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SAT 12/6

This time of year, you can't swing a cat without hitting some event or other that exists to please and/or amuse the children. The little runts are indulged at every turn, to which we say, "Good." Everybody was a kid once, and if you can't remember the poorly suppressed joy that shrieked out of your mouth every time it opened during the month of December, you deserve that Scotch-induced headache.

For those adults who are alive and rollicking during this most festive of seasons, here is yet another event for you to share with the nippers in your life. The American Chamber Chorale presents its Home for Christmas concert at 8 p.m. at the Concordia Lutheran Church (505 South Kirkwood Road; call 314-416-7564 for tickets). In addition to the beautiful chorale music they always perform, tonight the singers debut The Boy Who Laughed at Santa Claus, a new composition by Eric Whitacre to be performed with the aid of the Bob Kramer Marionettes and the Festive Ringers Handbell Choir. Tickets are $15. -- Paul Friswold

Captain Book
And his junior officers

WED 12/3

Arrrr, me little mateys! Are ye up for some swashbuckling fun? Then slip on your eye patches and peg legs, and sail over to the Florissant Valley branch of the St. Louis County Library (195 New Florissant Road South) for mapmaking, sea tales, treasure hunting and other pirate fun from 3:45 to 5 p.m.

The event is geared toward buccaneers ages six to twelve; for more info, call 314-921-7200 or head to Avast, Cap'n Crunch! There are wee pirates afoot, ready to fly the Jolly Roger and pillage the stacks! -- Tom R. Arterburn

Sugar Walls

THUR 12/4

If you have trouble getting your kids to eat candy -- and who doesn't? -- you can try making it fun by turning it into an art project, like "Gumdrop Mountain" at the Richmond Heights Community Center. There they'll learn the basics of high-fructose adhesives and graham-cracker foundations; they can fiddle with baroque gumdrop applications or stick with the tiny, Romanesque windows of gingerbread. Or, if you're lucky, they'll buy out the other kids' quaint little bungalows, raze them and make a graham-cracker strip mall.

Test your child's architectural/real estate-broker abilities at Gumdrop Mountain at the Heights (8001 Dale Avenue, 314-645-1476), either from 10 a.m. to noon for the three- to five-year-old set (with parent, of course) or from 6 to 7 p.m. for the more mature ones (ages six to twelve). Each kid can build his or her dream sugar shack for $10 to $12. -- Mark Dischinger

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