Get your nuts in a row.
The Shiny Squirrel Pop-Up
What: Boost your gift-giving rep with dramatic jewelry, recycled-leather bags, and engraved stationery from both Boston and Brooklyn artists (Dirty Librarian Chains, Cold Picnic, Terrapin Stationers).
Why: The kickoff party lubricates your generosity.
When: Thru Jan. 4, 2012. Opening reception, Sat., 6-8 p.m.
Where: Stel’s, 334 Newbury St., Back Bay (617-262-3348).
What: Kendall Square’s dining dominance deepens with a small-plates haven from the Solea and Tapeo team; graze on charcuterie and pintxos as well as classics like ceviche, sizzling garlic shrimp, and patatas (bravas and fritas).
Why: Think outside the turkey wrap with lunchtime sandwiches such as the churrasco (seared beef tenderloin, chimichurri, pimento peppers, mixed greens).
When: Opens Mon. Mon.-Thurs., 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri., 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sat., 5-11 p.m.; Sun., 5-10 p.m.
Where: 9 Broad Canal Way (617-245-6030).
A Cookie Decorating Party
What: Invite your baked goods-loving pals over for a night of festive cutters, snazzy sprinkles, spiked frosting, and more jazzy details for the little bites.
Why: If you don’t feel like breaking out the mixing bowl, choose from 37 ready-made delights.
When: Supermarket goodies just won’t cut it.
Where: Online at dailycandy.com.
MUNCH (and BUY)
Eat Boutique Holiday Local Market
What: Sample the wares before snapping up one-for-you, one-for-me presents from the New England likes of Fat Toad Farm, 7ate9 Bakery, and Yummy Mummy.
Why: Cookbook signings + onsite gift wrapping + Island Creek Oyster samples = done deal.
When: Sat., 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Where: Made in Fort Point, 12 Farnsworth St., Fort Point (617-423-1100). R.S.V.P. online at eventbrite.com. Event is free.
Yule Tide Bulles at The Hawthorne
What: Get your feet wet at Jackson Cannon’s posh new watering hole with a sparkling off-menu holiday cocktail of cognac, Bénédictine, and house-made grenadine with a champagne float.
Why: Wash cares away.
When: Daily, 5 p.m.-2 a.m.
Where: 500a Commonwealth Ave., Kenmore Square (617-532-9150).
Happy Holidays Progressive Dinner
What: Shuttle betwixt Chris Douglass’s two dining respites during a four-course American/Italian chef’s tasting at Ashmont Grill and Tavolo ($60).
Why: Winter coats required — a midmeal surprise occurs between the two spots.
When: Sun., 6 p.m.
Where: Meet at Ashmont Grill, 555 Talbot Ave., Ashmont Hill (617-825-4300). Email email@example.com to reserve a spot.
Photo: Courtesy of The Shiny Squirrel