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Have yourself some holiday fun

We’ve compiled the top 10 holiday events in our coverage area to help you plan out the season in style

  • Monadnock Chorus director Jim Sharrock leads the Monadnock Chorus in a rehearsal for their upcoming concert, "A December Fanfare."<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

    Monadnock Chorus director Jim Sharrock leads the Monadnock Chorus in a rehearsal for their upcoming concert, "A December Fanfare."

    (Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

  • Conductor Jim Sharrock of Harrisville lead the Monadnock Chorus in rehearsal for their upcoming "A December Fanfare" concert on Saturday and Sunday at the Peterborough Players Theatre. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

    Conductor Jim Sharrock of Harrisville lead the Monadnock Chorus in rehearsal for their upcoming "A December Fanfare" concert on Saturday and Sunday at the Peterborough Players Theatre.

    (Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

  •  The Monadnock Chorus will give a concert next weekend at the Peterborough Town House.

    The Monadnock Chorus will give a concert next weekend at the Peterborough Town House.

  • A group of local musicians come together to stave off the slow winter music scene, and come out with a new band.

    A group of local musicians come together to stave off the slow winter music scene, and come out with a new band.

  • A group of local musicians come together to stave off the slow winter music scene, and come out with a new band.

    A group of local musicians come together to stave off the slow winter music scene, and come out with a new band.

  • Hearth cooking at Peterborough Historical Society<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Carole Allen)

    Hearth cooking at Peterborough Historical Society

    (Staff photo by Carole Allen)

  • The labyrinth built in the Town Hall in Peterborough let residents wander through the twisting path of meditation on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.<br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

    The labyrinth built in the Town Hall in Peterborough let residents wander through the twisting path of meditation on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.
    (Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

  • The labyrinth built in the Town Hall in Peterborough let residents wander through the twisting path of meditation on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.<br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

    The labyrinth built in the Town Hall in Peterborough let residents wander through the twisting path of meditation on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.
    (Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

  • The labyrinth built in the Town Hall in Peterborough let residents wander through the twisting path of meditation on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.<br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

    The labyrinth built in the Town Hall in Peterborough let residents wander through the twisting path of meditation on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.
    (Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

  • Monadnock Chorus director Jim Sharrock leads the Monadnock Chorus in a rehearsal for their upcoming concert, "A December Fanfare."<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)
  • Conductor Jim Sharrock of Harrisville lead the Monadnock Chorus in rehearsal for their upcoming "A December Fanfare" concert on Saturday and Sunday at the Peterborough Players Theatre. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)
  •  The Monadnock Chorus will give a concert next weekend at the Peterborough Town House.
  • A group of local musicians come together to stave off the slow winter music scene, and come out with a new band.
  • A group of local musicians come together to stave off the slow winter music scene, and come out with a new band.
  • Hearth cooking at Peterborough Historical Society<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Carole Allen)
  • The labyrinth built in the Town Hall in Peterborough let residents wander through the twisting path of meditation on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.<br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)
  • The labyrinth built in the Town Hall in Peterborough let residents wander through the twisting path of meditation on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.<br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)
  • The labyrinth built in the Town Hall in Peterborough let residents wander through the twisting path of meditation on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.<br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

There’s a lot out there competing for your attention during the holiday season. Between gearing up for end-of-the-year holiday parties, shopping for gifts and braving your hazardous roof to bedeck your eaves with Christmas lights, there’s not a lot of time left to take in the other entertainment opportunities offered around the region. To make it easier for you, here are some of the highlights of the season you might want to carve out a block of time to attend.

Monadnock Chorus

Each year, the Monadnock Chorus puts their own spin on Christmas. This year, the chorus be presenting “A Lithuanian Christmas” for its annual winter concert. With more than 100 members, all the listeners have to do is sit back, and let the wave of voices fill them with Christmas spirit and good will.

The chorus will be performing on Dec. 14 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 15 at 3 p.m. at the Peterborough Town House. Tickets are $20 purchased from chorus members or from The Toadstool Bookshop in Peterborough or $18 when purchased online. For more information, visit www.monadnock-chorus.org.

Jaffrey Civic Center

Each year, the Jaffrey Civic Center puts out an open call for their Annual Autumn Area Art Exhibit. This year, over 200 artists answered the call, with every manner of art medium, from glass, wood, photography and two-dimensional and three-dimensional works. The work, all of which is for sale, is currently on display at the Civic Center, with photography sharing the first floor with artist Linda Mahoney’s woodblock prints in the display case, and the rest of the submissions on the second floor.

“It’s a great place to do your Christmas shopping,” said Jaffrey Civic Center’s Executive Director, Dion Owens. “We have both professional and amateur work, and there really is something for everyone. Right now I’d love to have a lot of it for me.”

The Civic Center’s autumn exhibit is currently on display, and will be available for viewing through Dec. 21.

Holiday Tea Dance

December is a tad late for a traditional tea dance. They tend to happen in the summer or autumn, a hold-over from genteel garden parties and tea time. But TeaTime Ltd. isn’t letting that stop them from putting on a Holiday Tea Dance, with live piano music provided by Bernie and Louise Watson.

“They will be playing and we will be dancing,” said Charles C. Richmond, one of the event’s organizers. “And I can assure you that I myself will be dancing with a number of ladies.” And while the dance should be a good time, it is also going to help a good cause, added Richmond. The funds will be going to support The Place to Go: Kids Together free after-school program. “Mainly that’s what we’re doing,” said Richmond. “Getting together and doing something good with what we turn in.”

The Holiday Tea Dance will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. on Dec. 1 in Bass Hall at the Monadnock Center for History and Culture in Peterborough. Tickets are $20 and are available at the Monadnock Center for History and Culture, Steele’s Stationers in Peterborough, or at the door.

Hancock Family Christmas

Forget caroling door-to-door. Music on Norway Pond will provide the Christmas music. Each fall, the 30 women that make up the Norway Pond Festival Singers start preparing for the annual Hancock Family Christmas. For the past five years, the all-woman chorus is joined by a small male contingent to put together to assist with the concert. And it won’t just be the Festival Singers featured in the concert, either — the Norway Pond Junior Minstrels, a chorus for children up to the age of 14, will also get in on the action, as will as the Village Ringers.

Sirkka Holm of Francestown will be reading the story “Star Mother’s Youngest Child,” as part of the night’s program. Then the audience is invited to sing a few carols along with the choir, accompanied on the organ by Mary Ann Fleming.

“Songs with bells, candles, stars and angelic voices will convert even the most ‘bah humbug’ of concert-goers,” said Music on Norway Pond Artistic Director Jody Hill Simpson, in press release.

There is no charge for the concert, but donations are accepted. The concert will be at 4 p.m. on Dec. 21 at the Hancock Meeting House.

Monadnock Center for History and Culture

Cooking Christmas dinner is an ordeal in itself. Imagine trying to get it done without your double-tiered oven that supports four stovetop heaters. Or, with Peterborough’s Monadnock Center for History and Culture’s Hearth Cooking series, do away with the imagining part, and simply experience it for yourself. In October, autumn-themed foods were the fare. In November, it was a turkey dinner and all the fixings. So for the third and final installment of the Center’s hearth-cooking series will be, of course, the traditional Christmas dinner.

Traditional plum pudding, mincemeat, hot chocolate, and gingerbread cakes will be cooked over the hearth at the Phoenix House on Dec. 14 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Those that want to come by and see how it’s done can sample the cooking, and the more adventurous can get the actual recipes to try out their own cooking at home. For more information, call 525-3235 or visit monadnockcenter.org.

Monadnock Folklore Society

Get a jump start in working off that big Thanksgiving meal by dancing the night away on Thanksgiving Eve. On Nov. 27, at the Peterborough Town House, residents will be able to while away the hours leading up to the holiday with the traditional contra dance, a partnered folk dance from 8 to 11:30 p.m. Music will be provided by The Stingrays.

Or, if you’re looking for a longer diversion, there’s always the annual Snow Ball, set this year for Jan. 25. The Snow Ball isn’t just an evening diversion — it starts at noon and continues on for 12 hours, until the stroke of midnight breaks the spell.

Admission is $10, or $8 for seniors and students for the Thanksgiving Eve dance, and $24 for the Snow Ball. For more information, visit www.monadnockfolk.org.

Live at the MET

Not everyone can afford to steal away to experience the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. But you can get as close as possible to the real thing by viewing the Met’s production of “Falstaff,” streamed live via satellite onto the Peterborough Players’ big screen on Dec. 14 at 1 p.m.

“Falstaff” by Giuseppe Verdi is one of the few comedic operas Verdi penned — only one of two, in fact. It’s also the last opera written by him, finished when the composer was in his 90s. The opera is adapted from William Shakespeare’s “The Merry Wives of Windsor” and scenes from “Henry IV,” and tells the tale of the fat and greedy Falstaff, who attempts to woo multiple women at once, in hopes of getting his hand’s on their husbands fortunes. Unfortunately for him, the wives discover the duplicity almost immediately, and through guile, make sure Falstaff gets his comeuppance. Translation of the opera will appear on screen during the performance.

Tickets are $25 for adults or $20 for students. For more information, visit www.peterboroughplayers.org/the-met-2013-14.

Peterborough Labyrinth

Most people associate New Year’s with champagne, noisemakers and late-night parties. But in Peterborough, there’s another tradition to welcome in the new year — a slow meditative walk through a single twisting path that makes up the Labyrinth taped out on the floor of the Peterborough Town House every year. Shortly before New Year’s festivities are set to begin, volunteers spend the day marking out a labyrinth that emulates the one found on the floor of the French Chartres Cathedral. Then, on New Year’s Eve or early on New Year’s Day, residents come and take their walk.

Rock concert at Monadnock Country Club

It’s time to bring a little rock and roll into the Monadnock Country Club on High Street in Peterborough. Three local bands – Ghost Dinner Band, Ol’ Factory and Hug the Dog – will be coming together to play a concert at the country club on Nov. 29. It’s a night of locally-grown psychedelic rock, classic, funky covers and all-around outstanding rock and roll! Give yourself an early present and show up to get down.

This is a night for the adults to enjoy — it’s for 21 and ups only. Tickets are $10 pre-sale or $13 at the door. For more information, call 924-7769 or visit www.brownpapertickets.com/event/514796.

Handel’s Messiah

Messiah is an English-language orotorio by George Frideric Handel, and remains his best-known work to date. For many years, Franklin Pierce University held a Messiah sing at the university, each year during the holidays, but its a tradition that has fallen to the wayside in the past few years. This year, a different group has taken on the task. Hancock resident Margaret Carlson gathered a group of friends to bring the old Rindge tradition into Peterborough. Local members of the chorus that performed yearly at Franklin Pierce were contacted, and a group of 60 will be coming together to bring back the Messiah sing on Dec. 7.

The group will gather in the afternoon for a group practice, and then at 7:30 at the Union Congregational Church in Peterborough, the Messiah will be held. The chores will perform selected classics of the full-length Messiah, including “And the Glory of the Lord,” “For Unto Us a Child is Born,” “Glory to God,” and of course, the traditional “Hallelujah (chorus),” among other pieces. Jeff Fuller, the music director of All Saints Episcopal Church, will conduct the chorus, who will be joined by a Francestown string quartet for selected numbers. The concert is free, but donations are accepted.

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