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deck your holiday calendars with with curling and carols

Normally, dark, short, and cold days mean that you stay inside. But the prospect is more than a bit welcoming in December. There are several holidays with lights involved, which takes care of the “dark” portion of that phrase. And when we gather, good times can extend well into the night, so the days don’t necessarily have to be short. Food and drink accordingly dispels the chill, too. But with so much holiday activity, being outside isn’t so bad, given the number of markets that crop up around this time of year. And if you aren’t inclined to do any shopping, this is also a prime time for live music both secular and sacred, and to reflect on the best portions of a year we are close to putting behind us.

Wednesdays-Sundays, Nov. 30-Dec. 11
SoWa Power Station
$10 at the door, card only
Hours vary on weekdays and weekends

The SoWa winter festival returns this year, for its annual vendor wonderland. Over one hundred artists and makers present their offerings to curious shoppers, while food trucks and vendors keep energy levels high. Live music will round out the festive ambience, including performances from Northeastern a cappella group Pitch! Please.

SoWa Winter Festival, 2019

SoWa Power Station / SoWa Power Station

Thursday, Dec. 1
7:30 p.m.
Boston Center for the Arts Plaza
Free

Producers Porsha Olayiwola and Cierra Peters have joined forces and collaborated on this artistic exploration of Black joy and futures, for a one-night only performance in an “enchanted garden” at the Boston Center for the Arts Plaza. Bringing together musicians, storytellers, visual artists, and poets, *Alright* is a part of The Earthshot Prize, which recognizes winners’ contributions to ensure the future of our planet.

This is a headshot of poet Porsha Olayiwola. She is sitting against a red backdrop. She is wearing a black and white striped shirt. Her hair is pulled into a topknot. She is wearing round framed glasses. The rims are gold, the temples are red.  She is smiling,
Porsha Olayiwola on the set of Open Studio, 2019

Howard G. Powell Jr. / WGBH News

Saturdays from 2:00 p.m.- 4:00 p.m.
Through February 11
Seaport Common
Free
Advance RSVP is required

Every four years, it seems the whole world gathers in front of their television to watch what promises to be the source of high-stakes intrigue: Olympic Curling. Now, you can introduce it into your life in a non-olympic year, and join the North End Curling Club as they teach you the basics of the sport. No experience required.

This is an extreme close up of two curling stones on an ice rink.  One curling stone has a blue handle, the other one has a red handle.
Curling stones on ice rink

Felix from Canada / Wikimedia Commons

Saturday, Dec. 3
11:00 a.m.- 3:00 p.m.
Scandinavian Cultural Center (Newton)
$10

See what Northern Europe has to offer during the Christmas season with the Swedish Women’s International Association’s Fair & Holiday Celebration. Get some waffles, drink some glögg, hear some music, and support local vendors. Proceeds will go SWEA Boston Scholarships and local Scandinavian non-profits.

Saturday, Dec. 3
2:00 p.m.
Boston Public Library Central Branch
Free, registration required

Dr. Carolyn Finney, author of “Black Faces, White Spaces: Reimagining the Relationship of African Americans to the Great Outdoors,” joins BPL President David Leonard to discuss her new book, which examines how history and pop culture have created an (assumed) relationship between Black Americans and “The Great Outdoors.”

In this image a woman is in the wilderness, surrounded by tall grasses and trees. It is likely summer as she is wearing a short sleeve shirt. She is leaning on a ledge.  She is facing the camera and is smiling
Dr. Carolyn Finney

Nicholas Nichols / Boston Public Library

Sunday, Dec. 4
3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.
Center Makor (Brookline)
Tickets · $15 – $35

Part of Shakespeare’s legacy is… there’s just so many ways to read the dude, and his stories are easily mapped — seemingly without end — into new societal configurations. That’s quite a roundabout way to set up some information for this stage work, presented by the Lumina Theatre Company. It’s a modern retelling of Richard III, centered on a Ukranian boy trying to read the play while his family is making a pot of Borscht. Bring your family, too.

Opens Monday, December 5
Carol Grillo Gallery (Beverly, MA)
Free

Endicott College hosts this exhibit celebrating the lives and contributions of Black suffragettes, like Sojourner Truth, Mary Church Terrell, and Ida B. Wells.

Ida B. Wells
Ida B. Wells, 1893


Saturday, Dec. 10
3:00 p.m.
Rochambeau Library, Hope StreetProvidence, RI 02906
Free

Brown University’s Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice presents this recital by Marian Anderson String Quartet, “On Being Enslaved.” The pieces are thematically linked by their respective explorations of bondage, and include Riahnnon Giddens’s “At the Purchaser’s Option with Variations” and Jonathan McNair’s suite “Follow the Drinking Gourd.” Dvorak’s “American” Quartet rounds out the program.

Saturday, Dec. 10
8:00 p.m.
Jordan Hall
Ticket prices range from $20 (Student) to $65 for orchestra seats

The Junction Trio are: Stefan Jackiw (violin), Jay Campbell (cello), and Conrad Tao (piano). The young, New York-based musicians are no stranger to Celebrity Series Boston, but this is their first time together as an ensemble for the presenter. On the program are Ravel’s Piano Trio, an arrangement from Gesualdo’s contemplative Tenebrae Responses, and the east coast premiere of Amy Williams’s “Bells and Whistles,” a co-commission from Friends of Chamber Music and Celebrity Series.

Sunday, Dec. 11
12:00 p.m.- 5:00 p.m.
Notch Brewing Salem

Notch’s Salem location is revving up its annual holiday market, with a distinctly Teutonic Flavor. Sip the brewer’s offerings, but clear out some last-minute holiday shopping while you’re at it, as you browse the wares of over 20 independent sellers.

This is a poster for a winter festival.  The background of the poster is radial lines in red, white and blue.  In the center of the poster is an  illustration of a pint of beer, with the words "German Holiday Market,"  written on it.
German Holiday Market Banner

Rachel Mars / Rachel Mars

Sunday, December 11
2:00 p.m.
Trinity Church Boston
Tickets begin at $40

Despite Handel’s “Messiah” being an easter oratorio, the famed piece has elbowed its way into December, becoming a mainstay of many a concert programmer’s Christmas offerings. This year, the choir of Trinity Church presents it alongside Britten’s comforting “Ceremony of Carols,” and Finzi’s In Terra Pax.

Thursday, Dec. 15 at 7:30PM
Sunday, Dec. 18 at 3:00PM
Jordan Hall
Tickets start at $15

The Handel and Haydn Society, now in its 208th season, has a gift for those of us that crave baroque goodness: two concert dates featuring soprano Robin Johannsen. Featured in the program is Bach’s cantata “Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen,” a showcase for soprano and trumpet; and a trio of Handel selections, including the (relatively recently) rediscovered “Gloria” for soprano and solo strings.

Conductor Jonathan Cohen is conducting the Handel and Hydn Orchestra.  In this image he is wearing a black dress jacket and white shirt.  He is smiling. his left hand is raised as he address the musicians.
Jonathan Cohen conducting the Handel and Haydn Orchestra, 2022

Sam Brewer / Handel and Haydn Society

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