Let’s start with that partridge in a pear tree. Is that really something you want your true love to send you for Christmas?
And two turtle doves, three French hens and four calling birds? To say nothing of six geese a laying and seven swans a swimming?
Sounds like quite a mess.
We have some better holiday ideas, and what with inflation and all, we don’t limit the season to 12 days. Why not celebrate from Thanksgiving all the way through Christmas?
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The area’s holiday offerings will provide families with something to do literally every day. On most days, you will have multiple options (although we could find not one presentation of maids a milking), but we will highlight one event for each day through Christmas Eve. And more events can be found at Events.KansasCity.com.
Here then is a daily dose of activities, from music and theater to house tours and ice skating.
Plaza Lighting ceremony: The honor of flipping the switch on the holiday lights on the Country Club Plaza will be shared by Royals left fielder Alex Gordon and manager Dayton Moore. Locally-based pop acts the Snow Globes and Gracie Schram are among the entertainers slated to perform before the lights go on. 6 p.m. Thursday. The Country Club Plaza. 816-753-0100. CountryClubPlaza.com. Free.
“National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”: The Plaza lighting spectacle isn’t the only way to kick off the holiday season. Why not spend a late night with the Griswolds? Midnight, Phoenix Theaters, Legends Outlets, 1843 Village West Parkway, Kansas City, Kan.
Info: Free; PhoenixTheatres.com
Santa Dives With Penguins: You can find Santa almost everywhere this holiday season, but the zoo is the only place you’ll see him swimming underwater with cute penguins. 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., Kansas City Zoo, 6800 Zoo Drive.
A Very Fifties Christmas (Nov. 29-Jan. 3): Hearken back to the good ol’ days, when an aluminum Christmas tree wasn’t tacky at all. 10 a.m.-4 p.m., 1950s All-Electric House, 6305 Lackman, Shawnee.
Santa’s Crayola Christmas Land and Santa’s Gingerbread Village (Nov. 28-Dec. 31): Keep the kids occupied here while you do some shopping. Just don’t forget to retrieve the little ones when you’re done. 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Crown Center, 2450 Grand.
Lawrence Festival of Trees (Dec. 1-4): Check out the trees and wreaths decorated for the season. 10 a.m.-8:30 p.m., Liberty Hall, 644 Massachusetts, Lawrence.
Info: Suggested donation $3. LibertyHall.net
Vaile Mansion (Nov. 28-Dec. 30): Visitors will find Christmas magic at this 1881 Victorian house. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 1500 N. Liberty, Independence.
“Christmas in Song” (through Dec. 24): Musical selections will cover the gamut from traditional to contemporary and secular to popular. 7:30 p.m., Quality Hill Playhouse, 303 W. 10th.
Kappa Gamma Holiday Homes Tour (Dec. 3-5): In addition to the four festive homes, there is a gift and gourmet foods shop featuring sweets and handcrafted gifts. 11 a.m.-8 p.m., homes in Kansas City, Fairway and Mission Hills.
Info: $25-$30; KappaHomesTour.com
“Handel’s Messiah” (Dec. 5-6): The Independence Messiah Choir will join the Kansas City Symphony and Symphony Chorus in performing this traditional holiday classic. 8 p.m., Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway.
“Kansas City Christmas” (Dec. 5-7): Joining the Heartland Men’s Chorus in performing a variety of holiday music will be special guests from the worlds of politics, drag, pop and beyond. 8 p.m., Folly Theater, 300 W. 12th.
“The Nativity” (Dec. 5-7): If you’re scared by giant puppets, get over it. Paul Mesner Puppets will bring the birth of Jesus to life. 3 p.m., Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral, 415 W. 13th.
Info: $9-$14; PaulMesnerPuppets.org
“Tubachristmas” (also Dec. 5): And if you’re scared by giant brass horns, get over it. Tuba and euphonium players will gather for a unique holiday performance. Noon, Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway.
KC Jazz Orchestra: The New York Voices, a quartet celebrating its 25th anniversary, will provide the vocals for the orchestra’s annual Christmas concert. 7 p.m., Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway.
Info: $25-$50; KCJazzOrchestra.org
“The SantaLand Diaries” (Dec. 6-24): This is David Sedaris’ comical tale of an elf’s short-lived career at Macy’s. 7 p.m., Kansas City Rep Copaken Stage, Thirteenth and Walnut.
“Wintersong at the Nelson”: The Grammy-winning Kansas City Chorale will perform holiday classics in a classic setting. 5:30 p.m., Rozzelle Court, Nelson-Atkins Museum, 4525 Oak.
“Tales of Winter” (Dec. 12-13): The Kansas City Women’s Chorus celebrates the coldest season with heart-warming music. 8 p.m., Rose Theater, Rockhurst High School, 9301 State Line.
Info: $17-$22; KCWomensChorus.org
Whoville Holidays (also Nov. 29, Dec. 6 and Dec. 20): The kids can have fun with the Grinch and Cindy Lou Who, who will be on hand for photo ops, and can make Whoville-themed crafts. 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m., City Market, 20 E. Fifth.
“The Nutcracker and the Mouse King” (Dec. 13-14): The story dates back nearly 200 years, but the Owen/Cox Dance Group and the People’s Liberation Big Band of Greater Kansas City put a modern jazz spin on it. 2 p.m., Carlsen Center’s Polsky Theatre, JCCC, 12345 College, Overland Park.
Info: $10-$20; OwenCoxDance.org
“A Spectacular Christmas Cabaret” (also Dec. 8 and 22): A 10-person cast and five-piece band from Musical Theater Heritage will perform a wide array of holiday music. 7:30 p.m., Off Center Theatre, Crown Center Shops, Level 3.
Christmas in the Park (opened Nov. 26; through Dec. 31): This is a Tuesday, so it isn’t likely to be overly crowded for your drive through the 300,000 lights and 175 animated figures. 5:30-10 p.m., Longview Lake Campground, Lee’s Summit.
“Jingle Arrgh the Way! A Christmas Pirate Adventure” (opened Nov. 21; through Dec. 27): Nothing captures the spirit of the holidays like a pirate captain at the North Pole; a Theatre for Young America production. 10 a.m., H&R Block City Stage Theater, Union Station, 30 W. Pershing.
“The Nutcracker” (Dec. 6-24): Even if you don’t like ballet, chances are you’ll enjoy this classic performed by the Kansas City Ballet. 7:30 p.m., Muriel Kauffman Theatre, Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway.
Dickens Carolers (Dec. 19-21): They don’t go door to door, but these singers do dress in turn-of-the-century costumes and harmonize holiday favorites. 8 p.m., Chestnut Fine Arts Center, 234 N. Chestnut, Olathe.
“Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins” (Dec. 20-21): The Paul Mesner Puppets will bring this children’s tale to life. 6 p.m., White Theatre, Jewish Community Center, 5801 W. 115th, Overland Park.
Christmas Festival (Dec. 18-21): To celebrate the Sunday before Christmas, the Kansas City Symphony will perform with the Allegro choir, handbell ensemble Rezound!, vocalist Whitney Claire Kaufman and organist Jan Kraybill in a holiday spectacular. 2:30 and 7 p.m., Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway.
“A Very Late Night Christmas” (Dec. 5-22): This Late Night Theatre cabaret-like production is not for the kiddos. 8 p.m., Missie B’s, 805 W. 39th.
Info: $18; Tickets.CTO.UMKC.edu
Trans-Siberian Orchestra: A musical group that is neither from Siberia nor an actual orchestra will perform its new rock opera, “The Christmas Attic.” 4 and 8:15 p.m., Sprint Center, 1407 Grand.
Crown Center Ice Terrace (opened Nov. 7; through mid-March): What could be more romantic than spending Christmas Eve on the ice with your honey? 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Crown Center, 2450 Grand.