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It is a truth universally acknowledged that cranky old men — like, say, Sen. John McCain­ — can have their calcified, knotty hearts warmed by Christmas Eve visits from spooks, the kindness of Cindy Lou Who, or the strains of symphonic Christmas music. Following the Christmas Festival performance at the Lyric Theatre — a show that includes performances by the Kansas City Symphony and the Symphony Chorus, the KC Brass, the Allegro Children’s Choir and the Rezound Handbell Ensemble — the formerly misanthropic and bitter McCain would likely toss money out the window to a passing street urchin and send a fat holiday goose to the gay troops at Fort Leavenworth. If only we could get him to 1029 Central at 7:30 p.m. Maybe if he knew that the symphony was giving away a diamond pendant, courtesy of Helzberg Diamonds, at each Christmas Festival performance. (McCain is crazy about accessories.) Tickets range from $26 to $42, depending on the fanciness of the seat. For more information, call 816-471-0400 or see kcsymphony.org.— Chris Packham

Fri., Dec. 17, 7:30 p.m., 2010