December is a special month. The world changes in a hundred little ways, from the music on the radio to the way people treat each other to the general flow of time.
The weeks fly by in a flash as we try to squeeze in all the shopping, family meetups, work parties, secret Santas and other festivities before the month is over. It’s a mad dash of obligations and fun alike.
Local businesses and venues try to make use of this very limited time to host special events they can’t the rest of the year, which is why a vast majority of the events this weekend ahead are holiday related.
If you’re a Scrooge, you can either turn your attitude around and head out there to try something new, or sit at home and cozy up with a drink in hand, pointedly consuming non-holiday media.
We won’t judge either way, but here’s what’s on our radar for the week ahead:
May Erlewine & The Motivations Holiday Dance Party
The Pyramid Scheme
68 Commerce Ave. SW, Grand Rapids
Dec. 13, 8 p.m., $15
May Erlewine is taking a break from her folk/Americana roots just for you, bringing together The Motivations, a seven-piece "dance-party funk band that dishes up boogie jams and classic soul cuts." The group's whole reason for being is to give you a space to connect with other people, get moving, and celebrate the moment. Since that's what the holidays are all about, this party only makes sense. Bring your dancing shoes and shake what Santa gave ya.
Murder Mystery Dinner
100 Monroe Street, Kalamazoo
Dec. 13, 6 – 9 p.m., $87
This event invites you into Santa’s Workshop to prepare you for the chaotic season of being a mall Santa — but being Santa might not be as jolly as you think. The eight-time winner of Best Mall Santa, Christopher Kent, and his assistant, Jingle, will provide you with all the skills to make you a successful mall Santa. Yet somehow, based on this event’s title, we think the night might not end so merrily.
12 Bars of Xmas
206 Grandville Ave. SW, Grand Rapids
Dec. 14, 4 – 11:59 p.m., $15
Put on your best holiday costume and get ready to crawl. An event ticket gets you one or two complimentary drinks at participating venues, drink and food specials, free cover, professional photographers, access to the crawl map, and a costume contest with a $500 prize.
818 Butterworth St. SW, Grand Rapids
Dec. 14, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., free to attend
Support some of the best local makers and pick up a gift made with love and consideration at one of the finest curated markets around. You can also grab some eats and drinks while there! This is one of the biggest, best holiday markets around.
Vegan Holiday Pop-up Market
1820 Knollcrest Circle SE, Grand Rapids
Dec. 14, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
The vegan pop-up shop is the perfect place to shop for food and holiday gifts that are free of all animal products. Shop more than 30 vendors without worrying what the items are made from.
Holiday Arts and Craft Show
150 W. 8th Street, Holland
Dec. 14, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
holland.org, (616) 834-745
Calling all holiday shopping procrastinators: Grab all your gifts in one go at the Holiday Arts and Craft Show. With more than 110 vendors to shop from, you’re sure to find a gift even for the person who supposedly has everything.
Jane Lynch’s A Swingin’ Little Christmas
20 Monroe Live
11 Ottawa Ave. NW, Grand Rapids
Dec. 17, 7 p.m.
Jane Lynch is more than just a hilarious actor and comedian; she’s apparently a musician as well, releasing A Swingin’ Little Christmas in 2016. Also featured on the album are Kate Flannery (Meredith Palmer on The Office), singer Tim Davis, and the Tony Guerrero Quintet. It’s genuinely great Christmas music with a few comedic twists — and they’re bringing it to 20 Monroe Live this holiday season.