Short List 

December 1 Thursday

With two museums and a growing number of galleries, downtown has become an increasingly important destination for the city's art-lovers. The self-guided tour night, First Thursday, is a great way to explore the offerings. Highlights include the Museum of Design Atlanta's exhibit Raymond Loewy: Designs for a Consumer Culture and the Sun Dial's monthly Paint in the Pods, which is offering holiday gifts for sale. Validated parking is available at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia at SunTrust Plaza. First Thursday: 5-8 p.m. Paint in the Pods: 7-10 p.m. For complete list of participating venues, visit www.atlantadowntown.com. (Coley Ward)

December 2 Friday

For the ninth consecutive year, B-movie star Chick Starley and alcohol-swilling imp Boozy are bringing their Christmas variety extravaganza from Hollywood to Dad's Garage in Atlanta. Chick & Boozy Present: It's a Hoo-Haw Christmas is a slapstick comedy with performances from the Dad's Garage ensemble, as well as the Dames Aflame Burlesque troop. $15-$20. Thurs.-Sun., 8 p.m. Through Dec. 20. 280 Elizabeth St. 404-523-3141. www.dadsgarage.com. (CW)

December 3 Saturday

The Alliance Children's Theatre's Einstein is a Dummy offers a musical glimpse of the geeky high school life of the world's greatest physicist. Atlanta actor Derek Manson enjoys the distinction of playing Einstein for the second time on the Alliance stage, having previously argued the meaning of relativity in Steve Martin's Picasso at the Lapin Agile. $12.50-$15. Sat.-Sun., 1 and 3:30 p.m. Through Dec. 10. Alliance Theatre, Hertz Stage, 1280 Peachtree St. 404-733-5000. www.alliancetheatre.org. (CH)

December 4 Sunday

For the past 13 years, WRFG-FM has held an annual Christmas silent auction. The gifts being auctioned at this year's edition aren't just expensive vacation packages and high-ticket items (though there are a few of those), but also include jewelry, CDs and all sorts of goodies worthy of being stuffed under a tree or in a stocking. The money goes to a worthy cause, funding Atlanta's community-run radio station. $15. Inman Park Trolley Barn, 963 Edgewood Ave. 404-523-3471. www.wrfg.org. (MR)

December 5 Monday

Christmas time and crunchy Canadian rock: Think those things go well together? If the answer's yes, check out the second night of 99X's Mistle Toe Jam, where Our Lady Peace will hold court. If the answer's no, then get there early and hear the soothing rage of Coheed & Cambria (who sing about comic books), Rehab (who rap about alcohol), and Living Things (who sing about Los Angeles). $30. 7 p.m. Tabernacle, 152 Luckie St. 404-659-9022. www.atlantaconcerts.com. (MR)

December 6 Tuesday

If holiday dreams of doll houses and gingerbread homes are dancing in your head, then the festival of trees might just be able to turn your daydream into reality. Not only does it include displays of these very things, but it annually transforms the Georgia World Congress Center into a holiday wonderland, with artfully decorated trees, wreaths and vignettes. All proceeds benefit Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. $6-$12. Tues.-Sat., 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun., noon-6 p.m. Through Dec. 11. 285 International Blvd. 404-785-6635. www.choa.org/festival. (Layla Bellows)

December 7 Wednesday

Still haven't figured out how you want to give back during the holiday season? hands on atlanta is the city's umbrella organization for volunteer opportunities, helping to place those who want to donate their time with service organizations who need help. Organizations currently in need include PAWS Atlanta, the East Atlanta Kids Club, the Atlanta Community Food Bank and the Salvation Army. For a complete list of opportunities, call 404-979-2800 or visit www.handsonatlanta.org. (LB)

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