By Jim Knippenberg
The Cincinnati Enquirer
Hit the lights: Here's a cheery way to brighten up a dreary Monday: Christmas lights. Bizillions of them. Sharon Woods celebrates the season with its 12th annual Holiday in Lights, a drive-through display - you don't even have to leave the comfort of your heated car - where the lights are arranged in artistic shapes and patterns. 6-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 6-11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through Jan. 3, Sharon Woods, 11450 Lebanon Road, Sharonville, $10 per car or $45 per passenger van 15 seats or larger. 563-4513.
In bloom: Here's another way to brighten your Monday: Head on up to Krohn Conservatory for its annual Christmas display. As in past years, the giant greenhouse features thousands of poinsettias - model trains and other holiday plants, too - of all sizes, shapes and colors. But the bright red ones are always the big draw. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily through Jan. 4, Krohn Conservatory, 1501 Eden Park Drive, Eden Park, free but donations accepted. 421-5707.
Latin flair: Cincinnati's premier Latin ensemble - that would be Tropicoso - headlines a night full of Latin music and dance every Monday night. They get some mighty good dancers there, too. 10 p.m. today, Mad Frog, 1 E. McMillan St., Corryville, $4 cover charge. 784-9119.
Back to roots: Rusted Root, known for its best seller "Send Me On My Way," rocks the room at Bogart's. The innovative Pittsburgh sextet, known for its polyrhythmic multicultural rock and soul mix, has been a force on the music scene since the early '90s. 8 p.m. today, Bogart's, 2621 Vine St., Coryville. $20. 281-8400.
Star power: Maybe you'd like a pair of Elton John's sunglasses? Or a ride in an airplane piloted by Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic? Or a pair of Bette Midler's old shoes? Here's how to find them: People for the American Way has a mountain of celebrity memorabilia from the worlds of TV, music, movies and sports that it will auction on eBay. The fund-raiser doesn't start until Sunday, but you can preview the stuff. Go to (http://www.pfaw.org/go/auction) and start planning your bid strategy.
In focus: Don't forget Dayton's show of photos by Ansel Adams, considered by many to be America's greatest photographer. The Dayton Art Institute is showing 30 of his works in a show called Ansel Adams and the American Landscape. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. (until 8 p.m. on Thursdays) daily through Jan. 18. 456 N. Belmonte Park, Dayton. $10, $8 seniors and students, $5 children. (937) 223-5277.
24 hours out: The Big Band Era lives and thrives two Tuesdays a month in Covington. The Dee Felice 12-piece Swing Band, perched atop the bar, plays a batch of up-tempo classics from the '40s on. 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dee Felice Cafe, 529 Main St.. (859) 261-2365.
Also 24 hours out: University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music Concert Chamber Orchestra tunes up for a night full of Stravinsky, Nielsen and Beethoven with guest conductor CCM dean Doug Lowry. 8 p.m. Tuesday, Corbett Auditorium. 556-4183.
48 hours out: The Virginia-based Seven Mary Three roars into town for an evening of the garage/arena rock sound that has made all four of their albums big sellers. They take the stage after Blue Karma and Hoodwinked get the crowd warmed up. 8 p.m. Wednesday, Annie's, 4343 Kellogg Ave., East End. $15 advance, $18 day of show. 321-0220.
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Sunday's Tempo report