We kicked off weekend eve (a.k.a. Thursday) at Republic Garden and Lounge with their annual toy drive/customer appreciation event. For the low, low price of one toy, we were treated to an open bar for around three hours. It was like Toys for Shots, but for a good cause. Our contribution was a remote-controlled Camaro, as the particular store we were in was out of Trans-Ams. The toys benefited the Shaw Center, formerly the Boys & Girls Club of Charleston. On the patio, the Eric Penrod Trio played — it was actually more like a quartet, but who’s counting? Republic offered small bites, but we needed larger ones, so we hightailed it to Coast for much-needed sustenance. We also encountered a one-eyed dog, but you’ll have to ask us about that later.

You know what adds some fun to a holiday weekend? A little art and that’s what we got at Danielle Wycoff’s from whence, into which show Friday night at Redux. The Michigan professor’s exhibition was a nice departure from Redux’s last sparse installation. Wycoff used the themes of love and water and hung a hundred or so simple metal discs from the ceiling. It looked like a school of stingrays, and the shadows on the wall gave the industrial space ambience that it’s normally lacking. There was also office vodka involved. There always is. The best part was that all Wycoff did was throw saltwater on the floor to make it sparkly. The show will hang through Jan. 31 and is worth checking out.

It was back to Republic on Saturday for the Après Ski party. Seth G, our resident electric violinist, was on point. As for the rest of the band, we’d only experienced more bass at an impromptu Big Boi concert. The custom-made ice luge was truly epic thanks to a built-in tube and funnel system crafted for maximum alcohol intake, though we had our reservations. When you are not the first to the luge, it’s like a liquid bobsled filled with a potentially infectious disease.

To round out the weekend, we traveled to The Battery to witness the annual Boat Parade, you know that festive trek of decorated watercraft cruising from Mt. Pleasant to downtown. Conveniently, we were positioned next to a lady who boat paraded so hard she yelled “Merry Christmas” before proceeding to vomit directly into the harbor. Cheers, girl. One year when we were on a boat in the parade, we kidnapped a real 6’8” Santa from the Patriots Point Hilton. We fed him champagne to the point that we assumed he reached Stockholm Syndrome. He was with us for more than two hours before we were kindly asked to never do that again. But being a spectator this year was a delight. Some boaters went all out. Others went half-nativity