The last of the Thanksgiving leftovers have been thrown out, everyone but you has put up their tree and finished all of their Christmas shopping. The company Christmas party is approaching, but you’re still not in the Christmas spirit. Relax. Here’s D’s selection of holiday hints and happenings, guaranteed to soften up even the most devout Scrooges. So read on, hum Jingle Bells, and get the spirit.
HOLlDAY HOME TOURS
CANDELIGHT TOURS AT OLD CITY PARK
The fifteenth annual Candelight Tour will provide families with a beautifully decorated “home town,” reminiscent of holiday celebrations of years gone by. Each of Old City Park’s historic buildings is lovingly decorated by various Dallas community groups.
Vistors are invited to stroll along the candlelit path from building to building as the Park rings with church bells, choirs, and carolers. Santa Claus will be receiving young visitors on the porch of the old Print Shop. The four day event will have dancers, horse-drawn carriages, an old-fashioned bake sale, and foods of the six flags of Texas, with specially prepared dishes native to the six countries that have governed Texas.
Tickets for the fifteenth annual Candelight Tours at Old City Park are $5 for adults, $2 for children ages three to twelve, and $2 for senior citizens. Group tours are welcome. Groups of twenty or more qualify for group rates with advanced reservations by December 1. Tours are Thursday and Friday, December 4 and 5, 6 pm-9 pm; and Saturday and Sunday, December 6 and 7, from 3 pm-9 pm. All proceeds benefit the Dallas County Heritage Society. For more information, call Old City Park at 421-5141.
McKINNEY’S FIFTEENTH ANNUAL CHRISTMAS TOUR OF HOMES
Sponsored by the Heritage Guild of Col-lin County, the McKinney home tour will look inside five private residences and four houses at the Chestnut Square Historical District.
In the spirit of a traditional old-fashioned Christmas, visitors are invited to share a rare opportunity to enter some of McKinney’s charming older homes The homes are decorated in keeping with their age and character. The Country Store in the Faires House is stocked with hand-crafted items and baked goods that make ideal gifts. Lunch and snacks will be available at the Caldwell Annex of the First United Methodist Church on Benge Street.
Tours are Saturday. December 6 from 10 a.m. till 5 p.m.; Sunday, December 7, noon till 5 p.m. Take highway 75, exit 121 North, to Anthony Street West one block to Chestnut Square. Ticket information is available at the McKinney Chamber of Commerce at 201 S. McDonald, McKinney, Tx., 75069. (214) 542-0163. They will also be on sale during the tour at the Chestnut Square Historical District, or at the homes on the tour.
THE HEIGHTS BY CANDELIGHT TOUR
On Sunday, December 14, from 2 p.m. till 8 p.m., Winnetka Heights Historic District sponsors their first tour of homes, featuring five houses in the historic area. Tickets are $4 in advance, $5 at the door. For more information call 941-1929 or 942-1785.
JEFFERSON CHRISTMAS TOUR OF HOMES
Historic Jefferson, Texas, once the largest inland port in Texas, will once again step back in time for a glimpse of Christ-mases past. Descendants of early families have joined together with energetic new families in Jefferson to provide a showcase of Jefferson’s historic pas! in a traditional Christmas setting. The 1986 Jefferson Christmas Candelight Tour, sponsored by the Historic Jefferson Foundation, will showcase diverse architectural styles, reflected in homes on the tour. The homes range from a quaint single-story clapboard house with gingerbread trim, to a stately plantation home. During the tour, weekend visitors will be able to enjoy the spirit of Christmas with carolers singing during the tour, and shops bright with lights and decorations. Admission for the tours is $6 for adults and $1 for children twelve and under. For information, contact Dorothy Sain, P.O. Box 632, Jefferson, Texas, 75657.(214)665-8390.
PLANO’S AAUW’S HOLIDAY TOUR OF HOMES
The 1986 Piano Holiday Tour of Homes will feature five beautiful houses decorated for the holidays by local florists and designers. These homes were specially selected for their uniqueness and variety of styles. Sponsored by the Piano branch of the American Association of University Women, the Piano Tour of Homes presented twenty-one scholarships totaling over $12,000 to Piano area women. One of the homes on the tour will feature The Sugarplum Shoppe featuring holiday baked goods. A “Diamond Drawing” will also be held at The Sugarplum Shop for a grand prize diamond ring from Black, Starr, and Frost, Saturday, December 6 and Sunday, December 7, from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tickets will be available from all participating florists, from all Piano AAUW members, at the door of each tour home, New England Gifts, Nettle Creek Shop of Piano, Black. Starr, and Frost (Collin Creek Mall), Music Manor, and B. Minter Printing. Tickets $5 in advance and $6 on the days of the tour. 596-2955, 596-7926.
GREENVILLE AVENUE POCKET SANDWICH THEATRE
The Greenville Avenue Pocket Sandwich Theatre will present the classic Christmas Musical, “Ebenezer Scrooge.” Based on Charles Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol,” “Ebenezer Scrooge” is in its fifth consecutive year at the Pocket Sandwich Theatre. Nov 28-Dec 22. 1616 Greenville Ave. 821-1860.
The Dallas Theater Center presents Charles Dickens’s Christmas-time classic A Christmas Carol. Written in 1843 to awaken England to the plight of the poor children there, A Christmas Carol has become a treasured classic, and the Theater Center’s production stays true to Dickens’s rich, dimensional novel. November 28-December 28 at the Dallas Theater Center’s Kalita Humphrey’s Theater. 3636 Turtle Creek Blvd. Tickets $22-$11. 526-8857.
This month Casa Manana Children’s Playhouse presents “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” Since 1961, Casa Manana Children’s Playhouse has been introducing an increasing number of children to live theater. Friday, December 12 and Friday December 19 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, December 13 and Saturday, December 20 at 2 p.m. at Casa Manana Playhouse, Fort Worth. All seats $4.75. (817) 332-6221.
The Eastfield College Theater Department presents the story of how an old man reminisces and relives the joys of past Christmases in his youth in, “A Child’s Christmas in Wales.” Saturday, December 13 at 2 p.m. in the Performance Hall at Eastfield College in Mesquite, I-30 at Motley Drive. Tickets $4 adults, $3 children. 324-7185.
The story of a child’s Christmas dream set to the immortal melodies of Tchaikovsky have made The Nutcracker a perennial holiday favorite. This year, the Dallas Ballet presents the indispensable Christmas classic with entirely new sets by Bjorn Wiin-bald and a revised version of the choreography by artistic director Flemming Flindt. Performances at Fair Park Music Hall span the holiday season, opening December 20 at 7 p.m., continuing December 22,23, 26, 27, & 28 at 3 & 8 p.m., December 24 at 3 p.m. only, December 29 & 30 at 8 p.m., and December 31 at 3 & 9 p.m. Tickets $28-$5. 744-4430.
This month the Fort Worth Ballet presents The Nutcracker as choreographed by Nanett Glushak and Michel Rahn on De-cember18,19,& 20 at 8 p.m., and December 21 at 2 p.m. at the Tarrant County Convention Center Theatre, 1101 Houston, Fort Worth. Tickets $24-$3. (817) 763-0207.
The Dallas Metropolitan Ballet presents “The Night Before Christmas,” a happy holiday story ballet taken from Clement E. Moore’s “A Visit from St. Nicholas.” Frosty the Snowman, the Christmas Fairy, Santa Claus. a dancing bear, and a real nine-foot tall toy soldier are some of the characters in this holiday show. Saturday, December 13 and Sunday December 14 at 2:30 p.m. at McFarlin Auditorium, SMU. Tickets $10-$4 available at all Ticketron outlets. 640-7500. Group discounts available, Metro 640-5166.
The Richardson-based Tuzer Ballet of Texas will present for performances of the favorite Christmas ballet, “The Nutcracker,”on Saturday, November 29 at 8 p.m., and Sunday, November 30 at 3 p.m. at the Garland Center for the performing Arts at 5th and Austin in Garland, and on Saturday, December 6 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Dec 7 at 3 p.m. at McFarlin Auditorium on the SMU campus. General Admission is $7.50 for adults and $5 for senior citizens. Special group rates are also available. For further information, call 783-1735 between 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
OTHERS SPREADING CHRISTMAS CHEER
The Texas Baroque Ensemble will present Handel’s Messiah on authentic 18th-century instruments and reproductions on December 20 at 7:30 p.m. at St. Stephen United Methodist Church, 2520 Oates, Mesquite, and December 21 at 3 p.m. at Perkins Chapel, SMU. Tickets $8. 650-7500.
The Dallas Bach Society will present its version of Handel’s Messiah on December 21 at 7:30 p.m. at the Majestic Theatre, 1925 Elm. Tickets$18.50-$8.50. 827-8886.
The Southern Methodist University Mustang Chorale and Choir, and Guest Choir presents The Christmas Concert,” on December 7 at 4 p.m. in Caruth Auditorium, Owen Arts Center, SMU. Free. 692-3510.
To kick off the Christmas season, The Richardson Symphony Orchestra and the North Texas State University Grand Chorus will perform a “Holiday Festival of Music.” This first concert of the RSO’s Pops Series will offer a mix of carols and classics, including Vivaldi’s Four Seasons with solo violinist and Concertmaster Phillip Lewis, and the choral finale from Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, with soloists Judy Harris, soprano: Florence Vachon, alto; Kenneth Woods, tenor; and Steven Pierce, bass. Saturday, December 6 at 8 p.m. in the Richardson High School Auditorium. All tickets are $12; 50 percent off for students and senior citizens. 234-4195.
The internationally acclaimed, one hundred-voice, Dallas-based Vocal Majority will be offering their Christmas album, “The Secret of Christmas” at more than 800 participating 7-Eleven stores in Texas. “The Secret of Christmas” was one of the top-selling holiday albums in the Dallas area last year.
A FANTASY FOREST AT THE CRESCENT
The Crescent’s first Christmas finds it transformed into a holiday wonderland with an animated forest on Level III. Life-size trees, dancing honey-bears, toy soldiers, nutcrackers and other characters will inhabit the forest from November 22 to January 3. Adjacent to the Fantasy Forest is ’The Crescent Express Enchanted Railway,’ an exhibit of 12 miniature trains. The Easter Seal Society for Children will receive all proceeds from the admission to these exhibits. (Admission is $1.00 per person). For more information call 871-8500.
THIRD ANNUAL SHERATON DALLAS JINGLE BELL CHEER
Benefiting the Blood Center at Wadley, this “fun run” features runners sporting holiday costumes and bells on their toes. Over 3,000 “reindeer,” “elves,” and “snowflakes” are expected to participate in the run and the After Run Bash at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel & Towers. Prizes for creative costumes will be awarded at the After Run Bash, which also features food and entertainment. A grand prize trip for two to San Diego will go to the runner with the best holiday attire.
The Jingle Bell Run will have a 5K and one mile fun run courses through the streets of downtown Dallas. No times will be posted, but there will be a clock at the finish line. Runners of all ages are encouraged to run, walk, or stroll the routes. Run begins at 7 p.m. on Thursday, December 11. Entry fees are $8 (or individuals and $20 for families. Corporate support entries are available for $100, $250, and $500 levels. Late fees are $12 for individuals and $25 for families after December 4. Entry forms are available at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel & Towers, 400 N. Olive, and The Blood Center at Wadley, 9000 Harry Hines, Suite 322. For more information, call Hanne Klein, 351-8565.
DICKENSFEST, A FAIRE ON THE SQUARE
Sponsored by Scarborough Faire, this Victorian Christmas festival centers around the turn-of-the-century courthouse, and the quaint surrounding shops and cafes of downtown Waxahachie. More than fifty skilled craftsmen and artisans from across the country will set up shop at Dickensfest, offering handcrafted gifts, decorations, and toys. Downtown restaurants have added special Christmas treats to their menus while street vendors with roasting chestnuts, turkey legs, hot spiced cider, gingerbread cookies, crumpets, teacakes, plum pudding will tempt visitors at every turn. More than one hundred authentically costumed characters and entertainers recreate the streets of London in the late 1800s. Dignified gentry, cockney chimney sweeps, very proper nannies, imposing English bobbies, and other British characters come alive on the streets and sidewalks of the Waxahachie town square. On two consecutive weekends, December 6 & 7 and December 13 & 14, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. rain or shine. Tickets are $4 adults, $1 children ages five to twelve, and free for children under five. (214)937-6130.
SALVATION ARMY’S ANGEL TREE
The Salvation Army will continue its project begun last year known as “Angel Tree.” A Christmas tree covered with angel-shaped ornaments will be on display at Prestonwood Town Center November 28-December 20. These ornaments will contain the first name of a needy person along with his or her wish list. Shoppers can pick up an angel off the tree, buy a Christmas present and then return it to volunteers at the tree. Volunteers are also needed to work at the tree. For more information, call 353-2731.
“Christmas at Creepy Castle,” a holiday puppet show and craft session for ages five and up will be held at the Audelia Road Library, 10045 Audelia, On Saturday. December 13 at 3 p.m. 348-6160.
There will be a “Sweet Old Fashioned Christmas Party,” to help decorate the Christmas tree at the Casa View Library, 10355 Ferguson Road, on Saturday, December 6, at 2 p.m. Punch, popcorn, and holiday movies will be presented after the tree decorating. Free. 328-4113.
A holiday reception for the folks who use the Forest Green Library, 9015 Forest Lane, will be held on Wednesday. December 24, 10a.m.-5 p.m. 231-0991.
A “Tree Lighting Party,” will be held at the Martin L. King Library, 2922 Martin L. King Blvd., on Saturday. December 20, at 2 p.m. Bring an ornament and join the fun. 421-4171.
Santa will visit the Highland Hills Library, 3624 Simpson Stuart Road, on Thursdays, December 4, 11, & 18, at 7 p.m. Santa will tell stories and give special treats to boys and girls for saying the secret phrase, “. . . and books” when asked what they would like to get for Christmas. 225-7321.
A “Christmas Party,” for children willfeature crafts and refreshments, on Saturday, December 6, at 2:30 p.m. at the Pleasant Grove Library, 1125 South BucknerBlvd. 398-6625.