In case you weren't stuffed to the ears with holly and jolly, this week ongoing smorgasbord offers music, dance, decor and even Festivus, for the rest of us, in what's the busiest holiday weekend of the Tuscaloosa year.
• Thursday night, the Tuscaloosa Community Dancers brings back its annual production of Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker," with performances at 7 today and Friday, 10 a.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, in the Bama Theatre. As per tradition, Saturday's performance will be preceded by a Breakfast with the Nutcracker at 8:45 a.m., for a $5 admission. Tickets are $12 for students and children, $21 general and for $17 seniors, 60 and older. For more, see www.tuscaloosadancers.com.
• In 1969, Steve Sample and Fred Prentice joined the University of Alabama's jazz and choral programs for a fresh look at seasonal music that thrives still today: "Hilaritas" will be performed twice, at 7:30 p.m. Friday and 3 p.m. Sunday in the Moody Concert Hall on campus. Though each year brings new works, the show typically also performs arrangements by Sample and Prentice. Tickets are $5 and $7 for students, $10 and $15 general. www.uamusic.tix.com. 348-7111.
• Though others had visited the Dickens classic, Theatre Tuscaloosa returned to “A Christmas Carol” last year, after decades away. For 2017, much of the cast and crew and prodcution are the same, with Jeff Wilson returning as Scrooge. Performances will be 7:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Dec. 14 and 15; with 2 p.m. matinees Sunday, Wednesday, and Dec. 16-17 in the Bean-Brown Theatre at Shelton State Community College. Tickets are $19 general, $17 for seniors and military, and $14 for students and children. www.theatretusc.com. 391-2277. Santa and Mrs. Claus will visit in the adjacent Wilson-Carr Rehearsal Hall from 12:45-1:45 p.m. Dec. 16; admission is included in that day's ticket price.
• Caroling in place returns with the 15th Annual Holiday Singalong, 1-2:30 p.m. Saturday in the pet- and kid-friendly environs of Capitol Park. Thanks to The Tuscaloosa News and co-sponsors, food, drink, lyric sheets, song leaders and piano accompanist are provided free. Jennifer Hartsell, musical theater director at the University of Montevallo, will be at the piano, as Raphael Crystal, who played the first 14 Singalongs, has recently retired from UA and is in the process of moving back to New York City. For more, call 310-5287.
• Another comeback kid for 2016 was the lighted boat parade Tuscaloosa Christmas Afloat, hosted by Pirates of the Warrior. This year's starts at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Nucor Steel, floating down to the amphitheater and returning. It'll hug the Tuscaloosa/south side on the way down, and the Northport side on the way back up river. A fireworks show will follow.
• If spirits have fallen into an alternative location, Pink Box Burlesque, Downtown T-Town and 97.5 Birmingham Mountain Radio have a debut choice: The 12 Pubs of Festivus. For those not "Seinfeld"-savvy, Festivus was created by George's perpetually furious dad as a chance to air grievances, test feats of strength, and generally grump around the undecorated Festivus pole. This event, though, will be a pub crawl and scavenger hunt, beginning at 6 p.m. Saturday at Druid City Brewing, 607 14th St., with a list of 12 feats to accomplish, at venues including DCBC, Band of Brothers Brewing, Jackie's Lounge, Alcove International Tavern, Heat Pizza, Catch 22, Loosa Brews, Black Warrior Brewing, Animal Butter, Gray Lady, Icon and Green Bar. Of course all teams -- two minimum, and costumes are required -- that wish to imbibe should secure a designated driver, or use of a ride service such as Uber, Lyft or Joyride.
• While it's not nearly as old as "Hilaritas," the UA Opera Theatre's annual production of Gian Carlo Menotti's one-act “Amahl and the Night Visitors," with libretto in English, is rapidly approaching its iconic status. This year's will be at 3 p.m. Sunday in Bryant-Jordan Hall, the former chapel on the Bryce campus (you can't missed the winged roof). Seating is limited, and it often packs the house, so call ahead for your spot, at 348-7111.