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The holiday season starts with Thanksgiving (end of November) and lasts throughout December. It includes Hannukah,  the Winter solstice, Kwanzaa, Christmas, as well as a few other memorable events, like our tribute to consumerism, Black Friday.

This year was extreme: The worst wildfire season in California’s history killed many people and filled the Bay Area with fire smoke for days. It ended a few days before Thanksgiving with the start of the rainy season.

The holiday season here is rich with events like open art studios, neighborhood walks, concerts, markets, and Christmas lights. We are experiencing an explosion in development: new construction, new restaurants, creative business startups everywhere. But this creativity coexists with homelessness, tent cities, and the emergence of modern-day slums. The cost of living in the Bay Area has skyrocketed. Wealth coexists with trash, cultural diversity blends into crime, and traditional American culture with its addiction to commerce and consumption mixes with the aesthetic nihilism of the 21st-century anti-culture. Graffiti transforms many public spaces, social and cultural boundaries break down and reassert themselves in new ways.

December also brought us an enormous winter storm from the Pacific, culminating in thirty-foot waves along the coast from Point Reyes to Half Moon Bay.

Here are some photos, taken from various locations across the Bay Area.