Sunday December 17 Tuba tuba doo: If the idea of 200 tubas in the same vicinity conjures up images of an elephant's graveyard, imagine again. At its best, the annual Tuba Christmas Concert--truly time-honored after 21 years--doesn't sound at all lumbering, at least not according to tireless organizer Bill Clark of the CU-Denver School of Music. Instead, he says, the swinging band of big horns (all tubas and their cousin, the euphonium) manages to be downright sprightly as the members run through holiday tunes and more. Participants range in age from 10 to 85--but in this group, everyone's a pro. They'll make the earth move in Larimer Square at 1 p.m. today; admission is free. Call 607-1276.

Monday December 18 Candles with care: Candle-lighting ceremonies took place at sundown yesterday in homes throughout the region in observance of the first night of Hanukkah. But for the social animal, there's more than one way to celebrate. We've all been to one of those hallelujah-raising Messiah sings, but how many of us have been to a Judas Maccabeus Community Sing? Handel, the mastermind composer responsible for the Messiah, also penned an oratorio based on the Hanukkah story, and you and your family and your aunts and uncles and second cousins are all invited to come sing along tonight at 7:30 at the Jewish Community Center's Shwayder Theater, 350 S. Dahlia St. Scores will be available, candles will be lit, admission is $3. For additional information call 399-2660. At the Mizel Museum of Judaica, located inside the BMH Synagogue, 560 S. Monaco Pkwy., The Hanukkah Menorah, 1994, an exhibit featuring 25 artful holiday candelabras from an international competition conducted by the Spertus Museum in Chicago, opens today at 6:30 p.m. Colorado artist Ira Sherman, whose work is in the show, will be on hand to discuss the history of the menorah, and families are invited to bring their own menorahs from home for candle-lighting. There will also be latkes (potato pancakes) and live music. Further festivities will take place at the museum January 18 during a bicultural observance of Kwanzaa and Hanukkah. Call 333-4156.

Tuesday December 19 Cheering sections: As you've probably learned by now, there's a right and wrong way of doing just about everything--even if it's the retelling of holiday stories passed down from generation to generation. James Finn Garner, author of Politically Correct Holiday Stories, transforms all the old favorites--from the story of the Hanukkah miracle to A Christmas Carol--into non-sexist, non-ageist, culturally aware versions for the P.C. '90s. He'll read from the tongue-in-cheek work tonight at 6 at the Tattered Cover Book Store, 2955 E. 1st Ave., where accompanying decorations, music and refreshments will increase the holiday cheer immensely. For details call 322-7727.

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