Christmas in the City

Given that this is my first Christmas in the Bay Area, I was wondering what special things there are to do around here. In New York, the obvious staples were Macy's, the big tree at Rockefeller Center, ice skating at an outdoor rink somewhere, and the windows at Bloomingdale's. What are the San Francisco equivalents? I've seen the skating rink at Union Square and the ads for the Christmas Spectacular show in Oakland (another New York favorite), but are there other Christmas-y staples here? Do people cut down redwood trees and decorate them? Are there other good SF things to do?

I'm a big Christmas fan, so thanks in advance!
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I mostly know about the events here in the East Bay, where, for example, Civic Park in Walnut Creek has a yearly ice skating rink that they put in a tent. It's Walnut Creek's rather pathetic attempt to recreate Madison Square Garden in Contra Costa County.

As far as the city goes, there were a couple of tree-lighting ceremonies this weekend--Macy's in Union Square does its best New York Style Christmas imitation and Ghiradelli square has a big tree too, I'm told (I don't think I've actually gone to Fisherman's Wharf during Christmas times-brrrrrrr!).

If you're a former lit geek as I am, you might like the Dickens' Christmas at the Cow Palace. Other than that I'm sure there some streets where they go crazy with the Christmas lights but I'm not sure where those are.
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In So Cal there is a street, Candy Kane Lane that really goes all nuts with the Christmas lights and decorations. I can only imagine what the astronomical light bills are like.
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StephSF 2yrs+
I'll have to take a look at Macy's in Union Square - sounds just like NYC. Last night in the Marina they were giving out all sorts of schwag - snow cones from Heavenly, roasted chestnuts on Chestnut Street, and hot chocolate samples outside of Starbucks. It was pretty quintessential.
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I hear that the Macy's in the City has now taken to putting puppies in a pen in the window display in order to draw window shoppers. Apparently it is doing its usual magic and people are just standing on the sidewalk staring. The puppies are up for adoption with the SF ASPCA.

Its been a while since I heard of that kind of an appeal.
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StephSF 2yrs+
Wow. That is nuts. I would almost consider that offensive, claiming that it exploits the animals, but if they are up for adoption then that's cool. That and I'm pretty sure that the puppies don't know any better and are happy for the attention.

Has anyone seen this who can verify?
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I don't have any direct confirmation. The best that I could get was two people removed.
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jenniferb14 Dec 01, 2017
In So Cal there is a street, Candy Kane Lane that really goes all nuts with the Christmas lights and decorations. I can only imagine what the astronomical light bills are like.
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