After running yourself ragged buying presents and hiding presents, wrapping presents and tying bows on presents, cooking hams and baking pies, you've had a lot of Christmas already (unless you're a last-minute shopper -- Christmas for you has yet to begin. Good luck!). With Christmas Eve at the in-laws and everyone coming to your house Christmas evening, it's going to be hard to schedule anything fun to do. But we have an idea: After the kids get you up at 6 a.m. to rip all that pretty paper and those pretty bows to shreds, and after you've grown tired of the most noisy toy ever invented, jump out of your PJs and head to the Ritz-Carlton St. Louis (100 Carondelet Plaza, Clayton) for their fancy Christmas Day "Gala Brunch" (call 314-863-6300 for your required reservation). The extra-long buffet meal runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Restaurant at the Ritz-Carlton. Grown folks pay $65, and the kids eat for $28 apiece (children younger than four are free) -- but the silence you'll enjoy while the little boogers have food in their mouths will be priceless. And, of course, if you don't celebrate the hyped holiday, the Ritz brunch serves you well, too: Movies always seem better on a full stomach. -- Alison Sieloff
Schlafly puts thirteen bottles on the cake
Schlafly, St. Louis' best brewery, is now a teenager. In honor of the occasion, Schlafly throws itself a party at the Tap Room (2100 Locust Street), with live music by the Rockhouse Ramblers (2 to 5 p.m.) and the Flying Mules (5:30 to 8:30 p.m.) -- and the return of 1991's beer prices! This, of course, means that you will be drunker than a teenager who just broke into Dad's liquor cabinet (maybe you'll even lose your virginity all over again). The teenage years are certainly a dark era in anyone's life, but as long as Schlafly keeps cranking out quality brews like its American lager, oatmeal stout and pale ale, it can cruise along comfortably numb for the next seven years. For more information call 314-241-2337 or check out www.schlafly.com. -- Guy Gray
Family, Community, Culture
And roller skating!
One of the best things about Kwanzaa is its newness -- the holiday's celebrations still have a fresh outlook since they haven't been done the same way for thousands of years, like those other December holidays. Take for example the St. Louis Kwanzaa Committee's roller-skating Kwanzaa event held at Skate King Skating Center (2700 Kienlen Avenue, Pine Lawn). Not only do you get to roller skate from 1 to 4 p.m. on the third day of Kwanzaa, you also get to learn about that day's principle: collective work and responsibility (Ujima). Bring $7 for your family to skate and learn, an additional $0.75 per person to rent some skates, and a can or bottle of juice to donate. And if you and yours aren't the best skaters, you may learn about "collective work" in a new way -- like how to keep the family members on their skates and not on their bottoms. Call 314-496-7911 for more information. --- Alison Sieloff
Still hunting for holiday gifts? Don't bother looking at another iPod, cell phone or khaki outfit. Come to the Craft Alliance (6640 Delmar Boulevard, University City; call 314-725-1177 for holiday hours) instead, and peruse the 40th annual holiday exhibition of glass ornaments. It'll restore your spirit and probably provide the perfect alternative to that shiny, plastic bit of mundane technology you were considering. -- Jedidiah Ayres