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Holiday See & Do

Our picks for un-jaded holiday fun

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DEC. 5 -- And you thought your Christmas was crazy? Ring in the holiday season with the zany and hilarious A Tuna Christmas. This is the second installment in the trilogy of plays by Williams, Sears and Howard, which focus on the citizens of the tiny, fictional town of Tuna, Texas. As the happiest time of the year descends on Tuna, chaos breaks loose. Comedy ensues as the mysterious Christmas Phantom wreaks havoc on neighbor's yard decorations and as two actors attempt to portray a slew of different characters. A commentary on small town life and the South, this winning play might be just the ticket to make you forget about your own holiday chaos. 8 p.m. McGlohon Theatre, 345 N. College St. 704-333-4686. www.performingartsctr.org. (Meredith Kanitra)

DEC. 7 -- For the 30th year in a row, the less-fortunate are invited to see how the other half decks the halls. Maybe the last time you were up-close and personal with a three-story condominium was watching a rerun of The Cosby Show. Don't fret. The 30th Annual Fourth Ward Holiday Home Tour will show you the ins and outs of nine private Uptown homes in the grand Victorian style that this section is known for. Also featured are free horse and carriage rides and performances by hand bell choirs and carolers. This tour only last for three days. Don't miss you chance to peek inside luxury at its best. Noon-4 p.m. $20. Historic Fourth Ward, 9th & Poplar Streets. 704-651-4183. www.fofw.com. (Branna Calloway)

DEC. 8 -- Trying to think of something other than fruitcake to give good old Aunt Edna? How about a unique and heartfelt gift from the Eclectic Christmas Shopping Tour? At the first stop, visitors will enjoy hot cider and treats while browsing through the home and garden wares by local artisans. The next stop is an 1890 farmhouse with two antique stores and a special catered lunch. The day will end at Historic Gold Hill Village, which features a number of specialty and antique stores for you to peruse. This trip is a great way to shop for all those picky friends and family members, or even yourself. 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. $69. Leaving from Cabarrus County Convention & Visitors Bureau, 3003 Dale Earnhardt Blvd, Kannapolis. 704-463-0768. www.uwharrietours.com. (Kanitra)

DEC. 9 -- You've waited all year to hear Christmas music, and now that the season is finally here, you can't get enough. So why not add a little class to your musical selections this year? Lead by Alan Yamamoto, the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra and the Oratorio Singers present Magic of Christmas. This musical yuletide spectacular features caroling choirs, sing alongs, and special guest performers. This Queen City tradition is sure to please kids from 1 to 92. 2:30 pm. Belk Theater, 130 N. Tryon St. 704-372-1000. www.performingartsctr.org. (Kanitra)

DEC. 11 -- Take a whiff. You smell that? The sweet smell is coming from the burning flowers over at the Holiday Lights at the Garden. "Horse-drawn carriage rides and a 30-foot 'Tree of Light' on the Four Seasons lawn will add dimension to the other visitor favorites including the Orchid Tree and miniature mule team cart rides." Add a bit of Kahlúa to that hot chocolate while watching a singing Ol' Saint Nick strum some holiday favorites on his guitar. Festivities will conclude on Dec. 30. 5 p.m.-9 p.m., excluding Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year's Eve. Closed Mondays. $5-$10. Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, 6500 S. New Hope Rd, Belmont, N.C. 704-825-4490. www.dsbg.org. (Calloway)

DEC. 12 -- Did you ever wish you could turn your college hobby into a career? Although it's just a dream for most of us, that's exactly what the men of Rockapella did. Currently a quintet, the four original members were Brown University alumni who just liked to sing. Now this famous group is bringing their exciting sound to Charlotte for a unique holiday show. With old-time favorites and new, original music, these vocal powerhouses will make sure that you celebrate the season in style. 8 p.m. $30 - $35. McGlohon Theatre, 345 N College St. 704-333-4686. www.performingartsctr.org. (Kanitra)

DEC. 14 -- You remember how exciting it was to go to see The Nutcracker every year when you were little. Well, who says you have to stop? The North Carolina Dance Theater presents Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux's new take on the time-honored Christmas tradition. In The Nutcracker, Clara's new gift turns into a handsome prince just in time for a journey through the land of Sweets ruled by the evil Rat King. And in case you feel like you were just fed a sugar cube laced with acid, then everything is just as it should be. Trip lasting through Dec. 23. 7:30 p.m. $20-$69. Belk Theater, Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, 130 N. Tryon St. 704-372-1000. www.blumenthalcenter.org. (Calloway)

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