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Holiday events at the historic Villa Montalvo in Saratoga benefit works of the Montalvo Service Group. (Trixie Bentley/Montalvo Service Group)

A multitude of holiday shopping events that support worthy causes is about to begin. I try to attend as many of these functions as possible, and I hope that you will follow suit. Here's the nitty-gritty about many of these eagerly awaited sales of antique, vintage and new treasures:

  • It's easy to slip into a happy holiday mood with a visit to the Montalvo Arts Center -- the Saratoga mansion belonging to former Sen. James Duval Phelan. The annual bash, called Yuletide Marketplace, is slated for Nov. 16-17.

    This time of year, the Mediterranean-style villa built in 1912 morphs into a shopping venue. Visitors can find mosaics, jewelry, paintings and other art, edible treats, plus an array of handcrafted gifts and holiday decor. Later, indulge in a light lunch, or contemplate further purchases as you relax with a cup of coffee and a pastry while you look out on the home's Spanish courtyard.

    I'll be on hand from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 16 to offer informal evaluations of family keepsakes or newly found treasures. Three items per person, please; suggested donation is $5 per object.

    The Montalvo Arts Center is at 15400 Montalvo Road, Saratoga. Hours are 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is free. Limited on-site parking: $5. Details: 408-961-5823, www.montalvoarts.org/events. Proceeds benefit education and renovation projects.

  • The Walnut Creek Historical Society is celebrating a landmark anniversary with its 30th annual Holiday Faire.

    The event runs from Nov. 24 to Dec. 9, at the Shadelands Ranch Museum, a redwood-framed Colonial Revival manse built in 1903 by Walnut Creek pioneer Hiram Penniman (1824-1907). Now a museum, the home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


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    Look for dozens of vendors with handcrafted gifts for sale inside the museum. You can whet your appetite for shopping by attending one of the three-course Victorian tea luncheons, offered daily during the event. Seatings are at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Tickets are $30; reservations for these popular teas are a must. Call 925-935-7871.

    The shopping fun runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 2660 Ygnacio Valley Road. Admission and parking are free. For details, go to http://walnutcreekhistory.info.

  • Many of the American Cancer Society's Discovery Shops, which support the fight against cancer, save up donations of goods -- including collectibles and seasonal decor -- for their annual events launching the holiday shopping season. Here's a roundup of Bay Area happenings. If your local shop isn't listed, check www.cancer.org.

    Fremont: Nov. 8-11 at 40733 Chapel Way.

    San Jose: Nov. 10-11 at 1103 Branham Lane.

    Walnut Creek: Nov. 3 at 1538 Locust St.

    Sunnyvale: Jewelry event, Nov. 16-18 at 1659 Hollenbeck Road.

    Oakland: Nov. 24-25 for holiday kickoff, Dec. 8-9 for vintage clothing at 127 41st St.

  • If you need a wee nudge to "catch the spirit" of the holidays, attend the celebrations at the Los Altos History Museum on Nov. 14.

    There will be guided tours of the J. Gilbert Smith History House, a 1905 Craftsman-style farmhouse. As you amble about eyeing the decorations -- a teddy bear theme runs throughout -- tune in for the live piano and choral music that add to the ambience.

    During your visit, check out the current exhibition -- a honey of a display, up until March -- "Bear in Mind: The Story of the California Grizzly."

    The Los Altos History Museum is at 51 S. San Antonio Road. Hours are noon to 4 p.m. Admission is free. Light refreshments will served. Call 650-948-9427.

  • The annual holiday boutique and rummage sale benefit for the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford takes place Nov. 16-17.

    Here, you'll encounter a wide selection of holiday wares, silver, crystal, china, jewelry, art, toys, books and clothing. Keep your eyes peeled for old treasures. Last year, I wound up with a tin box replete with 1920s-era celluloid animal figures I plan to put beneath a Christmas tree I inherited.

    This event is made possible by the Charter Auxiliary for Children. Join the fun at 1228 Douglas Ave., Redwood City. Hours are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 16, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 17. Sales are cash only. Call 650-497-8332, or 650-568-9840 during the sale.

  • The Morgan Hill Historical Society will host its 18th annual holiday boutique, better known as Christmas at Villa Mira Monte, Nov. 9-11.

    You'll come across handcrafted goods, candles, soap, even mustard. Watch for jewelry made with poppy jasper -- a gem known only to Morgan Hill. I usually come away with several jars of jam and a book or two.

    The fun occurs at the Morgan Hill House, 17860 Monterey Road. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. Call 408-779-8520 for details. Proceeds assist the society with educational programs and the upkeep of its properties.

  • The devoted volunteers at the Nearly New Shop in Sunnyvale are finishing up preparations for their annual Holiday Boutique. This popular sale runs from Tuesday through Dec. 20. Look for vintage Christmas decorations, linens, toys, glitzy clothing, books, jewelry, glass and china.

    You'll find the Nearly New Shop at 225 E. Maude Ave. Hours are 10 a.m.to 3 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. For details, call 408-732-6202. Proceeds raised at the resale store -- an extension of P.E.O. (Philanthropic Educational Organization) -- go toward scholarships for women in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties.

    Contact Steven Yvaska at steve.yvaska@sbcglobal.net or 750 Ridder Park Drive, San Jose, CA 95190.