Brattleboro: The Downtown Brattleboro Alliance is giving away over $700 in prizes? Now through Dec. 23, register to win at any of the participating downtown retailers. The grand prize is a $500 bundle of gift cards from participating stores. Most of the downtown will be open extended holiday shopping hours, Dec. 17 through 23.
Brattleboro: The Women's Film Festival is offering a holiday special on film fest tickets. Film buffs, film fans, feminists, all genders welcome. The Women's Film Festival happens over the course of two weekends in March, and offers over two dozen movies. From now until the end of December, you can purchase a five-film pass for $30, a savings of $12.50; or you can give the ultimate gift of an unlimited pass for only $75, which allows access to all the films at the film festival and a ticket to our opening night film gala, a hefty savings of $140. For more information, call 802-257-7364 or visit womensfreedomcenter.net.
Readsboro: Readsboro Glassworks is hosting a holiday sale Dec. 19 and 20. In addition to hand-made glass, there will be cider and cookies for all visitors. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Readsboro Glassworks is located at 6954 Main Street. Call 802-423-7706 or visit www.maryangusglass.com for information. The studio is open additional hours between now and Christmas by appointment.
Bellows Falls: The Bellows Falls Union High School performing arts and family and consumer science department present an Enchanted Christmas for children and families on Dec. 19 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Bellows Falls Union High School. There will be cookie and ornament decorating, games and refreshments, plus pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus. At 2:45 p.m., they will present The Polar Express in the auditorium. Admission for this fundraising event is $5 per person with children under 1 years old free. This event will help fund the group's trip to New York City in the spring.
Brattleboro: Join at the Winter Solstice Celebration with storytelling, juggling, music and singing, at 68 Van Nuys Rd., the Roundhouse in Colrain, Mass., at 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 19. A fundraiser for the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts and Partners in Health, all donations received at the door go directly to them. We also invite people to bring nonperishable food that we'll take to the Franklin Area Survival Center and a goodie to put on the refreshment table to be shared during intermission. Pine Hill Orchards of Colrain is donating the cider. This festive and heartwarming evening — a tradition of over 30 years — will warm you over the long and cold winter nights and strengthen your community bonds. Performers include: Sonny Crawford, Michael Evans, Jay Goldspinner, Yos'l (Joe) Kurland, Rona Leventhal, Rob Peck, John Porcino, Bob Reiser, ReBekka Tippens, Tim Van Egmond, and Rochelle Wildfong joined this year by the guest artists: Beth Fairservis, puppeteer and her husband, Stephen Katz, performing together, Sarah Pirtle, songwriter and storyteller, the singing trio: Sucheki and the duet: Zach and Kayla. Suggested donation is $12 to $20 for adults and $5 to $10 for children. Reservations are highly recommended. Call 413-624-5140. See www.roundhouseculture.com for more information and directions.
Brattleboro: For seven years running, The Sweetback Sisters have been selling out theaters across the Northeast with their signature take on the holiday sing-along. Tickets are now on sale for the show in Brattleboro on Dec. 20 at the First Baptist Church. For more information or tickets, visit www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2466847.
Festival of lights
Jamaica: On Dec. 20, Our Lady of Ephesus House of Prayer hosts its 20th Ecumenical Festival of Lights on Fawn Ledge Lane in Jamaica, starting at 4:15 p.m. Children are invited to come dressed as shepherds or angels. There will be a bonfire, hot chocolate and doughnuts.
Putney: The third annual "Breakfast with Santa" will take place on Dec. 20, from 9 to 11 a.m. at Next Stage Arts, 15 Kimball Hill. Menu includes pancakes (gluten-free also available), real Vermont maple syrup, sausage or bacon, orange juice, milk and coffee. By donation ($5 per person, no more than $20 per family). Door prizes. Sponsored by the Putney General Store and Pharmacy, and members of the Putney community. All proceeds go to support the Putney Foodshelf.
The Latchis Elf
Brattleboro: Latchis Arts presents the 2003 holiday comedy classic "Elf" as a Movie by Donation on Dec. 20, at 4 p.m., at the Latchis Theatre. Rated PG. Proceeds benefit Latchis Arts.
Williamsville: The Manitou Project will hold its annual Winter Solstice event on Dec. 20, from 4 to 6 p.m. to mark the darkest day of the year, and celebrate the return of the light. Sharing the hogan's woodstove warmth, hot mulled cider, music and stories, we'll reflect on the richness of the time and the moment. We'll include a new ritual this year to acknowledge the range of darknesses facing the Earth and all her peoples at this cosmic turning point of the year, and recommit ourselves to the returning Light and healing of the planet. The crowd pleasing "fire eating ceremony" with brandied flaming raisins will fuel the fire of our courage and commitment to live in solidarity with all beings of the Earth. Bring the kids to this family-friendly event, it's free and open to all. Join us for the potluck supper to follow at the Gatehouse, bring what you love to eat or drink. Meet at the Manitou parking lot by 4 p.m. and dress appropriately for the weather. Bring a candle and flashlight if you have one handy and a favorite poem, reading, song, instrument, anything you may wish to share in the spirit of our time together. The Manitou Project is located at 300 Sunset Lake Rd. For information, contact Fred Taylor at 802-387-2681 or email@example.com.
Guilford: The Green River Church in the Green River Village of Guilford will hold the Annual Service of Scripture and Carols at 7 p.m. on Dec. 20. Michael Mario, The leader will be joined by Patty Meyer on the organ and by a brass group from Brattleboro Union High School. The service will be recorded by WTSA-FM for broadcast on Christmas eve, courtesy of the Richards Group. Refreshments will be served following the service in the vestibule of the church. For more information, call 802-254-5910.
Brattleboro: Orchard Street Pottery will be offering its 4th annual Solstice and Seconds Sale Dec. 20, from noon to 5 p.m. in the studio and showroom at 658 Orchard Street. Potter Walter Slowinski makes wood-fired, salt-glazed stoneware and porcelain teapots, pitchers, bowls, cups, mugs, vases and other ware. This annual sale features deeply discounted prices on pieces with minor flaws or on discontinued designs. The potter will be available to discuss the process, esthetic, and tradition of wood firing. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 802-257-1030.
Marlboro: The Marlboro Meeting House's annual Christmas Candle Light Program of Lessons and Carols will be held Dec. 20 at 4 p.m. Pastor Amanda C. Swoyer will offer a Christmas lesson which will be preceded by lay readers recalling the story of Jesus from the Bible. There will be plenty of music with Jim Levinson on organ and a choir comprised of the Marlboro Singers Several familiar Christmas carols will be sung during the program, culminating in the hushed singing of Silent Night as the electricity is extinguished and all of the candles light the darkness. A chair lift is available to the second floor. There will be refreshments and fellowship after the service. All are welcome to attend this program. The Marlboro Meeting House is located on South Road a half mile from Route 9 in Marlboro half way between Wilmington and Brattleboro.
Brattleboro: The Holiday Brattleboro Contradance will be held on Dec. 20 at the Stone Church, at the corner of Main Street and Grove Street. This special contradance is from 6:30 to 10 p.m. Caller for this dance is Mary Wesley who will be accompanied by the band Nor'Easter. There will also be a dessert pot luck at intermission along with story telling and singing. Admission is adults $10, college students with ID $8, and youth $5. All dances are instructed and prompted and all ages are welcomed. For additional information, visti www.brattcontra.org or call 802-258-1723.
Brattleboro: At the 10:30 a.m. service on Dec. 20, Trinity Lutheran Church will present its annual Living Nativity, a retelling of the Christ Child's birth. The scene will unfold outside, in a makeshift barnyard, complete with live animals, such as sheep, cattle, chickens and rabbits. The service will be a combination of Christmas readings and the singing of hymns with the Christmas story re-enactment and telling. We humans will be mostly inside, with animals again gracing our front lawn and adding to the authenticity of telling the Christmas story to our community. The service will conclude with the sharing of the bread and wine of Holy Communion. The event is free and the public is invited. The church is located at 161 Western Ave. and is an Open and Affirming congregation. For more information, visit trinitybrattleboro.org or call 802-254-4220.
Bellows Falls: Greater Falls Connections is hosting a community dinner on Dec. 21 at 5 p.m. at The Stone Church (Immanuel Episcopal) on School Street. For more information, visit www.greaterfallsconnections.org.
Greenfield, Mass.: Second Congregational Church of Greenfield is hosting a community-wide Christmas service for people in grief and for all who find the holidays to be a difficult time. This special community worship service will be on Dec. 22 at 7 p.m. in the church sanctuary. While this is a Christian worship service, it is open to anyone regardless of where they are on their journey of faith and in life.