You might not have thought of giving your mother a sculpture, but many people find that original works of art make unusual holiday gifts. This time of year, many art galleries host special shows based on that premise, featuring works that could lend themselves well to red-and-green (or blue-and-white) wrapping.
At Gallery House in Palo Alto, the current holiday show has ornaments and cards along with other works by various artists: sculptures, ceramics, photos, prints, paintings, jewelry, mixed-media works and digital art. A new face at the gallery is Diane Fujimoto, a watercolor painter.
Gallery House is at 320 S. California Ave., and the show is up through Dec. 24. Exhibition hours are Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sundays from 11 to 3. Go to galleryhouse2.com or call 650-326-1668.
Other holiday shows in the area include "Small Treasures" at the Portola Art Gallery in the Allied Arts Guild, 75 Arbor Road, Menlo Park. Small paintings and fine-art photos are on display through the end of the month; hours are Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Go to portolaartgallery.com or call 650-321-0220.
LEGO holiday show
The LEGO buildings and trains are back at Palo Alto's Museum of American Heritage, which is hosting its annual holiday display.
The 12-by-25-foot train layout boasts several trains chugging through a panoramic world of urban and more rural scenes, and Bay Area landmarks crafted from plastic bricks. People often line up to see it.
The display is co-hosted by the museum and by the Bay Area LEGO User Group at 351 Homer Ave. It's up through Jan. 9, open Friday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Admission is $2 general and free for museum and BayLUG members.
For more information, go to moah.org or call 650-321-1004.
The last big weekend for holiday concerts is nearly here, including two scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 18, in Palo Alto.
At 8 p.m., the 29th annual Gryphon Carolers and All-Stars holiday concert kicks off at Gunn High School, 780 Arastradero Road, Palo Alto. This 40-voice group and its backing band mix it up on the Spangenberg Theatre stage, performing both traditional and contemporary holiday music in jazzy, Celtic, gospel, Latin and Appalachian styles. Some of the pieces were written by group co-founders Ed Johnson and Carol McComb.
Admission is $15 general and $10 for seniors and kids under 12; premium seating is $25/$18. Tickets can be bought at gryphoncarollers.com, at the door, and at Gryphon Stringed Instruments at 211 Lambert Ave. in Palo Alto (until 4 p.m. the day of the concert).
Over at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto at 305 E. Charleston Road, the Aurora Singers perform their holiday concert at 7 p.m. Saturday. Titled "A Very Cool Yule," the program includes the new work "Let's Get A Present (for Santa)" by Aurora singer Barbara Leeds, as well as Steve Allen's "Cool Yule" and other pieces.
Tickets are $9. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.