With Thanksgiving we begin the “Season to be jolly”. So, while you’re decking the halls and fa-la-la-la-la-ing, you may want to look toward the next few weeks and plan your calendar around the events which fit your fancy.

Of course, a large part of the whole shebang is shopping. You could go to the huge malls and stand in long lines to get the latest “Tickle Me Elmo” type gift, or you could do it a bit differently this year. Around the area there are lots of craft and artisan shows and markets, where you can find unique items for your loved ones. This has an added attraction of fostering the local economy. Here’s a link to a list of many of the Holiday Markets in the area. Some local churches and organizations are sure to be hosting their own shows too.

If you want to participate in a Christmas Tree Lighting event, we have a link for some of those in the area, also. Many of these are more than just lighting a Christmas tree. They include activities for people of all ages, especially the children.

Some people make a tradition of attending a performance of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker. Others like more of a concert, such as Handel’s Messiah. Still others watch favorite movies, such as A Christmas Carol, or It’s a Wonderful Life, or A Christmas Story. (You’ll shoot your eye out, kid!) The kids wouldn’t think it’s Christmas without How the Grinch Stole Christmas, A Charlie Brown Christmas, or the Mickey Mouse version of Scrooge. For the movies and the TV shows, you’re on your own, but here’s a link to a list of live performance events in the area.

When you’re planning your holiday calendar, don’t forget that we live in an area which is awash with the history of the founding and development of our nation. Sometimes, when you’re in such close proximity to the spectacular monuments around, you forget that they are worth a visit. Especially if the weather cooperates, a jaunt through some of the historic sites is quite worth it. Some of them even have special activities during the holidays.

Naturally, the kids will want to have a visit with their favorite person, Santa. You can visit him in the malls, or have breakfast with him. There are lots of opportunities in the vicinity. Here’s a link to a list of places where you can visit with Santa.

Don’t think you have to have non-stop activity to make everyone happy. Sometimes just being at home with family and/or friends, making cookies, sipping eggnog, or reliving family memories is the ticket to a very Merry Christmas. This is what the Casey O’Neal Team wishes for all of our friends!