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Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
Dustin Bolt as Mouse and Michael Gardner as Boy in Salt Lake Acting Company's "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie."

A Christmas checklist:

Get box of tree ornaments down from a too-high garage shelf.

Figure out who's going to give you a gift so you don't embarrass yourself.

Holiday haircut.

Get mom a you-do-more-for-me-than-I-could-possibly-acknowledge-so-here-are-new-slippers type of gift.

Shovel walks, again.

Mix up the holiday stress with some holiday cheer.

What? You don't have the last one checked off your list? You hardly know what counts as holiday cheer anymore?

Well as one Grinch himself discovered:

Maybe Christmas doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.

You'll find yourself in a holiday mood when you experience Scrooge's transformation, or listen to the Plaids harmonize your Christmas favorites.

You'll chuckle your stress away with the different parodies and likely find yourself wondering why things can't always be like the holiday postcard brought to life in "White Christmas."

Layer the kids for the cold weather now, buckle 'em into the minivan and head to a local theater … not a movie theater.

Go see a play! There are more offerings than you have marshmallows in your hot cocoa.

'Tis the season, my friends, enjoy!

Here is a list of the holiday offerings through the valley:

"1940s Radio Hour," West Jordan Theatre Arts, through Dec. 18, nights and times vary, Midvale Main Street Theater, 7720 S. 695 West, West Jordan. Tickets are $4-$7 (www.sugarfactoryplayhouse.com).

"A Christmas Carol," through Dec. 30, nights and times vary, Rodgers Memorial Theatre, 292 E. Pages Lane, Centerville. Tickets are $13-$17 (801-298-1302 or www.rodgersmemorial.com).

"A Christmas Carol," through Dec. 23, nights and times vary, Hale Center Theater Orem, 225 W. 400 North, Orem. Tickets are $15.50-$19.50 (801-226-8600 or www.haletheater.org).

"A Christmas Carol," through Dec. 23, nights and times vary, Hale Centre Theatre, 3333 S. Decker Lake Drive, West Valley City. Tickets are $17-$30 (801-984-9000 or www.halecentretheatre.org).

"A Rented Christmas," Dec. 10-13, nights and times vary, Egyptian Theatre, 328 Main St., Park City. Tickets are $15-$23 (435-649-9371 or www.parkcityshows.com).

"Christmas Vacation: The Bi-Polar Express," through Jan. 1, nights and times vary, Desert Star Playhouse, 4861 S. State, Murray. Tickets are $9.95-$17.95 (801-266-2600 or www.desertstar.biz).

"If You Give a Mouse a Cookie," through Dec. 26, nights and times vary, Salt Lake Acting Company, 168 W. 500 North. Tickets are $10-$25 (801-363-7522 or www.saltlakeactingcompany.org)

"Miracle on Third and Main Street," through Dec. 27, nights and times vary, The Off Broadway Theatre, 272 S. Main. Tickets are $8-$16 (801-355-4628 or www.theobt.org).

"Plaid Tidings," through Dec. 18, nights and times vary, SCERA Center for the Arts, 745 S. State, Orem. Tickets are $10-$12 (801-225-2787 or www.scera.org).

"Santa's Elves: A North Pole Musical," Pickleville Playhouse, through Dec. 23, nights and times vary, Eccles Conference Center, USU, Logan. Tickets are $10-$16, dinner option available (www.picklevilleplayhouse.com).

"Scrooge — A Christmas Carol," through Dec. 23, nights and times vary, Terrace Plaza Playhouse, 99 E. 4700 South, Ogden. Tickets are $7-$12 (801-393-0070 or www.terraceplayhouse.com).

"Sister Dottie Dixon's Holiday Extravaganza," Dec. 11, 8 p.m., Shepherd Union Ballroom, Weber State University, Ogden. Tickets are $10-$20 (800-978-8457).

"The Best Christmas Pageant Ever," through Dec. 20, nights and times vary, The Empress Theatre, 9104 W. 2700 South, Magna. Tickets are $7 (801-347-7373 or www.empresstheatre.com).

"The Best Christmas Pageant Ever," through Dec. 18, nights and times vary, Heritage Theatre, 2505 S. Hwy. 89, Perry. Tickets are $8-$9 (435-723-8392 or www.heritagetheatreutah.com).

"Toyland," Dec. 10-24, night and times vary, The Children's Theatre, 237 S. State. Tickets are $12 (801-532-6000 or www.tctheatre.org).

"White Christmas," through Dec. 24, nights and times vary, matinees available, Pioneer Theatre Company, 300 S. 1400 East. Tickets are $34-$54 (www.pioneertheatre.org).

"Young Santa Claus and the Winter Solstice," through Dec. 18, nights and times vary, Draper Historic Theatre, 12366 S. 900 East, Draper. Tickets are $5-$9 (801-552-4144 or www.drapertheatre.org).

e-mail: ehansen@desnews.com