Thursday, December 4
We've checked our Complete Bartender's Guide, and we find nothing on something called a Kimbell's Holiday Mixer. Checking the "mixer" section we find the basics: tonic, juices, sodas, but no word on this elusive Kimbell's Holiday. Looking into the situation further we find that apparently this unique blend has to do with the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth and that--for members of the museum--this mysterious libation is free and a mere $10 for nonmembers. While the mixer is popular, there's no need to have it held back for purchase (we actually thought it a bit odd that they use the term "reservations" for a bottled mixer, but who are we to judge?). The mixer is available from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday only, and the limited engagement also features tours of the museum, a cash bar with wine and beer, live music and raffles. We love a good mystery and a good drink now and then, so we intend to find out exactly what this special concoction is all about. Who's with us? Call 817-332-8451.
Friday, December 5
New Zealand author Keri Hulme wrote in her Booker Prize-winning novel The Bone People that "between waking and being awake there is a moment full of doubt and dream, when you struggle to remember what the place and when the time and whether you really are." Photographer Keith Carter knows those moments and, in his exhibit titled Dreamscapes, he places those hazy visions right where those less adept at such a translation can look at them and say, "That reminds me of this dream I had. I can't really remember all the details, but there was this big bear, and he was laughing." Or something like that. With animals a common element in Carter's work, the ethereal and pinhole camera-like effect that Carter achieves with his Hasselblatt takes on a sometimes-comical, often-disconcerting feel. Bubbles of dreamy and languid discord (somehow that's possible) are sprinkled with works that are lighthearted and have an element of childlike discovery about them. Friday marks the opening of his dreamland at Photographs Do Not Bend Gallery, 3115 Routh St., with a reception from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The exhibit will hang through January 24. Call 214-969-1852.
Saturday, December 6
We love our 5-year-old. He's smart, active and intuitive. What really gets us, though, is the regal tail swish and "affectionate" head bump at about 6 o'clock every morning. Make that 5 o'clock if it's Christmas. Just like every other tyke (tabby or otherwise), our little prince just can't wait to rip into his stocking and see what Santa has left. A little pre-emptive excitement is in order this holiday, though, as Texas Cares, a cat rescue/adoption organization, offers a combo of good will and silliness with Adopt-A-Pet and Santa Pet Photos all at one PetSmart location, 6204 W. Park Blvd., Plano. If your feline's a bit high-strung and openly anti-beard, you may opt to take a photogenic canine child, but, either way, leash them for their safety...and Santa's. Just remember, if the Adopt-A-Pet is calling you, adopt for life, not just for Christmas. Adoptions are noon to 4 p.m., and photos are from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call 972-633-CATS or check out www.texascares.org.
Sunday, December 7
The holidays have always brought with them a certain openness and neighborliness with unexpected Saran Wrapped items showing up on the porch or invites for a nog or two at the Joneses. Twenty-seven years ago, the University of Texas at Dallas, Campbell Road at University, began inviting its neighbors to an annual special event. This year the Holiday Sing is themed Christmas From Around the World and features carols from England, France, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, Italy and Bohemia. UTD shows its brains when it comes to the planning of the to-do as a children's sing-along and Santa visit commence at a pre-naptime 2:30 p.m. Then parents can tip the baby sitter a little extra in the holiday spirit as they head out to the traditional concert at 7:30 p.m. with the UTD Chamber Singers, UTD Chorale, Symphonic Brass Quintet and special Christmas readings. Plus, audience members can warm up their chords and join in on the hallelujah chorus from Handel's Messiah. The festivities are free, but also very popular, so get there early. Call 972-UTD-ARTS.
Monday, December 8
The inexpensive culture ops continue at the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library, 1515 Young St., in the Lillian Bradshaw Gallery at 6:30 p.m. Monday. The Writers Garret, a society for poets, playwrights and other writers, offers a special reading of six plays by Reg Platt and Susan McMath Platt, hosted by local playwright James Venhaus. The presentation, wittily titled Eat My Shorts, is co-sponsored by the Fine Arts Division of the Dallas Public Library, and the best part is it's free. That's right, six play readings and no dough. Besides, at this time of year, who doesn't welcome a little non-holiday inspiration? Call 214-670-1643 or 214-328-9655.
Tuesday, December 9
A word of advice: Be sure to adhere to the special ticketing procedure on www.lakewoodtheater.com before heading over to catch the annual showing of 1954's White Christmas. While it's only 15 cents to watch the Bing Crosby-Danny Kaye yule flick, a $7 deposit is required to secure a seat. And it's worth it. When we were young and unaware, we stood in line for more than an hour only to be turned away from the sold-out show. And fate (nay, poor planning) had us back at a friend's house with tiny bottles of white zin and experiments in hair dye. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday with the film beginning at 7:30 p.m. The hour isn't all waiting, however, since the Blue Diamond Trio entertains with vintage medleys and a silent short with live accompaniment precedes the feature. Fine film, a fine venue and popcorn for a quarter. This definitely classifies as a holiday treat on the cheap. Hit the aforementioned Web site for more info.
Wednesday, December 10
It's always special to give a handmade work of art to someone for the holidays. And contrary to popular craft-fair belief, it doesn't have to be a slick-painted Santa or a hot-glued piece of jewelry. Ten Thousand Villages, a recent addition to NorthPark Center, 8687 N. Central Expressway, offers décor, instruments, jewelry and more created by talented artisans from Africa, Asia and Latin America. As the "oldest fair trade organization in the world," Ten Thousand Villages makes it possible for said artisans to receive fair compensation for their wares and, subsequently, a better future for themselves and their families. We don't know about everyone else, but it's pretty damn rewarding to give a gift that improves the livelihood of the creator as well as the recipient. Now that's racking up holiday credit-card debt the right way. Call 214-368-8200.