 7

A Good Show

There's nothing quite like the thrum and excitement of live theater, especially when the words take flight, a strange new world emerges from the proscenium, and actor and audience form a vibrant common bond. The American Conservatory Theater is one of the nation's outstanding repertory companies, and for several decades now happy theatergoers have enjoyed oftentimes brilliant, reliably innovative matinees and evenings of classic and modern tragedy, comedy, and everything in between. Make your favorite dramaphile happy by giving her ACT season tickets. She'll get the same excellent seat throughout the seven-play season, discounts on additional single tickets, free same-day ticket exchange to another date upon request, prepaid discount parking at the Hilton a block away, and discounts on classes in voice, movement, and other theatrical disciplines. - MS
Price varies; 405 Geary (at Taylor), 749-2228, www.act-sf.org.

Mission Christmas

What could be more San Francisco than a Day of the Dead altar from Galería de la Raza in the Mission? Every autumn, as the days grow darker and the wind colder, Día de los Muertos celebrants remember dearly departed friends and family with processionals, music, incense, and candles. A signature aspect of this part-Aztec, part-Catholic holiday is the offerings made to our brethren on the other side. The Galería's beautifully constructed 3-inch wooden altars are the ideal setting for photos, keepsakes, votive candles ... anything to keep your favorite phantoms at hand. You might even want to offer up one of the organization's fantastically decorated, richly colorful sugar skulls (available in three sizes), or a pound of organic, fair trade, shade-grown Zapatista coffee produced by grower cooperatives in Chiapas. - MS
Altar, $20; skulls, $2.50/1-inch, $5/2-inch, $10/3-inch; coffee, $9/lb.; 2857 24th (at Florida), 826-8009.

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