The holidays are back and ready to run through your finances and your sanity like a stampede of wild reindeer with razor-blade antlers and spiked hooves. And if you like getting caught up in stampedes, mini-riots and melees, by all means head to the malls, shopping centers and big-box stores to elbow and claw your way further into debt, financial ruin or hoarder status.
If you want to celebrate the holidays really loud and live your best life, we present an impressive array of holiday-themed events and concerts rolling through the area. We’re willing to bet you’d have more fun at one of these concerts for an evening than you would during weeks of chasing Kafkaesque, mechanized consumerist impulses that have become part and parcel of the holidays.
Things get going on a soulful note when John Legend performs “A Legendary Christmas” holiday concert 8 p.m. Nov. 23 at The Borgata Event Center, 1 Borgata Way in Atlantic City. The holiday tour also makes a stop Dec. 4 at new Philly venue The Met, 858 N. Broad St. For more information, visit www.theborgata.com or www.themetphilly.com.
Another casino turning up the holiday-concert cheer is Parx, hosting Grammy award-winning singer Michael McDonald and his “Season of Peace, Holiday and Hits Tour” 8 p.m. Nov. 30 at Xcite Center, 2999 Street Road, Bensalem.
Steven Fales brings “Confessions of a Mormon Boy,” his one-man show about his own struggles with conversion therapy, excommunication, divorce, prostitution and drugs, Dec. 8 to The Rrazz Room, 6426 Lower York Road, New Hope.
Also in New Hope, holiday cheer comes with a healthy dose of nostalgic camp and humor when Shawn Ryan brings his musical-comedy show, “Mistle-Ho,” to The Rrazz Room on Dec. 14. The following night, The Golden Gays, a “Golden Girls”-themed drag comedy trio, perform their “Thank Yule for Being a Friend” holiday show to The Rrazz Room. For more information, visit www.therrazzroom.com. For something a little more naughty, scantily clad music duo The Skivvies strip holiday tunes down to the bare essentials with their show, “I Touch My Elf,” Dec. 6-8 at Kimmel SEI Innovation Studio, 300 S. Broad St.
The Kimmel Center also brings the nice to balance the naughty with A Soulful Christmas, an evening of holiday gospel music featuring special guest Dottie Peoples, Dec. 11 at Verizon Hall, 300 S. Broad St. For more information, visit www.kimmelcenter.org.
The TRL and ’90s pop-fan contingent get their dose of swooning Christmas cheer when 98 Degrees performs a Christmas concert 9 p.m. Dec. 15 at The Borgata’s Music Box.
Vocal pop group Pentatonix brings its feel-good take on the holidays to Philly with “The Christmas is Here! Tour,” Dec. 15-16 at The Met. For more information, visit www.themetphilly.com.
If you like your holiday entertainment arena-sized, the Q102 Jingle Ball offers pop, rock and hip-hop stars like Shawn Mendes, 5 Seconds of Summer, Marshmello, Camila Cabello, Calvin Harris and more, Dec. 5 at Wells Fargo Center, 3601 S. Broad St. stage, Dec. 5 at Wells Fargo Center, 3601 S. Broad St.
Holiday hard-rock juggernauts the Trans-Siberian Orchestra brings its fiery, laser-and-light-drenched show to the WF Center for two performances Dec. 21. For more information, visit www.wellsfargocenterphilly.com.
The holidays get super funky when Everett Bradley’s Holidelic performs Dec. 21 at World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St. For more information, visit www.worldcafelive.com.
Rappers get in on the holiday action as HipHopSince1987 hosts its “10-Year Anniversary Holiday Festival,” Dec. 22 at the TLA, 334 South St. Try as we might, we can’t tell you who’s performing, so it’ll be a surprise. For more information, visit www.tlaphilly.com.
We hope you have enough eggnog, earplugs and entertainment to tear you away from the shopping centers this holiday season. We’ll be back next month with last- minute-gift ideas if you absolutely must get your Santa Claus on.