Learn to Entertain ... Or Be Entertained This Weekend

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Throwing a holiday party? We can't all be Martha Stewarts, but you can get pretty close with the free tips provided at Whole Foods' Giving and Entertaining Workshop Saturday morning. The in-store event features inexpensive gift ideas, an edible gift demo, entertaining tips, and free samples. The workshop runs from noon to 3 p.m.

Shopping local doesn't apply only to produce. Give back to fellow Memphians by purchasing signed copies of books by local authors Joseph M. Cooper Sr., Bryan Davis, Perre Magness, John Pritchard, and Andre Bruce Ward. The authors will be on hand at Davis-Kidd's Home for the Holidays book event on Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m.

Who knew you could help animals and drink beer at the same time? At the Barks and Brews Beer Tasting, you'll sample winter beers and raise funds for the DeSoto Animal Rescue Society. Since the group will also be hosting a pet adoption at the event, you could even go home with a new furry friend. Barks and Brews runs from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday at Carriage Manor off DeSoto Road in Byhalia, Mississippi.

Don't stop there. If you want to continue helping animals, learn how to take the next step at a Vegetarianism Lecture at the Benjamin L. Hooks Library. Food Awareness founder Vaughan Dewar will present a slide show of facts and figures on how giving up meat can help your health, the environment, and factory-farmed animals. The lecture begins at 3 p.m. on Sunday.

As we head into 2009, things are already starting to look a lot like 1929. But don't fret over the economy. Learn to quell that stress level with songs that helped folks get through the tough economic times in the 1930s. Michael Lasser talks about the music of the Great Depression in a lecture at the Dixon Gallery and Gardens on Sunday at 2 p.m.

For more calendar events, check out the Memphis Flyer's searchable online calendar.

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