LoDo Aglow demonstrates the light stuff

Categories: Christmastime

The windows of the Oxford Hotel, which won first place.
Entries in the third annual LoDo Aglow contest -- for which 22 businesses in lower downtown decorated their windows -- ranged from the sublime to the ridiculous.

The really ridiculous. Who knew that one of Santa's elves was a pole dancer? But that was just one of the revelations in the over-the-top, silver-and-blue display at the Oxford Hotel, which took first prize.

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Crappy Christmas crafting at MCA over the weekend (PHOTOS)

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J. Wohletz
MCA Denver after dark.
The Cheap Christmas Crapfare at the Museum of Contemporary Art was a festival of joyful hipsters, free eggnog -- and the finest paper plate wreaths in the city. Part of MCA Denver's "Black Sheep Fridays," Friday evening's crappy craft-making party was lively, and there was plenty of crap to keep everyone amused.

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Photos: Top ten Christmas gifts from the Dollar Tree

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J. Wohletz
The spirit of gift-giving seems to have gotten seriously lost, what with people getting seasoned with pepper-spray and countless hordes of poor suckers using their credit cards like drunken whores. So why not say "Fuck Mastercard!" and give some affordable presents that everyone on your list will appreciate -- and remember for years to come. The Dollar Tree offers one-stop shopping this holiday season, with something odd for everyone -- your twisted sister-in-law, your pissy goth tweenager, your bible-humping neighbor -- and maybe even something nice for yourself.

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Have a crap-tastic evening of cheap Christmas crafting at the Museum of Contemporary Art tonight

If you need gifts for your friends and relatives and you've got no Cheddar to spare, then the Cheap Christmas Crapfare at the Museum of Contemporary Art is the place for you tonight.

At the Crapfare, which is part of MCA Denver's "Black Sheep Fridays," you'll learn how to make the crappiest of gifts with the crappiest of materials, gifts like cotton-ball snowmen, clothespin reindeer and macaroni art -- all while listening to DJ Postman slap some down tunes (ideally not crappy ones, but who knows, maybe Coldplay?) and slurping free eggnog.

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Kinksters bear it all for a good cause (PHOTOS)

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J. Wohletz
The Denver Boys of Leather showed its softer side Friday night at the Build-a-Bear store in the Cherry Creek Shopping Center for their fifth annual holiday fundraiser. DBL members came to stuff, dress and accessorize puppies and bears to donate to a local child advocacy organization, and they looked good doing it in their snazzy new black and green uniforms.

The leather-clad band of brothers -- and sisters -- frolicked like kids, watched the fluff machine cram their creations with stuffing, and after the last small sweater was chosen and the last little pair of shoes was tied, 53 toys were ready to go out and bring some holiday cheer to underprivileged children. It wasn't certain who actually had more fun -- the uber-friendly staff or the merry group of kinksters, but it's the Christmas season, so watching leather folks putting tiaras on little pink bears was sweet enough to remember all year long.

Check out the adventures in bear-building:

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Build bears with kinksters for a good cause

There's nothing that screams "happy holidays" like leather boys making teddy bears for kids, and the Denver Boys of Leather are holding their 5th annual Build-a-Bear charity event at the Cherry Creek Shopping Center from 7 to 9 p.m. on Friday, December 9.

"It's a bunch of kinky people coming together and making stuffed bears, monkeys and Hello Kitties to support a child advocacy group," says DBL member MasterSquirrel.
He goes on to explain that Denver Boys of Leather is a community-based group of submissives, slaves and other service-minded kinksters and leather folks who come together to socialize, and they hope to get "as many bears as we can out the door this year for the children."

So will anyone actually be wearing their leather to the event? Master Squirrel says, "there will be a few in leather pants and vests, but no jockstraps. We are right across from Santa, so we have to be appropriate," he chuckled.

The event will be held at the Build-A-Bear store at the Cherry Creek Shopping Center, located at 3000 East First Avenue.

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Occupy Christmas: What protesters could learn from the true meaning of the holidays

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Please don't steal Christmas, Occupy Movement.
There once was a Grinch who hated Christmas. By extension, he also hated a group of creatures called Whos who loved Christmas, and so one night he snuck into their village and stole all of their Christmas presents, which did not deter them from celebrating Christmas anyway, and then the Grinch learned the meaning of Christmas and everybody was happy.

Cool story, except in the real world, Christmas is about presents and true justice can only be applied through force. But there is a lesson we can take from this Dr. Seuss-penned tale if we see it as an allegory, and in that allegory, Occupy Protesters are the Grinch who Ruined Christmas with Shiftlessness.

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I'm an idiot, and other misconceptions about retail employees

If only I was the Criss Angel of retail.
When I'm not interviewing drag queens, reviewing concerts and rating Santas for Westword, I'm working at Shirt Folding Store. For twenty hours a week, I fold shirts (and, more important, jeans) alongside other part-timers, who in their other jobs might be bank tellers, professional eBay auctioneers, art-history majors and spoken-word artists.

I have held my position at Shirt Folding Store off and on since 2006, and to a surprisingly great degree, have very much enjoyed telling customers how cute she (or he, if/when a man is forced into Shirt Folding Store by his wife/mother/girlfriend to try on clothes) looks in the jeans I have so painstakingly helped them pick out. For a non-commissioned salesperson, I go to great lengths to make sure my customers leave Shirt Folding Store in love (or at least in like) with a perfect pair of jeans. I love my job.

This is why I get so pissed off when I encounter an asshole.

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Kentucky Claus & the Rebel Elves opens tonight at Denver's Dangerous Theatre

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Alex Xiao Wu (left to right), Uri Talmor, Ryan Danielson, Devin Jamroz, Colin Swan and Ben Hauth.
This year's holiday play at Denver's Dangerous Theatre has everything you could ever want to see: rednecks, guns, cussing, sex, violence, intrigue -- and an angel in his underwear. Kentucky Claus & the Rebel Elves, which opens tonight, is an hour and 45 minutes of backwoods insanity, starting with six brothers whose Christmas isn't turning out to be so bright and cheery: Their truck won't start, there's a blizzard, and the eggnog is snowed in the shed. With no way to pick up their girlfriends -- and their Christmas supper -- they take to the woods in search of something to shoot for dinner, and end up popping a cap in jolly old St. Nick.

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It ain't easy being elfish: The SantaLand Diaries opens tonight at the Dairy Center

Geoffrey Kent as Crumpet.
A few years ago, when actor Gary Culig abandoned his beloved longtime role as Crumpet the Elf in the Bug Theatre's perennial holiday production of The SantaLand Diaries, he left the local field wide open for a new kind of Crumpet, the sourly wry Macy's elf based on the true adventures of humorist David Sedaris. On cue, Geoffrey Kent of the Boulder Ensemble Theatre jumped right into Crumpet's pointy little shoes in 2009 and claimed the sprightly gear as his own.

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