Toy commercials blanket the airwaves, it's getting colder with each passing day, and children everywhere are beginning their yearly nag-fest for the latest Tickle Me Elmo or whatnot. Yes, Christmastime is here again. Goody. If you're not exactly looking forward to the holiday season and its exhausting gift shopping; burned gingerbread men; Christmas music on a continuous, nauseous loop; spending time with family; and spinning yarns about a lard-ass, bearded old man, head to the Ukrainian Event Center's International Christmas Festival for a breath of fresh holiday air. The festival will feature several cultures' Christmas traditions along with performances and music that (probably) doesn't include listening to the Spice Girls butcher carols or watching It's a Wonderful Life for the umpteenth time. Learn how Christmas is celebrated in Hungary, where they don't decorate the Christmas tree until Christmas Eve; the Czech Republic, where children believe that Jesus, not Santa, brings the presents; and, of course, Ukraine, where festivities are a mixture of Pagan and Christian rituals. Lunch also will be served and includes cabbage rolls, sausage, pierogies (stuffed dumplings), and borscht (vegetarian soup). $1-$5. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. 301 Main St. NE, Minneapolis; 612.379.1956.
Sun., Nov. 30, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., 2008