Assuming the Mayan calendar is just a timepiece, we’ve somehow made it through this year, despite fire and drought and an election that seemed endless. We deserve to celebrate a little, and extend a bit of goodwill to all this month. Here are some suggestions.
Giving Tree at ACE Hardware
The Giving Tree is back this year at Wellington ACE Hardware, 4104 Jefferson Ave. Owner Doug Anderson has trimmed the tree with envelopes to be stuffed with cash to support students at local schools — Rice and Eyestone elementaries and Wellington Middle School — who would otherwise have nothing for Christmas. Stop by during regular business hours any time before Dec. 24 to make a donation; Anderson really wants to beat the total of $1,578 the tree raised last year. The money will be distributed through the school district’s McKinney Homeless Program. Administrator Christie Brucher said any funds left over will be used throughout the year to purchase needed items such as coats and shoes. Info: 970-488-6634.
Nativities from Around the World on display
“Peace on Earth” takes on a new meaning at the Global Village Museum of Arts and Cultures, 200 W. Mountain Ave. in Fort Collins, with an exhibit of more than 100 folk-art Nativity scenes from 50 countries. See how the birth of Jesus has been interpreted by artists from India, Palestine, Argentina, Russia and places in between, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday, until Jan. 5; admission $5 adults, $3 seniors and students, $1 children. Admission is also good for the exhibit “Native American Art of the Four Corners,” indigenous art from Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah crafted by artists from the Apache, Hopi, Navajo, Pueblo, Ute and Zuni nations, also through Jan. 5.
A two-part companion lecture to the Four Corners exhibit and 90-minute slide show by cultural anthropologist Richard Grant will be offered on Nov. 30 and Dec. 5 at 7 p.m., $5 members, $10 nonmembers, includes museum admission. The museum will have extended hours on both days to allow viewing of the exhibit before the presentation. Info: 970-221-4600, www.globalvillagemuseum.com.
Classic stories and songs on stage
Holiday classics will grace local stages all month, starting with “The Nutcracker,” presented by the Canyon Concert Ballet with the Fort Collins Symphony, Dec. 6-9, at Lincoln Center, 417 W. Magnolia St., Fort Collins. Performances at 7 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, plus matinees at 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.Tickets $20-$30. Info: lctix.com, 970-221-6730.
“Gift of the Magi,” the famous O. Henry short story of an impoverished young couple’s search for the perfect Christmas gift for each other, has been transformed into a 70-minute chamber opera. The work, sung in English, receives its Rocky Mountain premiere Dec. 14-15, when Opera Fort Collins takes the stage with the Fort Collins Symphony at the Griffin Concert Hall at Colorado State University’s University Center for the Arts, 1400 Remington St. in Fort Collins. The Friday performance is at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. Composer David Conte will be on hand for the production, and a pre-opera lecture will be presented 45 minutes prior to each performance. Tickets $40 adults, $20 students, $10 children, available through the UCA, 970-491-2787, www.csuartstickets.com. A free lecture on “Gift of the Magi” will be presented on Dec. 6 at 7 p.m. at the main library at 201 Peterson St. Info: www.operafortcollins.org, 970-482-0220.
The traditional Holiday Stocking concert by Rocky Mountain High School Performing Arts students will light up Lincoln Center at 7 p.m. on Dec. 17. Tickets $5-$10, available through Lincoln Center. Info: lctix.com, 970-221-6730.
The cautionary tale of Ebenezer Scrooge and the three Christmas spirits has also been set to music and will be presented by the young thespians of la-de-da performing arts Dec. 21-23. “A Musical Christmas Carol” comes to life in the Magnolia Theater at Lincoln Center, 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, plus 2 p.m. matinees on Saturday and Sunday, tickets $8-$10. Info: lctix.com, 970-221-6730.
New Year’s Eve events
If you’re ready to say goodbye to 2012 – and really, who isn’t? – you have several options for doing it in style on Dec. 31. First up is the 28th annual Resolution Run, a 5K to help launch your new year’s fitness resolution while benefiting community radio station KRFC. The 6 p.m. start and the finish, with prizes, will be at the Clark Building on the CSU campus, $25 pre-registration, $30 race day, $5 12 and under. Info: krfcfm.org.
The Kings of Swing big band will have the Fort Collins Senior Center at 1200 Raintree Drive jumping from 8:30 p.m. til 12:30 a.m., when the Goodtimes Dance Club throws its annual New Year’s Eve Dance. Admission of $55 per couple includes party favors, snacks and midnight champagne toast. Reservations required by Dec. 21. Non-members will not be admitted without reservations. Info: 970-667-9398, www.goodtimesdanceclub.com.
Chapel in the Pines in Red Feather Lakes offers a family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebration in its Fellowship Hall, 8:30 p.m.-midnight. Board games, family movies, crafts and conversation help neighbors share in welcoming the new year, with a brief interfaith service at midnight. Bring a snack and a favorite game to share, and a sleeping bag or blanket for the little ones who can retire early in the nap room. Cocoa, soft drinks, tea and coffee will be provided with sparkling cider to toast 2013. Info: email@example.com.