Mulled cider versus eggnog. Latkes versus chocolate coins. “It’s a Wonderful Life” versus “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.” Homemade Chex mix versus popcorn balls. Darlene Love versus U2 in renditions of “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home).” Santa arriving by train versus Santa arriving by boat. Reindeer antlers on the dog versus Santa hat on the dog (ask the dog what it thinks first).
Why choose? You don’t have to. In fact, you shouldn’t have to — especially considering the fact that there’s a seemingly endless number of holiday-themed events all over Maine nearly every day of the week up until the end of December. There’s something for everybody, and we’ve done our best to assemble a list of highlights from around the state, but we did have to limit ourselves to 50 to have room for the news.
Happy holidays from everyone at the Bangor Daily News. Now go have some fun!
AUGUSTA — Gov. John Baldacci and first lady Karen Baldacci will host a Hanukkah party at the Blaine House at 4 p.m., Monday, Dec. 6. Families and children from synagogues around the state attend the annual event, implemented about 15 years ago by then-first lady Mary Hermann, wife of Gov. Angus King.
Festival of Lights Parade and City Tree Lighting
BANGOR — Festival of Lights Parade and City Tree Lighting, 4-6:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, West Market Square.
BANGOR — Snowball Party, 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3, at Spectacular Event Center, 395 Griffin Road. Hors d’oeuvres from 6 to 7 p.m., holiday dinner buffet from 7 to 8 p.m., dessert and entertainment by Birdie, The Marden’s Lady, from 8 to 9 p.m., and dancing from 9 to 11 p.m. Cash bar available. Admission is $35 for dinner, show and dancing or $25 for show and dancing. Book a table of 20 or more and save $5 per ticket. For information, call 941-8700 or visit www.spectaculareventcenter.com.
Hanukkah and Craft Fair
BANGOR — Congregation Beth Israel Sisterhood annual Holiday Hanukkah and Craft Fair, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 5. There will be many tables of Judaic items and craft vendors selling wood products, crochet items, jewelry and clothing from Ecuador. The cafe will offer haddock sandwiches, falafel, Middle Eastern salad and latkes. There will be additional shopping times 3:30-6:30 p.m. Nov. 30, Dec. 2 and Dec. 7.
BANGOR — Congregation Beth Israel’s annual Hanukkah party, 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 5. Create Hanukkah decorations and enjoy traditional food. Each student should bring a gift bag of Hanukkah goodies to donate, such as small hygiene items, stamps and stationery, cards, sugar-free candies and decorations.
Breakfast With the Clauses
BANGOR — Breakfast with the Clauses, 9-11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 11, at the Bangor Grange Hall, 1192 Ohio St. There will be gift bags for children, reindeer food, photos with Santa and crafts. Suggested donation $3 adult, $2 child, $8 family of four. Proceeds benefit The Make-A-Wish Foundation. For information, call 973-3976.
BANGOR — Temple of the Feminine Divine’s Yule Celebration of the winter solstice, 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 21, at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 120 Park St. The winter solstice takes place on or about Dec. 21 every year and is the moment when the sun is at its southernmost position. For those in the Northern Hemisphere, this means that on the winter solstice, the sun rises the latest and sets the earliest of the entire year. It hangs low and weak in the sky during the brief daylight hours, and daytime shadows are the longest. Because the day is the year’s shortest, the winter solstice is also the time of the longest night. For information about the celebration, call 941-0261.
Penobscot Theatre Holiday Productions
BANGOR — Penobscot Theatre presents “Plaid Tidings,” the highly anticipated sequel to the theater’s most successful production yet, and the classic “The Velveteen Rabbit” this holiday season. “Plaid Tidings” will run from Dec. 3 to Dec. 23 and “The Velveteen Rabbit” from Dec. 8 to Dec. 20. For information and to pur-chase tickets, visit www.penobscottheatre.org or call 942-3333.
Village Holidays & Midnight Madness Sale
BAR HARBOR — The Village Holidays & Midnight Madness Sale, 5 p.m. to midnight, Friday, Dec. 3, Village Green. Welcome Santa to Bar Harbor on the Village Green with activities for adults and children and get your picture taken with Santa. The 10th annual Midnight Madness Sale will be 8 p.m. to midnight with discounts, music, food, drink and midnight raffles. For information, call 288-5103.
BATH — Trolley Caroling, 6-8 p.m. Fridays, Dec. 4, 11 and 18. Grab a blanket and thermos of hot chocolate and hop on the trolley for a night of caroling. Passengers picked up every 30 minutes at Bath City Hall, 55 Front St.
Candy Cane Train
BATH — Candy Cane Train, 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 12, and Monday, Dec. 13, Bath Train Station, 15 Commercial St. A scenic holiday ride round trip from Bath to Wiscasset benefiting Tri-County Literacy Volunteers. Hot chocolate and cookies are served, and Santa and his elves are onboard. For in-formation, call 443-6384.
“A Christmas Carol”
The Belfast Maskers present “A Christmas Carol,” adapted by John Bielenberg, 7 p.m. Dec. 2-4, 2 p.m. Dec. 5, at Belfast Maskers Waterfront Theatre. Tickets $15, $10 for teens, $5 for ages 12 and younger. Tickets available by calling 338-9668.
BELFAST — Holiday Extravaganza, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through Friday, Dec. 24, at Aarhus Gallery, 50 Main St. The craft show features more than 70 Maine artisans with products including pottery, poetry, paintings, photography, ornaments, cards, wood and music. For information, call 338-0001 or visit www.aarhusgallery.com.
BIDDEFORD — Heart of Biddeford Holiday Fest, 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, featuring horse-drawn carriage rides, a viewing of the movie “Elf,” pictures with Santa and cookie decorating. For information, call 284-8520.
“A Christmas Carol”
BLUE HILL — New Surry Theatre presents “A Christmas Carol,” Dec. 3-5, 10-12, 17 and 18, at The Blue Hill Town Hall Theater, 18 Union St. Actor Tim Pugliese makes the stage vibrant with his interpretation of Dickens’ classic tale and plays all the parts himself. Both afternoon and evening shows available. Tickets are $15, $12 for seniors and students. For information or to reserve tickets, call 374-5556, e-mail email@example.com or visit www.newsurrytheatre.org.
28th annual Harbor Lights Festival
BOOTHBAY HARBOR — Annual Harbor Lights Festival Friday, Dec. 3, through Sunday, Dec. 5, headlined by Mr. and Mrs. Claus, who come with a flock of colorful elves, Mr. Moose and the Christmas Lobster. Produced by the Boothbay Harbor Region Chamber of Commerce, the festival has many returning favorites with some new twists as well. For information, call 633-2353.
New Renaissance Singers Holiday Concert
BREWER — New Renaissance Singers Holiday Concert, 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11, at First Congregational Church, 36 Church St. The New Renaissance Singers will perform a mix of sacred and holiday music, including a Hebrew arrangement. Admission is free, suggested donation $6. Refreshments will be served after the con-cert. For information, call 944-9175 or visit www.nrsingers.com.
Down East Singers Concert
CAMDEN — Celebrate Christmas Joy! With Down East Singers, 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 12, at the Camden Opera House, 29 Elm St. Enjoy festive choral music, featuring Kirke Mechem’s “Seven Joys of Christmas,” “Christmas Past and Christmas Present” and “Birthdays in Round Numbers.” Admission is $15, younger than 18 free. For information and tickets, call 236-8328.
Christmas by the Sea
CAMDEN — Camden Christmas by the Sea, Friday, Dec. 3, through Sunday, Dec. 5. A weekend celebration of the holiday season with shopping, musical entertainment, parade, community tree lighting ceremony, horse-drawn wagon rides and photos and a children’s story hour with Santa, who will arrive by boat. For information, call 236-4404.
Tree Lighting, Santa Parade
CARIBOU — Tree Lighting and Santa Parade, 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 27. Caribou starts the holiday season by lighting the town Christmas tree and hosting Santa as he rides his sleigh through town. For information, call 722-7648.
Ruggles House Christmas Tea
COLUMBIA FALLS — Ruggles House Christmas Tea, 1-4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 5, 146 Main St. For the sixth annual Christmas Tea, the historic house museum will be decorated for the holidays. A variety of teas will be served by Teas of Cherryfield along with light refreshments. Admission is $3. For information, call 546-7903 or visit www.ruggleshouse.org.
Festival of Trees
EASTPORT — Festival of Trees, 5-7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11, at Eastport Arts Center, 36 Washington St. Reception and silent auction of 25 theme-decorated trees, which will be exhibited during the reception and bid on during silent auction with proceeds benefiting the Eastport Arts Center’s winter programs. Admission is $5 per person and $12 per family. Admission includes refreshments. For information, call 853-4650.
Paul Sullivan: Christmas in Maine
ELLSWORTH — Paul Sullivan: Christmas in Maine, 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3, at The Grand, 165 Main St. Join Paul Sullivan and friends in a magical night to kick off the holiday season. Proceeds benefit Loaves & Fishes of Ellsworth. Tickets are $20 for adults, $18 for members and $8 for children 12 and younger. For information, call 667-9500 or visit www.grandonline.org.
“The Eight Reindeer Monologues,” Maine-made adult comedy
ELLSWORTH — “The Eight Reindeer Monologues,” Maine-made adult comedy for the holidays, 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, at The Grand, 165 Main St. In this dark Christmas comedy, scandal erupts at the North Pole when one of Santa’s eight reindeer accuses him of sexual harassment. A Pork in the Beans production featuring and directed by Jason Hodgon. Tickets are $21.50. For tickets and information, call 667-9500 or visit www.grandonline.org.
Robinson Ballet presents “The Nutcracker”
ELLSWORTH — Robinson Ballet presents “The Nutcracker,” 2 p.m., 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 12, at The Grand, 165 Main St. Join Clara on her magical journey through an enchanted winter wonderland to a palace of sugary confections. Tickets are $14 general admission, $10 for seniors, $8 for stu-dents 18 and younger. For information, call 667-9500 or visit www.grandonline.org.
Film: “White Christmas”
ELLSWORTH — The Grand’s showing of “White Christmas,” 1 p.m. daily Tuesday, Dec. 21, to Thursday, Dec. 23, 165 Main St. In the classic holiday movie, two musical stars, Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye, team up with a sister act to help their old Army commander save his failing country inn. The movie features the music of Irving Berlin. Tickets are $5. For information, call 667-9500 or visit www.grandonline.org.
ForestSong Community Choral Society Winter Concert
FORT KENT — ForestSong Community Choral Society presents “A Thousand Years of Celebration,” 8:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3, at Christ Congregational Church, Pleasant Street. ForestSong’s annual winter concert featuring traditional Christmas carols and chorales from 900 A.D. to 1973 A.D. Admission is free, donations wel-come. For information, call 834-7824.
L.L.Bean’s Northern Lights Celebration
FREEPORT — L.L. Bean’s Northern Lights Celebration, every weekend through Dec. 31. Enjoy holiday fun at the flagship store, including free valet parking, product demos, crafts for children, horse-drawn carriage rides and more.
FREEPORT — Sparkle Weekend, Friday, Dec. 3, through Sunday, Dec. 5. The weekend is filled with holiday fun for the whole family with events including The Talking Christmas Tree, hot cocoa stops, craft fairs, old-fashioned carriage rides and visits with Santa. A parade of lights kicks off the weekend at 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3. For information, call 865-1212.
Holiday Street Benefit
HOULTON — Miracle on Mechanic Street, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, at Ark Animal Sanctuary, Main and Mechanic Streets. Annual holiday street benefit with food, crafts, trees and wreaths and a silent auction. For information, call at 532-7387.
KENNEBUNKPORT — Christmas Prelude, Saturday, Dec. 4, though Monday, Dec. 13. A magical season of shopping and special events, including a champagne reception, candlelight caroling, tree lighting, arts and crafts shows, pancake breakfasts, lobster bake and the arrival of Santa by lobster boat. For a full list of events, call 967-0857.
Christmas at KD Stable
LEE — Christmas at KD Stable, 3-7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, 202 Thomas Hill. Sleigh and wagon rides, hot cider, cocoa, cookies, ornament crafts for every child, gift basket drawings and wreaths for sale. Admission is $10 per family. For information, call 738-2248.
Tree Lighting and Christmas Parade
LINCOLN — The Chamber of Commerce’s Christmas Parade, beginning between 6:15 and 6:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3, (rain date is Saturday, Dec. 4, at the same time), followed by a tree lighting with Santa in Monument Square. This year’s theme is “Joy to the World.”
Breakfast with Santa
LINCOLN — Breakfast with Santa, 8 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, at Mattanawcook Academy cafetorium. Tickets are on sale at the town office.
Shaker Christmas Fair
NEW GLOUCESTER — Shaker Christmas Fair, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4., at Shaker Village, 707 Shaker Road. A traditional holiday fair with gifts for all ages. Held in nine rooms of the 1816 Trustees’ Office and the Merry Christmas Garage. You’ll find Shaker homemade baked goods, handmade items, a book room, cheese and pickles, wreaths, and Shaker oval boxes, herbs and yarns. For information, call 926-4597.
Frost Farm Gallery Annual holiday Open House
NORWAY — Frost Farm Gallery annual Holiday Open House, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 5, 272 Pikes Hill. Celebrate the Christmas season with cheer and discounts on seasonal decor, gifts, vintage prints and more. Order custom framing for Christmas delivery. Refreshments will be served. For information, call 743-8041.
Natalie MacMaster: “Christmas in Cape Breton”
ORONO — Natalie MacMaster: “Christmas in Cape Breton,” 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 7, at the Collins Center for the Arts, University of Maine. MacMaster invokes the holiday traditions of her native Cape Breton. Foot-tapping rave-ups, heart-wrenching ballads and world-class step dancing, combined with Natalie’s fiddling fire-works on Celtic melodies and Christmas carols, generate a “Traditional Fusion” delivered with ferocious energy felt by the musicians and audience alike. Tickets range from $25 to $45. For tickets and information, call 581-1755, or visit www.collinscenterforthearts.com.
Robinson Ballet presents “The Nutcracker”
ORONO — “The Nutcracker,” 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 18, 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 19, at the Collins Center for the Arts. Featuring the Bangor Symphony Orchestra, The Robinson Ballet and the Bangor Area Children’s Choir, this “Nutcracker” performance has thrilling ballet scenes, elegant dancing and a Christmas tree that grows and grows. Tickets range from $20 to $36. For tickets, call (800) 622-TIXX.
Gathering the Greens Christmas Tree Event
ORLAND — Gathering the Greens Christmas Tree Event, noon to 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 28, at Great Pond Mountain Wildlands, Route 1. Get your Christmas tree the old-fashioned way this year — bring family and friends to the Great Pond Mountain Wildlands for a hayride, bonfire, hot cocoa and goodies, and cut your own wild, open-grown balsam fir for $25. Additional trees cost $10 each. Cutting help and handsaws will be available. All proceeds benefit Great Pond Mountain Conservation Trust. If there is no snow, visitors can access the Wildlands from the North Gate on Bald Mountain or from the South Gate on Rte. 1, just south of the Rte. 176 junction in East Orland. If it snows, only the South Gate will be open for the event. For information, call 469-7190 or visit www.greatpondtrust.org.
“Polar Express” Train Rides
PORTLAND — “Polar Express” Train Rides through Thursday, Dec. 23. Travel to the North Pole with The Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Co. Passengers arrive at Ocean Gateway, which serves as the train depot. Next, they board the train and ride about a mile and a half along Casco Bay on the Eastern Promenade to the “North Pole.” Chefs will serve hot chocolate and cookies to passengers as they listen to a reading of “The Polar Express” and sing carols. Santa will board at the North Pole and hand out Christmas bells to children, who are encouraged to wear their pajamas. Tickets range from $15 to $40, children 2 and younger free and children who can sit on a parent’s lap for the ride do not need a separate ticket. Children who do not have a ticket will not receive a bell, hot chocolate or cookie. For information and tickets, call 828-0814 or visit www.tickets.porttix.com/public.
United Maine Craftsmen’s Holiday Arts & Crafts Show
PORTLAND — United Maine Craftsmen’s Holiday Arts & Crafts Show, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 5, at University of Southern Maine Sullivan Gym, 66 Falmouth St. The craft show features 95 Maine artisans and Maine crafts with free gift-wrapping and hourly door prize drawing. Admission is $2. For information, call 621-2818 or visit www.unitedmainecraftsmen.com.
Holiday Light Parade
PRESQUE ISLE — Annual Holiday Light Parade, 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, starts at North Street and ends at the University of Maine at Presque Isle. For information, call 764-6561.
Mountain Holly Days
RANGELEY — Mountain Holly Days, Friday, Dec. 12, through Sunday, Dec. 14. A festival featuring specials in participating shops, open houses, refreshments, shopper’s raffle, caroling, a Saturday night community Christmas party and on Sunday, a visit with Mr. and Mrs. Claus and a hayride in Oquossoc. For information, call 864-5364.
ROCKLAND — Community-wide Hanukkah Party sponsored by Adas Yoshuron Synagogue, 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, at the Rockport Masonic Center, 361 Main St. This community celebration of the Festival of the Lights is open to everyone and has activities for all ages. Live Israeli music, dancing, menorah lighting and refreshments including traditional latkes. Bring a menorah if you have one and a treat to share. Suggested donation of $5 for ages 12 and older. For information, call 594-4523 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
ROCKLAND — The Creatorium, juried creatives fair of Rockland. Artists, artisans, craftspeople and foodies sell their wares to folks who are looking for the perfect gift for friends, family and co-workers. Unique items from more than 50 contemporary makers from all over the state with a funky edge, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, at Lincoln Street Center for the Arts. Free.
Spectacular Holiday Pro-Am Dance Showcase
ROCKPORT — Spectacular Holiday Pro-Am Dance Showcase, 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, at Strom Auditorium, 25 Keelson Ave. The showcase will feature ballroom dancing with performances by students and professionals, beautiful costumes and stunning choreography. Hosted by Christian Clayton, U.S. National Rising Star Professional Ballroom Champion. Admission is $12 in advance or $15 at the door. Contact Swing & Sway Dancing for information at 594-0940 or www.swingandsway.com.
Turning Holiday Ornaments
ROCKPORT — Turning Holiday Ornaments, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11, and Sunday, Dec. 12, at the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship, 25 Mill St. Sharpen your wood-turning skills by making decorations and gifts for family and friends this holiday season. During this two-day class, students learn to make attractive hanging tree ornaments. Possible projects include small wooden Christmas trees and paint-decorated bowls. The workshop costs $270, price covers tools and materials. The class is open to anyone age 16 or older. For information and to register, call 594-5611.
Sixth Annual Festival of Trees
SACO — The sixth annual Festival of Trees, through Friday, Dec. 31, at the Dyer Library and Saco Museum. The festival features dozens of decorated trees and wreaths, a gingerbread village, visit with Santa, and many other events and activities for all ages throughout the month of December. Festival highlights include: Senior Guests Day, Monday, Nov. 29; Children’s Crafts Day, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4; Tea with Mrs. Claus, 1-2:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 5; raffle of designer trees and wreaths concluding at the music- and food-filled gala, 6-9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11; visit with Santa Claus, noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 18; a gingerbread village and more. The trees and wreaths will be displayed and raffled off to benefit programs at the Dyer Library and Saco Museum. Admission is free. For information, call 283-3861.
SOUTHWEST HARBOR — Christmas Celebration, Saturday, Dec. 4, beginning with the lighting of the town’s Christmas tree, followed by a bonfire and tractor rides in the post office parking lot. Refreshments will be provided, and Santa will stop by for pictures with children upstairs at the Harbor House. Shops will be have special hours to kick off holiday shopping. For information, call 244-3713.
York Festival of Lights
YORK — York Festival of Lights, Saturday, Dec. 4. See York Village come alive with lights and watch the annual Holiday Parade. Saturday events will include fairs; caroling; a visit from Santa, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; a breakfast with Santa at Mainiax Cafe, 8-10 a.m.; greens and wreath sale at First Parish Church Hall, 9 a.m. to noon; gingerbread house display at York Public Library, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; a Christmas Tea from noon to 4 p.m. at Jefferd’s Tavern at the Museums of Old York; Lighting of the Village, 4:30 p.m. in the Village Square; and much more. Sunday events are an American Girl Doll Tea Party, 1-2:30 p.m. at York Harbor Inn (preregister for this event at Parks and Recreation Office), and a “Christmas Carol” presentation, 2 p.m. at York High School, admission $5. For a full list of events, call 363-1040.