You’ll never catch me whining about the retail world kicking off its Christmas season before the rest of us have had a chance to finish off the leftover Halloween candy.
Except for the annoying commercials, especially the ones with the earworm jingles (last year’s Old Navy “Jingle Bells” take-off is still lurking in my head). Commercials, I’ll bitch about with abandon.
Otherwise, no bah humbugs from me. See y’all at the sales:
Holiday House, the extravaganza de la extravaganza of Christmas shopping, is already underway as you read this. If you haven’t been before, just imagine an entire mall’s worth of vendors who are mostly too small and too interesting and too local to ever actually hang out a shingle at Park Plaza. This year — the 15th year for the Junior League of Little Rock fund-raiser — the count tops 140, thanks to the added space at Alltel Arena, Holiday House’s new location. General shopping hours are noon to 9 p.m. today — Thursday, Nov. 17 — and continue from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 18, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19. It’s $6 to get in ($4 if you’re over 55) for general shopping, but there are a couple of special events: If you’re willing to pay $50 on Thursday night, you can drink while you shop from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., then settle in to hear Mr. Roboto himself (Dennis DeYoung, the voice behind “Come Sail Away” and so many other prime cuts on the soundtrack of my junior high years) croon along with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra. Too pricy or too not your taste? Friday night is ladies’ night, with a more affordable $25 in advance ($30 at the door) getting you cocktails and hors d’oeuvres after 6 p.m. More info, including a list of vendors: www.jllr.org.
Same weekend, different side of the river, drop by the annual Museum School sale at the Arkansas Arts Center. The Museum School is the Arts Center’s educational branch, and this sale features jewelry, photography, drawings, paintings and pottery by the school’s faculty and students. Best thing? No worries you’ll accidentally give Aunt Edna the same thing you gave Aunt Elsie last year. The sale fills the atrium and the lobby; go early and be prepared to fight a crowd. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19.
While you’re at art, more of it — including sculpture and glass as well as the laundry list above — is available at Gallery 26’s 11th annual Holiday Show and Sale starting Saturday. The gallery is at 2601 Kavanaugh Blvd.
nThe official start of the Christmas shopping season is, of course, still the day after Thanksgiving, and this year Oval Gallery’s gift to us all is a place to shop where throwing elbows won’t be necessary. The gallery, at 201 W. Capitol, is hosting a jewelry artist showcase from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 25-26. Also at Oval: little reproductions of V.L. Cox’s large abstract works contained in a lovely little tin box.
Also tonight: Splurge by RK Collections is throwing itself a grand opening party from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The store’s at 5625 Kavanaugh.
If you’ve never been to SOHO Modern, now’s the time to go: everything in the store is 25 percent off, at least through the end of the month. The store, at 7706 Cantrell, is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.
Make mine red.