Hanukkah, and Winter Solstice! Two holy days for the price of one -- can't beat that.
The first thing you can do this week is bring your kids to the Citadel Mall. The Children's Museum there is offering a workshop from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. called Holiday Cooking is a Pinch for kids 4 and up. Parents don't have to be present for the workshop, so here is your chance to get that last minute shopping done. Trained professionals look after your young 'uns. Admission is $12 to $15, and includes museum admission. Pre-registration is required; call 574-0077.
I can prove there is a Santa. Wanna know how? Here's how: the jolly old fat man brought a special treat to Jos's tonight -- a band that plays music that is not Christmas-related! And that, boys and girls, proves that there is a Santa, if not God. Paul Galaxy and the Galactix are rockabilly-ing their way into Jos Muldoon's, 222 N. Tejon St., tonight at 9, and again on Saturday. Call 636-2311. Be there or be square.
For those out there who need Christmas tunes to keep them merry and bright, never fear. Of course there's holiday music tonight, this time provided by the Colorado Springs Symphony. It's the Pops Holiday Spectacular at the Pikes Peak Center, 190 S. Cascade Ave. Tickets are $9 to $42 and can be had by calling the box office at 520-SHOW. The show starts at 8 p.m., and runs again tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Still wondering what to get your dear papa? Forget the neckties, he doesn't want a wallet, and no matter how cute the singing Billy Bass is, trust me -- he's not going to hang it in the den (or anywhere, probably). What you want to get him is something sports-related, something local, something signed by a famous person, maybe, say, Goose Gossage. Goose is signing copies of his book The Goose is Loose: An Autobiography from 2 to 4 p.m. at Barnes & Noble, 795 Citadel Dr. Admission is free. Call 637-8282 for details.
You didn't honestly think we would guide you through the holiday season without a single, solitary mention of the Simpich puppets, did you? David Simpich and his magic fingers and magnificent marionettes are presenting The Puppet Maker: A Story of Christmas, about a village artisan preparing a puppet nativity for the local Christmas pageant. During the snowy night, magic and joy come to the puppetmaker in a way he'd never expect. The show begins at 4 p.m. at the Broadmoor Theater (in the Hotel), 1 Lake Ave., and will run once more Tuesday at 4 p.m. Tickets are $15. While this is a family show, it's not recommended for kids 6 and under due to length and content. Call 577-5747.
Not everybody has the wherewithal to lay out the big holiday spread, but still, the Christmas dinner is part of the tradition. The Salvation Army is sponsoring four Christmas Community Holiday Dinners around town. On the West Side, the Odd Fellows Hall, 2228 W. Pikes Peak Ave., will be serving from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. -- call 633-8711 for information about that location. The Fountain Valley Senior Center down south at 57425 Southmoor Drive is also open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Call 392-7653. Over by Prospect Lake, the Odd Fellows Hall at 576 S. Union Blvd. is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Marian House Soup Kitchen downtown at 14 W. Bijou is serving dinner too, but as of press time they are currently full. Call 475-7314 to find out more about the Marian location. If you aren't near any of these places, buses will be picking people up at Colorado College, as well as UCCS and five other locations around town. For bus info and if you want to donate food or money, call 636-3891, extension 16. If you want to help serve or prepare food, call the location.
December is just chock full of holidays ... not only is today Boxing Day in England and other England-ish countries, it's also the beginning of Kwanzaa -- the holiday by and for African-Americans. Kwanzaa celebrates the many achievments of African-Americans, as well as their history and culture. The Hillside Community Center, 925 S. Institute St., plays host to the Kwanzaa Cultural Celebration this week, which features and African-American Community Unity Night this afternoon from 3 to 5 p.m., an African marketplace next Thursday at 6 p.m. and a Unity Feast on Friday, also at 6 p.m.. Admission is free. Call 473-6566 to find out more.
I don't know about you people, but I leave my tree up until Jan. 1, then I promptly throw it out in the woodpile, sans ornamentation. But, if you just can't handle it any more and have to get the automatic needle shedder out of your house, take it over to the Christmas TreeCycle location in the Penrose Equestrian Center parking lot, 1045 W. Rio Grande. Make sure you remove ALL of the tinsel first. (Let us pause to consider tinsel. It's not that great. Little critters, varmints and birds can eat it and die. And it doesn't disappear once you throw it out -- foil isn't exactly the most biodegradable substance. To top it all off, it is no longer 1962 and tinsel is not "retro." So, to recap: tinsel bad, popcorn strings and paper chains good.) The TreeCycle center is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. every day until Jan. 7. For details, call 520-6711.
So Santa didn't leave enough high-sticking, speed-skating, lip-splitting sports shenanigans under the tree for you this year? Thank goodness the Colorado Gold Kings hockey team isn't taking time off for the holidays -- they've got a game against the Bakersfield Condors tonight at 7:05 p.m. (Right. They don't even have snow in Bakersfield. We are so gonna win.) The match is on the ice at the World Arena, 3185 Venetucci Blvd. Tickets are $10 to $15. Call 576-2626 or visit http://www.coloradogoldkings.com/.