FED UP WITH CANCER FUNDRAISER. Thursday, Dec. 6, 5:30 to 9 p.m., Danversport Yacht Club, 161 Elliott St., Danvers. MassPay’s third annual benefit includes sampling of foods from local restaurants, cash bar, silent auction, tributes and entertainment. All proceeds support programs and services for cancer patients at NSMC/Salem Hospital’s oncology unit and Mass General/North Shore Cancer Center in Danvers. Tickets cost $30 in advance. www.fedupwithcancer.com.
“PAWS WITH CLAWS.” Pets can get their photos taken with “Santa Claws” on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 8 and 9, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Danvers PetSmart, 104 Andover St. Photos with Santa support homeless animals. Pet parents receive one 4- by 6-inch photograph in a holiday collector frame for $9.95 with savings card. For every photo package, PetSmart will donate $5 to PAWS Wakefield. 781-246-6111, PAWSwakefield@yahoo.com or www.pawswakefield.rescuegroups.org.
HURRICANE SANDY TOY DRIVE. Saturday, Dec. 8, 12 to 10 p.m., Tin Whistle, 241 Jefferson Ave. Donations of unwrapped toys, games, books, wrapping paper or tape will be collected and donated to families affected by storm. Donors will be entered in a raffle to win gift certificates. Santa will be on-site from 1 to 4 p.m., followed by a DJ in the evening. 978-836-1146 or Patty_Levasseur1@msn.com.
WREATHS ACROSS AMERICA. Monday, Dec. 10, 11:30 a.m., Coolidge Hall, Topsfield Fairgrounds, 207 Boston Road. One of the stops on “Veteran’s Parade” journey from Maine to Washington, D.C. Wreaths Across America is a nonprofit organization that holds annual wreath-laying ceremonies in an effort to spread the message about the importance of remembering those who have given their lives to serve the country. www.wreathsacrossamerica.org.
19TH ANNUAL SALEM CHILDREN’S CHARITY CHRISTMAS FUNDRAISER. Tuesday, Dec. 11, 5 p.m., Victoria Station and Vic’s Boathouse, 86 Wharf St., Pickering Wharf, Salem. Event includes appetizers, a grand dinner buffet, desserts, 50-50 raffle, silent and live auctions, and special guest celebrities. Doors open at 5 p.m. $15 admission. All proceeds support the basic and emergency needs of Salem’s schoolchildren. 978-745-3400.
GIVING GARDEN. Five trees, each dedicated to a local charity organization, in the Best Buy wing at the Liberty Tree Mall, 100 Independence Way, Danvers, during mall hours through Thursday, Dec. 27. Each tree contains ornaments of wishes specific to each charity/organization. Shoppers can purchase the item listed on the ornament, and it will be distributed to the appropriate charity/organization. 978-777-0795.
SANTA’S ARRIVAL IN SALEM. Friday, Dec. 7, 5:30 p.m., Salem Common, 18 Washington Square, Salem. Santa arrives on the Hawthorne Hotel’s roof. With help from the Salem Fire Company, Mayor Kim Driscoll and Santa will lead the crowd down Essex Street to the Museum Place Mall, where children can sit on Santa’s lap and tell him their Christmas list. Free. salemmainstreets.org.
BREAKFAST WITH SANTA IN HAMILTON. Saturday, Dec. 8, 7:30 to 10 a.m., Community House of Hamilton and Wenham, 284 Bay Road, Hamilton. Pancakes, muffins, sausages, juice, coffee and cocoa. Decorate cookies with the Girl Scouts and have a picture taken with Santa. $10/adults, $5/children 2 and under. Reservations required at 978-468-4818 or www.communityhouse.org.
BREAKFAST WITH SANTA IN SALEM. Saturday, Dec. 8, 8 a.m., 5 Broad St., Salem. Admission includes a delicious breakfast and fun entertainment. Get a 5-by-7-inch picture with Santa Claus. Pictures will be available for pickup on Dec. 10 at the Salem Senior Center. Purchase tickets at the Salem Senior Center. Free/children under 3, $5/children ages 3 to 8, $7/adults. Children must be accompanied by an adult. 978-744-0180, ext. 20.
VISIT FROM SANTA. Saturday, Dec. 8, 10 a.m. to noon, Ipswich Public Library, 25 N. Main St. Santa will visit the Children’s Room. Children may consult him personally or watch from across the room. Bring a camera. Refreshments and crafts will be available in the Collins Room. www.ipswichlibrary.org.
CHRISTMAS FAIR AND LUNCHEON. Saturday, Dec. 8, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Grace Church, Parish House, 385 Essex St., Salem. Craft items, knitted goods, a food table and regifting items. firstname.lastname@example.org or 781-631-9417.
SECOND ANNUAL TREE JUBILEE. Saturday, Dec. 8, noon to 2 p.m., Marini Farm, 259 Linebrook Road, Ipswich. Attendees can meet Santa and get their faces painted. To benefit The Ipswich Humane Group. Free admission. www.ipswichhumanegroup.org or email@example.com.
CANDY CANE VIEWING. Saturday, Dec. 8, 1 p.m., Putnam Pantry Candies, Route 1, Danvers. Watch homemade candy canes being made. Viewing includes candy cane samples, hot cider and chocolate. 978-777-1336.
ATHENAEUM MEMBERS PARTY. Saturday, Dec. 8, 2 to 4 p.m., Salem Athenaeum, 337 Essex St. Mark the beginning of the holiday season. Refreshments, seasonal music and more. Children are invited to design festive gift wrap, cards or ornaments. Also, visit the Athenaeum’s fall exhibit, “The Good Father (with some exceptions).” Nonmembers joining the Athenaeum during the party will receive a discount. www.salemathenaeum.net.
CLASSIC CHRISTMAS. Saturday, Dec. 8, 3 to 6 p.m., The House of the Seven Gables, 115 Derby St., Salem. Christmas scenes from famous works of literature, including “Little Women,” “A Christmas Carol” and “A Child’s Christmas in Wales,” will be brought to life and will transform the house into a living illustration of Christmas. $12/adult, $7.50/children ages 5 to 12. Reservations recommended. 978-744-0991, ext. 104.
CHABAD NORTH SHORE’S ANNUAL RUN-A-LATKE. A family 5K run and Hanukkah party, Saturday, Dec. 9, 10 a.m., Chabad Community Shul, 44 Burrill St., Swampscott. Hanukkah programming will be available for kids while adults run. Attendees can race, eat latkes and doughnuts, and help build a huge Lego menorah. Register at the door or online at www.nsjewish.com or raceit.com.
BRUNCH WITH SANTA. Sunday, Dec. 9, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Hawthorne Hotel, 18 Washington Square West, Salem. Share holiday wishes and spread cheer with Santa during a holiday brunch. $28.95/adults, $14.95/children 12 and under, free/children under 3. Reservations strongly recommended. 978-825-4311.
ANNUAL HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE & FINE ART SILENT AUCTION. Sunday, Dec. 9, 1 to 4 p.m., Felton-Smith Historic Site, 43 Felton St., Peabody. Peabody Historical Society’s open house includes tours of the Nathaniel Felton Jr. House, decorated by the Peabody Garden Club, and the Peabody Historical Fire Museum. A fine art silent auction featuring artwork in various mediums will be held in the Smith Barn. A portion of the proceeds support Art Association programs. 978-977-0514 or www.peabodyhistorical.org.
HOLIDAY PARTY. Sunday, Dec. 9, 2 to 5 p.m., Marblehead Arts Association, 8 Hooper St. Explore the King Hooper Mansion during MAA’s holiday party; five local garden clubs have decorated the mansion. Refreshments will be available. Also, explore the December Member Exhibit, which features works in all mediums. www.marbleheadarts.org or 781-631-2608.
PET PHOTOS WITH SANTA. Sunday, Dec. 9, 8 to 9:30 p.m., Northshore Mall, 210 Andover St., Peabody. Pets are invited to sit on Santa’s lap and pose for a photo. 978-531-3441.
HOLIDAY DECORATING WORKSHOP. Monday, Dec. 10, 9 a.m. to noon, Castle Hill on Crane Estate, 290 Argilla Road, Ipswich. Fiber artist Rose Ann Hunter will teach participants how to transform old fabrics into heirloom garlands and decorations. Materials provided. Space limited to 15 participants. $20/Trustees member, $25/nonmember. Register at 978-356-4351 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
HANUKKAH CELEBRATION. Tuesday, Dec. 11, 4 to 5 p.m., Hamilton-Wenham Public Library, 14 Union St., Hamilton. The Lappin Foundation presents stories and songs that celebrate the Festival of Lights. Free. www.hwlibrary.org.
Theater and shows
CARMEN THOMPSON VARIETY SHOW. Thursday, Dec. 6, 5 to 7 p.m., 5 Broad St., Salem. The theme of the ninth annual show is “The Ladies Who Sing.” Family and friends welcome. Holiday punch, hot and cold hors d’oeuvres, coffee, and pastries. $10/person. 978-744-0924, ext. 25.
“THE GOVERNMENT INSPECTOR.” Thursday, Dec. 6, Friday, Dec. 7, Saturday, Dec. 8, 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, Dec. 9, 2 p.m., Beverly High School auditorium, 100 Sohier Road. Beverly High School Stage Right presents a spirited adaptation of Nikolai Gogol’s classic play. $8/adults, $6/students. Handicapped-accessible. www.bhsonline.org.
“CABARET.” Salem State University performances on Dec. 6, 7 and 8 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 9 at 2 p.m. in Salem State’s Mainstage Theatre, 352 Lafayette St. American writer Cliff Bradshaw meets his muse, Sally Bowles, at the Cabaret. As their affair ignites, the shadows of a powerful Nazi party begin to loom, and a complex moral choice is at hand. Tickets $20 for general admission and $15 for students and seniors. By John Kander and Fred Ebb. The show is recommended for mature audiences. www.salemstatetickets.com or 978-542-6365.
“FIDDLER ON THE ROOF JR.” Performances on Dec. 7, 7 p.m.; Dec. 8, 4 p.m.; and Dec. 9, 2 p.m., in Ames Hall at the Salem YMCA, 1 Sewall St. Y Theatre Company’s fall musical production is appropriate for all ages. email@example.com or www.northshoreymca.org.
FANTASTIC SANTA. Friday, Dec. 7, 7 p.m.; and Saturday, Dec. 8, 5 p.m., First Church Wenham, Route 1A. A fun family musical in one act by Peter Stewart. $10 at the door. 978-468-5047.
“PRAIRIE LIGHTS.” Friday, Dec. 7, 7:30 p.m., Hogan Regional Center Auditorium, 6 Hathorne Circle, Danvers. North Shore Players presents a holiday musical that tells the story of a Jewish brother and sister who journey west on an Orphan Train in 1905. Arriving with other homeless youths in a tiny Nebraskan town just before the holidays, the siblings are adopted by Wellspring’s only Jewish couple. As Christmas and Hanukkah approach, orphans and residents alike are on a quest to reunite Wellspring after being threatened by a fearful banker. www.northshoreplayers.org.
“A CHRISTMAS CAROL.” Dec. 7 through 23 at the North Shore Music Theatre, 62 Dunham Road, Beverly. With dazzling special effects that have grown even more exciting over time, traditional and original songs, and colorful costumes, “A Christmas Carol” has become a holiday favorite throughout New England. Based on Charles Dickens’ classic tale of a curmudgeonly miser Ebenezer Scrooge, who is visited by ghosts of Christmases past, present and future hoping to change his destiny and save his soul. This musical, an original adaptation written for NSMT audiences, follows Scrooge through a series of strange and magical journeys, where he ultimately discovers the true spirit of the holiday season. Tickets range $45 to $60. 978-232-7200 or www.nsmt.org.
“A CHRISTMAS CAROL.” Saturday, Dec. 8, 1 p.m., Lincoln Hall, 561 Main St., Boxford. The Delvina Theater Company presents a rendition performed by three actors. Sponsored by the Friends of the Boxford Town Library. Free. 978-887-7323.
ANNUAL CHRISTMAS GALA. Friday, Dec. 7, and Saturday, Dec. 8, 7 p.m., A.J. Gordon Memorial Chapel, Gordon College, 255 Grapevine Road, Wenham. The North Shore’s largest annual Christmas celebration featuring ensembles from the Department of Music. $15/general, $12/students. www.gordon.edu/event.cfm?iEventID=1780.
CHRISTMAS POPS CONCERT. Friday, Dec. 7, 7:30 p.m., Dane Street Church, 10 Dane St., Beverly. The Dane Street Church Community Concert Band presents holiday melodies and a Christmas singalong. Free admission. 978-922-4325.
EVENSONG. Saturday, Dec. 8, 4:30 p.m., Salem’s First Church, 316 Essex St. The Boston Boys Choir presents Christmas tradition. Part of Dickens North of Boston Branch’s second annual “Christmas With Dickens: A Day of Bygone Revelry.” $15/online, $20 at the door. All net proceeds benefit church. www.dickensnorthofboston.com/dickens_005.htm.
AN EVENING OF VICTORIAN DELIGHTS. Saturday, Dec. 8, 6:30 p.m., Salem’s First Church, 316 Essex St. Historical duet performance in Victorian costume featuring Larry Young and Suzanne Powers. Event highlights Dickens’ favorite 19th-century music and original compositions. Presentation includes fiddle music, song and Sir Roger Coventry dance for everyone. Light reception included. $25 online, $30 at the door. Proceeds benefit church. www.dickensnorthofboston.com/dickens_013.htm.
DANVERS DRUM CONVERGENCE. Saturday, Dec. 8, 6:45 to 10 p.m., Northshore Unitarian Universalist Church, 323 Locust St., Danvers. No experience necessary. Extra drums and other percussion instruments provided. $10 admission at the door. 978-774-7582 or www.nsuu.org.
CHRISTMAS CONCERT. Saturday, Dec. 8, 7 p.m., 15 Hawthorne Blvd., Salem. The Immaculate Conception Parish Choir presents “Behold the Star,” a musical celebration. Free admission; free-will donations accepted. Refreshments served. firstname.lastname@example.org.
THE BACK BAY RINGERS: LET IT SNOW! Saturday, Dec. 8, 7:30 p.m., Maple Street Church, 90 Maple St., Danvers. The handbell ensemble will presents its annual 2012 holiday concert featuring holiday classics, including “Carol of the Bells” and “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” and original compositions for handbells. Tickets are $15/adults, $10/students and seniors, free for children under 10. www.backbayringers.org.
“GLORIA! CHRISTMAS IS COMING.” Saturday, Dec. 8, 8 p.m., Our Lady of Hope Church, Linebrook Road, Ipswich, and Sunday, Dec. 9, 2 p.m., Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School, 775 Bay Road, Hamilton. Chorus North Shore, conducted by Sonja Dahlgren Pryor, presents Vivaldi’s “Gloria” and narrations and carols both familiar and new. Concert will end with audience joining the chorus to sing “Silent Night.” $20/adult, $17/seniors and students. Tickets at www.chorusnorthshore.org, 978-352-2763 or the door.
AN AFTERNOON OF CONCERTS. Sunday, Dec. 9, 2:30 and 5 p.m., Ipswich Performing Arts Center, 134 High St. Northeast Massachusetts Youth Orchestra’s 2:30 p.m. concert features the Prelude and Overture String ensembles, Intermezzo Orchestra, Junior Flute Choir, and Flute Choir; 5 p.m. concert features the Symphony Orchestra, Wind Ensemble and Select Flute Choir. First full-length concert of NMYO’s 2012-2013 season. Free. www.nmyo.org or 978-309-9833.
HOLIDAY CONCERT. Sunday, Dec. 9, 3 p.m., Swampscott High School, 200 Essex St. Features the Hillyer Festival Orchestra, conductor Dirk Hillyer and baritone Colin Levin. $30/general admission, $15/children under 16. Concert benefits The Listening Place of Lynn, a nonprofit that offers counseling services to people of all beliefs. Free parking. Handicapped-accessible. Tickets at the door or www.eventbee.com.
HOLIDAY SONGS. Monday, Dec. 10, 9:30 a.m., Beverly Public Library, 32 Essex St. Vocalist John Archer and pianist Dan Murphy will perform several Christmas music favorites. Program marks the close of the 2012 fall Monday Mornings lecture series. Free. Coffee, tea and light refreshments served at 9 a.m. Handicapped-accessible. 978-921-6062 or email@example.com.
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS WITH MUSIC. Monday, Dec. 10, 7 p.m., Peabody Institute Library, 82 Main St., Peabody. Five-part series that combines lecture and performance to explore the world of classical music. First event, titled “Into the Holiday Spirit,” features flutist Orlando Cela, violinist Maria Benotti, bassoonist Neil Fairbairn, poetry and mystery instruments. Combines traditional live classical music performances with interactive dialog among performers an listeners. 978-531-0100, ext. 10, or www.peabodylibrary.org.
COMMUNITY BAND CONCERT. Monday, Dec. 10, 7 p.m., Salem High School, 77 Willson St. Holiday and seasonal favorites. Free. firstname.lastname@example.org or 978-790-1511.
WINTER CONCERT. Wednesday, Dec. 12, 7 p.m., Salem High School auditorium, 77 Willson St. Features Salem High’s Concert Band, Symphony and String orchestras, Chorus, Chamber Choir, WitchPitch?, and Jazz Ensemble performing holiday and seasonal selections, including the “Hallelujah Chorus.” $6/adults, $4/students and seniors. Refreshments served at intermission. 978-740-1136.
“STRONG WOMEN AT THE GABLES: AN ORCHESTRA AT HER FINGERTIPS.” Wednesday, Dec. 12, 7 p.m., The House of the Seven Gables, 115 Derby St., Salem. Pianist Jacquelyn Schwab will perform vintage 19th-century American parlor music, including Stephen Foster and Civil War songs, hymns, spirituals, and ballroom dances. Schwab is best known for her performances on Ken Burns’ Grammy Award-winning documentary “The Civil War” and the Emmy Award-winning baseball and Mark Twain documentaries on public television. $10/members, $15/nonmembers. www.7Gables.org.
Gatherings and festivals
THIRD ANNUAL CHRISTMAS IN THE VILLAGES. Thursday, Dec. 6, 5 to 9 p.m., at participating merchants in Hamilton and Wenham. Food, drink, caroling, discounts, free gifts, raffles and more. Santa and his elves will hand out treats to visitors, and musicians will perform throughout downtown. 978-468-1100 or www.villagemerchants.org.
FESTIVE FIRST THURSDAY ART WALK. Thursday, Dec. 6, 6 to 9 p.m., Rantoul and Cabot streets, Beverly. Refreshments and special exhibits from a mixture of galleries, open studios of painters, jewelers and guitar makers, public murals, and creative businesses. Participating businesses will have a green First Thursday sticker on their window. BeverlyCulture.org.
FIRST FRIDAYS. Downtown Salem, Friday, Dec. 7. Open house night with live entertainment, art showings, refreshments and shopping discounts until 8:30 p.m. salemmainstreets.org.
ANNUAL HOLIDAY FESTIVAL. Saturday, Dec. 8, 4 to 7 p.m., Market, Central and South Main streets, Ipswich. Ipswich Chamber of Commerce’s event includes free hot chocolate, cider, popcorn, special treats, DJ Jon Ross, Santa on Wheels, carolers throughout town and more. Free. www.ipswichchamber.org.
“POSTER GIRL” FILM SCREENING. Thursday, Dec. 6, 4 p.m., Endicott College, Rose Performance Hall, 376 Hale St., Beverly. Oscar-nominated documentary short follows Robynn Murray over two years as she embarks on a journey of self-discovery and redemption through art and poverty. Murray, once an all-American high school cheerleader, became the poster girl for women in combat. She joined the U.S. Army and earned the rank of sergeant. Since returning from Iraq, Murray has suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. Murray will be present at the screening. A light reception will follow. Free. www.endicott.edu/centerforthearts or 978-232-2655.
AWARD-WINNING FILMMAKER SHARES STORY. Thursday, Dec. 6, 7 p.m., JCC, 4 Community Road, Marblehead. Jeff Lieberman will share his experiences of filming “Re-Emerging: The Jews of Nigeria,” the story of Shmuel, a young man who grows up hearing rumors that his Igbo tribe may have Jewish roots. When the Internet arrives in his village, Shmuel begins comparing Igbo traditions with Hebrew traditions and discovers many similarities. Shmuel sets off on a journey to discover his true identity. $5/JCC members, $8/community. Reserve a spot at 781-476-9902 or email@example.com.
TELLURIDE MOVIE FESTIVAL. Friday, Dec. 7, 6 to 8:30 p.m., Pingree School, 537 Highland St., Hamilton. School will host a tour stop for “Mountainfilm in Telluride,” one of America’s longest-running film festivals. The festival features films with themes of adventure, mountaineering, remarkable personalities, and important environmental and social messages. The school’s Global Connections club will sell gear donated by Mountainfilm’s lead sponsor; all proceeds from the sales support Edesia, a nonprofit that works to treat and prevent childhood malnutrition with a simple peanut paste. Free. www.mountainfilm.org/mftv/about.
HOLIDAY MOVIE SCREENING. Saturday, Dec. 8, 10 a.m., Boxford Town Library, 10 Elm St., Boxford. Disney’s “A Christmas Carol.” Rated PG. Miser Ebenezer Scrooge is awakened on Christmas Eve by spirits who reveal to him his own miserable existence, what opportunities he wasted in his youth, his current cruelties, and the dire fate that awaits him if he does not change his ways. Scrooge is faced with his own story of growing bitterness and meanness and must decide what his own future will hold: death or redemption. Free. 978-887-7323, ext. 2.
FILM DISCUSSION GROUP. Tuesday, Dec. 11, 7 p.m., Peabody Institute Library, 82 Main St., Peabody. Group will discuss the art of filmmaking, current trends and historical contexts that drive the creation of the selected film, “She’s Gotta Have It.” Watch film prior to discussion. Details and registration at 978-531-0100, ext. 10, or www.peabodylibrary.org.
Activities for children and teens
AFTER-SCHOOL CRAFT PROGRAM. Thursday, Dec. 6, 3 to 5 p.m., Ipswich Public Library, 25 N. Main St., Ipswich. Kids in grades one through five can make a snow globe scene. Younger children may participate if a caregiver is present. Free. 978-412-8713.
STEAMPUNK ORNAMENT MAKING AND TREE DECORATING. Friday, Dec. 7, 5 to 7 p.m., Boxford Town Library, 10 Elm St., Boxford. Teens are invited to make steampunk-inspired ornaments and decorate the library’s Christmas tree. Steampunk is a subgenre of science fiction that typically features steam-powered machinery. Free. 978-887-7323.
ANNUAL KIDS CHRISTMAS WORKSHOP. Saturday, Dec. 8, 9 a.m. to noon, Clifton Lutheran Church, 150 Humphrey St., Marblehead. For kids to make Christmas ornaments and decorations. Crafts are suitable for children ages 3 and older, and each table is staffed with a volunteer; parental supervision is required. Create and paint Christmas ornaments, custom wrapping paper, gingerbread men, and Advent wreaths and tree balls. $5/child, covers materials and crafts. Children will take their crafts home. Handicapped-accessible. www.cliftonlutheran.org.
GINGERBREAD EXPRESS AND CONTEST. Saturday, Dec. 8, Sunday, Dec. 9 and Monday, Dec. 11, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wenham Museum, 132 Main St., Wenham. Visit the museum’s model train layout displaying gingerbread renditions of North Shore’s most iconic landmarks, showcased in a candy-covered village. $8/adults, $6/children. 978-468-2377 or www.wenhammuseum.org.
VICTORIAN CHILD’S PLAY. Saturday, Dec. 8, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Old Town Hall, 32 Derby Square, Salem. Three-hour Victorian party. Costumes, games, craft, “Steamduck Learns to Fly” story time, hot chocolate, holiday sweets, performance by the New England Ballet Ensemble and traditional Kinderszenen. Also, Victorian and Steampunk Lone-Piper-led Promenade begins at 10 a.m. at Armory Park and ends at Old Town Hall. Performance followed by singalong. Bruce Rosenbaum’s presentation of “Living Steampunk” will begin at 11 a.m.; question-and-answer session to follow. Net proceeds benefit Hospice of the North Shore and Greater Boston and Make A Wish Foundation. Attendees are encouraged to wear Victorian top hats, fascinators, hand muffs and accessories. Bring shoes to dance in and a camera. $15/online, $5 surcharge at the door. www.dickensnorthofboston.com.
GIFTS FROM NATURE. Saturday, Dec. 8, 10 a.m. to noon, Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary, 87 Perkins Row, Topsfield. Using materials collected from nature, create a variety of lovely crafts to give as gifts during the holiday season. Meets in the barn. $7/members, $9/nonmembers; $6/child member, $7/nonmember. For families with children ages 4 to 12. Register at 978-887-9264 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
HOLIDAY STORYTIME & CRAFT. Saturday, Dec. 8, 11 a.m. to noon, Hamilton Wenham Public Library, 14 Union St., South Hamilton. Celebrate the season with festive stories and a craft to take home. For ages 2 and up. www.hwlibrary.org.
A PATIENT BRUSH: STORY TRAILS. Sunday, Dec. 9, 2 to 3 p.m., Peabody Essex Museum, East India Square, Salem. A Patient Brush: Story Trails at the Peabody Essex Museum features a reading of “Twenty Heartbeats,” by Dennis Haseley, then a chance for attendees to create a Chinese brushwork painting. For children ages 5 to 8, with an adult. Advance reservations required. www.pem.org.
FROSTING, FRIENDS AND FUN. Wednesday, Dec. 12, 1 p.m., Wenham Museum, 132 Main St., Wenham. Join the annual gingerbread cookie decorating event. Rekindle childhood memories with a visit to the Snow Train to Bakersville, a G-gauge holiday model train layout where old-fashioned cars fill the gas lit streets, and tiny clothespin people visit snow-covered houses. Come early to visit the Gingerbread Express model train layout. Free with museum admission; $8/adults, $6/children. First come first served. 978-468-2377 or www.wenhammuseum.org.
Presentations and discussions
“SINGLES NIGHT.” Thursday, Dec. 6, 7 p.m., Salem Athenaeum, 337 Essex St., Salem. Meredith Goldstein, a relationship columnist for The Boston Globe, will discuss and read from her first novel, “The Singles.” Tickets $15; $10/members, free/students with ID. www.salemathenaeum.net or 978-744-2540.
YULETIDE RECEPTION. Friday, Dec. 7, 7 to 8:30 p.m., Main Parlor, Long Hill, 572 Essex St., Beverly. “Beyond the Gardens: The Ellery Sedgwick Workshops” presents literary readings about the holiday from a variety of traditions. $10/The Trustees of Reservations members, $15/nonmembers. Admission includes beverages and local cuisine served by the warm fire. Registration requested at www.thetrustees.org/longhill/events. email@example.com.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM DICKENS. Saturday, Dec. 8, 3 p.m., Old Town Hall, 32 Derby Square, Salem. Dickens North of Boston Branch presents a dramatic presentation of scenes from Charles Dickens’ novels and life. Albert Cremlin will perform a montage of Dickens’ life and characters. Tickets $15/online; $5 surcharge at the door. www.dickensnorthofboston.com.
POETRY READING. Monday, Dec. 10, 9 to 10:30 a.m., Peter A. Torigian Community Life Center, 79 Central St., Peabody. Local poet Maria Mello will read from her new book of poetry, “Bird Calls.” The collection is arranged in sections named for birds, with corresponding themes of longing, discovery, loss, communion and wisdom. Free. 978-531-2254.
SMASH: A DISCUSSION OF BROADWAY THEATER LIGHTING. Monday, Dec. 10, 6 to 8 p.m., Endicott College, Rose Performance Hall, 376 Hale St., Beverly. Donald Holder, an award-winning American lighting designer for theater, opera and dance, will discuss Broadway theater lighting. Free. Kerry Crichton, 978-232-7701 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
“THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS PAST: FOUR CENTURIES OF CHRISTMAS IN NEW ENGLAND.” Wednesday, Dec. 12, 6:30 p.m., Boxford Town Library, 10 Elm St., Boxford. Illustrated lecture traces the development of the Christmas celebration from the time it was outlawed in 17th-century New England through the beginning of the 20th century, when all trappings of a traditional Christmas were in place. Kenneth C. Turino, manager of community engagement and exhibitions at Historic New England, will explore how Christmas was transformed from a rowdy celebration to a family-centered event. He’ll also discuss how Christmas tree became popular, halls were decked, and Santa Claus came to town. Free. Sponsored by the Friends of the Boxford Town Library. Nanci Milone Hill, library director, 978-887-7323.
A SHORT HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN COCKTAIL. Wednesday, Dec. 12, 7:30 p.m., Ipswich Public Library, Collins Room, 25 North Main St., Ipswich. Food and drink historian Joseph Carlin will speak about his recent book, “Cocktails: A Global History.” Carlin will describe how cocktails have influenced American society and the world. Sponsored by the Friends of the Ipswich Public Library. 978-356-6648.
SALEM STATE ART + DESIGN FACULTY EXHIBITION. Friday, Dec. 7, Monday, Dec. 10, Tuesday, Dec. 11, 10 a.m., Salem State University, Winfisky Gallery, Ellison Campus Center, 352 Lafayette St., Salem. Annual event showcases the work of faculty from within Salem State’s nationally accredited department of art and design. Works by both full- and part-time studio faculty in printmaking, painting, glass, design, sculpture, photography and various other media. www.SalemState.edu/arts.
OSBORNE DAVIS PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBIT. On view through Monday, Dec. 24, at Beverly Cooperative Bank, 254 Cabot St., Beverly. Exhibit features work by award-winning Osborne Davis Photography of Beverly. Viewing hours are Monday through Wednesday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Thursday and Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. www.osbornedavisphoto.com.
“RACHEL ROME HOUPES: A CELEBRATION OF ART.” Solo show on view through Jan. 4, in the ArcWorks Community Art Center Gallery, 22 Foster St., Peabody. Exhibit features oil paintings, acrylics, and mixed-media abstract art work by Rachel Rome Houpes. Free. Street and public lot parking available. Gallery hours are Tuesday to Friday, noon to 6 p.m.; and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. arcworksart.org or www.facebook.com/ArcWorksCommunityArtCenter.
“TAKE TWO: PHOTOGRAPHS BY TOM AND JUDY ROBINSON-COX.” On view through January at Cloister Gallery, St. Andrew’s Church, 135 Lafayette St., Marblehead. Exhibit titled “Take Two: Photographs by Tom and Judy Robinson-Cox” features different photograph styles of landscapes, close-up macro views and abstract compositions inspired by Cape Ann’s atmosphere. Gallery hours are Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday, 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.; Sunday, 8 a.m. to noon. Handicapped-accessible. 781-631-4951 or email@example.com.
Fairs and sales
VENDOR CRAFTERS FAIR. Friday, Dec. 7, 5 to 9 p.m., St. John the Baptist School Gym on School Street, Peabody. PTO hosts the third annual fair, featuring more than 30 vendors and crafters, raffles, “Cash for Gold,” and special guest Gerry Cheevers, former Boston Bruins goalie, signing autographs from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Refreshments available. www.stjohns-peabody.com.
FAIR TRADE ADVENT FAIR. Saturday, Dec. 8 and Sunday, Dec. 9, 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Maple Street Church, Social Hall, 90 Maple St., Danvers. The third annual fair features handcrafts by local artists and from around the world: jewelry, ornaments, textiles and original artwork. Also, various organizations will be represented. Sponsored by the World Service Committee of Maple Street Church. All proceeds support the crafters. 978-774-4510.
TOYS ONLY RUMMAGE SALE. Saturday, Dec. 8, 9 to 11 a.m., Church of St. Andrew, Lafayette St., Marblehead. The 22nd annual sale features games, puzzles and children’s books. Most toys are used, some are new, and all are in good condition. firstname.lastname@example.org.
CHRISTMAS FAIR. Saturday, Dec. 8, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Trinity Episcopal Church, 124 River Road, Topsfield. Tables of handcrafted gifts; hand-knitted and crocheted items; holiday crafts and decorations; a boutique of jewelry, scarves, bags, purses and other accessories; home-baked goods and kitchen treats; books for everyone; a silent auction; raffles; and more. Lunch served from noon to 2 p.m. and includes homemade corn chowder, chicken salad sandwiches, hot dogs and chips. 978-887-5570.
FRIENDS BOOK SALE. Saturday, Dec. 8, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Peabody Institute Library, floor lobby and Trustees room, 82 Main St., Peabody. The Friends of the Peabody Institute Library will hold a book sale featuring hardcovers, paperbacks, children’s books and an expanded selection of library gifts. Items are in great condition. Coffee and light snacks also available. All proceeds benefit library programs. 978-314-7122 or email@example.com.
ANNUAL HOLIDAY ART & BOOK SALE. Saturday, Dec. 8, and Sunday, Dec. 9, 2 to 7 p.m., 86 Federal St., Salem. Jim McAllister’s annual art and book sale includes more than 150 items available for purchase.
DONN CARR PERFORMANCE CENTER. Dec. 10, 6:30 to 9 p.m., Carrtunes Christmas show featuring vocalist Maureen Pilot. $10/all ages, snack bar included. 13 Rear Main St., Peabody. www.donncarr.com or 978-531-9262.
FINZ SEAFOOD AND GRILL. Dec. 7, 9 p.m. to midnight, Katie O’Brien. 76 Wharf St., Pickering Wharf, Salem. 978-774-8485.
GULU-GULU. Dec. 6, Rory Mcharg; Dec. 7, Boris Bop; Dec. 8, Eric French; Dec. 12, Open Mike Night. All events begin at 8 p.m., unless otherwise noted. 247 Essex St., Salem. 978-740-8882.
HARDCOVER CAFE. Dec. 7, Lee Hawkins. 15A Newbury St. (Route 1 north), Danvers. 978-774-1223.
HOWLING WOLF TAQUERIA. Dec. 7, The Dejas; Dec. 8, Joel LaRue Smith; Dec. 9, 6 to 8 p.m., Steve Spungin. All shows are 10 p.m. to midnight unless otherwise noted. 76 Lafayette St., Salem. 978-774-9653 or www.feedyourwolf.com.
IN A PIG’S EYE. Dec. 7, 4 to 7 p.m., Blues Jam, 9 to 11:30 p.m., Zeke Martin; Dec. 8, Juke Joint 5; Dec. 9, 7 to 10 p.m., Ervin Dhimo; Dec. 10, Open Mike with Domenic Frizzi; Dec. 11, ZigZag Poetry Open Mike; Dec. 12, Christine Baze and Jesse Ciarmataro. 148 Derby St., Salem. 978-741-4436.
ME&THEE. Dec. 7, 8 p.m., Guggenheim Grotto with Jenee Halstead opening at Me&Thee Coffeehouse, 28 Mugford St., Marblehead. $15/advance, $18/at the door. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. 781-631-8987 or www.meandthee.org.
SEAPORT CAFE. Dec. 6, 8 p.m., Bees Deluxe. 215 Derby St., Salem. www.beesdeluxe.com.
SPOTLIGHT TAVERN. Dec. 7, 9 p.m., The Kind Buds; Dec. 11, 8 p.m., Our Own World. 208 Rantoul St., Beverly.