This sentimental perennial is a holiday chestnut. A man learns that he's made a difference in the lives of others, and an angel gets its wings.
Clear that dead reindeer off the Lonely Highway, friends and neighbors, as everybody's favorite affable-and-yet-fucking-scary-snaggletoothed-hillbilly
is granted a reprieve from his relentless cage-fighting schedule by Mephistopheles and returns to pervert the Hyde Park stage for one night only
in this … uh … this Christmas special
unlike any other. Wed., Dec. 18, 8pm (2013), $16
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. 17-24, 11am-11pm. $7 (free, kids).
Palmer Events Center, 900 Barton Springs Rd.
Still bright and free after all these years. Every day has live entertainment, myriad photo ops, and, of course, funnel cake. Go online for a schedule of shuttles and other transpo options. You can pay online for parking or a pass that lets you cut everyone in line. Bike racks will be available for your pedal pushers. Every day through Dec. 22, 7-10pm. 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 135 artists and artisans will help you with your gifting conundrums. Special events occur throughout the month of December, so shop early and often. Every day through Dec. 24, 10am-10pm. Free.
The Marchesa Hall & Theatre, 6406 N I-35, 512/494-6178
This local coffee shop has been stepping up its holiday-light game for years. Every hour on the hour the lights and music explode with the spirit of the holidays. Through Dec. 31, 6-11pm. Free.
Mozart's Coffee Roasters, 3825 Lake Austin Blvd., 512/477-2900
Let's give ourselves the gift of victory this holiday season. Fri., Dec. 13, 7:30pm, vs. Chicago; Wed., Dec. 18, 7:30pm; both vs. San Antonio. $17-47.
Cedar Park Center, 2100 Avenue of the Stars, Cedar Park, 512/600-5000
There will be past Olympians and world championship team members taking to the board to see who is the best in the country. There will be so little splash you'll barely know they're diving. Through Sun., Dec. 22.
Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swim Center, MLK & Trinity, 512/471-7771
Who will win the coveted "They're Givin' It Away," and "Social Media Diva" awards. We humbly note that a certain batch of unicorns and this very newspaper picked up a couple of CeeCees last year. That's what we call them CeeCee awards. Let's hope that sticks. 6:30-9pm. $60-225.
Chez Zee, 5406 Balcones, 512/454-2666