Another Strangercrombie's come and gone, leaving good cheer and a pile of cash for charity in its wake. The Stranger's annual holiday auction racked up a stunning $39,314.31 in bids this year, our highest total ever, every dime of it destined for Northwest Harvest!

The most precious jewel on this year's roster of 93 fantastic prize packages was the Pearl Jam Lover's Pack (two tickets to their next local show and one rare, signed Ames Bros. Pearl Jam print), which fueled a fierce bidding war and sold for an astounding $6,559.

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The Stranger cover garnered the second highest price: $3,050. Your guess is as good as mine as to who won that slab of premium Stranger real estate or what they plan to do with it, but we'll find out January 26 when that issue hits the streets, laden with stories, art, and comics dictated by winners of the dozens of Stranger-related packages. The news section will contain a sure-to-be riveting article on a topic chosen by the winner of the News Package ($405). Savage Love will host a guest expert who paid $405 for the honor. Adrian Ryan will gracefully dump someone in print for one lucky winner ($65). And one narcissistic clown paid $225 to be Drunk of the Week!

The celebrity experiences were in high demand, as usual: Karaoke with Maria Cantwell went for $1,775, an M's game with Dan Savage and Sherman Alexie went for $1,076.99, Ira Glass recording a conversation with you sold for $1,025, and lunch with Greg Nickels went for $271.

The Film Lover's Package #2 (a SIFF bonanza, including two Full Series Passes, five extra passes good for all the exclusive SIFF galas, seven extra tickets to the opening night party, and a heaping pile of fancy goodies) sold for the spooky sum of $1,111.11. The other Film Lover's Package (including passes to Landmark Theatres and Pacific Science Center's IMAX theater, a region-free DVD player, DVDs, and cinephile swag from Scarecrow Video) went for a healthy $455.

The personalized Pacific Science Center laser show and pizza party ($465) was snatched up by one adoring husband (mine!) for his spoiled but grateful wife's 30th birthday bash. One brave soul paid $414.65 for a party at Cowgirls Inc. with The Stranger editorial staff (along with the mechanical bull and dozens of cupcakes from Cupcake Royale!). And a lucky couple will reap the rewards of the BDSM Beginner's Package (Imp of Satan fetish wear, AXOVUS bondage gear, twistedmonk.com's "More Than Curious" kit, and a coaching session with The Stranger's own Mistress Matisse) for $335.

Earning the honor of the lowest-priced item—drawing a respectable $50.75—is Michael Seiwerath's ridiculous and perfect film starring Christopher Frizzelle's size-15 feet.

As the auctions ended on Friday, December 16, the benevolent beast that is Strangercrombie took over the bows-and-balls-bedecked Showbox for The Stranger's Holiday Blowout—an evening of music, polar bears, almost too much booze (special thanks to the champagne of beers, Miller High Life, and the champagne of tequilas, Sauza), and tipsy holiday mascots.

Beneath a chandelier dripping with golden baby dolls, DJ Curtis spun the hits (and near-misses) from the '70s and '80s as VIP guests snacked on plentiful edible delights provided by Paragon and well-dressed couples queued for photos with Santa and his surly holiday cohorts Korny the Kwanzaa Korn and the Hanukkah-happy Dr. Dreidel.

An hour into the party, with everyone properly liquored and jolly, Common Market launched the live show with tight rhymes and solid hiphop. Next, Band of Horses brought the crowd forward with reverb-drenched Americana, and then the Fruit Bats showered revelers with shimmering indie-pop melodies.

Dina Martina, who teetered down to the Showbox after a sold-out performance of her holiday spectacular at the Re-bar, stole hearts with holiday classics including "'Twas the Night Before Christmas" (to the tune of "Hotel California").

Wheedle's Groove, a collective of funk and soul superstars from Seattle's past, masterfully led the party to its crescendo. Highlight: Five women led by the Total Experience Gospel Choir's Pat Wright sang a lovely, leisurely version of Soundgarden's "Jesus Christ Pose." Thanks to everybody who came and partied, and especially to all who took to the stage.

And, of course, a hundred million heartfelt, velvet-lined, cinnamon-scented, gold-glittered thank yous to our sponsors, donors, and everyone who bid. Without you, the Strangercrombie 2005 catalog would merely be a pathetic little jerk-off mag.

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