Life isn’t always full of sugarplums and candy canes. But in December, we can at least pretend it is. With all these free events this week, there’s no excuse not to. See a free film on world peace, get a free massage, and pet some adoptable puppies — did we just cover half your wish list? If not, read up on the rest of our free Holiday Happenings this week.

TUESDAY. Your men’s night out doesn’t have to involve strip clubs, chugging beer, and fantasy football bets. That’s what Mondays are for. Men’s Night at Kiawah Fine Jewelry is taking a more refined approach with cocktails, food, and massages, free of charge. If you can’t make it tonight, stop by Wednesday or Thursday. There’s also lots of music to be enjoyed around town, with a rocking set by Dr. Fuzz at the Recovery Room, some acoustic folk and Americana by Reid Stone at Fiery Ron’s in West Ashley, and soulful grooves by Yellowknife at Loggerhead’s on Folly.

WEDNESDAY. Find peace on earth at the Olde North Charleston Picture House this week at a screening of Hetalia Axis Powers: Paint It, White! will tell the tale of how the allies teamed up with the axis boys to save the world. And if all the holiday shopping is making you break a sweat, pick up some Charleston Girl Perfume at the launch party hosted by Cocktail Club. They’ll have free samples of the new fragrance, a live performance by Forrest Brown, hors d’oeuvres, cake, and a raffle. Also, not to bah-hum-bug too much, but in this job market you’ll need all the help you can get to make that resume sing. Get one-on-one editing tips from Cornelia Carrier at the library. 

THURSDAY. Quench your Thursday thirst at the Cannon Street Strut tonight. Stores like Mac & Murphy, Indigo & Cotton, Sugar Bakeshop, and Magar Hat Works are staying open late. Farther south on the peninsula, Vendue Inn is hosting its first Office Party on the rooftop, which will continue each week this month. Mingle with bad Santa in the snow over some complimentary hors d’oevres. View the latest additions to the local art scene at some new exhibits’ opening receptions. Rick Rhodes Photography will have Trever Webster and Liz Vaughn’s Catalogue of Undeliverables, which centers on the downfalls of communication. Artists Allison Reimus, Sean Riley, and Carmela Laganse show us that Dorothy isn’t the only one who thinks there’s no place like home when Redux celebrates the opening of their latest exhibit, Home Again, Home Again. And examine your relationship with food from a global perspective at the free screening of Nourish, a documentary narrated by Cameron Diaz.

FRIDAY. Santa Paws is coming to town — more specifically, to Square Onion Too. The bakery will have live holiday music, flowing drinks, food, and prizes to be won. Bring your pet, or if you don’t have one, consider adopting from Daisey’s Place Retriever Rescue, who will have their adoptable dogs on site snagging a few free head scratches. Paintings, drawings, and silk screen-printed T-shirts by Tina Christophilis and Lara Neece will be revealed at the opening reception for their newest exhibit, FLY, at One on King Street. And Static in the Snow, a new collaborative exhibit by ink illustrator Seth Corts and mixed-media artist Hirona Matsuda, will be revealed at Oak Barrel Tavern. The opening night will feature a Little Holiday Market, where you can browse locally made art and gifts.

SATURDAY. Eye Level Art is soon to be no more. So it goes. But they’ll have one last Holy City Artists and Fleas, so make sure you make a list and check it twice. For more locally made wares, head to Red Drum for the Handmade Holiday Winter Market. Dee Ruel Jewelry and Paper, Treats for Tresses, and other local vendors will be in and around the restaurant. If all the handmade gear gets you inspired, head to the Gibbes to make your own art. The Community Day will feature crafts, special exhibitions, free cider, and a live acoustic performance by Dr. Johnny Week. And at the Sewee Visitors Center, find out why the Marion National Forest and Cape Romain Wildlife Refuge are the Lowcountry gifts that keeps on giving.

SUNDAY. It’s Second Sunday again (can you believe it?), so King Street is blocking off the traffic and making way for the pedestrians,  even you, freeloaders. On Second Sunday, the historic shopping street is known to have some unusual happenings like street-side opera singers and live portrait painting.