Friday 25

If you can’t do Christmas at home but you’ve got bucks to burn, do it at the always classy Drake Hotel, where there’s traditional turkey with trimmings, baked ham, prime rib, plum pudding, and hot mince pie in the Oak Terrace Room today from 11:30 until 9. Dinner is $24.75 per adult, $12.50 for children; the Drake is still taking reservations. If you want more than dinner, the hotel also offers a Holiday Package for $120 per night (single or double occupancy) through January 8, including fresh flowers, chocolates, complimentary fruits, and a morning newspaper; no charge for kids. There are plenty of rooms still available, although it’s starting to look crowded for New Year’s Eve. The Drake is at 140 E. Walton. For more information, call 787-2200.

The Northside Ecumenical Night Ministry, a nighttime outreach program, offers up its Ninth Annual Christmas Day Dinner and Drop-In Center for the homeless and others who are alone today. There’ll be feasting, caroling, and traditional fare. No one has ever been turned away from this community meal–no one who’s homeless, no one who’s just lonely. It starts at noon and goes till 5 at the Lakeview Presbyterian Church, 716 W. Addison. For more details, or to volunteer, call 935-3366.

Saturday 26

Turtles have no teeth, but snapping turtles have spectacularly strong jaws that can tear human flesh, among other things. These aggressive turtles can be seen in Snappers, a beautifully photographed documentary on the mating behavior and development of these relics of prehistory. Showings are free, beginning at 10:30 AM and continuing every hour on the half hour at Shedd Aquarium, 1200 S. Lake Shore Drive. Museum admission is $2 for adults, $1 for kids between 6 and 17, and 50 cents for seniors; the museum is open until 5. For more information, call 939-2426.

Cindy Lauper’s favorite big guy, Hulk Hogan, defends his World Wrestling Federation heavyweight title against One Man Gang under the watchful eyes of special guest referee Nick Bockwinkel. Also on the live bill, Jake “The Snake” Roberts will take on Tad Dibiase, “the Million Dollar Man,” and plenty more grapplers. It all starts at 8 PM at the Rosemont Horizon, 6920 N. Mannheim in Rosemont. Tickets are $9, $12, and $16. They’re available, along with information, through the Horizon box office at 635-6601 and all Ticketmaster outlets, 559-8989.

Sunday 27

If you’ve given up on the Bears but are still looking for some good clean fun this afternoon, try the nonalcoholic Tea Dance today at Paris Dance, possibly the hottest women’s bar in town. The good times roll through the thumping new sound system from 2 to 6, for only $5 in advance and $6 at the door, at 1122 W. Montrose. Call 769-0602 for more.

Monday 28

Although The Truth About Alex won a 1987 Ollie Award for excellence in children’s programming, few people saw this cable-aired story about a teenage boy who finds out his best friend is gay. It stars Scott Baio, of Charles In Charge and Happy Days, and airs today at 12:30 at the Museum of Broadcast Communications, 800 S. Wells. The free film is in the Kraft Television Theatre but museum admission is $3 for adults, $2 for students, and $1 for seniors and kids. There’s more information at 987-1500.

Tuesday 29

It’s a video feast at a special evening screening of Video and Language/Video as Language, a bold exhibition of this influential but still new artistic medium. Among the featured artists tonight are John Baldessari and Skip Arnold. There’ll be a dozen works on tape beginning at 7 at the Renaissance Society, in the University of Chicago’s Cobb Hall, 5811 S. Ellis. The program is free. For more information, call 702-8670.

Wednesday 30

You don’t need a crystal ball for Forecasting Profits and Cash Flow, just counselor Maurice Nagle of the Service Corps of Retired Executives, who’ll be giving a seminar on the topic today from 9 to 2:20. It’s the perfect postholiday pause for small business people planning on surviving 1988. It’s only $10, at the Dirksen Federal Building, 219 S. Dearborn, room 280. Advance registration is advised; for registration or other info, call 353-7723.

With Wall Street going bonkers and Gary Hart back in the presidential race, anything is possible, including job satisfaction. Get a good start on the new year by attending the Career Enterprises workshop Four Keys to Empower Your Career in 1988. Like Gary, what have you got to lose? The talk is from 6:30 to 8:30 tonight at 505 N. Lake Shore Drive. It’s free and reservations can be made by calling 670-4370.

Thursday 31

If Fred and Ginger were going to do New Year’s Eve in Chicago, they’d tap their way over to Karl’s Satin Doll, where tonight’s festivities include turning the clock back 40 years to the big band and swing era. Cy Touff and the 12-piece Satin Doll Orchestra will be providing the sounds after a four-course buffet. Each couple will receive a complimentary bottle of champagne, horns, and favors, all for $99.50 per person. Karl’s is at 820 N. Orleans and opens at 8:30 PM. For more information, or to make reservations, call 642-1948.

No, Virginia, there is no New Year’s eve, not at Berlin’s Fourth Annual Anti-New Year’s Eve Party. There will be no cover charge, no cheap champagne, no auld lang syne, no announcements of time, and your watch will be covered the minute you arrive. Doors open at 4; the party starts at 10 at 954 W. Belmont. There’s more of less at 348-4975.

January 1 through January 7

We’ll be taking a break next week, so there’ll be no issue. We realize you’ll miss us, but to help you fill the time it usually takes to read our cover stories, here are some suggestions:

You can start the New Year healthy and bright by signing up for the Third Annual Chicago Area Runners Association New Year’s Day 5K Run/Walk, which starts at 11 in Lincoln Park near the zoo entrance at 2200 N. Cannon. Registration is $7 the day of the race; $5 in advance. Call 664-0823 for information.

Saturday, January 2, means the Loyola University basketball bout with Bradley U. But better still, the Bud Light Daredevils will perform their wham-bam-slam-dunk stunts at halftime. That alone is worth the price of admission: $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, $2 for children under 12. Tip-off time is 3:30 at the International Amphitheater, 4220 S. Halsted. Call 274-1211 for more.

This year, get a head start on your swing–your golf swing, that is. Golf classes start Monday, January 4, and continue on the next three Mondays at Calumet Park, 9801 S. Avenue G. There is an $8 fee for adults; $4 for seniors and those under 17. Call John Hroma for more details at 721-3925. Call the Chicago Park District, 294-2493, for information on similar classes in Archer, McKinley, and Dunham parks.

There’s a free wine seminar on Thursday, January 7, from 6 to 8 PM at Martha’s Vineyard, 1160 N. Dearborn, for members of the new International Wine Club. You can go by joining; membership is only $15 and includes all sorts of benefits. Call 337-6617 for details on the package.