America (and our fair Dallas) is pretty damn materialistic. We like our couture, our high-end body products and will go to great debt-filled lengths to be a part of that brand-name echelon. So why not use that status-conscious mentality for charity? December 1 marks World AIDS Day with charities the globe over hosting events to raise money for those with HIV/AIDS. From noon to 8 p.m. at NorthPark Mall, MAC and MAF (the cosmetic company's AIDS fund) welcome local celebrities such as members of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, TXCN's Mattie Roberts, KISS-FM's Kelly Rasberry and KXAS' Deborah Ferguson to help in reaching a worldwide goal of raising a million dollars in December. In 1994, MAC announced its line VIVA GLAM to fund MAF and, with four popular shades to date, MAF has raised upward of $31 million for AIDS/HIV. On Monday, every cent of VIVA GLAM sales (and the sales of Kids Helping Kids cards) goes directly to those affected by the disease. As MAC says, "Each purchase is the equivalent to a direct donation." Hey, buy a lipstick for $14, or the quad pack for $28. Go GLAM--it's self-indulgence for a great cause. --Merritt Martin
Splurge on this year's binge
Face it; most of us aren't master basters. Thus, the thought of gathering, preparing and serving a full Thanksgiving feast for the family can be the stuffing of nightmares. Strained blood ties and repetitively insipid TV parades help make the escapism of the Cowboys game a divine intervention, and this holiday of appreciation oftentimes just makes us wish a tryptophan drip was a realistic option. It's not, so we're saving our pennies to be pampered at the Hotel Crescent Court (400 Crescent Court, 214-871-3200) this season, where a four-course, $55-per-person meal awaits from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Separate brunches and dinners ($85 to $90) are at The Mansion (2821 Turtle Creek Blvd., 214-559-2100) for those with an agreeable budget and appetite. Both will require reservations, and both will give you perhaps the biggest reason of all to say thanks for turning what has become an ordeal into a bountiful celebration again. --Matt Hursh
'Tis the season for the dreaded student art show--a hiney-baring prerequisite for fine arts grads--and a chance for art lovers to uncover the next budding Georgia O'Keeffe or Andrew Wyeth. Three young women, talented and perhaps hungry to sell, are showing their work and their intensity December 1 through December 5 at Fort Worth's Texas Christian University. Meet Natalie Erwin, Kristy Laurent and Julie Williams at the free opening reception of Three, an exhibition of their screen and digital prints, ceramics and large paintings, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday at the campus gallery in North Moudy Hall, Cantey Street and University. Look for recurring themes of feminism, self-actualization and brooding in each work, straight from the telltale hearts of young artists. --Annabelle Massey Helber
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