NEW YORK - AUGUST 4: The Radio City Rockettes and Santa Claus dance in the ticket window to promote the Radio City Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall August 4, 2004 in New York City. The show will run from November 4, 2004 through January 2, 2005. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
CRAFTS, ART, EATS: All with a local and/or offbeat vibe. If you're only now starting your shopping -- and that's okay, probably that's where a lot of people are -- make for the Renegade Craft Fair in LA Historic State Park on Dec. 11 and 12, Unique LA at the California Market Center on Dec. 11 and 12, and the foodieful Artisanal LA at Cooper Design on Dec. 11 and 12.
"DEBBIE ALLEN'S HOT CHOCOLATE NUTCRACKER": Debbie Allen not only reimagines the traditional dance-filled tale with some new twists, but the lauded choreographer appears in the show as well. Kara's the girl, her travels will take her to Jazzland and Egypt among other storied spots, and there are some "wisecracking mice" to boot. Yes! Royce Hall, Dec. 11
TUBACHRISTMAS: There may be some instruments that have more seasonal cred -- okay, harpsichord, you got us, we were definitely thinking of you -- but the tuba is way up there, just in terms of being able to summon a certain sonorous old-fashionedness. Compliment. Now a bunch of tuba players will be dressing up and playing in Glendale on Sunday, Dec. 12. Sweet.
RADIO CITY CHRISTMAS SPECTACULAR: Finally, a fancy, dressy, high-kicky place to wear our velvet dress with the big bow in the back. Isn't that tradition? A matinee with the Rockettes, followed by afternoon tea at the Plaza? Well, the Plaza is a *bit* far, but thank goodness we have so many amazing hotels right here. We'll just want a scone afterwards, we're betting. Through Sunday, Dec. 12.
DRAMA, ANIMATION, SATIRE: The Autry National Center celebrates the half-decade anniversary of "Brokeback Mountain" on Saturday, Dec. 11; animator Glen Keane talks "The Little Mermaid" in Hollywood on Saturday, Dec. 11; and cast and writers bid farewell, for real, finally, to "Party Down" at the Silent Movie Theatre on Sunday, Dec. 12.