Holidays 2011

Don't let the holidays get on the wrong side of you, take our advice on shopping, shows and more and you might just end up under the mistletoe.

An old roomie of mine once wrote a song called "Holidays are Hell" and I wasn't one to disagree at the time. In a big, lively city such as Chicago, however, that shouldn't be the case. The holidays are there for the taking, and inspire everything from great annual sales to new, quirky, non-traditional shows. Hating the holidays is almost as fun as loving them, it seems.

Holiday party fashion

We enlisted cast members from iO’s Joy! to model festive looks.

Gift Guide: What to give the extra people in your life

What to give your doctor, bartender and other extra people in your life.

Holiday-themed spa treatments in Chicago

Celebrate the arrival of the holidays with these spa treatments at Chicago spas.

Holiday beers 2011

Chicago Christmas beers that taste like pine trees (and several that don’t).

Ethnic holiday traditions

From Germany, Italy, Poland and France...and found right here in Chicago.

Five ugly sweaters stores

Where to find this year’s ugly sweater.

New holiday theater shows for 2011

We find eight new alternatives to Santaland, Scrooge and Bailey Building & Loan.

DIY photo card websites

Make your holiday greeting cards more personal with the help of sites like and more.

The gay days of Christmas

Check out 25 cool events to make your season more Mary.

Holiday gift guide 2011

We’ve got presents for every budget!

Winter walks

Cold days don’t put a damper on these scenic spots.