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Top Phoenix Arts and Culture Stories of the Week

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If Bob Ross were alive today, he'd be painting happy little trees all over the place in ecstatic fervor for all the arts and culture happenings in Phoenix. To help you see the forest for the trees, here's a recap of the top arts and culture stories of the week.

Nine Must-See Santa's From This Weekend's Santarchy

Although Christmas might be just over a week away, Santa Claus came to town last weekend. As did Pimp Santa, S&M Santa, and Darth Santa, as well as an entourage consisting of countless sexy reindeer, dozens of drunken elves, and numerous walking holiday trees in tow.

This year's edition of the annual Christmastime costumed bar crawl Santarchy took place on Saturday night and the turnout was enormous. More than 500 participants dressed in Santa suits and other holiday-inspired getups besieged multiple Old Town nightlife establishments - ranging from Giligin's and Martini Ranch to American Junkie and The Lodge - overwhelming bartenders and packing each place to capacity. Amongst all the raucous revelers were nine unique Santas which caught our eye because their utter creativity.

--Benjamin Leatherman

Phoenix Comicon Announces Sci-Fi/Fantasy Sirens and Comic Book Legends as 2013 Guests

Browncoats, Gaters, and Fang-Bangers of the Valley, we've got a suggestion for your Christmas wish lists: A full, four-day admission package to next year's Phoenix Comicon. That's because organizers of the have announced that some of the female badasses from your favorite science fiction and fantasy-oriented TV programs are going to be special guests at next year's event.

Jewel Staite, who portrayed pixie-like starship mechanic Kaylee Frye on Joss Whedon's beloved cult Fox show Firefly (as well as Dr. Jennifer Keller on Stargate Atlantis), is scheduled to appear at Comicon's 2013 edition. She's not the only alumnus of the planet-hopping Stargate multiverse who will visit the Valley during Memorial Day weekend.

--Benjamin Leatherman

Five Must-See Movies in December

The way films come and go, in and out of theaters, usually it's easier to miss a movie than catch it. That makes planning ahead a must when it comes to moviegoing in the Valley. That's also why we've handpicked five must-see flicks screening this month to add to the ol' planner. Snag some snacks and scope out our picks.

--Becky Bartkowski

11 Spots to Party 'Til the End of the World in Metro Phoenix

Curse those pesky Mayans and the long-count calendar they crafted eons ago. It's got a good chunk of the general populace (well, the ones without a modicum of common sense, at any rate) wringing their hands and stocking up on freeze-dried beef stew about the alleged Armageddon that kicks off one week hence.

One of the most frustrating aspects of this whole doomsday kafuffle is the fact that the aforementioned ancient ones didn't specify the exact time when the earth's polarity will shift or cosmic rays will vaporize us all. How does one figure out how to spend their final hours when they don't know when that will be? (Too bad they couldn't have created a Facebook event or something.)

So if the world truly ends on either Thursday, December 20, or Friday, December 21, Jackalope Ranch has got you covered. We've pulled together a list of dance parties and art events taking place both days where you can help end the world not with a bang, but a rager.

--Benjamin Leatherman

The Seven Worst Holiday Decorations Found on Etsy

Not every craft is a holiday success -- the cookies burn, the glitter spills, and you go a little overboard with the bedazzler. But something about the holiday season allows some of us to forgive ourselves for our artistic failures, while leading others to turn to handmade cyber warehouse Etsy, where hundreds of pages currently advertise a range of holiday decorations from vendors around the globe.

In Etsy's holiday shop, ugly, inappropriate, and straight-up wrong is not in short supply. There are countless creepy Santas made from papier mache and dozens of "up"cycled wreathes that have seen better days in the can. Here's a look at ornaments, and we're not ashamed to admit that we're scraping the bottom of the barrel.

--Claire Lawton

Don't forget to check out Jackalope Ranch's continuing series, 100 Creatives.

Follow Jackalope Ranch on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

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