Music of Nature & Grace—Kick off the holiday season with a dose of instrumental music that lulls you into deep relaxation. Eric Tingstad and Nancy

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Holiday Happenings

This year's crop of seasonal selections

Music of Nature & Grace—Kick off the holiday season with a dose of instrumental music that lulls you into deep relaxation. Eric Tingstad and Nancy Rumbel are back for their annual Eastside holiday concert series, playing some old holiday favorites, as well as selections of their original compositions. Everett Performance Arts Center, 2710 Wetmore, Everett, 425-257-8600. $14adv/$16. 12/16 at 7:30.

The Scariest Christmas Ball—A super-duper extravaganza! Check out the Bella bazaar, music and fashion performances, costume prizes, and other spooky surprises. Tickets can be purchased at The Fenix, Gargoyle Statuary, Hello Gorgeous, Wall of Sound, Madame Mosaics, Video Vertigo, Experience Shoe Company, or through TicketMaster (628-0888). The Fenix, 315-323 Second S, 467-1111. $22.50adv/$25. 12/16 at 8.

Holiday Gift and Craft Sale—Don't miss this event that features handcrafted items beautifully displayed in a gallery setting in the heart of creative Capitol Hill. Free parking and admission. 526 19th E, 328-7158. Free. 12/16-17, noon-4:30.

The Dina Martina Christmas Special—She's baaack... with a hilariously entertaining and sometimes touching holiday ride filled with song, dance, stories, special guests, and festive gifts for lucky audience members. Also featured is Miss Martina's charming and talented daughter, Pheobe "pocket full of smiles" Martina. On the Boards, Behnke Center for Contemporary Performance, 100 W Roy, 292-ARTS. $15 Thu and Sun, $18 Fri and Sat, $2 discount for students, seniors, and groups of six or more. 12/16-18 at 8.

If Ornaments Had Lips—Written and performed by Lauren Weedman and directed by Shawn Belyea, this black holiday comedy tells the story of Debraa, whose modus operandi is to dive into the dark depths of the season by forcing all her holiday guests to listen to her explain the emotional significance of each and every ornament that hangs on her tree. On the Boards, Behnke Center for Contemporary Performance, 100 W Roy, 292-ARTS. $10 Thu and Sun, $12 Fri and Sat, $2 discount for students, seniors, and groups of six or more. 12/16-19 at 9.

University Village's Annual Sharing & Caring Tree—Now's your chance to share the spirit of the season with children in need by selecting a gift wish ornament from the Sharing & Caring Tree. Shoppers can also purchase a child's gift wish and return it unwrapped to the tree for delivery to the child's home on Christmas Eve. Co-sponsored by the University Sunrise Rotary Club and Boy Scout Troop #186, donating to University Food Bank, Central Area Motivational Program, and Fremont Food Bank. University Village, Center Court, 523-7104. Gift drop-off times: Weeknights 5-8, Sat 10-6, Sun noon-5. 12/16-19.

The Nutcracker Puppet Ballet—Whirling ballerina puppets! Frolicking Russian bears! Don't miss out on this magical theatrical event. Northwest Puppet Center, 9123 15th NE, 523-2579. $8.50/$7 seniors/$6.50 children. Fri at 7:30, Sat-Sun at 1 and 3. 12/16-19.

Letters to Santa—Santa promises to respond to your letters this year, but ONLY if your drop them off in the correct mailbox! The mailbox is located near the rear of the Country Village (right next to Santa photos), 23730 Bothell-Everett Hwy, Bothell, 425-483-2250. Free. Mon-Sat 10-6, Sun 11-5. 12/16-19.

Annual Holiday Art Sale—Check out the largest selection of holiday art and gifts in the Northwest, with thousands of items in all price ranges and media. Help support students and emerging and established visual artists. Free apple cider. Pratt Fine Arts Center, 1902 Main, 328-2200. Free. 12/16-19, noon-8. (12/18-19: discount weekend, with all items 25 percent off!)

Interactive Live Nativity—Join the shepherds as they rush to Bethlehem to see the baby all those angels keep talking about; hang with Mary and Joseph in the stable; and (gasp!) experience the birth of baby Jesus! 10305 238th Wy SE, Issaquah, 425-392-5848. Free. 12/16-19, 6:30-8.

Citizen Scrooge—Unexpected Productions brings back this much-requested hilarious cross between Orson Welles' film Citizen Kane and the Charles Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol. Market Theater, 1428 Post Alley, 781-9273. $10. Thu-Sat at 8, Sun at 7. 12/16-23.

Poinsettia Festival—Enjoy complimentary coffee, tea, Winerbrod (Danish pastry), and holiday music inside greenhouses containing a sea of 60,000 poinsettias, from the tiniest two inch plant to the Grand Toparies trees. Molbak's, 13625 NE 175th, Woodinville, 425-483-5000. Free. Mon-Sat 9am-9pm, Sun 9am-6pm. 12/16-23.

Photos with Santa—No way will any Christmas ever be complete without a photo of your darling little child getting his picture taken while whispering sweet nothings into Santa's ear. You can even bring your dog along, in case he wants to sit on Santa, too. Country Village, 23714 Bothell-Everett Hwy, 282-2767. Thu-Fri 3-6, Sat 10-6, Sun 11-5. 12/16-23.

The Art of the Holiday Season Tour—What's better than a trip to Vancouver? A trip to Vancouver with a tour of selected group artist studios where you can buy one-of-a-kind works in ceramic, wood, glass, and other media. This tour of Vancouver features neighborhoods filled with festive lights and a visit to the home gallery of Trudy Van Dop, one of the most prominent galleries in Western Canada and home of an outstanding collection of contemporary Canadian fine art and crafts from across the country. Pickup from downtown Vancouver hotels, call 604-646-6636 for information. $56. 12/16-23, 5-9pm.

The Argosy Christmas Ship Festival—It's the 50th year of the Argosy Christmas Ship Festival, so come aboard The Spirit of Seattle, the unofficial Christmas Ship, decked with hundreds of shimmering white lights. Aboard ship, joyous voices from the Northwest's finest choirs sing holiday greetings; on shore, young and old gather around roaring bonfires hosted by Seattle's Best Coffee. The Argosy Christmas ship Festival cruises to over 45 waterfront locations throughout Seattle, Lake Washington, and the Puget Sound area, and benefits The Seattle Times Fund for the Needy, which supports nonprofit agencies providing vital services to thousands of deserving families and youth in our community. Call 623-1445 or visit www.argosycruises.com for times and locations. Christmas ship: $26.50/$16.50 children; Argosy follow boats: $17/$12. 12/16-23.

Issaquah Reindeer Festival—Little did you know that Santa's Reindeer Farm is located in Issaquah, complete with a two-story house, a runway for takeoffs and landings, play areas, and a row of spacious and cozy barns for the reindeer. Come visit with Santa during an evening event or listen to a story by an elf during a day event; check out all the reindeer, sit in the Grand Traveling Sleigh, hum to the South American reindeer tune, or watch Santa's big kittens frolic and play. Cougar Mountain Zoo, 19525 SE 54th, 425-391-5508. Day events: $4. Wed-Sun 10:30-1:30; evening events: $6/$5 seniors and kids 2-15. Wed-Sun 5-7:30, plus Mon-Tue 12/20-21. 12/16-23.

Holiday Ceramic Sale—In the market for a tax-deductible gift? Get your checkbook down to Seward Park Art Studio, where they're displaying and selling handcrafted pottery, sculpture, ornaments, tiles, and ceramic art in the interest of raising money for their non-profit ceramics studio. All purchase are 26 percent tax deductible. Seward Park Art Studio, 5900 Lake Washington Blvd S, 722-6342. Free. 12/16-24, Mon-Fri 1-8, Sat and Sun 10-6.

Northern Lights—Disneyland, eat yer heart out! Northwest Christmas Lighting presents the second annual season of the Pacific Northwest's only drive-through holiday light park, a mile-long journey through one million bulbs incorporated into gigantic animated displays. Be on the lookout as local charities and non-profit organizations hand out Lightbucks coupons for $2 off regular admission, because 10 percent of the gross revenue from each coupon redeemed goes back to the charities and nonprofits. Marymoor Park, Redmond, 230-5280. 1-4 passengers, $10; 5-15, $15; limousine, $25; bus, $60. 12/16-26, 5-10.

Gingerbread Village—Little gingerbread houses can be impressive, but nothing compares to the gingerbread houses and other amazing pieces of gingerbread art (like a Japanese pagoda, Dr. Seuss' house, and an animal Christmas party) that are on display at the Sheraton Seattle. All proceeds benefit the Seattle chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation. Sheraton Seattle Hotel & Towers, 1400 Sixth, 621-9000. Free, but donations accepted. Open 24 hours. 12/16-26.

The Holiday Survival Game Show '99: Millennium, Shlumennium—This year's incarnation features a wacky mixture of sketch-comedy and real-life game show with audience members vying for prize packages worth tens of dollars (playing game show favorites like Wheel of Karaoke, The Family Values Game, and the Really Tall Pyramid). And with the year 2000 rapidly approaching, the Game Show gleefully thumbs its nose at Father Time: Book a room at Ye Old Bed and Breakfast, circa 999! See the gorgeous contestants compete at the Miss Seafair Pageant of the Future! Marvel at the first Vegas version of the Birth of Jesus! Written by Eric Des O'del, Peggy Platt (Dos Fallopia), and composer/producer Lisa Koch (Dos Fallopia, Venus Envy). Presented by Tonguinchic/Way Out West Productions and Rain City Projects. Broadway Performance Hall, 1625 Broadway, 709-7994. $17-$19.99. Tue-Sun at 8, Sat and Sun matinees at 2, no show 12/25. 12/16-26.

Holiday Extravaganza—Village Theatre presents a spirited musical revue featuring traditional and favorite carols, pop hits, zany comedy acts, and exciting new music. Kirkland Performance Center, 350 Kirkland, Kirkland, 425-893-9900. $18-$25. Tue-Sat at 8, Sat and Sun matinees at 2, Sun at 7. 12/16-26.

A Christmas Carol—You all know the story... Scrooge (the penny-pinching man in devil's clothing) tries to ruin Christmas for all the good people of the Cratchit family, and eventually rediscovers the true spirit of Christmas. David Pichette and Peter Silbert alternate in the role of Ebenezer Scrooge. A Contemporary Theater, 700 Union, 292-7676. 12/16-24: $31-35/$25-29 children and seniors. 12/26: $20-24/$16-$20. Call for showtimes. 12/16-12/26.

Pacific Northwest Ballet's Nutcracker—PNB's take on this holiday classic features the largest cast ever of PNB School students (205), along with captivating choreography by PNB Artistic Director Kent Stowell, and magical sets and costumes by the renowned children's author and illustrator, Maurice Sendak. Seattle Center, Opera House, 292-ARTS. $12-$77. 12/16 at 7:30; 12/17-24, Mon-Fri at noon and 7:30, Sat at 2, Sun at 1; 12/26 at 1 and 5:30; 12/27 at noon and 7:30; 12/28 at noon. 12/16-28.

Feast—This exhibit focuses on the one tradition that every holiday includes—food! Feast includes work by such artists as Christopher Kroehler, Gary Nisbet, Lisa Poole, David Tupper, Nicola Vruwink, and more. Seattle Art Museum Rental/Sales Gallery, 1334 First, 748-9282. Free. Mon-Fri 11-5, Sat 11-4. 12/16-30.

The Teddy Bear Suite—Don't miss your chance to hang out with the Teddy Bear family in their rustic holiday cabin! Four Seasons Olympic Hotel, 411 University, 621-1700 ext. 3259. Free, donations to Children's Hospital gladly accepted. 12/16-31, 9-7.

Coupeville Holiday Art Sale—Head on over to Whidbey Island and buy some art—paintings, fine crafts, jewelry, sculpture, ornaments, and much, much more. Gallery at the Wharf, 26 Front, Coupeville, 678-3396. Free. Thu-Sun 11-4. 12/16-31.

Bellevue: The Magic Season—Where else to celebrate the holidays than beautiful Bellevue? Here's a sample of the treats downtown's offering during its Magic Season celebration: Skating at the Wells Fargo Ice Arena under the big-top tent in Downtown Bellevue Park, one block south of Bellevue Square, 425-451-2455. $5 admission, $2 skate rentals. Overlake Hospital Garden D'Lights offers 3-D "blossoms" fashioned from nearly 200,000 lights, accompanied by musical entertainment and treats. Bellevue Botanical Gardens, 12001 Main, 425-451-3755. $3 donation. 5-10. Main Street Magic in Old Bellevue allows you to stroll through Old Bellevue while enjoying a neighborhood enriched with over 80 unique shops and boutiques, specialty restaurants, holiday lighting, and festive decor. Old Bellevue, Main, 425-453-1655. Santa's Toyland Parade brings the jolly old man to town by horse-drawn carriage. The parade begins at the west drive of Bellevue Square 12/26 at 5:30, and free entertainment follows in the Center Court at 6:30. Bellevue Square, 425-454-8096. 12/16-1/3/00.

The Butchart Gardens—Head on up to Victoria this holiday season for a glimpse of some majestic gardens, filled with lights, decorations, and all the Christmas trappings. If your tummy starts rumbling after all that exploring, step inside the Dining Room or the Quarry Coffeehouse for some soul food or a hot cup of tea. Butchart Gardens, 800 Benvenuto, Brentwood Bay, BC, 250-652-4422. $9.75/$5 ages 13-17/$2 ages 5-12. 12/16 9am-9pm, 12/17-1/6/00, 9am-10pm. 12/16-1/6/00.

The Velveteen Rabbit—Remember that Margery Williams story about a velveteen rabbit that becomes a boy's best pal, until the stuffed animal's exiled from the house after the boy contracts scarlet fever? Whether you do or not, you don't want to miss Burgess Clark's stage adaptation of this timeless tale, as directed by Christine Sumpton. Set designer Edie Whitsett moves away from the traditional English nursery of earlier productions to impart an open, Scandinavian-inspired atmosphere. The puppets are an integral part of the staging, with all puppeteers fully visible and incorporated into the action on stage. Presented by Seattle Children's Theater. Seattle Center, Eve Alvord Theater, 441-3322. Adult matinees $20.50/evenings $19.50; senior/student/child matinees $14.50/evenings $13.50. Sat-Sun at 2 and 5:30. 12/16-1/15/00.

A Celtic-Balkan Christmas Concert—Presented by the City Cantabile Choir, this concert features a Christmas cantata scored for chorus, string quartet, and drums, directed by Fred West. Also enjoy Celtic songs highlighting the harp, pipes, and vocal styles of Irish and Scottish music, with guest artists Mary Sherhart (Balkan soloist), Trio Ruzice (soloist), Tom Deering (Macedonian tapan), Seumas Gagne (Celtic harp), Jeri Howe (Celtic harp), and Tom Creeghan (Uilleann pipes). Town Hall, Eighth and Seneca, 623-8632. $12adv/$15/$10 students, seniors, disabled, children under 12. Fri and Sat at 7:30, Sun at 2. 12/17-19.

Bronn Journey—The event you've been waiting for is here: Bronn Journey and his amazing Christmas harp music concerts, with so many dates and venues to choose from: Scottish Rite Temple, 1155 Broadway E, 12/17 at 2 and 8; Auburn Performing Arts Center, 700 E Main, Auburn, 12/18 at 7:30; Village Theatre, 303 Front N, Issaquah, 12/20 at 7:30; Everett Performing Arts Center, 2710 Wetmore, Everett, 12/21 at 7:30; Presbyterian Church, 930 Nelson Rd, Bremerton, 12/22 at 7:30; Shoreline Performing Arts Center, 18560 First N, Shoreline, 12/23 at 7:30. For information on all performances call 360-793-1610. 12/17-23.

Holiday Zoobilee—There's no better place in Seattle to experience all things wild than the Woodland Park Zoo. Get your photo taken with Santa in his zoo-themed winter stomping grounds. ZooStore, near the south gate at N 50th and Fremont N, 684-4800. Free. 12/18-19, 9:30-3. Or, watch a mini-performance of The Nutcracker performed by the Olympic Ballet while chomping on brunch. Rain Forest Food Pavilion, near the West Gate at N 55th and Phinney, 684-4800. Cost is in addition to zoo admission: $18.95/$9.95 ages 3-10, free ages 2 years and under. 12/18-19 at 9.

Santa Breakfast—Olympic Ballet Theater's throwing its fourth annual Santa Breakfast, which includes a yummy breakfast and photo opps with St. Nick, holiday music, door prizes, and OBT's Mini-Nutcracker, a condensed version of the holiday classic. Embassy Suites, 20610 44th W, Lynnwood, 292-ARTS. $18/$15 children 10 and under. 12/18, 10-11:30.

Santa Saturdays—Bring your kids to Santa's lair. He's setting up shop in Pike Place Market's Down Under arcade and Sanitary Market. Pike Place Market, 682-7453. Free. 12/18, noon-3.

Musical Holidays on the Hill—Join in the fun of a holiday celebration with the folks from Music on the Hill. Bring your kids to hear stories of Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Christmas. St. George, 2212 NE 125th, 669-6813. 12/18 at 10.

24th Annual IDHA Party—Come on down to the International District Housing Alliance's holiday bash. The goals of the party are to provide opportunities for elders to meet neighbors and to learn about community activities, but most importantly, IDHA wants the low-income elderly in the International District to feel welcome during the often lonely days of the holiday season. Donations for sponsoring an elder, raffle prizes, food, supplies, or cash would be greatly appreciated. FYI, IDHA is a nonprofit, community-based agency whose mission is to improve the quality of life for International District residents and Asian and Pacific Islanders of Greater Seattle by providing low-income housing and related services. Bush Hotel, 621 S Jackson, 623-5132. $5/$2 seniors. 12/18, 2-4.

Ye Merry Gentlemen—Performed by Seattle Men's Chorus, this show features new arrangements of seasonal favorites like "O Holy Night," "We Need a Little Christmas," and "Angels We Have Heard on High," as well as a new song SMC has commissioned in celebration of Hanukkah, "Over the Skies of Israel," by Robert Seeley. Other holiday goodies: a "Silent Night" singalong, a pompon routine to "St. Nick at Night," and a scenario asking: What if all your favorite TV theme songs were replaced by Christmas carols? Benaroya Hall, 200 University, 292-ARTS. 12/18 at 8, 12/19 at 2 and 7.

Victorian Christmas—Jump in a time-travel machine and transport yourself to a Victorian Christmas: The Tudor Choir and Players combine voice, brass, and organ to celebrate the Victorians of yesteryear who brought us Christmas as we know it today. St. Mark's Cathedral, 1245 10th E, 322-3118. Tickets also for sale in St. Mark's Cathedral Shop, 323-1040. $18/$15 students and seniors. 12/18 at 8, 12/19 at 3.

Keep The Spirit Family Holiday Concert—This celebration sharing the music and dance of Christmas, Hanukkah, and the winter season is presented by Tickle Tune Typhoon in cooperation with the Whistlestop Dance Company. Museum of History and Industry, 2700 24th E, 632-9466 or www.tickletunetyphoon.com. $10. 12/19 at 1 and 3:30.

King 5 Winterfest World Market—Arts and crafts from every corner of the world are on sale at this year's Winterfest World Market. Seattle Center, Center House, 684-7200. Free. 12/19-24, 11-6.

 
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