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Holiday highlights to kindle Christmas magic
By Clarissa Tartar |

UNLY A FEW days ago, or so it seems, it was the arrival of the Great Pumpkin we hailed. Later, our preoccupation was with pilgrims and pecan pies. And now, even though the kids still have stomachaches from the Halloween goodies and the Thanksgiving turkey, it’s time to face the inevitable: The season to be jolly is here. Soon we’ll be trimming the trees and taking out the candles and ornaments, and our thoughts will turn once again to candy canes, eggnog and “Auld Lang Syne.” Since the holidays are here, the only thing to do is to enjoy them while they last. To augment your holiday cheer, check this list of area celebrations.

Nuts to you

(sugar plums, too)

The Dallas Ballet. “And visions of sugar plums danced in their heads…” They’ll dance in yours, too, as you watch and listen to The Nutcracker, Tchaikovsky’s yuletide fantasy, which is now an annual event at the Dallas Ballet. Performances are December 26 and 27 at 8 p.m. and December 28 through 30 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. in the Fair Park Music Hall. Tickets are $25, $15, $10 and $5. For tickets or more information, call 744-4430.

The Fort Worth Ballet and Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. Fort Worth’s dance troupe and orchestra will also present The Nutcracker December 1 and 2 at 8 p.m. and December 3 at 2 p.m. This version of the ever-popular holiday classic will combine the talents of the Fort Worth Ballet, the Hart-ford (Connecticut) Ballet and children from the community. Tickets are $22.50, $18.50, $13.50 and $9 for main-floor seats; $17.50, $8.50 and $6 for balcony seats. Group discounts are available. All performances are in the Tarrant County Convention Theater, 1111 Houston. For more information, call (817) 921-6998. For tickets, call Central Ticket Agency, (metro) 429-1181.

Can they really handel


The Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. James Rives-Jones will conduct the Handel-Mozart version of The Messiah, part of the DSO’s “Christmas Season Tradition,” December 17 and 18 at 8:15 p.m. in McFarlin Auditorium, SMU. Featured soloists are soprano Lila Deis, mezzo-soprano Martha Felix, tenor Forbes Wood and bass George Massey. Tickets range from $14 to $7. For tickets or more information, call the symphony box office at 692-0203.

The Fort Worth Chamber Orchestra’s Christmas concert will be December 4 at 2:30 p.m. at the Kimbell Art Museum, 3333 Camp Bowie Blvd., Fort Worth. The performance is free. For more information, call (817) 921-2676.


On Armstrong Parkway in Highland Park, three huge trees are decorated with lights each year. One of these, the Million Dollar Pecan Tree, has more than 2,000 lights on it. The trees will be lit December 13 at 7:30 p.m.; Christmas caroling will follow the ceremony. For more information, call the Highland Park Town Hall at 521-4161.

SMU will present its seventh annual Celebration of Lights December 4 at 7:30 p.m. in the main quadrangle in front of Dallas Hall. The event will include performances by the University Choir and a children’s choir; a reading of the Christmas story by the university president; and the traditional lighting of Dallas Hall, the Christmas tree and the quadrangle. The lighting will be followed by a reception in the rotunda of Dallas Hall. For more information, call the Student Foundation at 692-2079.

Citran buses in Fort Worth will take you on a holiday-lights tour of Cowtown December 17 and 18. The charge is $2; children under 5 ride free. For more information, call (817) 870-6200.

They’re playing

our song

If you’ve mastered singing in the shower, in the rain and for your supper, try singing along with hundreds of others at Messiah Sing, December 11 at The University of Texas at Dallas. You’re encouraged to bring your own Messiah score. The event will be conducted by Karl Dent, associate choral director at Highland Park Presbyterian Church, and will be accompanied by scripture readings by UTD faculty members. The sing-along will be preceded by caroling ana a reception. Activities begin at 7:30 p.m. in the University Theatre. The UTD campus is located at 2601 N. Floyd, Richardson. For more information, call 690-2982.WHAT THE DICKENS


North Texas State University is offering a new twist on that holiday landmark, the Christmas dinner, December 8 at 7 p.m. For the literary at heart, there’s a “Christmas Dinner with Charles Dickens and His Friends,” which includes roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, a trip to Dickens Pub before dinner, dramatized scenes and readings from Dickens’ works and Victorian music. Tickets are $12 per person. Send your check, payable to NTSU, to Mini Courses, P.O. Box 5344, NTSU, Demon, 76203. Please include your name, address and phone number and mark the check “Dick-ens Dinner.” For more information, call (817) 565-2656.


Visual Arts Students Christmas Sale/Exhibition. Art students at the University of Texas at Dallas will be showing and selling their works November 29 and 30 and December 1. The exhibition will open in the Visual Arts Gallery November 29 with a reception honoring the artists from 7 to 9 p.m. The gallery will be open November 30 and December 1 from 1 to 8 p.m. For more information, call 690-2982.



The feeling of an old-fashioned Christmas can be recaptured by caroling while riding in a horse-drawn surrey. Dallas Surrey Services will offer short rides originating from Old City Park December 1 through 4. Prices are $2 for adults and $1.50 for children under 10. In addition, you can book a private caroling party ($150 to $175 for the first hour, less for each additional hour). For more information, call Charles or Iris Smith at 946-9911.


The Scott Theatre in Fort Worth will present The Littlest Wise Man December 6 through 11, with choral assistance from the Texas Boys’ and Dorothy Shaw Bell choirs. Performances run December 6 through 10 at 7:30 p.m. and December 10 and 11 at 3 p.m. The theater is located at 3505 W. Lancaster at Montgomery. Tickets are free but must be obtained in advance from the Walsh Foundation, (817) 335-5417.


Tis the season to decorate homes in a festive manner. One particularly festive manor is the DeGolyer Estate, open, as in years past, during the holiday season for walking tours. This year, tours will be conducted December 10 through 18 from 1 to 4 p.m. Additional tours will be offered on December 15 and 16 from 6 to 9 p.m. The estate is at 8525 Garland Road. Admission is $2; $1 for children under 2 and senior citizens. For more information, call 324-1401.

Kappa Kappa Gamma alumnae will conduct tours of four Park Cities homes December 7 and 8 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets, which are $5, may be purchased at the Kappa Christmas Store in the University Park Methodist Church, Preston and Greenbrier, on tour days or from KKG alumnae before the tour. Proceeds from the tour will benefit Dallas Services for the Visually Impaired as well as Sequoia Inc., a non-profit organization that helps retarded citizens. 368-0116 or 692-0205.

Five Piano homes will be open for tours December 3 and 4 during the city’s sixth annual Holiday Tour of Homes, sponsored by the Piano Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW). The tour begins at 11 a.m. and ends at 5 p.m. Pre-sale tickets ($4) may be purchased by sending a check and a stamped, self-addressed envelope to Holiday Tour of Homes, 1800 Poincianna, Piano, 75075; or from any AAUW member or participating florists. On tour days, tickets may be purchased for $5 from ticket sellers at each tour home. For more information, call Pat Shof-fitt at 424-3212 or Donna Regen at 596-1592.

McKinney’s 12th annual Christmas Tour of Homes will be December 3 and 4. Sponsored by the Heritage Guild of Collin County, the tour will include four historic homes in the Chestnut Square Historical District and a selection of privately owned homes. Tickets may be obtained in advance by sending a check and a self-addressed, stamped envelope to the McKinney Chamber of Commerce, P.O. Box 621, McKinney, 75069. Tour prices are $5 for adults and $1 for children ages 5 through 12; children under 5 are admitted free. For more information, call the Chamber of Commerce at 542-0163.

The Jefferson Christmas Candlelight

Tour, held December 1, 2 and 3 from 6 to 9:30 p.m., will include four of the city’s historic buildings. Admission is $5 for adults; $1 for children 12 and under. Tickets will be sold in McGarity’s Saloon Building, No. 61 Dallas Street in Jefferson. An added attraction is the Victorian Christmas Play, presented by the Presbyterian Church. Admission for the play is $4 for adults; $1 for children 12 and under. For more information, call 665-8390.


The 12th annual Richardson Chamber of Commerce Christmas Parade December 3 begins at 9 a.m. at Richardson High School, Belt Line and Coit. Parade officials expect about 250 float entries and a turnout of more than 5,000 people. For more information, call the Richardson Chamber of Commerce at 234-4141.


The annual holiday tree lighting in Dallas will be December 1 at 7 p.m. at City Hall. After the tree is lit, a choir or musical group will perform, followed by a children’s parade to Old City Park, where there will be more festivities. For more information, call 670-3957.

December 1 through 4, Old City Park will host a winter festival celebrating the period from 1840 to 1910. Candlelight tours will be conducted December 1 and 2 from 6 to 9 p.m. and December 3 and 4 from 3 to 9 p.m. The cost is $5; $2 for children ages 3 through 12 and senior citizens 65 and older; children under 3 are admitted free. December 1, a candlelight ceremony at 7:45 p.m. will follow opening ceremonies at City Hall. For more information, call 421-5141.

In Fort Worth, the city Christmas tree will be lit November 25 on Main Street between 8th and 9th Streets. The 50-foot Douglas fir will be decorated with 3,000 lights. The tree-lighting ceremony begins at 6 p.m. and will be preceded by a parade through downtown Fort Worth, which will start at 5:30 p.m. A choir or musical act will follow the lighting ceremony, and other festivities will be featured. For more information on the tree lighting, call Dee Hardin at (817) 870-7004. For more information on the parade, call Ken Debero at (817) 827-1692.

Winterfest ’83 will feature 50 designer-decorated Christmas trees at the Rodeway Inn in Arlington December 3 and 4 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. There will also be puppet shows, a Santa Claus, refreshments and various displays. Admission is $2 for adults; $1 for children under 12.

December 1, a Mistletoe Ball at the Rodeway Inn will include a buffet dinner, silent and audible auctions, music and dancing. Cost is $30 per pensea The inn is locat-ed at Highway 360 and 1-30, next to Six Flags. Both Winterfest events will benefit the Dallas/Fort Worth Medical Center-Grand Prairie. For more information, call Ed Crane at 641-5002 or Phyllis Tatarevich at 641-5145.


Carols by Candlelight is a tradition at TCU in Fort Worth, but the public is welcome, too. This year, the carol sing is December 12 in the Robert Carr Chapel. “Carols by Candlelight” starts at 10:30 p.m., but come earlier for good seats. For more information, call (817) 921-7810.

Texas Boys’ Choir will perform “A Holiday Festival of Lessons and Carols” December 11, 12 and 13 at 7:30 p.m. at the choir campus, 5617 Locke, Fort Worth. Tickets are free but must be obtained in advance. For ticket information, call (817) 738-5429.

The Dallas Girls Chorus will sing Christmas songs November 26 at noon at the Galleria, LBJ Freeway at Dallas Parkway, and on December 3 at 5 p.m. at Old City Park; selected singers from the group will also appear at 6 p.m. December 10 at 1 p.m., the entire chorus will perform at Kes-sler Park United Methodist Church, 1215 Turner at Colorado. The chorus’ annual Christmas concert will be December 11 at 3 p.m. at the First Community Church, 6255 E. Mockingbird. For more information, call 943-2482.

The choir of St. Mark’s School will present “A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols,” a musical version of the Christmas story, December 15 at 7:30 p.m. 10600 Preston Road. For more information, call 363-6491.

The First Baptist Church of Dallas will present its children’s music program December 4 at 7 p.m. Also, choir members will form a “Singing Christmas Tree” December 9 through 16; performances begin each night at 7. There will be a candlelight carol service December 18 at 7 p.m. All events will be in the church sanctuary, 1707 San Jacinto at Ervay. For more information, call 742-3111, ext. 244.

The choir of the First United Methodist Church of Dallas will present a benefit performance of Handel’s Messiah December 4 at 7:30 p.m. December 11, the choir will present a family carol sing, which starts at 7:30 p.m. Composer John Rutter from Cambridge, England, will conduct the choir December 18 at 7:30 p.m. At 11 p.m. on Christmas Eve, the choir will be featured in the candlelight Christmas service. All events will be at the church, Ross and Harwood. For more information, call 742-6222.

At Highland Park United Methodist Church, there will be a Messiah sing-along December 4 at 7:30 p.m. in the sanctuary. December 11 at 7:30 p.m. the church will present Amahl and the Night Visitors in the Great Hall. Both events are free. The church is located at 3300 Mockingbird. For more information, call 521-3111, ext. 253.

The First Baptist Church of Richardson will present its children’s Christmas program December 4. December 11, there will be an adult choir Christmas presentation. The candle-lighting service will be December 18. All events will be at 7 p.m. in the sanctuary, Greenville and Phillips, two blocks south of Main Street. For more information, call 235-5296.

That holiday spirit

One of the best ways to celebrate the holiday season is to help others celebrate it. Many area organizations welcome donations that can make someone’s holiday a little brighter. Here are some holiday wish lists from area hospitals and shelters.

Buckner Children’s Home. Items needed include pots and pans, cookie sheets, flat-ware, glasses, kitchen utensils, real and artificial plants, a vacuum cleaner, clock radios, jewelry, sporting equipment, electric shavers, wallets, electric rollers, hand mirrors, manicure items, and sewing and crochet kits. For more information, call 321-4518.

Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Crippled Children. The wish list here includes Commodore 64 educational and game software, a Commodore 1701 video monitor, hand-held video games, board games, radios, tape players, cologne, wallets, belts, grooming aids, infant toys and building blocks. For more information, call 521-3168, ext. 223.

Children’s Emergency Shelter. Director Martha Ritter says the shelter needs toys and clothes for children ranging in age from infants to teen-agers. For more information, call 920-7996.

Children’s Medical Center needs rattles, mobiles, teething rings, stuffed animals, picture books, dolls, blocks, crayons and coloring books, miniature cars and trucks, puzzles, games, books, stationery, craft kits, checker and chess sets, watches and wallets. The center requests that donations be items that do not use electricity, and that batteries be included with battery-operated gifts. For more information, call 920-2165.

Casa de los Amigos, which provides temporary shelter for runaways, needs presents for teen-agers. Some suggestions are jewelry, record albums, clothes, makeup, sporting equipment and rock-group T-shirts. For more information, call 358-4504.

The Family Place. The list here includes office furniture, emergency hotel/motel accommodations for crisis callers, 3,000 disposable diapers, a color TV set, volunteers for the Christmas season, makeovers for residents and bedroom furnishings for residents. For more information, call 941-1991.

Hope Cottage Inc. needs pairs of twin bedspreads, an electric blender, an electric can opener, non-stick cookware, a 40-cup coffee percolator and three infant car-safety seats. The bureau also needs to have its backyard fence repaired. For more information, call 526-8721 (ask for an intake worker).

Juvenile Detention Home. This place needs portable cassette tape players, televisions and table games. For more information, call Randy Turner at 920-7823.

Salvation Army. All donations are appreciated, but the Salvation Army is specifically looking for good, usable toys, bulk food and any children’s clothing in good condition. For more information, call Maj. Ted Morris at 741-1381.

Volunteer Center. This organization compiles the wish lists of many needy groups. We’ve taken excerpts from the center’s annual publication, but for a more complete wish list, call the center at 744-1194 and ask to have a copy sent to you. From the center’s publication: food, clothes, toys, blankets, Christmas trees and ornaments, wrapping paper and bows, a copy machine, turkeys, perfume, jewelry, games and appliances. Volunteers are sought for the following tasks: delivering holiday baskets to families, decorating trees and buildings, singing carols at parties, playing Santa Claus, wrapping gifts, playing the piano, making and serving Christmas dinner, lawn mowing, house painting, and litter and trash pickup.


Traditionalists will enjoy White Christmas (Collectors’ Gold), with Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney, Perry Como Sings Merry Christmas Music (Pickwick/RCA) and The Sinatra Christmas Album (Capitol Records).

For those with international tastes, there’s Voices and Bells of Christmas Around the World (Olympic Records) by the Boys’ Choir of Vienna, Karl Etti, conductor. O Holy Night (London Records) with Luciano Pavarotti features holiday music in English and Italian.

Country-music fans will appreciate Elvis Sings the Wonderful World of Christmas (RCA), one of several holiday albums recorded by Elvis Presley; Christmas (Capitol Records) by Kenny Rogers and Christmas Wishes (Capitol Records) by Anne Murray.

For Motown fans, there’s Someday at Christmas by Stevie Wonder and We Wish You a Merry Christmas, featuring such artists as Wonder, the Supremes, the Temptations and Smokey Robinson and the Miracles.

Other albums include Yuletide Disco by Mirror Image for those who feel like dancing the night away. (Pickwick/RCA).

For children, there are Merry Christmaswith the Smurfs (Starland Music), Frosty theSnowman (Pickwick/RCA), Merry Snoopy’sChristmas (Mistletoe Records) and manyothers.