TODAY -- Christmas vocals: Bring family and friends to OLYMPIA CHORAL SOCIETY'S TIS THE SEASON concert at 7:30 tonight. The choir will perform classic carols, including I Wonder as I Wander, Christmas Time and Serenity (O Magnum Mysterium). The Olympia Youth Chorus also will offer traditional holiday favorites. The free performance is at Koval Center for the Performing Arts at North Thurston High School, 600 Sleater-Kinney Road NE, Olympia. Donations will be collected to support the Homeless Backpacks program. Call 360-915-3471.
TODAY -- Eastern Europe rocks: Join in an Eastern Bloc Party, complete with dancing, drinking and music with THE BUCHAREST DRINKING TEAM, made up of Balkan musicians from across the Northwest, and including the klezmer orchestra EREV RAV. It kicks off at 9 tonight at the Olympia Ballroom, 116 Legion Way SE. The evening features music from Balkan brass bands such as Fanfare Ciocarlia and Boban Markovic, as well as a liberal shot of Romanian folk music, 80s disco from behind the Iron Curtain and original compositions and traditional melodies infused with funk, reggae, bee bop, rock, and Latin rhythm. Tickets are $10. Call 360-359-8636.
TODAY-SATURDAY -- Gifts of native art: Discover a holiday fair with a native twist at the annual LONGHOUSE HOLIDAY NATIVE ART FAIR today and Saturday. It features about 40 artists, including nationally and internationally known artists such as David Boxley, Alex McCarty, Kayeri Akweks, and Linley Logan. Art offered includes weaving, drum making, carving, sculpture, painting, prints and jewelry. Enjoy native music and food as you shop. Hours are 11 a.m.-6 p.m. today and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday at the Longhouse Education and Cultural Center at The Evergreen State College, 2700 Evergreen Parkway NW, Olympia.
TODAYDEC. 31 -- Surviving Christmas and nuns: Holiday theater offerings are in full swing.
Harlequin Productions A CHRISTMAS SURVIVAL GUIDE takes a wry and knowing look at a stressful season at the State Theater, 202 Fourth Ave. E., Olympia. It runs through Dec. 31. Tickets are $12-$38. Go to harlequinproductions.org.
NUNCRACKERS THE NUNSENSE CHRISTMAS MUSICAL is playing at Capital Playhouse, 612 Fourth Ave. E., Olympia. The show runs through Dec. 16 with performances Wednesdays-Sundays. Tickets are $28-$39 at 360-943-2744.
Based on the childrens classic by Kenneth Grahame, Olympia Family Theaters WIND IN THE WILLOWS is playing at the Minnaert Center for the Arts at South Puget Sound Community College, 2011 Mottman Road SW, Olympia. It runs through Dec. 23 with performances Thursdays-Sundays. Tickets are $9-$16 at 360-753-8586.
SATURDAY -- Made with local hands: If you love a chance to skip the big shopping centers and peruse creative gifts from local artisans, DUCK THE MALLS is for you. Created to support local artisans and artists in South Sound and visual art programming at the Olympia Film Society, the annual holiday craft sale celebrates its 10th anniversary on Saturday at Capitol Theater, 206 Fifth Ave. SE. Hours are 11 a.m.-6 p.m. For more information, email email@example.com.
SATURDAY -- A Carlile Christmas concert: I'm so excited. South King Countys own BRANDI CARLILE and her collaborators Tim and Phil Hanseroth will perform an acoustic holiday show at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Washington Center for the Performing Arts. No, she won't be performing with the Seattle Symphony, as an unfortunate headline on the front page of Friday's Olympian said. (You missed your chance at that -- she played with the symphony in Seattle over Thanksgiving weekend.) Although she grew up an hours drive away, Carlile said this will be her first proper show in Olympia, so let's give her a big warm welcome, shall we? There are just a few tickets left -- they went fast at the reasonable price of $45. For more information, call 360-753-8586, go to washingtoncenter.org, or read Molly Gilmore's story at www.theolympian.com. Oh and don't forget: Brandi is collecting new, still-in-the-package, unwrapped toys for needy kids at the concert.
SATURDAY -- A new choir comes to town: Fresh from engagements at the Lincoln Center and Radio City Music Hall in New York, the Union-based ANNAS BAY CHORALE presents HANDEL'S MESSIAH, accompanied by the South Shore Chamber Orchestra. The concert begins at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Minnaert Center for the Performing Arts at South Puget Sound Community College, 2011 Mottman Road SW, Olympia. Tickets are $17 for adults, $13.50 for seniors and children younger than 12, in advance; $22 for adults, $19.80 for seniors and children, day of the show. For more information, go to annasbay.org, olytix.com, 360-753-8586, or read Molly Gilmore's story at www.theolympian.com.
SUNDAY -- Let there be light: The SEATTLE JEWISH CHORALE will lead an interactive community concert, LIGHT THE CANDLES: A HANUKKAH CELEBRATION FOR ALL, offering an opportunity for Jews and non-Jews to learn about and enjoy the holiday. Hear and sing songs of the season in Hebrew, English, Yiddish and Ladino some traditional and familiar and some contemporary favorites. The concert begins at 4 p.m. Sunday at Temple Beth Hatfiloh, 201 Eighth Ave. SE. Tickets are $6-$12 at the door. Following the concert, the audience is invited to a coffee and tea reception. Hanukkah treats and other goodies will be available for sale as snacks and gifts. And a community menorah lighting will be led by Rabbi Seth Goldstein.
SUNDAY -- Support worldwide market: Shop for coffee, chocolate, olive wood carvings, olive oil, spices, honey and crafts at the ST. MICHAEL FAIR TRADE MARKET on Sunday. Items offered for sale are made by artisans around the world. Hours are 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at St. Michael Parish, 1208 11th Ave. SE, Olympia.
SUNDAY -- Go, Frodo, Go: Revisit the world of hobbits and wizards on the big screen at the LORD OF THE RINGS TRILOGY MARATHON on Sunday at the Regal Martin Village Stadium 16, 5400 Martin Way E., Lacey, and Century Olympia theaters, 625 Black Lake Blvd. SW, Olympia. The marathon will refresh your memory of Middle Earth in advance of the Dec. 14 opening of The Hobbit. The marathons kick off at 11:15 a.m. in Lacey and 11 a.m. in Olympia. Tickets are $30 for all three movies.