Five events better than prime time

By By Danny Letz

By Danny Letz

1. Bask in the holiday spirit amid Temple Square’s famous Christmas lights while enjoying performances from high school and college choirs, community choral groups, and other musical ensembles throughout the coming week. Concerts are free and open to all ages, so even one “bah humbug” excuse is bound to land you on the naughty list.

Thurs., Nov. 29 through Mon., Dec. 3Christmas on Temple SquareFreeAll DayTemple Square (15 East South Temple)

2. 2008 will mark the 50th anniversary of Salt Lake’s sister-city bond with Matsumoto City, Japan. Inspired by Dwight D. Eisenhower’s goal to “promote peace through mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation — one individual, one community at a time,” the sisterhood has sought to increase international cooperation, promote the understanding of diversity and stimulate cross-cultural economic development since 1958. In honor of this legacy, our fine city will host a week of Japanese culture, arts and crafts at the City Library. The festivities will include exhibitions of Japanese art, including origami classes, film screenings, an Ikebana demonstration, and tea ceremony exhibits.

Sat., Dec. 1 through Sat., Dec. 8Art Exhibit: Yujyo — FriendshipFreeReception at 11 a.m. on the 1st, Exhibit open all dayThe City Library (210 East 400 South)

3. Hasta el Último Trago…Corazón (Till the Last Drink…My Love!) is a celebration of the power of Mexican music and the female spirit. Detailing the endeavor of a number of female musicians/activists including Chavela Vargas, Lila Downs, Eugenia Leon, Astrid Hadid, La Negra Graciana and Iraida Noriega, this empowering documentary perfectly exemplifies the Salt Lake Film Center’s emphasis on social content and artistic excellence.

Mon., Dec. 3SLC Film Center Presents: Till the Last Drink… My Love!Free7 p.m.The City Library (210 East 400 South)

4. Sick of receiving all those cards but never any fruit cakes? Tired of wondering why your relatives reserve their finest holiday treasures for your smarty pants sister or one-foot-in-the-grave great aunt Ethel? Well, the SLCC Community Writing Center will show you how to become the apple of your family’s X-mas eye with its holiday letter writing workshop. Once you’ve learned to channel your end of the year gratitude into the perfect, manger-watermarked, holly-doodled, heartstring-tugging Christmas letter, that Red Rider BB Gun might finally be yours.

Wed., Dec. 6SLCC Community Writing Center Presents: Holiday Letters$102 p.mSLCC Community Writing Center (210 East 400 South, Suite 8 of the The City Library)

5. Who better to accompany you into the Holiday season than the pop culture god of Christmas cheer, Kurt Bestor? With more than 30 film scores and over 40 themes for national TV programs and commercials speckling the man’s Christmas tree of fame, it is clear Bestor can do it all — and even the good Lord would agree that Kurt Bestor’s Christmas: Volumes I & II stand as the celestial stars atop the man’s highest branches. Join the messiah of mistletoe at Abravanel Hall to start off the Christmas season in style.

Wed., Dec. 6 through Sat., Dec. 9A Kurt Bestor Christmas$17.50 to $37.50Times VaryAbravanel Hall (123 W. South Temple)