Southwestern holiday swing.
It’s become a South Austin tradition. Two of the 04’s favorite rock and blues musicians, Guy Forsyth and Carolyn Wonderland, round up a band of merry pranksters for unique interpretations of old chestnuts. Inventing a couple of new, irreverent pastimes along the way, the locals’ Christmas disc, Fireside Songs for the Soul, indicates a broad taste in holiday music – John Lennon, John Prine, and Charles Brown – so expect similar nontraditional fare and a warm spiritual buzz afterward. – Jim Caligiuri
Local quartet These Mad Dogs of Glory buffs up its roots rock tendencies with steel guitar twang that deserves a two-step as much as headbanging. Second release Sweet Appalachia has already crept onto local “Best of” lists with the help of Austin music mistress Laurie Gallardo’s Good Music Club series. Scuffed, gritty, and raw, these guys are your new favorite bar jam. Thursday caps the group’s December residency upstairs in the cozy confines of Lamberts. – Abby Johnston
The fierce crew that brought us the Shakespearean Rose Rage saga is set to return to the boards with a new tale of feuding magicians in Depression-era NYC – but that's not until January. This is a one-night-only secret mystery vaudeville night-of-variety fundraiser, featuring the talents of Stephanie Delk, Djahari, Amara, Jack Darling, Toby Minor, Cami Alys, Shoulders, and more (and a sneak peek of the above-mentioned Invisible, Inc.). Jazz? Hot! Wear your nattiest Hoovertime duds and put the kibosh on all your cares and woes with some hooch and hi-test hoofin', bub. Thu., Dec. 20, 8pm. York Rite Masonic Hall
311 W. Seventh. $10
Nothing says holidays in Austin like scouring aisles and aisles of local art, crafts, and – thank God – beer. All while surrounded by tunes from one of many musical acts performing this year. Don't worry; Post Office reps will be on the premises to spare you from lugging all that holiday cheer home. Dec. 12-24, 11am-11pm. $5, weekdays till 7pm; $8, evenings and weekends.
Palmer Events Center, 900 Barton Springs Rd., 447-1605
It's privately funded these days, but lights are lights, amirite? Every evening has a theme with some manner of festive entertainment. Food and drinks will be available from local trailers. Park at Austin High School for $5 and the money goes to the school's orchestra. Through Dec. 23, 6-10pm. Free.
Zilker Park, 2100 Barton Springs Rd., 512/974-6700
Need something Austin-y (art, jewelry, prints, clothing, etc., whatnot, and then some) for a loved one this year? More than 125 artists and artisans will help you with your gifting conundrums. Special events occur throughout the month of December, so shop early and often. Through Dec. 24, 10am-10pm, everyday. Free.
The Marchesa Hall & Theatre, 6406 N I-35, 454-2000
Kids and parents are invited to create their own sugary abodes made from locally baked gingerbread. Through Dec. 23: Wednesdays, 10am; Thursdays, 10am, 3:30pm; Fridays & Saturdays, 10am, 12:30, & 3:30pm; Sundays, 12:30 & 3:30pm. $35 ($30, members).
Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave, 472-2499 x201
Features an exhibition by artist Paul Pfeiffer and a display of James Naismith's 1891 document the Original Rules of Basketball. You won't want to miss this in-depth and historical look into the sport of basketball. Runs through Jan. 13, 2013.
The Blanton Museum of Art, 200 E. Martin Luther King Jr., 512/471-7324
Between 250 and 300 cyclists are expected to take part in this friendly, socially paced ride of 12 to 15 miles. Riders will stop for cars and try not to block intersections along the way. This adult ride concludes at a different bar each week. Fiesta Beach, N. I-35 and Lady Bird Lake. Free.
Women's Basketball Vs. Cornell: Thu., Dec. 20, 7pm. Frank Erwin Center, 1701 Red River. $8-16.
It's the AGLCC's first ever Awards ceremony and holiday jam with your humble vinyl spinners DJs Fine & Dandy with Kate & Andy (hey, we know them!). 5:45-9pm. $35 for members, $50 for future members.
Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol, 701 E. 11th, 512/478-1111
Nosh and mingle with Austin's swingin' gay chamber. Third Thursdays, 5:30-8pm. Free.