Editor’s note: There is much to do this month in the piney woods so we compiled a list of happenings for our readers in hopes that all enjoy this joyful season with family and friends.
Cold weather is here and Christmas lights are hung soon so families are searching for things to do for them and their visitors. From festivals, hanging out with Santa and train rides there is something for everyone this December.
Here is a look at some of the activities in our area:
Dec. 6 Angel Care Hospice 5th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Join Angel Care Hospice to light the tree and hang an ornament in memory of loved one. Everyone is welcome and refreshments are to follow. Ceremony begins at 5:30 p.m.
Dec. 6 Blue Mass Gather at this service in a quiet, safe space for prayer, a time to grieve and a time to be still. Service begins at 7 p.m.
Dec. 8-9, 14-16 Elf Jr. The Musical Henderson Civic Theatre presents Elf Jr. to the Henderson community. Shows begin at 7:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Sunday shows begin at 2:30 p.m. For tickets call the box office at 903-657-2968.
Dec. 10-11 Audition Notice Director of To Kill a Mockingbird is hosting auditions at 7 p.m. each night. Spots for seven women and 14 men are needed. Cast members are welcome from ages 10-100.
Dec. 13 District Attorney Victim Tree of Angels Families and friends of crime victims, survivors of a violent crime and those with a missing loved one are invited to bring a special ornament to place on the Tree of Angels at 6:30 p.m. Rusk County Justice Center. The tree is a special project designed to honor victims.
Dec. 13 Ladies Night Out Enjoy Historic Downtown Henderson’s shops and feel the excitement of Christmas. Unique gift items, antiques, clothing, home décor and so much more.
Dec. 15 Wreaths Across America Ceremony Full Armor FFA is proud to announce that we are partnering with Rusk County Memorial Gardens for Wreaths Across America to honor veterans. The mission of this event is to remember, honor, and teach. Wreaths will be sponsored for the 336 veterans at Rusk County Memorial Gardens. A traditional ceremony will be held at the cemetery at 11 a.m. Full Armor FFA will assist with the ceremony.
Dec. 15 Deck the Paws A Rusk County Pets Alive celebration along with Henderson Animal Care Hospital and Petsense, come and go event from 2-4 p.m. at Petsense. Santa Paws will be available for you to take pictures of your pet and for a donation to RCPA you can have your pet microchipped and get a tag.
Dec. 31 Henderson Civic Theatre’s Casino Night Gather at 8 p.m. at the Rusk County Youth Expo Center for a night of casino style fun, silent auction, door prizes, fireworks, champagne and much more.
Dec. 8 Jingle Bell Bop and Shop Enjoy shopping for unique gifts, breakfast and pictures with Santa and much more. Event begins at 9 a.m. at Sherman R. Smith Community Center.
Dec. 7-8 Christmas in the Piney Woods Soak up the Christmas spirit dark to 9 p.m. at Martin Creek Lake State Park’s annual “Christmas in the Pineywoods” event. Drive through decorated campsites, hot chocolate or cider and visit with Santa. Entrance Fees will be waived in exchange for a new, unwrapped toy donation. All toys will go to the Tatum Police Department’s Operation Blue Santa.
Dec. 8 Breakfast with Santa St. Luke’s United Methodist Church will be hosting breakfast with Santa. There will be a pancake breakfast and picture’s with Santa Claus.
Dec. 8 Deck the Halls At 11 a.m., downtown merchants and restaurants will be hosting a progressive cookies activity. Customers will get the opportunity to get one cookie per stop – and add the cookies to their very own box. Special guests including Santa, his elf, the Grinch and more will make an appearance.
Dec. 15 Jingle All The Way Make your plans for nothing but pure holiday bliss in Downtown Kilgore as “Jingle All The Way” is packed with nonstop entertainment. There will be a Petting Zoo plus Pony Rides, Live Music, Goodwill Santa and holiday story time for the kids will be some of the activities this year.
Dec. 22 Stuff the Stocking Skip the holiday rush and experience a true Christmas shopping experience in Historic Downtown Kilgore. Merchants invite everyone to go eat and shop for your last minute gifts. Stores open at 11 a.m.
Dec. 8 Breakfast with Blue Santa Free event starting at 8:30 a.m. that is an opportunity for parents and children to come out and meet Blue Santa. The come and go event will give children the opportunity to tell “Blue Santa” what they would like for Christmas and have the opportunity to grab a little breakfast with him, too.
Dec. 15 Longview Symphony: A Very Merry Night From mistletoe to merriment, the Longview Symphony Christmas show will bring laughter, smiles and perhaps even a few sentimental tears, as they kickoff the holiday season together at 7 p.m. Guest conductor is Tom Webster.
Dec. 5-31 Azalea District Trail of Lights See the trails come to life with color, once again, during the holiday season. Take a driving or walking tour and enjoy the historic homes and businesses dressed up for the holiday season in all their splendor.
Dec. 5- Jan. 4 Santa Land Drive Through Christmas Park Experience the sights and sounds of Christmas with over 2.5 million lights lighting your path. Take a ride on Santa’s Trailer or remain in the warmth of your own vehicle as you drive through Santa Land’s 24 acres of adventure designed for the entire family.
Dec. 15 Breakfast With Santa Stop by McKaig Chevrolet Buick from 8-10 a.m. and have Breakfast with Santa. Join Santa Flavious and his elf Joshua for this once-a-year, family-oriented breakfast.
Dec. 31 New Year’s Eve Murder Mystery Dinner Enjoy dinner and sleuthing for clues to solve this hilarious murder mystery comedy starting at 7:30 p.m.. The 1920s Great Gatsby theme will add to the celebratory atmosphere of New Year’s Eve as you have the opportunity to learn to do the Charleston.
Dec. 5-20 Wonderland of Lights Make your holiday magical with a trip to the 32nd Annual celebration of Marshall’s famed Wonderland of Lights Festival. The City of Marshall, Marshall Convention and Visitors Bureau and Marshall Main Street Program invite all to explore the “Candy Wonderland of Lights” in downtown Marshall this holiday season. Open 6-9 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday and 4-10 p.m. Saturdays. Closed Mondays, Christmas Eve, Christmas day and New Years Eve.
Dec. 26 Movie in the Park Bring a lawn chair and your loved ones and snuggle up for a community Christmas movie showing in Telegraph Park in downtown Marshall.
Dec. 7-22 Grinch’s Lair You’ll be greeted by our Who’s Who of Whoville before being sent up into the lair. There you’ll get a tour with Mr. Grinch through his Texas Jail House dwelling. You never know what ridiculousness he’ll be up to.
Dec. 7-27 The Polar Express Train Ride The magical story comes to life the minute the train departs the Palestine Depot for the journey to the North Pole. Families and friends are encouraged to show up in their pajamas. Enveloped by the motion picture soundtrack, passengers will relive the magic of the tale as they are whisked away. There is multiple departure times each day.