Holiday Guide | December 15-21

See our local boy Bing on the big screen in the holiday classic White Christmas at the Bing Crosby Theater on Dec. 15.
See our local boy Bing on the big screen in the holiday classic White Christmas at the Bing Crosby Theater on Dec. 15.

Sun, Dec. 15 | Holiday Film Festival

Movies and Christmas are like apple pie and baseball — All-American. But just like apple pies and baseball games, it's better to partake with friends — or a whole theater of friends. So grab the whole family and come to the eighth annual Bing Crosby Holiday Film Festival to watch some yuletide classics. There are three movie showings scheduled and a live performance by Howard Crosby (Bing's nephew). As if that isn't enough, "On the Bus with Bing" is a newly scheduled event — participants will tour various places in Spokane that Bing frequented.    

Holiday Inn starts at 12:30 pm, High Society at 3 pm, Howard Crosby at 5:30 pm and White Christmas at 6 pm. At the Bing Crosby Theater. Tickets are available at TicketsWest or at the door: $8 for adults (all day, does not include bus tour), children 12 and under free. (ELI FRANCOVICH)

Mon, Dec. 16 | Allowance-friendly shopping

For a kid, an allowance can be limiting, especially come the holiday season. That's why the Vanessa Behan Nursery's Santa Express fundraising event is so neat. It's a store where kids ages 4-12 can get all their holiday shopping done. Prices ranges from 50 cents to $8 — i.e., allowance friendly. Additionally, volunteer "elves" are scheduled to be at the store to help young shoppers pick and wrap the perfect gift. Parents can wait outside and browse the Vanessa Village boutique, which offers plenty of cheap stocking stuffers.

All proceeds from the sale go toward the nursery. Last year's store brought in $80,000. The nursery hopes to break that record this year. The store opened on Nov. 23 and runs through Dec. 23. (EF)

Tue, Dec. 17 | Christmas-light stalking

There are Christmas lights and there are Christmas lights. Some households — especially of the South Hill variety — take their decorations pretty seriously. If you're one of these fine households, I thank you. If not, I suggest you jump in a car and check out the elaborate decorations. The best Christmas light hunting can be found on the South Hill, in the Manito Park neighborhood. Pretty much anything off Grand Boulevard is good hunting, but don't be afraid to venture farther in. And remember, trespassing is still trespassing, no matter how pretty the lights. (EF)

Wed, Dec. 18 | Sorting food, giving back

It's really nice getting cool things, especially during the holiday season because they're usually free (as in gifts). That being said, giving can be even cooler.  Did you know every time you gift something, your brain gets a little shot of endorphins? Disclaimer: I just made that up, but it sounds right.

Either way, consider giving back. One good option is volunteering at Second Harvest's Help the Hungry food-sorting event. You'll spend two hours sorting and boxing produce, bulk pasta, frozen vegetable or food drive items. Some notes: Volunteers must be 14 or older and be wearing closed-toed shoes.

Sorting starts at 5:30 pm at the Second Harvest's Asuris Northwest Health Volunteer Center. If you miss this one, don't worry, it runs Monday through Thursday and Saturday through Dec. 24. To sign up contact: 252-6257 or (EF)

Thu, Dec. 19 | Ships and Christmas trees

We all have our own horror stories about finding a Christmas tree. It's either the garden-variety "We drove all over and they were so rude to us and all the trees were anemic runts," or the hardier "I hiked for 30 minutes and then cut it down with my Leatherman Multi-Purpose tool."

That's cool and all, but chances are you never loaded your schooner full of fir trees, sailed them across Lake Michigan to Chicago, then sold said trees to German immigrants. Am I right?

Well that's what A Christmas Schooner is all about. It's a musical presented by the Spokane Civic Theatre based on real-life events that occurred in the 19th century. It's an award-winning production that ran for 12 consecutive seasons in Chicago after debuting in 1996, and here it's in Spokane. Check it out at 7:30 pm; tickets cost $22-$30. (EF)

Fri, Dec. 20 | Campbell House Holiday Tour

Ever wondered what a Spokane mansion circa 1910 was like? Wonder no more. Check out the historic Campbell House — in living color. Local professional actors will portray residents of the house in all their festive attire. Hosted by the MAC, regular admission ($5-$10) covers the house tour as well. The house will be open from noon until 4 p.m. (EF)

Sat, Dec. 21 | Seasonally appropriate alcohol

It's been a long week. If you've faithfully dragged yourself to every event mentioned above, you're bound to be tuckered out. So take a load off, don't worry about getting cultured, giving back or shopping for your significant other's present (well, maybe that last one). Instead, why not drink and watch the snow fall?

Of course, you'll want something warm — check out this deliciously sneaky concoction. You'll be serenading your neighbors with Christmas carols before you know it.

It's simple: Simmer one 32-ounce jar of apple cider with about three cups of white wine. Add one teaspoon each of cloves and nutmeg and two tablespoons of cinnamon.

Once it's all incorporated, take it off the heat and squeeze half a lemon into it.

Pour into glasses and add shots of Fireball — how much is up to you. (EF)