1. Set that table, crack open that can of cranberry sauce and loosen up those pants: the holidays have arrived. After you’ve completed your yearly Thanksgiving gorge-fest, the weekend looms ahead, with ample chances to run into people you haven’t seen all year. In Bangor, on Friday night the Karmaceuticals play at Paddy Murphy’s, Queen City Sound System DJs are at Nocturnem Drafthaus, Koostix is at the Sea Dog, and there’s some Maine rock and hardcore with This World Has Bees, Flooding Panama and Buddusky at the Bangor Arts Exchange. On Saturday night, the Plus Four Jazz Quintet is at Nocturnem, and there’s the annual Movember Mustache Bash at Paddy Murphy’s, with music from People Like You.
2. In Portland this weekend, the 15th annual Beatles Night with Spencer Albee and Friends is set for the State Theatre, with shows at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and a kid-friendly Sunday matinee at 4 p.m. Also on Friday, comedian Juston McKinney is at Aura, it’s night one of two nights of funk band Model Airplane at Portland House of Music, there’s a DJ night with Dale Da Dred and Steady at Empire, Covered in Bees are at Bayside Bowl, Ruin, the Great North and Devil’s Night Out are at Geno’s, and the Ghosts of Johnson City, Laelume and Sassquatch are at Blue. On Saturday, there’s the Ruckus Cup rap battle at Aura, there’s Keep Flying, Acadia and Real Talk at Empire, Vic Thrill and Will Bradford play at Bayside Bowl, local metal bands Exclave, Willzyx, Flooding Panama and Machine Moon are at Geno’s, and Big World, Old Sultan and the Middle Eastern Jazz Project are at Blue.
3. The first of several weekends of community holiday celebrations kicks off this Saturday, including the tree lighting in Portland’s Monument Square, Rockland’s Festival of Lights and lobster trap tree lighting, and Bucksport’s tree lighting. Check your local listings for exact times. Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens opened Gardens Aglow last week. Be sure to get your tickets now if you want to check it out this weekend. And in Belfast, Bangor Ballet’s “Nutcracker in a Nutshell,” a condensed, one-hour performance of the holiday ballet, is set for 2 p.m. at the Crosby Center.
4. For some not-specifically holiday-centric events to enjoy this weekend, in Portland, the touring “Animation Show of Shows,” film festival, featuring lots of fascinating short animated films’ screenings are at 2 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Portland Museum of Art. Meanwhile, in Waterville, two of the most acclaimed movies of the season — “Lady Bird” and “The Florida Project” — screen at Railroad Square Cinemas all weekend. And in Bar Harbor, there’s the Iconic Director Film Series at the Criterion Theatre in Bar Harbor, showing Stanley Kubrick’s “Dr. Strangelove” on Friday, Akira Kurosawa’s “Sanjuro” on Saturday, and Alfred Hitchcock’s “Rear Window” on Sunday, all at 7 p.m.
5. And yes, of course, shopping, if you’re the sort of masochist that enjoys waiting in line, huge crowds and getting up at the crack of dawn to get the best deals. All kidding aside, there’s not only good stuff to be found at your local big box shopping emporiums — there’s much more to be found at your local businesses, especially on Small Business Saturday, in which downtown districts throw open their doors with deals, sales and celebrations. Support your local businesses this holiday season. You’ll be glad you did.