It's not a matter of loving or not loving your parents. It's just that entertaining them is so goddamn hard! That's why this "What to do with your parents in December," guide is divided into three categories, with suggested activities for parent/child relationships and their different comfort levels:

"My parents think I'm still a virgin," Category

Got overprotective parents? Take them to

* The Kennedy School. This McMenamins' facility was converted from an old elementary school--and you know how parents like old stuff. It has a movie theater that shows G- and PG-rated movies, and you can drop your parents off and insist that you've already seen the flick. Then you can get trashed in one of Kennedy's many fine bars.

5736 NE 33rd, 249-3983

Listen to Jesus music. Portland State University choir will be singing "A Soul Filled Messiah," and "Ilya Itin," two of my personal favorites, and always good for the religious folk.

"A Soul Filled Messiah," First United Methodist Church, 1838 SE Jefferson, Sat Dec 8th, 7:30 pm

"Ilya Itin," Lincoln Performance Hall, Portland State University, $12.50-25, Sunday, December 9

* Fake an abortion. Sure, it's a desperate maneuver, but a "friend of a friend," actually pulled this trick, dragging her extra-religious parents along "for support." No, she wasn't pregnant, but needless to say, the overly judgmental parents were on the next flight back to West Virginia.

"My parents have accepted my gay aunt," Category

This category is for the slightly hip, Al-Gore endorsing parents, who would be bored by a symphony, but still aren't ready to discover your sex toys by the bed.

* Saturday Market: I know, it's teeming with hippies, but I swear, your parents will feel like they're back at Woodstock.

10-5 Saturday, 11-4:30 Sunday, SW Naito Parkway-Burnside

* Pittock Mansion: This giant mansion is a seriously beautiful work of architecture, built by insane bizillionare Henry Pittock in 1914. Cram-packed with holiday decorations, this trip should soothe the most savage mom and pop.

3229 NW Pittock Dr. Portland, 823-3624, $2-5, daily 12-4

* Japanese Garden: This one's a gem, because it's one of the few places where you won't have to talk to your parents at all. Wandering through the gardens could take up to two hours--depending on how meditative your folks are--and upon leaving they'll feel so refreshed, they might even agree on where to go for dinner.

10am to 4pm, $3.50-6, 611 SW Kingston, 223-1321

"I talk openly with my parents about topics like cocaine and masturbation" Category

* Spartacus Leather and Lingerie Store: I know you've been there a million times and the novelty of banana-flavored buttplugs has worn off, but maybe your parents don't have sex stores like these back in Wisconsin.

300 SW Park, 224-2604

Blackcat Tavern: This little-known Sellwood Bar is a haven of games. It's nice and divey, and between the shuffleboard, pooltables, stellar jukebox, and wide selection of very interesting videogames, your parents will be occupied for at least an hour--and maybe more if they get really drunk.

8230 SE 13th, 235-3571