CHRISTMAS COMEDY: There will be this year, like there have been in past years, and will be in future years, plenty of viral videos and memes and funny cards and films sending up the more uncomfortable tropes of the holidays. The burnt ham and the off-key carolers and the hanging of lights all get their satiric due, it's true, but one seasonal send-up that consistently reappears, like Christmas clockwork, is that of people opening gifts they really don't like. We've all done it, surely, at some point in our lives, and we all smile graciously -- right? good -- and say "thank you" and move on. But yuletide yuks like to draw out this moment and focus on the pained look on the giftee's face and play up the misguided gift for maximum chuckles.
STILL... what's good for really good humor isn't always good for real life. We want to choose those gifts wisely because a) we love our people and b) we don't want to see that particular look of "what the?" on their faces. Which is why events like Patchwork come in so very handy as we slide into the holidays. Handmade items made by local craftspeople and creative types and artisans, some edible, some wearable, some artable, all memorable. Next one's up on Sunday, Nov. 17, in Long Beach, and the getting-in? It's free. So you'll only need to pack some cash for the interesting purse or jam or olive oil or earrings or painting you may pick up. There will be over 100 purveyors of offbeat and awesome goods, and they're regional, meaning the local love gets spread around. And really -- aren't you done with that bit of Christmas comedy? The bad-gift-opening-face? We think we're all kind of over that.