Hello to the holidays! In addition to the shopping, baking, decorating, card writing, gift wrapping and the myriad of other tasks and must-dos that take place within the next few weeks, the Christmas season just isn’t the Christmas season without including a bunch of fun community activities. Luckily for those who live in Delaware County, there’s something fun to do in celebration of the holidays every single day in December. Most communities have their own tree lighting ceremonies, caroling events and other hyper-local activities for individuals and families. On most days, it’s safe to say, there is way more than just one thing to do.
These events are not even counting all the fun things to do outside of Delco, like Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Herr’s Christmas Snacktacular in Nottingham, the West Chester Christmas Parade, The National Christmas Center in Lancaster, Hershey Park Christmas Candyland, Peddler’s Village up in Bucks Co., the Claymont Christmas Parade in Delaware and so on down the line. The Philly attractions alone could occupy the whole month with fun venues that include the Comcast Holiday Spectacular, Philly Pops holiday concerts, Blue Cross River Rink Winterfest, Christmas Village, the Franklin Square Holiday Festival, The Rothman Ice Rink and America’s Garden Capital Maze at Dilworth Park, Macy’s Christmas light show and Dickens Village, the Seaport Parade of Lights, the Reading Terminal Holiday Railroad displays — let me stop, because I could go on and on.
For those who live within the borders of Delco and want to stay close to home this Christmas season, I present to you part one of “Delco’s 31 Days of December.” Just remember, there are dozens of other events out there, some exclusive just to the residents of your own borough or township, so I didn’t include them. Truly, the list that follows is just a tip of the December event iceberg! Keep your ears and options open and you’ll surely come across way more.
• WREATH WORKSHOP: Join members of the Scott Arboretum staff for the popular Green Wreaths workshop held in the Wister Center at the Arboretum in Swarthmore. Start off the holiday celebration by creating a unique and festive wreath with a variety of freshly cut greens. Their moss-filled frames allow for long-lasting decorations for your home and also make wonderful holiday gifts. Register now as sessions are limited to 18 participants. Participants need to bring pruners and plastic gloves. The Arboretum will supply all other materials.
Sessions will be held 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1, and 10 a.m. to noon and 2 to 4 p.m. Dec. 2.
Cost is $45 for members and $55 for non-members. Pre-registration is required by calling 610-328-8025 or visiting scottarboretum.org. The Scott Arboretum is a unique garden of ideas and suggestions encouraging horticulture in its broadest sense through displays on the 350-plus-acre campus of Swarthmore College.
• REASON FOR SEASON: St. Joseph Parish: 3255 Concord Road, Aston, will hold a wine and cheese event, “I Don’t Mind Waiting on the Lord!,” from 7 to 8:15 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1, in the lower church hall. Father Thorne, chaplain at Neumann University and pastor of St. Martin dePorres Parish in North Philadelphia, leads the event in prayer and reflection for Advent. For information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
• LIVE NATIVITY: The New Hope Christian Church, located at the corner of Sproul and Paxon Hollow roads, Broomall, invites the community to the 12th annual presentation of its “Narrated Live Nativity” to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. The program will take place on the Church lawn on Friday evening, Dec. 2 ,at 7 p.m. and feature live animals as well as actors from the New Hope Church Youth Group in a narration depicting the birth of Jesus with a special emphasis on the reason for His coming. Favorite Christmas carols will accompany the presentation. Children are invited to come up and pet the animals at the conclusion of the presentation.
In addition, immediately following the “Narrated Live Nativity,” everyone is invited into the church to see a display of more than 75 different nativity scenes. Light refreshments will be served. This program is free. The church will also hold a special Family Christmas Eve service on Saturday, Dec. 24, at 7 p.m. to which everyone is welcome.
• LADIES NIGHT OF HOLIDAY SHOPPING: Grab some friends and head to a fun-filled night of shopping, snacking and sipping on mocktails at the Aronimink Elementary School, 4611 Bond Ave., Drexel Hill, from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2. Vendors registered to date include LuLaRoe, Thirty One, Mary Kay, Tastefully Simple, Pampered Chef, Rodan & Fields, Paparazzi $5 Jewelry, Family Fun Pillowcases, Stella & Dot, H20 @ Home, Dove Chocolate Discoveries, Premier, Cats Meow Candles, Origami Owl, Wild Mantle, Tupperware, PartyLite, Just Desserts, Jamberry, Kelly’s Crafts, Ridley Soapstress, doTerra, Younnique, Usbourne Books, Keep Collective and Scentsy and Nan’s Doll Closet. Everyone is welcome, and admission is free. A gift will be given to the first 25 shoppers of the night.
• HOLIDAY SALE: Community Arts Center and The Potters Guild will hold their annual Handcrafted Holiday Sale in the Duke Gallery, 414 Plush Mill Road, Wallingford, Dec. 2 to 10. The unique, festive shopping event features one-of-a-kind, handcrafted pieces of fine craft and pottery from members of the Potters Guild and selected regional fine artists, a Preview Party with live entertainment by pianist Joe Holt and Media Chamber Chorale and a Holiday Jazz Concert with Cartoon Christmas Trio.
The Holiday Sale and associated events are free, but there’s a $5 admission to the Preview Party and a $10 admission for the Holiday Jazz Concert. A signature fundraiser, Holiday Sale purchases support local artists and the on-site and outreach programming by the nonprofit Community Arts Center.
With over 60 participating artists, 30 of which are Potters Guild members, the Holiday Sale offers hundreds of original creations including functional and decorative ceramic, clothing, mixed media, fiber art, handbags, jewelry, papier-maché, flowers, wood, soap, baskets, metal and holiday décor that have originality, vision and passion built into every piece. A list of the participating artists and a photo gallery for a preview of each artist’s work can be found at cacholidaysale.org/category/artists. For more general information or for driving directions, contact the Arts Center at 610-566-1713, or visit cacholidaysale.org.
• FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS: The Festival of Lights runs 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. nightly through Jan. 1 at Rose Tree Park,1671 N. Providence Road, Media. The local holiday attraction features more than 75 trees and set up colorful displays throughout Rose Tree Park, including a gingerbread house, Santa’s sleigh, and Snoopy and the Peanuts gang. The cherished local tradition has grown to include dozens of hand-painted wooden figures and over 100,000 holiday lights. Admission is free. Handicapped parking is available. The Tree Lighting Ceremony to kick off the festival, weather permitting with no rain date, will be held at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2. The annual event celebrates the official opening of the Festival of Lights and features a mini holiday concert by the E.T. Richardson Bella Voce Choral Ensemble, complimentary coffee and cocoa from Acme Markets and a visit from Santa Claus.
• HOLIDAY SHOPPING: Thornton Farmers Market will hold a special wine tasting and holiday shopping event at The Inn at Grace Winery, 50 Sweetwater Road, Glen Mills, from 4 to 9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2, featuring Thornton Farmers Market vendors and local artisans. The free event will feature live music, shared plates and wine sold by glass or bottle. Everyone is welcome to the day of holiday shopping fun and entertainment. The event will include celebrity book signing by MTV stars April and Phil Margera.
• UGLY SWEATER PARTY: Penns Woods Winery, 124 Beaver Valley Rd., Chadds Ford, will hold its fifth annual Ugly Sweater Party Dec. 2 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Tickets cost $35 and include a glass of wine from the tasting menu, finger foods, holiday sweets and a holiday gift from Santa’s bag. There will also be an Ugly Sweater Contest with prizes of wine bottles in three categories: “ugly,” “uglier” and “ugliest.” Also, those who need an idea for their next Christmas card can use a holiday photo booth,set up so attendees can capture all of their friends and family in their holiday gear. There will also be fun holiday activities and crafts throughout the night. For tickets or info, visit pennswoodsevents.com.
• BREAKFAST WITH SANTA: Neumann University’s Knight for Education Club will host Breakfast with Santa 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, in Community Hall, located in the Mirenda Center for Sport, Spirituality and Character Development. Admission is an unwrapped children’s toy for any age. A hot breakfast of eggs, home fries, sausage and pastries will be served as the children tell Santa Claus their Christmas wishes. RVSP to email@example.com to reserve a specific time. The gifts will be donated to the Sacred Heart of Camden parish for its Christmas shopping event. Parents in the parish can shop for gifts priced from 25 cents to $5, making Christmas shopping possible for needy families.
• CHRISTMAS FAIR: Holy Cross Parish will present over 80 talented crafters in a special Christmas Craft Fair from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3. The crafters will feature unique gifts, personalized ornaments, jewelry, indoor and outdoor decorations, food and much more. The fair will take place in the Holy Cross Gym, Bishop Avenue, Springfield.
• HOLIDAY BINGO: Vest-A-Cop will hold its second annual Holiday Bingo Saturday, Dec. 3, at Milmont Firehouse, 714 Belmont Ave., Milmont Park. Doors open at 5 p.m.; bingo begins at 6 p.m. Tickets cost $30, which includes 10 games. The event is a BYOB; no minors are allowed. Bingo prizes will include cash, gift cards, electronics and specialty items. Raffle tickets will be available for gift baskets, 50/50 and door prizes. All proceeds will benefit Vest-A-Cop to purchase bulletproof vests for all law enforcers in the county. To get tickets, call Monica at 610-329-1642, Carole at 610-637-1179 or Marc at 484-840-3621. People may also mail check payable to Vest-A-Cop to P.O. Box 461, Ridley Park, PA 19078.
• BREAKFAST WITH SANTA: St. Bernadette Home and School Association in Drexel Hill invites local families to “Pancakes with Santa” Saturday, Dec. 3, from 8 to 10:30 a.m. in O’Brien Hall. Start the Christmas season off with a festive morning of holiday fun. Cost is $8 for adults and $5 for children 3 to 7. Price includes full breakfast and a visit with Santa. Parents should bring their own cameras. For more information, contact Bernadette Yuknek at 610-449-0872 or firstname.lastname@example.org. St. Bernadette Church will present a live Nativity Friday, Dec. 2, from 6 to 8 p.m. At the same time, members of the parish choirs will sing Christmas carols.
• CHRISTMAS BAZAAR: Saint James Regional Catholic School, 500 Tome St., Ridley Park, will hold its annual Christmas Bazaar 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 3. Over 25 vendors will be there, plus a Living Nativity, cookies and milk with Santa, craft fun for the kids, lots of baskets to win, a lottery tree, a basket of cheer and much more. Everyone is welcome.
• HOLIDAY GREENS SALE: Fresh, local greens are for sale at Tyler Arboretum, 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 3. Hosted by the Country Gardeners of Lima, the annual event will feature festive wreaths, centerpieces, swags, handmade table arrangements, crafts and much more at reasonable prices, all perfect for teachers, and others’ gifts and home decorating. All purchases support the Garden Club’s community educational programs. The sale will be held in the new barn at Tyler Arboretum, 515 Painter Road, Middletown Township.
• HOLIDAY MUSIC FEST: The Yachtstock Holiday Fest will be held from 2 to 10 p.m. Dec. 3 at West End Boat Club, Essington. The event will feature a full lineup of entertainment and over a dozen performances. Ticket price is $10 for adults and $5 for children 6-12. Kids under 5 are free. The event will also include an auction, photos with Mr. and Mrs. Claus, a vacation and wheelbarrow of cheer raffle, the Shriner clowns, baked goods and much more. For more information, visit Yachtstock.org.
• BREAKFAST WITH SANTA: Catholic Community Choir is hosting its third annual Breakfast with Santa on Saturday, Dec. 3, at Cardinal O’Hara High School. There will be two seatings at 9 and 10:30 a.m. A light breakfast will be served ,and there will be music, crafts, Santa and some special visitors. The cost is $8 and $5 for those 3 and under. Reserve seats before it sells out at ccchoir.net.
• HOUSE TOUR: Chadds Ford Historical Society (CFHS) will host the Candlelight Christmas Tour, which features beautiful local homes in the Chadds Ford area, from noon to 5 p.m. Dec. 3. People come and tour the homes, which are decorated for the holiday season. CFHS is at 1736 Creek Road in Chadds Ford. For more information, visit chaddsfordhistory.org.
• CHRISTMAS BAZAAR: Immanuel Lutheran Church, 501 Chester Pike, Norwood, holds its Christmas Bazaar from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 3. The bazaar will include homemade foods, including lunch items, strombolis, soup and cookies and Annie’s Attic with quality used items including Christmas decorations, kitchen items and retired jewelry. For information, call the office at 610-586-5860.
• COOKIE DECORATING: Santa Claus is coming to Middletown Free Library 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3. The man in red will be upstairs in the library for family photo ops and then people can head downstairs for some cookie decorating with Mrs. Claus. Registration is not required. For more information or directions, call 610-566-7828 or email email@example.com.
• CHRISTMAS BAZAAR: Prospect United Methodist Church at Eighth and Lincoln avenues will hold its Christmas Bazaar 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3. Tables are available for $20. To reserve a table, call Shelli at 610-233-6393. Everyone is welcome to attend.
• SANTA SATURDAY: The H. K. Furness Free Library in Wallingford will present Santa Saturday at noon Dec. 3. Families are welcome to enjoy classic holiday tales, merry music by the house band and a visit from Santa himself. Light refreshment will be served and cameras are welcome. For more information or directions, call 610-566-9331.
• CHRISTMAS BAZAAR: Sacred Heart Parish, 316 E. Broadway Ave. in Clifton Heights, will have its annual Christmas Bazaar 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, in the Sacred Heart Rectory Basement.
The bazaar will feature brand new and gently used Christmas gifts for all ages at bargain prices, as well as chances on a basket of Christmas spirits. The raffle table will offer tickets on items donated by local merchants, as well as a Christmas Lottery Tree with 50 Pa. Scratch-Off Tickets. A Christmas Café will offer a menu of meatballs, ziti, hot dogs, Filipino egg rolls, homemade soup and more from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. A limited supply of Sacred Heart’s famous frozen pierogi (to take home) and a baked goods table with homemade cakes, cookies and other goodies will be available for purchase.
Santa will be making a special guest appearance between noon and 2 p.m.
All proceeds will benefit the various ministries of Sacred Heart Parish. For more information, contact Sacred Heart Parish at 610-623-0409.
• CHRISTMAS ON THE FARM: Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation will present “Christmas on the Farm” 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3. Everyone is welcome to enjoy the holiday season with a visit to the Plantation where volunteers and even the farm animals will help get visitors into a festive mood. A Christmas-themed puppet show will take place at 2:15 p.m. The children are also welcome to make candles to give as a gift to someone in their family. Adults can enjoy the colonial house dressed for the holidays. Using primarily materials found in nature, the Springfield Garden Club has worked its magic in the farmhouse adding a beautiful backdrop to the day’s activities. The Plantation Store is featuring its annual “end of the season” sale. Inventory includes colonial toys, quill pens, tricorn hats, redware pottery, textile items, CPP hats and tote bags and more so bring your holiday shopping list! For more information, visit ColonialPlantation.org.
• HOLIDAY JAM: Darlington Arts Center in Concord Township invites the community to a free Holiday Jam and Open House on Saturday, Dec. 3, starting at 2:30 p.m. The event kicks off with an art gallery and reception at 2:30 p.m. for Darlington teaching artist Erika Matyok. Her collection of acrylic paintings and photography inspired by nature will be on display through January. The community is invited to meet the artist, and enjoy a free wine and cheese reception
A student music recital featuring performances by piano, violin, guitar students as well as Darlington Dance Co. will begin at 3 p.m. Then, at 4 p.m., Darlington will host the second annual Holiday Jam. It is an opportunity for students and their families, teaching artists and staff come together to play festive holiday music. Everyone is invited to join in the holiday fun.
• CHRISTMAS TREASURES SALE: The Church of the Redeemer, 145 W. Springfield Road, Springfield, will hold its annual Christmas Treasures Sale 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3. In addition to Christmas items, there will be homemade baked goods, raffle baskets, a silent auction, breakfast and lunch. Homemade soups, pizza, hot dogs and salad will be served beginning at 11:30 a.m. The Thrift Shop will also be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, call the church office at 610-544-8113.
• PANCAKES WITH SANTA: Cub Scouts Pack 122 will host a Pancake Breakfast with Santa 7 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, at St. Mark’s Methodist Church, Broomall. Cost is $5 per person at the door, and families can bring their own cameras for photos with Santa. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
• TRIM-A-TREE PARTY: The community is invited to come and celebrate the holiday season Swedish-style at the Trim-A-Swedish Christmas Tree Party 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4, at the Swedish Cabin, 9 Creek Road, Drexel Hill. Admission is free.
Swedish holiday food from the Julbord, beverages, decorations and Swedish Chistmas music will be available. Participants can help decorate the Christmas tree, Julgran, with apples, heart baskets and straw ornaments. Afterward, tour the cabin and get warm by a roaring fire. People can also shop for gifts at Butiken, too. Everyone is welcome. For more information, call 610-449-3577.
• GREEN SUNDAY SHOPPING: Join Transition Town Media (TTM) for its fifth annual Green Sunday Holiday Fair 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4, at the Media Providence Friends School, 125 W. Third St., Media. There’s ample parking in the lot at Fourth and Olive streets. The event entrance is behind the school on Fourth Street near Orange Street.
Keep local artists and craftspeople in mind when making holiday shopping plans this year. TTM’s green alternative to Black Friday and Cyber Monday offers shoppers the opportunity to purchase goods from local vendors to encourage ecological alternatives for holiday gift giving.
Over 40 local vendors will offer unique, handmade gifts. Additionally, there will be raffled gift baskets filled with vendor selections, craft stations for the kids and food.
Shoppers will find a selection of handmade and upcycled gifts including clothing, purses, jewelry, soaps, home accessories and more.
• CHRSTMAS CONCERT: The Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra embarks on a Seasonal Sounds concert featuring special guests, young artists, old favorites and new discoveries. Old and new friends are invited to join the Orchestra on Sunday, Dec. 4, at 3 p.m. at The Upper Darby Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $20 for adults, $17 for senior citizens and $5 for students to age 25. Tickets are available online at udpac.org or by calling the box office, 610-622-1189. The Upper Darby Performing Arts Center is at 601 N. Lansdowne Ave. in Drexel Hill. Parking is free.
The 200-member, award-winning Upper Darby High School Concert Choir joins the LSO in a contemporary medley of carols, Seasonal Sounds, by Randoll Bass, and other special selections under its director Barbara Benglian.
• HOLIDAY SHOPPING: St. Timothy Lutheran Church, 535 Lamp Post Lane, Aston Township, will offer a ladies’ afternoon of holiday shopping from 2 to 6 p.m. Sun., Dec. 4, in the church social hall.
Ladies may browse through merchandise offered by representatives of Avon, LuLaRoe Fashions, Mary Kay cosmetics, Shaklee products, Denim Pouch and more. There will also be door prizes and light refreshments. A donation of $5 will be requested at the door and no reservations are necessary.
• HOLIDAY RUN: The third annual Mud, Sweat & Cheers challenge 5K trail run will take place 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4, at Blackrock Park on the corner of Black Rock Road and Fairview Avenue in the Swarthmorewood section of Ridley Township. Open to all ages, teams and individuals, the run will benefit the Ridley United Soccer Club (RUSC). To register, visit runtheday.com.
• SLAVIC CHRISTMAS LUNCHEON: Holy Myrrh-Bearers Eastern Catholic Church at 900 Fairview Road, Ridley Township, will hold its traditional “Slavic Christmas Luncheon with St. Nicholas” at noon Sunday, Dec. 4. The lunch includes ham, kielbasa with sauerkraut, stuffed cabbage, pierogies, halushki (cabbage and noodles) and other traditional Slavic holiday foods. The event features a “Theme Basket” raffle and a visit from St. Nicholas. Advance tickets are requested. Cost is $15 for adults and $8 for children 8 to 12 years; children 7 and under are free. Remaining tickets will be sold at the door but will be $3 more than advanced cost. All attending are asked to donate to the church’s food drive with a non-perishable food item. For tickets, email HMBChurch@verizon.net or call 610-544-1215.
• HOLIDAY CONCERT: The Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra will present its annual holiday concert at 3 p.m. Dec. 4 at Upper Darby Performing Arts Center, 601 N. Lansdowne Ave., Drexel Hill. For tickets and information, visit lansdowneso.org.
• LIVE NATIVITY: Come and celebrate the meaning of Christmas at the Greccio Live Nativity Festival on Dec. 4 at 6:15 p.m. on the front lawn of the Mirenda Center of Neumann University in Aston Township. St. Francis of Assisi originated the Christmas crèche at Greccio, and the tradition extends to us today in manger depictions and Live Nativity celebrations. Children can pet the nativity animals before and after the live nativity, visit Santa and enjoy refreshments. Everyone is welcome.
• ADVENT ACTIVITY: In these busy and difficult times, silence, simplicity and stillness can be elusive; and quieting the heart in prayer, a challenge. This Advent, renew the contemplative dimension of Christian faith and prayer in two special evenings titled “Exploring Christian Meditation,” led by Fr. Joe Meehan at St. John Chrysostom Church, 615 S. Providence Road, Wallingford, from 7 to 8 p.m. Dec. 5 and 9. Each evening will include instruction, guided practice and discussion about this enriching form of prayer. People are welcome to attend one or both sessions. For more info, call 610-874-3418 ext. 106.
• SPECIAL NEEDS SHOPPING DAY: Boscov’s Granite Run located at 1067 Baltimore Pike, Media is offering customers with special needs the opportunity to come in and shop without crowds, without problems and with undivided attention from 9 to 11 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 6.
The store will have extra helpers to assist shoppers with finding merchandise, holding packages, pushing wheelchairs or whatever else they may need. Boscov’s will also be offering free holiday gift wrap, refreshments and gift bags to make the day fun and joyous for everyone.
Organizations who plan to bring a large group of clients, students, senior bus or any customer who needs an aid to assist in the store can register for the day by calling Sarah Haas at 610-565-6009 or emailing email@example.com.
• TREE LIGHTING: Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital on Lansdowne Avenue, Darby, will hold its annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Dec. 6. The event will feature a live nativity scene at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital (the horseshoe in front of the hospital), at 5 p.m. Refreshments will be served in the Cafeteria in honor of the Feast of Saint Nick. Children can pose with Santa and tell him their wish from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.. Families may bring their own camera for photos. All attendees will receive a special gift
• GINGERBREAD DECORATING: Middletown Free Library will present a “Gingerbread House” event at 6:30 p.m. Tues., Dec. 6. Teens and tweens can learn to decorate mini gingerbread houses. The class will be led by Donna Marcozzi of the Wayside Market. To register, call Jason 610-566-7828.
Next week: Discover holiday events taking place during the remainder of December.
Readers can contact Ped DeGrassa at firstname.lastname@example.org.