Of course, there are the perennials—shows that come back Christmas after Christmas, so that the dialogue starts to feel more familiar than any liturgy. The undisputed king of these is Goodman Theatre's A Christmas Carol, now in its 34th year, while the nobility includes The Christmas Schooner, American Blues Theater's It's a Wonderful Life: Live at the Biograph (presented as a World War II-era radio show), Redmoon's winter pageant, and for you United Church of Christ types, the stage adaptation of David Sedaris's "The Santaland Diaries." Bucking for a knighthood is Commedia Beauregard's A Klingon Christmas Carol. Back for its second year, it's exactly what the title suggests: a version of Charles Dickens's story performed entirely in the language of Star Trek's Klingons and even infused with their values.
Among the new entries are Silent Theatre's A Christmas Carol: The Silent Bah-humbug, Provision Theater's The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey (a melting-curmudgeon story that substitutes "pish posh" for "bah-humbug"), and Tinsel: The Musical from Li'l Buds children's theater. Comedy-centric pH Productions supplies The Santa Stories in two flavors: family-friendly "nice" and late-night "naughty."
Speaking of flavors, Dan Jakes samples a dinner-theater offering called Crime and Pun-ishment. And for a more exotic cuisine, there's Muntu Dance Theatre of Chicago's west African program, "Spice It Up."