Alibi V.18 No.49 • Dec 3-9, 2009 

Culture Shock

’Tis the Season

The holiday season is in full swing, and there’s no use fighting it, Scrooge. It doesn't all have to be canned Christmas music and harried shopping. Instead, focus on the fun and festive aspects and leave the schlock and stress to someone else.

Maybe you don't celebrate Christmas, or maybe your version is the strictly Santa kind. Vive la différence is what we at the Alibi say (we spend most of our days drinking wine and speaking in French clichés). Regardless of your religious persuasion, art speaks to all. See what we mean at Jesus: An Exhibit of New Art at Old Town's Open Mind Space (404 San Felipe NW). See a range of interpretations on this Christ-y theme from a variety of artists, including Travis Bruce Black, Gary Eugene Jefferson, Kellie Pickard and others. The opening reception is on Friday, Dec. 4, from 5 to 8 p.m. (coinciding with Old Town's Holiday Stroll). For more, go to theopenmindspace.com.

Sure, the reason behind the season may be the Christian celebration of Jesus' birth, but OFFCenter (808 Park SW), Downtown's community arts hub, invites you to celebrate another very important birthday: OFFCenter's. Join the fun as OFFCenter turns eight, which means it's more than capable of making its own bed now. On Friday, Dec. 4, from 5 to 8:30 p.m., enjoy art and music by Bonnie Bluhm at the Birthday Bash and Gift Show. Pick up some holiday gifts as you help blow out the candles on eight great years. See offcenterarts.org for more info.

Speaking of candles, it's Hanukkah! Or Chanukah! Or some English approximation of the original Hebrew! On Sunday, Dec. 6, from noon to 5 p.m., head over to the Jewish Community Center of Greater Albuquerque (5520 Wyoming NE) for Chanukah Fest ’09. You want games? Done. Crafts and rides for kids? Please, no problem. Music, dance, shopping, food and a menorah ceremony? Where else are you going to get all that—Wal-Mart? This event is open to all. Tickets are $6 for adults, $4 for kids 3 to 17, and free for the viklkinds. Go to jccabq.org for information on ticket ordering and such.