It's time to spark up the Christmas spirit, if that's your bag, to laugh, sing or steep yourself in nostalgia. Here are some of the events happening around town that could set your inner yule log ablaze.
- The Santaland Diaries, until Dec. 29
Actor and comedian Ryan Beil is a hardworking elf in humourist David Sedaris's real-life account of serving Santa and the public at Macy's department store in New York City. Arts Club Theatre's Revue Stage, 1595 Johnston St., Granville Island. Artsclub.com.
- A Child's Christmas in Wales in Concert, Dec. 12 to 23
This version of Dylan Thomas's 1954 poem is a wistful piece about strange relatives, snowy adventures, awful holiday food and the anticipation of presents. Five actors will reminisce about childhood and sing Christmas carols accompanied by keyboards in this production that benefits Performing Arts Lodge Vancouver. PAL Vancouver Studio Theatre, Hastings and Cardero. Brownpapertickets.com.
- A Dylan Thomas Christmas, Dec. 14 to 16
Artistic director of the Vancouver Chamber Choir Jon Washburn has arranged an all-new set of carols and songs for this concert. Welshman Russell Roberts of Bard on the Beach will read Thomas's famous story A Child's Christmas in Wales. The Dec. 15 performance is a shortened version recommended for families with children nine years of age and older and it includes the Vancouver Children's Choir. Ryerson United Church, 2205 West 45th Ave. Ticketmaster.ca.
- The Nutcracker, Dec. 14 to 16
Ballet BC presents the Royal Winnipeg Ballet's production of The Nutcracker, set at turn-of-the- 20th-century Canada, replete with a hockey game and a battle on Parliament Hill. Queen Elizabeth Theatre. Ticketmaster.ca.
- Bah! Humbug! Dec. 15
Reconceived as a tale where Scrooge owns a pawnshop on Hastings Street, this adaptation of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol features 20 musical numbers. Jay Brazeau plays Scrooge, actor Margo Kane narrates, musician Jim Byrnes plays Jacob Marley and gospel and blues singer/actor Tom Pickett plays Bob Cratchit. The benefit for community arts in the Downtown Eastside takes place 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at the Fei and Milton Wong Experimental Theatre, Simon Fraser University's Goldcorp Cente for the Arts, 149 West Hastings St. Sfuwoodwards.ca.
- El Nino, Dec. 15
The Vancouver Bach Choir presents John Adams' nativity oratoria El Nino, a poetic retelling of Christ's birth. At the Orpheum. Vancouverbachchoir.com.
- El Vez, Dec. 15
Mexican Elvis (above) brings his MEX-mas! show to Fortune Sound Club for an early at 8 p.m. 147 East Pender St. Ticketweb.ca.
- A Retro Animated Holiday Package, Dec. 16
See The Snowman, which was nominated in 1982 for the Best Animated Short Oscar, three award-winning shorts from the National Film Board of Canada, and A Pink Christmas from 1978, which follows the Pink Panther searching for a festive feast, in this family-friendly program at Pacific Cinematheque, 1131 Howe St. Cinematheque.bc.ca.
- The Christmas Carol Project, Dec. 16 to 18
Classic literature and contemporary folk music meet in this production by a group of Edmonton-based musicians who've created a collection of songs written from the perspectives of their characters. The Cultch. Thecultch.com.
- Hotel Bethlehem, Dec. 18 to 23
"Who was the cad that would turn away a VERY pregnant woman?" asks this Ruby Slippers Theatre production that provides an alternate interpretation of the oft-retold events in Bethlehem. The Christmas comedy runs at the Firehall Arts Centre. Firehallartscentre.ca.
- The Nutcracker, Dec. 19 to 23
Goh Ballet performs Vancouver's only traditional Nutcracker at The Centre in Vancouver for Performing Arts. Ticketmaster.ca.
- Magic of Santa, Dec. 21 and 22
This holiday musical for families features larger-than-life characters that include dancing Christmas trees, rockin' reindeer and a singing snow queen. Pacific Coliseum. Ticketleader.ca
- A Christmas Reprise, Dec. 22
The Vancouver Cantata Singers celebrate the holiday season with a matinee performance of traditional and contemporary music that culminates with Franz Biehl's arrangement of Ave Maria. Holy Rosary Cathedral, 646 Richards St., 2 p.m. Vancouvercantatasingers.com.