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Are We There Yet?: Take A Moment to Breathe This Weekend

By Rebecca Dravis
iBerkshires Staff

The snow is lovely on the trees. Doesn't it put you into a Christmas mood?

No, I don't mean shopping and baking and hurrying around. There are lot of places to see Santa and buy lovely presents, but this weekend, I'm going to recommend taking the family to enjoy some quieter holiday activities.

The First Baptist Church of North Adams will set up a living nativity on its front steps Friday and Saturday, Dec. 12 and 13, from 5 to 8 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 14, from 1 to 4 p.m. The nativity will include live animals and there will be Christmas music as well.

On Saturday, Dec. 13, kids can get some invaluable outdoors time on a hike with Santa from 10 a.m. to noon at Bartholomew’s Cobble, Sheffield, learning about nature and winter wonders. Parents can grab a cup of hot chocolate or tea while the kids share their wish lists for the season. The cost is $20 for child; RSVP 413-229-8600 or bcobble@ttor.org.

And on Sunday, Dec. 14, the First Congregational Church will hold a Christmas concert at 4 p.m.

At 6 p.m., the second annual Cheshire Church Christmas Walk will kick off. Sponsored by the three Cheshire churches - Cheshire First Baptist, St. Mary of the Assumption, and Cheshire United Methodist Church - the walk will begin at the Cheshire First Baptist Church.  Experience the joy of the Christmas story as you progress through town, with stops at Town Hall, St. Mary’s Church and the Cheshire United Methodist Church, ending with a living nativity at the Cheshire Elementary School.  Along the way, between stops, there will be caroling with a hayride available for transportation. Following the last stop at the living nativity, hot drinks and refreshments will follow at St. Mary’s Church. In the event of a snowstorm, the walk will be held on Sunday, Dec. 21.

And from 7 to 9 p.m., the New Hope United Methodist Church will host a Christmas Carol Sing-a-long at the Purple Pub on Spring Street in Williamstown. The event is planned in cooperation with The Purple Pub of Williamstown and the Berkshire Jazz Collective. Enjoy great food, beverages, and fellowship and sing everyone’s favorite Christmas songs accompanied by the Berkshire Jazz Collective.  The Berkshire Jazz Collective includes some of the regions finest jazz musicians and is anchored by Andy Wrba, Bill Chapman, and Ben Kohn.

Embrace the true spirit of the season. Happy holidays!

 

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Are We There Yet?: Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

By Rebecca Dravis
iberkshires Staff

Did you miss me?

I took a little hiatus with this column for a few weeks to gather my strength for the Christmas season. But I'm back this weekend with some holiday happenings - including one very near and dear to my heart.

First, Friday night, Dec. 5, is loaded with Christmas tree lightings all around the county. From north to south, Sweetwood of Williamstown will host a tree-lighthing party from 4 to 6 p.m. Pittsfield will hold its official ceremony at Park Square at 6 p.m., which is the same time Lenox is hosting its lighting in Lilac Park. And the town of Lee is holding a celebration at 7 p.m. in Church Park that includes a remembrance ceremony for missing loved ones.

Also on Friday night, the Clark Art Institute is kicking off the Williamstown Holiday Walk weekend with "Songs, Shopping, and S’mores" from 5 to 7 p.m. Visitors can roast s’mores over open fire pits, watch an ice sculpture carving demonstration, and listen to holiday caroling led by Williams College a cappella groups, all held on the Clark Center terrace. 

Staying in Williamstown, the Holiday Walk takes place on Saturday, Dec. 6, starting with the Reindog Parade at 3 p.m. Afterward, as always, fun and musical talent will fill the street, with performers from around the region. Santa and his elves will be on Spring Street to hear the wishes of children. Children will also be able to decorate gingerbread cookies in the former Sweets & Beans location, sponsored by Hops & Vines. Other highlights include Williamstown Community Chest's annual Penny Social, which will run from 3 to 6 p.m. in Lasell Gym on the corner of Spring and Main streets from 3 to 6 p.m., and the Northern Berkshire Habitat for Humanity Christmas Tree Showcase from 2 to 6 p.m. at the First Congregational Church across the street on Main Street. For a complete lineup, visit the Chamber of Commerce website.

And down in Dalton on Sunday, Dec. 7, the Pediatric Development Center will present its annual Breakfast with Santa at the Wahconah Country Club, 20 Orchard Road, with seatings at 9 and 11 a.m. Reservations are required. Purchase tickets online at www.pediatricdevelopmentcenter.org or contact the Pediatric Development Center at 413-499-4537.

Obviously, there are lot of options. But here's the event I want to highly recommend: On Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 6 and 7, at 6 p.m., more than 20 children from the Williamstown community (including my daughter!) will perform a Christmas play called "We Three Spies" at the Community Baptist Church on Bridges Road. This is the church's annual children's Christmas musical, and it's a fun, family-friendly hour of dancing, singing and adorable little faces rejoicing in the season. Everyone is welcome, and cookies will follow the performance.

Happy holidays!

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