You know that wacky family on your block that always goes overboard with the Christmas decorations every year? The one that always manages to come up with a new and different way of working Santa and his reindeer into the Nativity scene with Jesus, Mary and Snoopy? You can see the glow from their yard two blocks away, and as you quickly drive by, the kids ask, "Why can't we decorate our yard like that?" You roll your eyes and grumble something Scrooge-like about how that family's electric bill is so high the children who live there don't get any Christmas presents. Well, this year take the kids to the Dallas Arboretum and show them some Christmas decorations that will put your obnoxious neighbor to shame. This year's Holiday at the Arboretum features a collection of 300 Nativity scenes collected from around the world, made of everything from cow horns and coconut shells to Waterford Crystal. And if the kids aren't totally amazed by the terra cotta manger from Italy, then let them get lost in the Christmas Tree Maze. Holiday at the Arboretum starts Friday and runs through December 31 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Dallas Arboretum, 8525 Garland Road. Special events such as visits with Santa, live reindeer and carriage rides take place weekends through December 19. Admission is $7, $6 for seniors and $4 for children ages 3 to 12. Call 214-327-4901 or visit --Jay Webb

Bell Tolls

Saturday is just right. Thanksgiving is, of course, no good. Neither is Friday; we'll be too busy skipping work. But Saturday--that's a fine day for a run. Even the leftover turkey's making its way through the body by then. Or, if you're unlucky, finding a warm spot next to your aorta to lodge for the winter. Running Saturday night offers still more digestive time. So why not, for the fun of it, run in Fort Worth, where the downtown's less blighty-looking than here? That's the idea behind the Jingle Bell Run for Arthritis on Saturday at 5 p.m. in Fort Worth. Meet at Fourth and Main streets, pick up your complimentary jingle bells and long-sleeve T-shirt, drop $25 for registration (or pay $18 in advance) and run. Run, damn you, run--before the Christmas ham beckons. Call 817-377-0371. --Paul Kix

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