On Christmas morning, what would a guy rather find in his stocking: a) an apple, an orange, boxers and a razor; or b) a six-pack of Lone Star and a swimsuit calendar? If you said b), your choice might be clichéd, but it wouldn't be inaccurate. After all, most guys aren't above stopping at window displays to check out the mannequins. So it's fortunate that the Houston Sports News is premiering its 2004 Swimsuit Calendar right in time for the holidays.Sure, swimsuit calendars have as much to do with sports as kitty-cat calendars do with veterinary medicine, but that never stopped Sports Illustrated from cashing in, and the Houston Sports News is following suit. The magazine held a series of competitions to find the dozen women best (swim)suited to be pinned up on kitchen, office and shop walls. Now, to prove that there's a Santa Claus for big boys, you can meet the winners live, live, live in the flesh at a series of fashion shows and signings throughout town. Just remember: When you meet the models, be good, for goodness' sake. 9 p.m. Thursday, December 11. SideLines Sports Bar, 2016 Main, 713-658-1121. 9 p.m. Friday, December 12. Circus Club, 1199-C East NASA Road 1, 281-990-6700. For information, visit www.premierepromotions.net. $5. -- Eric Norvell
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You don't have to be on the water to see the Christmas Boat Lane Parade on Clear Lake Channel, but it's a surefire way to see the brilliantly lit vessels up close. "The best place to be is on a boat. You're right there," says Shari Sweeney, the parade's coordinator. With more than 100 elaborately decorated crafts signed up, it's definitely worth pointing your bow toward League City for the event. And if you're feeling creative, it's never too late to deck out your deck and enter your own vessel in the procession. "If somebody shows up the morning of the parade at our skippers' meeting," Sweeney promises, "I don't turn 'em down," 6 p.m. Saturday, December 13. South Shore Harbour Marina, 2500 South Shore Boulevard in League City. For information, call 281-488-7676 or visit www.leaguecitychamber.com. Free. -- Keith Plocek