Keep things simple in this busiest of seasons
By Anita Bowser
Brace yourself. The dash and dazzle of the holiday season is nearly upon us. There will be cookies to bake, presents to wrap, tinsel to hang, and last-minute greeting cards to mail.
Every day, with increasing urgency, glitzy ads and marketing circulars rain down on our doorsteps and inboxes. And, all the time, there’ll be Christmas carols on an endless loop inside your head.
It’s easy to get grinchy with the overwhelming, overstimulating weight of it all.
Don’t let the stress interfere with your holiday season. To escape the madness, slow things down with low-pressure festivities with loved ones.
Whenever possible, choose events that only require you to show up. Let someone else take care of the planning and execution.
Relax and take time to smell the pine needles.
By including the people you enjoy most and purposefully seeking out holiday activities that aren’t overly demanding, you’ll be able to focus on the things that matter most.
To help you find your holiday bliss, we’ve compiled a list of some local and regional holiday events. If we’ve missed something, please share the details in our comments section.
Many of the following events are free, but some may require a fee or donation. Always call or check online before attending to make sure you’re prepared and no last-minute cancellations will derail your holiday excursions.
Here they are - 40 holiday events just a short drive from home.
Sept. - Dec. 31 Kraynak's Christmasland, Hermitage
Nov. 7-9 A Christmas Present Craft Show, Rimersburg
Nov. 7-9 Sligo Homes for the Holidays Christmas Craft & Gift Show
Nov. 8-10 & 15-17 Christmas in the Barn 2019, My Dad’s Farm, Ford City
Nov. 9-10 WeihnachtsMarkt (Christmas Market), Harmony Museum, Harmony
Nov. 15- Jan. 5 Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland, Big Butler Fair Grounds
Nov. 22 It’s a Wonderful Life Holiday Parade and 2019 Festival Kickoff, Indiana
Nov. 22 Dec. 15 (Weekends) The 2019 “It’s a Wonderful Life Festival”, Indiana
Nov. 23- Dec. 30 “It’s a Wonderful Life” movie & holiday display, Jimmy Stewart Museum, Indiana
Nov. 22 - 24 Once Upon a Christmas, Knox
Nov. 29- Dec. 1 Small Business Weekend, Smicksburg
Nov. 30 Ford City’s Fantasy of Lights
Nov. 30 Home for the Holidays Parade & Light Up Punxsutawney, Punxsutawney
Dec. 2 Christmas Sugar Cookie Decorating Class, Cake Shotts, Smicksburg
Dec. 3 Swags and Bows Holiday Craft Event, Kittanning Public Library
Dec. 3 Rudolf, the Red-Nosed Reindeer The Musical, Kovalchick Complex, Indiana
Dec. 4 Independence Day in December - A Cookbook Club Event, Kittanning Public Library
Dec. 5-7 Annual Christmas Book Sale, Kittanning Public Library
Dec. 6-7 Festival of Trees, Sawmill Center for the Arts, Cook Forest
Dec. 6-8 Brookville Victorian Christmas
Dec. 6-8 Countdown to Christmas, Casino Theatre, Vandergrift
Dec. 7 Smicksburg Cookie Tour
Dec. 7 East Brady Light up Night
Dec. 7 Foxburg Light-Up Night
Dec. 7 Christmas Home Tour, Indiana
Dec. 7 A Small Town Christmas, Freeport
Dec. 7 Polar Express Event at The Strand Theater, Zelienople
Dec. 7 Freeport Library's Holiday Flea Market & Bake Sale, Freeport Area Library
Dec. 8 Pittsburgh Symphony Brass Christmas Special, Memorial Church of Our Father, Parker
Dec. 11 Decorative Canning Jars Holiday Craft Event, Kittanning Public Library
Dec. 13 Indiana Historical Society Holiday Open House: Holiday Choral Music & Historic Band Performance, Silas M. Clark House
Dec. 13 & 14 Christmas Madrigal Dinner Theatre, Wolf’s Den Restaurant, Knox
Dec. 14 Christmas Craft for Kids, Kittanning Public Library
Dec. 14 Jingle Bell Rock 2019, Casino Theatre, Vandergrift
Dec. 15 A Wurlitzer Christmas Celebration with Dave Wickerham at the Lincoln Hall-Allegheny RiverStone Center, Parker
Dec. 21 Winter Seasonal Farm to Table Event, New Bethlehem
Dec. 21 Feel The Love Christmas Concert and Teddy Bear Fund Drive, Kovalchick Complex, Indiana