Kansas City Connection: Winter wardrobe workshops and other ways to spend the holidays

Most of the time, I am conspicuously underdressed. I show up for everything — fancy dinners, cocktail parties, my own wedding shower — in dark jeans, a T-shirt and flats. I just like to be comfortable, I guess. I get away with it because I always wear red lipstick. At least that’s what I tell myself.

The holidays, however, are an exception. That’s when I like to bust out my vintage off-white Neiman Marcus sweater with opalescent sequins. But every year it loses a few more of the shiny bits, and it’s getting a little snaggly. Lucky for me, the Honeytree Gallery (504 E. 18th St., Kansas City, Mo.) is hosting a Refresh Your Wardrobe Winter Workshop this afternoon from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Taught by Honeytree Gallery owner and textile artist Kate E. Burke with Jessica Rogers of CartWheel (a retail store on wheels), the workshop is open to anyone who needs to mend a garment, fix a zipper, and to those who want to transform a plain T-shirt or dress into something Christmas-cocktail-party worthy.

And it’s not just for the ladies.

“It’s totally man friendly!” Burke says. “We’ll teach them how to sew up that favorite T-shirt with holes or show them how to sew that button back on that fancy tweed jacket.”

If you can’t make today’s workshop, Honeytree is hosting plenty more this winter, including the Show Me Statement Jewelry Winter Workshop (4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Nov. 25); the Bundle Up Winter Workshop (4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 2) in which you can repurpose sweaters into cozy winter accessories; the Deck the Halls Winter Workshop (4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 9); and the Wrap it Up Winter Workshop (4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 16) where you can screen print your own wrapping paper and holiday cards.

All 2012 winter workshops at the Honeytree Gallery are $20. For more information and to reserve your spot, visit honeytreegallery.com or email honeytreegallery@gmail.com.

A ‘Die Hard’ Christmas

I learned recently that there’s a whole legion of fans who consider “Die Hard,” the 1988 action movie starring Bruce Willis, a Christmas classic. If you are among them, you have three chances to watch it on the big screen at the recently revamped Screenland Crossroads (1656 Washington St., Kansas City, Mo.): 7 p.m. Dec. 21, 7 p.m. Dec. 22 and 7 p.m. Dec. 23. Tickets are $9 each and can be purchased at screenland.com. Take some money for the full bar.

Festivus for the rest of us

If you, like me, aren’t so into the religious or materialistic aspects of Christmas or Hanukkah, or you just really love “Seinfeld,” head to Snow & Co. (1815 Wyandotte St., Kansas City, Mo.) for a Festivus party from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. Dec. 23.

Festivus is a secular holiday, celebrated two days before Christmas every year. It was conceived by writer Dan O’Keefe in the 1960s and was made famous-ish after appearing in an episode of “Seinfeld” in 1997.

In addition to Festivus food and drink specials, Snow & Co. will have all of the classic elements of this secular celebration — including the aluminum pole — as well as a few updates.

Grievances will be aired via Twitter with the hashtag #airingofgrievancesKC and broadcast on screens at the party. And no Festivus celebration is complete without the Feats of Strength.

“We’re not sure if you’ll have to wrestle one of the owners, or if it’ll be pine tree tossing, but we’re open to suggestions,” says Jerry Nevins, owner and Head of Strategery and Customer Happiness at Snow & Co. Donations to The Human Fund will actually go to the local nonprofit Social Heart, a group of young professionals who work to support area charities.

Call 816-214-8921 for more information.

Ice skating at Crown Center

I used to think that ice skating around Christmastime was so romantic. I mean, I was 10, but still. A training bra and a few big butt bruises later, I realized I couldn’t skate (on blades or wheels) to save my life. So I’ve given up.

But if you still hold out hope for re-creating your favorite scene from your favorite holiday romantic comedy, then the Crown Center Ice Terrace (Crown Center Square, 425 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, Mo.) is the perfect setting. For the rest of this year, the rink is open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

There are, however, special holiday hours: 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Thanksgiving Day; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Christmas Eve; closed on Christmas Day; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. New Year’s Eve; and noon to 9 p.m. New Year’s Day.

Admission is $6 (unless you’re over 60 or under 4, in which case you get in for free) and skate rental is $3. Get more information at crowncenter.com or call 816-274-8411.

The Plaza lights

If you need to be shocked into the holiday spirit, head to the Country Club Plaza (Nichols Road and Pennsylvania, Kansas City, Mo.) on Thanksgiving night for the 83rd Annual KCP&L Plaza Lighting Ceremony. The switch will be flipped at 6:50 p.m. by Sporting Kansas City players Matt Besler, Kei Kamara and Jimmy Nielsen. (If you want to catch a glimpse, that will happen from the ceremony stage on Nichols Road and Pennsylvania — a new location this year.)

Hot chocolate and peppermint schnapps really take it up a notch, but that’s technically illegal, so I’m not suggesting you take it with you (in anything other than a thermos).

If you don’t want to brave the crowds on Thanksgiving, or you are usually get so stuffed on stuffing you can’t move, don’t worry. You can see the Plaza lights every evening from 5 p.m. to 3 a.m., Nov. 22 through Jan. 13.

Visit countryclubplaza.com for a complete schedule of lighting ceremony events and information on parking.

My final piece of holiday advice: Don’t leave your house on New Year’s Eve. Be safe. Stay home, enjoy a bottle of moderately priced bubbly and some good food, then cuddle up with someone you love (pets included).

— By day, Kansas City native Emily Farris is a cookbook publicist. The rest of the time, she can be found eating food or writing about it. Find her recent ramblings at feedmekc.com.