The Art of Giving | December 1
Gift shops at some of Denver’s finest creative institutions—including the Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art and the Clyfford Still Museum—will be celebrating Museum Store Sunday by offering discounts on decorative scarves, frame-worthy prints, and a multitude of other items perfect for the art lover on your list. Find more information on locations and deals online

The Spirit Of Christmas Past | December 7
Studies have shown that nostalgia peaks during the holidays. (Maybe it’s the reruns of It’s a Wonderful Life.) In that spirit, the 1940s White Christmas Ball, a celebration of both the era and the 1954 Bing Crosby–Danny Kaye film, will satiate your wistfulness with time-turning activities like swing dance lessons. Academy Award–winning actor George Chakiris, who worked as a dancer in the musical, will also be at the Hyatt Regency Downtown to talk movie-making some 70 years ago. Hyatt Regency Downtown Denver Convention Center, 650 15th St; 3:30 p.m.–1:00 a.m.; From $75; Find more information online

Aged To Perfection | December 8 & 14
Before the Little Nell became Aspen’s only ski-in, ski-out hotel—with luxurious offerings that regularly attract A-list guests including Kim Kardashian,
Elton John, and Jack Nicholson—the site hosted one of the community’s funkiest dive bars. To help celebrate the 30-year anniversary of the hotel’s Cinderella-like transformation, the Little Nell is going retro during its free Party Like It’s 1989 bash at the on-site Chair 9 bar on December 14. Attendees are encouraged to don vintage ski attire as they sip discounted throwback cocktails, such as fuzzy navels and amaretto sours, and nosh on free hors d’oeuvre like sliders and truffle fries. The 92-room lodge’s tree-lighting ceremony in the courtyard next to Chair 9 on December 8 is also free, so you’ll have two opportunities to fete the exclusive, opulent Little Nell without having to pay as much as your Ikon pass cost for a room. The Little Nell, 675 E Durant Ave, Aspen; Find more information online

Play It Again | December 16–May 24
Today, musicians are lucky if their songs stay atop the charts for more than an hour. It speaks volumes about the excellence of Ludwig van Beethoven’s oeuvre, then, that the Colorado Symphony will spend five months commemorating the composer’s tunes at Boettcher Concert Hall. Throughout All Beethoven—250th Birthday Celebration, the 80-person orchestra will perform different pieces from the German composer every month, starting on December 16 with arguably his most famous arrangement, Symphony No. 5. Boettcher Concert Hall at the Denver Performing Arts Complex, 1000 14th Street, #15; Tickets from $15; Find more information online

Photo by Yann Ropars/Courtesy of Moth Poetic Circus

New Spins on A Classic | December 20–22
After performing the Nutcracker for eight straight years in the 2000s, ballerina Deena Marcum Selko grew weary of the same old Sugar Plum Fairy doing the same old pirouettes every show. Now the founder and artistic director of Denver-based performing arts company Moth Poetic Circus, Selko is updating the classic ballet by adding acrobatics, contortion, and aerial dancing. During Nutcracker Circus at the Newman Center for the Performing Arts, attendees will see familiar characters like Clara and Mother Ginger. But instead of standard ballet moves, they’ll be swinging off trapezes or doing handstands on the backs of other gymnasts. Don’t start protesting just yet, Nutcracker purists: Even with the extravagant flourishes, Selko’s crew stays mostly true to the original plot and leaves Tchaikovsky’s score unchanged. Some things are too good to remix. Elizabeth Eriksen Byron Theatre at the Newman Center for the Performing Arts, 2344 East Iliff Ave; From $35; Find performance times and more information online