CAMBRIDGE December marks the beginning of the holidays and with that comes holiday traditions. Santa Claus lists, tree lightings, cookie decorating and hot chocolate, Christmas carols, late evening shopping and sharing with family and friends. Start your spirit-of-the-season going with these December suggestions as Cambridge explodes with traditional and not so traditional options.
The official start of the holiday season begins with a party at the Children's Library Christmas Party on Saturday, December 1 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Butler Memorial Library. Children, preschool and older, will enjoy refreshments and an easy-to-make craft.
The Cambridge Museum will host a Christmas tree decorating contest at the museum. The museum is encouraging individuals, families, clubs and organizations to get out and decorate a tree by Saturday, December 1 in order to be judged for cash prizes. Those decorating must furnish their own tree and decorations.
Listen to the sweet sounds of children singing at school Christmas programs. Seventh through 12th grades will be performing their annual Christmas Concert on Monday, December 3 beginning at 7:30 p.m.
Elementary students will be in the spotlight during their Christmas Vocal and Instrumental Music Concert on Tuesday, December 4 beginning at 7:30 p.m. at the Cambridge High School Gymnasium.
Shop early for presents to put under the tree as local businesses remain open late on Thursday, December 6 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Enjoy a Prime Rib Sandwich at the Cambridge Senior Center at 5 p.m. on Thursday, December 6 with a free will donation that will be used for improvements.
"Light up the Holiday Season" by honoring or remembering friends and loved ones as Tri Valley Medical Foundation lights their holiday tree. Just a $5 donation will add a loved one's name to the holiday list. The ceremony takes place in front of Cambridge Memorial Hospital on Thursday, December 6 at 5:30 p.m.
Stroll down Cambridge's lighted mainstreet to the Community Center and make sure Santa gets your name on his list. Santa will arrive at 6 p.m. to check his list and have pictures taken.
Additional events at the Community Center on Thursday, December 6 are various kid's games, musical chairs, a cookie walk, Girl Scout Troop #536 bake sale, cookie decorating and Karaoke with Russ Hiat while shopping various home-based businesses.
The ever popular Santa Bucks drawing will be at 7:30 p.m. The Cambridge Chamber of Commerce is rewarding shopping patrons when they shop locally. For every $5 that is spent with a member business, a $5 registration ticket will be given to the patron for a chance to win up to $400 in Chamber bucks.
Kids who are at the Community Building at 7:30 p.m. will have a chance to win a large stocking stuffed with surprises any child would enjoy. Registration to win the stocking is open to children up to age 13, with no purchase necessary to enter.
Before heading home for the night, be sure to visit Cottage Inspirations Quilts and Collectibles for their Christmas Open House on Thursday, December 6 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. with refreshments, door prizes, and storewide savings of 10 percent off.
Tasting Tea at participating Cambridge businesses on Friday, December 7 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. let's patrons sample holiday goodies while they shop at more than 20 businesses. The holiday goodies are made from recipes that range from old favorites to new adventures. Participating businesses will have a sign in the window.
Enjoy the Cambridge Museum's Festival of Trees by visiting the museum on Friday, December 7 during the Tasting Tea event.
Throughout December, be sure to slowly drive around town and look at Christmas lights and decorations. The Holiday House Lighting contest will be judged on Sunday, December 16.
In case you missed Santa on December 6, he will make one more stop in Cambridge before Christmas Eve on Saturday, December 22. Cambridge Fire department will bring Santa downtown to pass out bags of candy to all the good boys and girls.
Before Christmas Day, watch "It's A Wonderful Life", read "The Christmas Story" and sing "The Twelve Days of Christmas.
Put up Christmas tree and decorations, build a snowman, bake cookies and drink hot chocolate, and donate a gift for a needy family or serve a meal to a shut-in.
Christmas Eve is a great time to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas. There are many churches in Cambridge that will spread the Christmas message. Christmas Eve services traditionally are filled with prayer and popular Christmas carols.
Enjoy Christmas on Tuesday, December 25.