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.
Brattleboro: The Brattleboro American Legion Band will give a Holiday Concert on Dec. 16 at 7:30 p.m. at the American Legion on Linden Street. Free and open to the public.
Brattleboro: The Brattleboro Senior Center is hosting its Annual Cookie Swap at the Gibson Aiken Center, 207 Main Street on Dec. 16, at 11 a.m. Bring a couple of dozen home-made cookies and take home a plate full of a variety of scrumptious home-made cookies. Each person participating will leave with the same number of cookies they came with! Call the Senior Center with questions 802-257-7570.
Townshend: The Leland and Gray Union Middle and High School Music Department presents its annual winter concert on Dec. 17 at 7 p.m. The high school and middle school ensembles will be performing an eclectic mix of works, from high-adrenaline contemporary band pieces to folk music from around the world to big band jazz standards and beyond. In addition to the concert, the L&G Art Department will display students' visual work across all media in a winter art show. Doors to the art show open at 6 p.m., and will remain open for viewing throughout the evening. All are welcome; admission is free. Refreshments will be sold by the Leland and Gray Friends of Music. The Rebels' artists promise to have tunes, visual treats and baked goods to suit every taste. Contact Riley Goodemote at firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-365-7355 for more information.
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 celebration of the Winter Solstice on Dec. 20, from 4 to 6 p.m. This is an occasion for marking the darkest day of the year, and celebrating the movement toward the return of the light. This is a family-friendly event and children are welcome. It's free and open to the public, concluding with a potluck supper at 6 p.m. at the Manitou Gate House, so if you'd like to stay for that, please bring food to share. Meet at the Manitou parking lot by 4 p.m. to walk to the Hogan; dress appropriately for a short walk through the woods. Bring a candle and flashlight, and feel free to also bring a favorite poem, reading, song or other offering to share in the spirit of solstice. For information please 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.
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.
Winchester, N.H.: Grace Christian Fellowship, 81 Ashuelot St., will be having its Christmas Eve Candlelight Service on Dec. 24 at 7 p.m. The sanctuary will be lit with white lights and candles, with contemporary worship music and some old fashioned Christmas hymns. For more information, call the church office at 603-239-7441 or Pastor Matthew Worrall at 603-355-7014.
Carols and candlelight
Alstead, N.H.: A Christmas Eve Service will be held at Third Congregational Church UCC, River Street, at 6 p.m. on Dec. 24. All are welcome. There will be candle lighting and carols will be sung throughout the service. For more information please call Pastor Maureen Lasell at 603-835-6358 or find Third Congregational Church in Alstead on Facebook.
River Garden service
Brattleboro: Agape Christian Fellowship will host a "drop-in" Christmas Eve celebration at the River Garden, located at 157 Main Street, between the hours of 5 and 8 p.m. on Dec. 24. The event will feature a variety of music including many traditional Christmas carols and traditional and contemporary Christmas poems and readings, as well as the reading of the traditional Christmas story from the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. The format for the evening is "drop-in when you can and stay as long as you like." There will be free cookies and hot cocoa and lots of singing, laughter, and conversation. Members of the congregation will have their instruments and lead the group in the singing of some of the classic and joyful music of the season.
Walpole, N.H.: The Walpole Unitarian Church Community Candlelight Service will be held on Dec. 24 at 4:30 p.m. All are invited to join in an evening of carols and readings led by Rev. Lisa Mobayed. In addition, the church offers its 15th annual Labyrinth of Lights on Dec. 20, 21, 22, 27, 28, and 29 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Hastings Memorial Parish House, Union Street in Walpole. This event provides an opportunity to step out of the hectic pace of the season and enjoy some peace and reflection. For more information, call 802-463-3153.