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click to enlarge Jim Brickman, bustin out hits one hand at a time on - Monday at the Pikes Peak Center.
  • Jim Brickman, bustin out hits one hand at a time on Monday at the Pikes Peak Center.

23 Thursday

Are you one of those people who won't enjoy Thanksgiving unless you burn 8,000 calories earlier in the day? Well, the Turkey Trot 2006, at the Briargate Family YMCA (4025 Family Place), could help you in two ways. First of all, it'll feed your sweat fix this morning, no problem. And second, a road race of never-ending hills may convince you that it's time to abandon the whole stupid "be-good-so-you-can-be-bad" principle. A kids' fun run starts at 8:45, and the featured 5K kicks off at 9. Race-day registration begins at 6:30, and your $15 fee will go to help lower-income families participate in local community programs and activities. Call 282-9622 or visit briargate.ppymca.org/turkeytrotfor more. KW

24 Friday

You may know today as "Black Friday," the day when millions of Americans will fill the already-crowded shopping malls to get a head start on holiday shopping by taking advantage of the early-bird deals. Our neighbors at the Pikes Peak Justice & Peace Commission (214 E. Vermijo Ave.) call today something else: Buy Nothing Day. From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., there will be Thanksgiving leftovers, crafts, discussions and even a hike, all geared to keep your mind off spending money. Way to stick it to commerce, guys! Not surprisingly, the event is free to attend. For information, call 632-6189 or visit ppjpc.org. PF

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25 Saturday

Modernizations of classic works have become common in cinema and on stage, but how often do you see an antiquation of a show? Say for instance, It's a Wonderful Life set in the 1890s, and in Cripple Creek at that. A Christmas Wish brings you just such a show, tying holiday joy into the area's gold mining history. It'll be playing at the Butte Opera House (139 Bennett Ave., Cripple Creek) through Dec. 31 Fridays at 7 p.m., Saturdays at 1 and 7 p.m. and Sundays at 1 p.m. (There's no show on Dec. 24, and special 7 p.m. shows on Dec. 21 and 28.) Tickets range from $7 to $12. Make a reservation at 719/235-8944, or visit butteoperahouse.com for more. MS

26 Sunday

OK, I know ... we just advised you to give the finger to mass consumerism on Buy Nothing Day. But two days have passed. Nobody can remember anything for that long. So I say, shop today. Why not start in Manitou Springs (700 block of Manitou Avenue) at the Hometown Holiday Celebration, which began Friday at noon? At 6 tonight, Santa turns on the avenue's shop lights a trick as impressive as his making thousands of "Moo" signs appear in local yards with a shake of his beard. Enjoy merchant promotions, a carol sing-along, fireworks and more throughout the weekend. Visit 80829.com for more. MS

27 Monday

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If easy listenin's your speed, you've got to come to the Pikes Peak Center (190 S. Cascade Ave.) tonight. A man who could give John Tesh a run for his money in the Sexiest K-Mart-Friendly Guy in a Sweater on a Christmas Album category will tickle the keys. The platinum-selling Jim Brickman will be pounding holiday tunes, romantic hits and songs from his latest album, Escape, and DVD, The Disney Songbook. Also expect guest appearances by up-and-coming vocalist Jake Simpson and violinist David Klinkenberg. The show starts at 7:30, and $37 to $42 tickets are available at ticketswest.com. MS

28 Tuesday

I mean no offense by this, but have you noticed how difficult it's becoming to realize that you're actually listening to Christian rock? Somewhere in small print on myspace, under the rock and metal categorization, you finally discover it. Take, for instance, the band Pillar, a wholesome Midwest band that will be at the Bluebird Theater (3317 E. Colfax Ave., Denver) at 8 tonight. Their new album, The Reckoning, is a finely crafted bit of KILO fodder: plenty of heavy guitar, bass and screamin' inspired by the likes of AC/DC and Skynyrd. I might not pin them as Christian, except their Web site tells me so. I've really come to no bold conclusion here, so just visit ticketweb.com for tickets, which are $13, and enjoy the show. MS

29 Wednesday

Begin plotting your escape from the ski season's lift lines today. Just hours, if not minutes, from some of Colorado's biggest resorts is killer backcountry skiing and snowshoeing much of it made easily accessible via intricate systems of trails and huts. At Mountain Chalet (226 N. Tejon St.) tonight, experienced backcountry skier Steve Balsiger will lead "Hut Trips 101," which will help you determine which huts to visit, how to get there, what to pack and more. A Q&A will follow the free presentation, which begins at 7. Call 633-0732 for more information. KW

This week's 7 Days contributors: Pete Freedman, Matthew Schniper and Kirk Woundy.

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