Song, by Toad Christmas Party: Garden of Elks, Plastic Animals, plus short sets and cabaret from other acts on the Song, By Toad label and followed by DJ Sets from Irregular Owl Movements and Mrs Toad. 7-11pm, Henry’s Cellar Bar, 16a Morrison Street. Tickets £8/£5 on the door or from Brown Paper Tickets (plus booking fee). Strictly over-18s only.
Music Among The Trees: Leaning Together Band. The band – a mix of brass, strings and occasionally accordion – perform a varied programme of music to entertain visitors to the Edinburgh Christmas Tree Festival. 12 noon-1pm, Sanctuary, St Andrew’s and St George’s West Church, 13 George Street. Free: all welcome, come and go as you please.
LGBT: T time Edinburgh: Festive Film and Party. A party theme and a festive film, together with treats and refreshments. T time is an informal monthly social gathering open to all transgender people and supporters. 1-4pm (party 2-4pm), LGBT Health & Wellbeing, 9 Howe Street. For more information call the centre on 0131 523 1100 or email email@example.com.
Cockburn Street Cinema: in partnership with LUX Scotland, Stills presents two works by Rob Kennedy A dyselxic man walks into a bra and Happy the believers for this year’s Cockburn Street Cinema. Kennedy’s works will be presented for viewing through Stills’ windows in the dark evenings of the Christmas and New Year season. The films will be screened 12 noon-12 midnight every day until 4th January 2015, Stills Gallery, 23 Cockburn Street. (Note: the gallery is closed 22nd December 2014 to 5th January 2015 – these films are to watch from the street.) Glasgow-based Kennedy makes videos, sounds and objects, tending to focus on the unreliability of language and the difficulties of succinct communication. He has exhibited at the Venice Biennale, Tate Britain, BBC Scotland and the British Council.
Santa at Linlithgow! Santa will be in residence at Linlithgow Canal Basin; each child will receive an age-appropriate gift followed by a free boat trip for all the family. Non-alcoholic hot punch, mince pies and cakes will be available to purchase in the cafe – come and enjoy the log fire! 2-4pm, Linlithgow Canal Basin, Manse Road. £5 per child’s gift. For more information call 01506 671215. Also at same times on Sunday 21st December.
Pyjama Drama: Rudolph the Blue-Nosed Reindeer. A fun festive session for children aged 2-5 years, with drama, music, movement and play. 10.10am or 11.10am, North Merchiston Club, Watson Crescent. Tickets cost £5/£4 and booking is essential. For more information or to book please call 0131 516 3099, email firstname.lastname@example.org or book online.
GENERATION Tours at Modern One: free, discussion-led tours of the exhibition, focusing on key themes and artists. 11-11.45am or 1-1.45pm, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Belford Road. Free and unticketed.
Bookbug: rhymes and songs for very young children. 10.30-11am, Corstorphine Library, 12 Kirk Loan. Free.
Morningside Farmers’ Christmas Market: fresh, local, seasonal goods direct from the producers. 9.30am-3.30pm, rear car park of The Merlin, 168 Morningside Road. For more information call 0131 447 4329.
Christmas Tours of the National Gallery: a Christmas-themed tour of the National Gallery’s main collection. 2-2.45pm or 3-3.45pm, Scottish National Gallery (meet at Main Entrance), The Mound. Free and unticketed.
Music Among The Trees: Brigitte Harris. The Director of Music at St Andrew’s and St George’s West entertains visitors to the Edinburgh Christmas Tree Festival with a varied programme on the fine Wells Kennedy organ. 11am-12 noon, Sanctuary, St Andrew’s and St George’s West Church, 13 George Street. Free: all welcome.
Portrait Gallery Architecture Tour: monthly tour of the magnificent Arts and Crafts Building, designed by Sir Robert Rowand Anderson. 2-2.45pm, Scottish National Portrait Gallery, 1 Queen Street. Free but booking is essential as places are limited: call 0131 624 6560.
BP Portrait Award: Next Generation Winter School. For 14-19 year olds: working with two artists, including a past BP Portrait Award winner, you will creatively explore painting techniques with a life model. All materials will be provided, and if you live outside Edinburgh and the Lothians you may be eligible for a travel bursary. 11am-4pm today and tomorrow (ie you need to attend on both days), Scottish National Portrait Gallery, 1 Queen Street. Free but booking is essential: email email@example.com.
Greenman’s Grotto at The Secret Herb Garden: instead of Santa asking a child ‘what do you want for Christmas?’, why not allow a child the chance to hear how to respect and care for something really special – a tree? Enter the enchanted lit glasshouse and follow a fairy path to a hidden natural grotto where the Greenman awaits; once here choose a bare root tree from six indigenous species: alder, rowan. silver birch, oak, scots pine or hawthorn. The Greenman will help you to pot up your tree and to choose a stone or shell to keep with it; there will also be advice on how to nurture your gift. Allow the tree to become part of your life, grow together through the changing seasons, and witness the magic unfold. 10am-4pm, The Secret Herb Garden, 32a Old Pentland Road, EH10 7EA (for more information re location see the Secret Herb Garden’s website or call 07525 069773). £5 per child or adult, no booking required. Also at same times on Sunday 21st, Monday 22nd and Tuesday 23rd December 2014.
Daniel Smith: Blues Piano/Vocals. From downhome blues, barrelhouse boogie and New Orleans honky tonk to the jazz/soul sounds of Herby Hancock and Ramsey Lewis. 5.45-6.45pm, The Jazz Bar, 1a Chambers Street. Free.
Winter Guided Walk: join a Garden Guide for a leisurely afternoon walk around the garden. Discover stunning seasonal highlights and learn about the history of the garden and its plants. For ages 14+. 2pm, John Hope Gateway, Royal Botanic Garden, Inverleith Walk. £5 per person: no advance booking required. Also at same time on Sunday 21st December.
Organ Recital for Christmas by Jeremy Cull. 4.30pm, St Cuthbert’s Parish Church, Lothian Road. Seasonal refreshments available afterwards! Free admission: retiring collection.
Boda Bar Christmas Party! Christmas merriment, songs and cheer, plus cider and home-made mulled wine. 7pm-1am, Boda Bar, 229 Leith Walk.
Music Among The Trees: Triplicity. The musical trio of Colin Dundas (piano), Frances Cooper (soprano) and Anne Lewis (mezzo soprano) return to entertain visitors to the Edinburgh Christmas Tree Festival. 2-3pm, Sanctuary, St Andrew’s and St George’s West Church, 13 George Street. Free: all welcome.