It can be a thankless job playing shows on the holidays: A lot of your potential audience is home with family, and those who brave the clubs are often massively drunk. So why do it? That's what we wanted to know.

Pansexual dance monthly Blow Pony, Christmas Eve at Rotture

Why play on Xmas Eve? As a middle finger to Rick Perry! Kidding. Actually, Blow Pony is almost always held the fourth Saturday of the month. This month, that just happens to be Christmas Eve, and the "Pony Kru" planners apparently reschedule for no man (or son of God). "We wanna WRECK THE HALLS and be 'MARY'!," organizer/DJ Airick X writes. "Here's to face-f*cking Santa's beard."

Holiday surprises? "Of course, babe," writes Airick. Fannie Mae Darling, of local drag troupe Sissyboy, "is gonna sing us some carols, and we always have hundreds of hot 'packages' to open."

DJ Wels spinning hip-hop on Christmas Eve at Tube

Why play on Xmas Eve? It's the well-regarded local turntablist's standard monthly night at Tube, which, again, just happened to fall on Christmas Eve this month. What's more, "I do have a Santa hat, and it might make an appearance," Wels says. Hey now, that's the holiday spirit we're looking for!

Holiday surprises? Oh, maybe one or two, including Run-DMC’s  classic, “Christmas in Hollis.” 

R&B-covers outfit Cool Breeze, Christmas Eve at the Spare Room

Why play on Xmas Eve? It's tradition, says Spare Room booker (and possible teen-girl detective) Sally Drew. "This will be Cool Breeze's third Christmas Eve show at the Spare Room." Less a band than an R&B service provided and fronted by Malcolm Noble of famed Portland funk group Shock, Cool Breeze pays soulful homage to such artists as Barry White, Tyrese and the Sugarhill Gang.

Holiday surprises? Surprise! You're listening to R&B covers at a dive bar on Christmas Eve!

Why play on Xmas Eve? Eye Candy, which boasts an impressive collection of vintage music videos served up by request, is here every Saturday. "The staff is so awesome and the clientele is...oh no. Some of them get really raw by the end of the night," says Danny Norton, who will probably employ his partner Nick Wells for this gig, seeing as how Christmas is Norton's birthday and working the night before would be "like, a quadruple bummer."

Holiday surprises? "I did find some pretty amazing stuff from mid-1990s Yo! MTV Raps," Norton says. "So there will be some Christmas raps dropping."

Celtic duo Kathryn Claire and Hanz Araki, Christmas Day at Edgefield

Why play on Xmas Day? As the coda to a concert series in support of their new disc, A Winter Solstice Celebration. "When we got the call to play Edgefield on Christmas, we thought it would be a perfect, intimate and quiet finish to our run of shows," Araki says.

Holiday surprises? The twosome will shed the full band that usually backs them, and Araki promises a "very old and uncommon version of 'Auld Lang Syne' that is strikingly beautiful."

DJ Cooky Parker spinning soul 45s at Doug Fir Lounge on Christmas Day

Why play on Xmas Day? It's a test-run before Parker—aka Portland musician Scott Magee—moves his monthly soul night away from the Woods in Sellwood. "I think it'll either be a totally dead room or all the orphans in town will decide they want to go out and have a good time. I'm hoping just by the lack of competition that it'll be a fun time."

Holiday surprises? A few seldom-spun holiday 45s, including one from the late James Brown. “I’m going to attempt to be festive,” Magee says. 

SEE IT: For details, see Music Calendar.