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2 Electro-folk group Poi Dog Pondering plays a two-night retrospective starting tonight at the Metro. metrochicago.com
3 Tony-award-winning Broadway belter Faith Prince sings for one night only at Northwestern’s Cahn Auditorium. tic.northwestern.edu
4 Shopapalooza: One of a Kind Show and Sale Chicago, Dose Market, Do-Division Holiday, and Renegade Craft Fair are all open today.
5 The 1960s icon Jane Birkin sings French melodies at the Portage Theater. ticketweb.com
6 The indie-rock group The National plays the Aragon. aragon.com
7 Dream about sunnier days at the Escada spring trunk show at Neiman Marcus on Michigan Avenue. neimanmarcus.com FREE
8 Winter WonderFest at Navy Pier only lasts another month. winterwonderfest.com kid friendly FREE (Some activities are ticketed.)
9 Wisconsinite Justin Vernon brings his haunting folk crooning and Bon Iver to the UIC Pavilion. ticketmaster.com
10 Blow your kids’ minds with Blair Thomas’s fantastical puppets in A Kite’s Tale, at Nichols Concert Hall in Evanston. musicinst.org kid friendly
11 Take in verses from local writers at Poetry Off the Shelf. poetryfoundation.org FREE
12 Wilco headlines the Civic Opera House. Sold out—but worth a spin through Craigslist? civicoperahouse.com
13 Dr. Maulana Karenga, Kwanzaa founder, hosts this preholiday celebration at the DuSable Museum. dusablemuseum.org
14 Learn to froth like the pros at Intelligentsia’s three-hour barista class. intelligentsiacoffee.com
15 The University of Illinois Press publishes Obama, Clinton, Palin: Making History in Election 2008, out today. press.uillinois.edu
16 Songs of Good Cheer, an annual benefit concert, carols today through Sunday at Old Town School of Folk Music. oldtownschool.org
17 Need a dose of primal drumming? Catch the heavy Japanese beat of Tsukasa Taiko tonight at the MCA. mcachicago.org
18 Who’s not in the all-star cast of this season’s boffo romantic comedy New Year’s Eve? Find out.
19 Actress Barbara Robertson kicks off the new season of Cabaret with a View at the Pritzker Pavilion. millenniumpark.org
20 Catch a major exhibition by DePaul art professor Bibiana Suárez, now at Hyde Park Art Center. hydeparkart.org FREE
21 On the second night of Hanukkah, behold Chicago Botanic Garden’s kosher buffet with the Maxwell Street Klezmer Band on the side. chicagobotanic.org
22 George Hamilton stars in La cage aux folles. Need we say more? broadwayinchicago.com
23 Blockbuster juggernaut: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo remake, Mission: Impossible IV starring Tom Cruise, and Angelina Jolie’s directorial debut are out.
24 Watch A Christmas Story live (it’s a musical!) through the end of the month (or catch it on TBS tonight). thechicagotheatre.com kid friendly
25 Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, adapted from the Jonathan Safran Foer novel, hits movie theatres today.
26 Last chance to smell the roses at Blossom II: The Art of Flowers, closing New Year’s Eve. garfieldconservatory.org FREE
27 New Year’s resolution: Learn to grow food. The Essential Urban Farmer, in bookstores today, shows you how.
28 Quaff seasonal craft brews at Goose Island’s monthly Beer Academy workshop. gooseisland.com
29 Chicago natives the Waco Brothers headline Schuba’s tonight. schubas.com
30 Kids climbing the walls? By now, the lines have died down for The Adventures of Tintin. kid friendly
Photography: (Winter Wonderfest) courtesy of Navy Pier; (coffee) djgunner/istockphoto; (A Christmas Story) courtesy of TBS