The Jackson Tacky Christmas party is Saturday at Hal & Mal’s. Image: Phoenix Club of Jackson

by Sherry Lucas

Christmas is around the corner (past a turn or two at the weekends), and if that tacky Christmas sweater (T-shirt, apron, vest or full-on bodysuit) hasn’t gotten its yearly workout, a couple of outings this week offer prime party visibility.

The notion always nudges a trace of nostalgia in me for a royal blue sweatshirt dress I used to own. If you remember the ‘80s, you’ll believe I didn’t stumble upon it while scouring thrift stores for some cheeky party wear, but actually bought it retail. Comfy and toasty with gel line designs, I loved it and wore it for years, earning it a lifelong spot in holiday snapshots, right next to the ex-boyfriend. I can’t pinpoint the moment it flipped the switch from festive to tacky in my mind, but eventually, it met the fate of all out-of-date holiday wear and joined the box bound for Goodwill.

I can only hope some fun girl stumbles upon it one Christmas, gets a good laugh and takes it out for a season spin again.

Sesame Street Live! Let’s Party! bring the show’s colorful characters to life and to the stage in a festive, interactive show at the Mississippi Coliseum, in shows at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Wednesday. Find tickets, starting at $15, at A pre-show experience, 12:45-1:30 p.m. for the matinee and 4:45-5:30 p.m. for the evening show, is $20 per pass and must be accompanied by an event ticket; also, children must be accompanied by an adult.

Sip and socialize, 5 p.m. Wednesday at a Popup Urban Tea Room at The Flamingo 3011 N. State St., where British custom and Fondren charm steep together with cool and eclectic results. Tickets are $15 unlimited tea for one and $25 for two, on Pastries will be available for purchase.

On Thursday, the Lucia Duque Art Launch Party, 6 p.m. at Sneaky Beans Coffee Shop, introduces the artist’s new watercolor illustrations (calendars, prints and greeting cards), with a celebration and invitation to all.

Don’t miss the opening for artist Rachel Misenar, Thursday at The Gallery at Deep South Pops (that’s at the Belhaven location). It kicks off at 6 p.m.

At STEM with Snowflakes, 10 a.m. to noon Friday at the MWFP’s Mississippi Museum of Natural Science, kids can experiment with instant snow, make their own paper snowflakes to learn about snowflake symmetry and more. It’s $6 adults, $4 kids ages 3 and older, and free for children younger than 3 and museum members. Saturday, catch the new Superhero Science event, 10 a.m. to noon., as Bricks 4 Kidz helps visitors build LEGO models of their favorite superhero. Want more fun? Catch Santa SCUBA dives to feed fish at 10 a.m. and 2 Tuesday and Friday and 2 p.m. Sunday, plus the “Be the Dinosaur” exhibit continues through Dec. 31.

STEM with Snowflakes is 10 a.m. Friday at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science. Image: Mississippi Museum of Natural Science

Historic Christmas at The Oaks, 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, is the house museum’s annual open house for the holiday season, with traditional and Victorian carols by St. Brigid’s 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., traditional decorations, light refreshments late 19th century style (hot Russian tea, gingerbread, fruit breads and cookies) and a gingerbread house door prize. It’s free.

St. Brigid’s entertains at Saturday’s Historic Christmas at The Oaks House Museum. Image: James Patterson

At Highland Village, check your Merry Christmas quotient at Friday’s Village Social: Tacky Christmas Trivia event, 7-9 p.m. The social includes a tacky Christmas sweater competition, prizes, craft beer or pop from Deep South Pops for participants and more at this adult event (parental guidance advised).

Priced to Move: Vol. 8, at 5-10 p.m. Friday and 2-10 p.m. Saturday at Lucky Town Brewing Company, 1710 N. Mill St., returns with the city’s premier popup gallery and sale, with all local art and all priced below $100. Admission’s free, beer’s right at hand for sale and live music adds a cool vibe. Shop, drink and listen local.

Saturday at 8 a.m., the UMMC Alliance hosts the community-wide Breakfast with Santa and Friends at the UMMC Student Union with hot chocolate, crafts for kids, carolers, Santa and Mrs. Claus and more. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children.

Banner Hall promises “Holiday Fun For Kids,” 10 a.m. Saturday, with an ornament decorating party at Lemuria, with “Puzzled by Pink” author/illustrator Sara Frances Hardy.

The 13th annual Jackson Tacky Christmas Party doubles down on fun, 9 p.m. Saturday at Hal & Mal’s. Tickets range from $20 general admission to $100 a couple as event host with VIP room access. Musical entertainment by DJ Mario jazzes up the main room, while the VIP room rocks to the music of the Jason Turner Band. Drink specials and heavy hors-d’oeuvres are part of this annual fundraiser organized by the Phoenix Club of Jackson, with proceeds benefiting the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Mississippi.

The Jackson Tacky Christmas party is Saturday at Hal & Mal’s. Image: Phoenix Club of Jackson

Events at the Mississippi Children’s Museums continue to take a holiday turn, with the exhibit Journey to the North Pole continuing through Jan. 7 and such Saturday fun as Santa Saturdays and a Gingerbread Workshop at 10 a.m. and the late-night pajama party ’Twas a Night at the Museum at 5:30 p.m. ($10 ages 1 and older or free with museum membership).

“Journey to the North Pole” continues at the Mississippi Children’s Museum. Image: Mississippi Children’s Museum

Cathead Distillery’s second annual Christmas Jam Saturday offers pictures with Santa 2-4 p.m. and live music 4-7 p.m., with games, crafts, food vendors on site and craft beers courtesy of Yuengling Brewery. Admission is free; bring the family and the pups.

Christmas in the City: Home for the Holidays, featuring Iron Chef Cat Cora and Motown recording artist La’Porsha Renae promises a night of exquisite cuisine and music at the Jackson Medical Mall, 7 p.m. Saturday, as well as the start of a new tradition. Event proceeds will be used to create a multi-generational arts and cultural center. Tickets are $35 general admission, $65 VIP, and attire is cocktail. Tickets are available at the Jackson Medical Mall, Suite 101; call 601-982-8467 for details.

The Mississippi Chorus performs Handel’s Messiah, at 3 p.m. and at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Woodland Hills Baptist Church. The performance of the Grande Chorus presents the Christmas portion of Handel’s masterwork, accompanied by members of the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, with guest soloists. Tickets are $25 on, with $5 student tickets available at the door. Children younger than 12 get in free.

The Mississippi Community Symphonic Band makes merry with music, 3 p.m. Sunday in a holiday concert at Christ United Methodist Church that includes all your holiday favorites. Plus, there’s a special appearance by the Mississippi Swing. The concert is festive and free.

The Mississippi Community Symphonic Band’s holiday concert is Sunday. Image: Mississippi Community Symphonic Band

An Advent Concert, A Season of Hope Divine,” 6 p.m. Sunday in the Sanctuary of Wells United Methodist Church, is presented by the church choir and instrumentalists. Favorite Mississippi baritone James C. Martin will be a special guest soloist at this free event.

Tuesday, drop by Hal & Mal’s for dinner, drinks and jazz with Raphael Semmes at Christmas, and enjoy the results as he shares the stage with some of his favorite local musicians. It’s 6-8 p.m. in the dining room; the performance is free.

A gallery talk 11:30 a.m. to noon Wednesday, Dec.  20 at the Mississippi Museum of Art by museum curator Jochen Wierich explores European and American views of Native Americans during the early decades of statehood. The talk, Beyond Nobel Savage: Native Americans in Art,” begins in the museum lobby.

On Thursday, Dec. 21, Museum After Hours: Mississippi Made at the Mississippi Museum of Art unfurls a popup exhibition of Mississippi artists’ interpretations of Laurin Stennis’ proposed new state flag design. Artists from across the state responded to Stennis’ invitation, incorporating her Mississippi: I Declare design into works in their own chosen medium. Come see the results in the popup, enjoy the music of jazz vocalist Pam Confer, dine, holiday shop and take in the bicentennial show, “Picturing Mississippi,” while you’re there, too. The free Third Thursday event starts at 5:30 p.m.; the store, cafe and galleries are open till 8 p.m.

H.C. Porter’s interpretation of Laurin Stennis’ proposed new Mississippi state flag design is among works in a Third Thursday popup Dec. 21. Image: H.C. Porter Gallery

New Stage Theatre performances of the holiday musical Disney’s Beauty and the Beast are sold out through December, but the hold-over shows in January — 7 pm. Jan. 3-6 and 12-13, 2 p.m. Jan. 6 and 14 — have seats. Tickets are $35 adults, $28 seniors/students/military. Visit or call 601-948-3533.

Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” is held over at New Stage Theatre. Image: James Patterson

Fondrenite Sherry Lucas, a feature writer in Jackson for the last 34 years, is here on Wednesdays with “The Mix,” highlighting a sampling of creativity and culture from Fondren and beyond. For additional Fondren-centric events, see our Fondren events calendar. Reach Sherry at

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