You can find the sights, signs and sounds of the season nearly everywhere in the area through December.
While events and gatherings hardly can be quite as plentiful as Christmas lights, there is indeed plenty to light your way and lighten your day in a time of illumination and joy.
Whether your tastes run toward the silly or sublime, the local calendar includes a gift or two for you — and some are either free or modestly priced.
So Santa’s watching your back — and your wallet.
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- Columbus City Band Christmas concert, “Songs of the Season and Christmas Classics,” 2 p.m. Nov. 27, The Commons, 300 Washington St. in Columbus. A special note: concerts in recent years have attracted 600-plus people, so hastily pack your sleigh and don’t delay when it comes to your arrival time. Free.
- Columbus Symphony Orchestra Christmas concert, “A CSO Holiday,” 3:30 p.m. Dec. 4 at The Commons, 300 Washington St. in Columbus. Will include Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s classic, “Nutcracker Suite.” Free. Information: csoindiana.org.
- Westside Community Church Christmas cantata, “In His Presence,” 7 p.m. Dec. 4, at the church, Indiana 46 West and Tipton Lakes Boulevard in Columbus. Free.
- Adventures In Christmas Worship, First Christian Church, 6 p.m. Dec. 4, featuring the church orchestra, worship band, ALIVE Worship Team, Worship Choir and the church organ, 531 Fifth St. in Columbus.
- Second Annual Community Christmas Carol Sing, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 8, First United Methodist Church, 618 Eighth St. in Columbus. Featuring a brass quartet, Indiana University Jacobs School of Music soloists, keyboardist Nikolay Verevkin and the church’s Chancel Ringers and Chancel Choir in many songs of the season as well as a sing-a-long of many favorite Christmas carols. Free. Information: Kevin Butler, 812-372-2851.
- Columbus Indiana Philharmonic’s Christmas concerts, “Philharmonic Holidays” featuring the popular Wright Brothers group, 3 and 7 p.m. Dec. 11 at Judson Erne Auditorium, 1400 25th St. in Columbus. Tickets: $5 to $35 at 812-376-2638 or thecip.org.
- “Made in Indiana” with Krista Detor, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 16, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Columbus, 7850 W. Goeller Boulevard. Annual holiday benefit concert for the Community Justice and Meditation Center in Bloomington, featuring holiday songs and stories from the Hoosier state. Also appearing, fellow musician Tim Grimm and authors Scott Russell Sanders and Phil Gulley. Tickets available at web.ovationtix.com/trs/pe.c/10125379.
- Free Christmas concert at St. Paul Lutheran, featuring the Second Presbyterian Church Beecher Singers & Orchestra, 7 p.m. Dec. 18, St. Paul Lutheran Church, 6045 E. State St. south of Columbus. A preconcert harp recital will begin at 6:40 p.m.
- Holiday Ballroom Dance, 7 to 10 p.m. Dec. 10, The Commons. Social time from 6:30 to 7 p.m. Music by DJ Billy Crase. Light appetizers included. Cash bar available. Admission: $20 per person. Tickets available at the door or by email at email@example.com.
- Dancers Studio Inc.’s presentation of “The Nutcracker,” 7 p.m. Dec. 17 and 2:30 p.m. Dec. 18, Judson Erne Auditorium, 1400 25th St. in Columbus. Tickets: $15 in advance for adults, and $10 in advance for students. Information: 812-376-8080 or dancers-studio.org.
- National Family Week roller skating outing, 1 to 4 and 7 to 10 p.m. Nov. 26, Columbus Skateland, free for families bringing a family picture (rent or bring skates). Information: 812-342-1552.
- Holiday at the Farm, 5 to 7 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays Nov. 26 through Jan. 1, Shireman Homestead, 7060 W. County Road 200N, Columbus. Visit with Santa, watch a trick horse show, get a treat at the Treat House, take a wagon ride, stroll along a winter wonderland, pet a range of animals up close, and more. Admission: $10. Information: shiremanhomestead.com.
- Old National Bank’s First Fridays For Families, presented by the Columbus Area Arts Council, free performances by ArtReach: The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati geared to children in kindergarten through third grade, 6 p.m. Dec. 2, live presentation of the holiday classic “A Christmas Carol” at The Commons, 300 Washington St. Columbus. Information: 812-376-2539 or artsincolumbus.org.
- Fourth Annual Festival of Lights Christmas Village, 1 to 5 p.m. Dec. 3, The Commons, 300 Washington St. in Columbus. Children’s games, electric train displays, live music, 20 local vendors selling handmade holiday wares from jewelry to furniture to treats, a magic show and other activities. Free. Information: 812-376-2681.
- Annual Festival of Lights Christmas Parade, 6 p.m. Dec. 3, downtown, with the main thoroughfare being Washington Street north from Third to Eighth streets. Normally features about 100 entries. This year will include Columbus native and retiring NASCAR competitor Tony Stewart.
- QMIX Christmas Musical Fireworks, about 7:15 p.m. downtown near City Hall at Second and Washington streets. Fireworks synchronized to 20 to 25 minutes of holiday tunes broadcast on QMIX Radio 107.3 FM. Information: qmix.com.
- “A Christmas Carol: The Radio Play,” 7 p.m. Dec. 9 and 10 and Dec. 16 and 17; and 3 p.m. Dec. 11 and Dec. 18, the Harlequin Theatre inside FairOaks Mall, 2380 25th St. in Columbus. A fast-paced, comic twist on the holiday classic. Tickets are $15 in advance at the mall or $20 at the door. Information: 812-343-4597 or theharlequintheatre.com.
- Yellow Trail Museum Christmas Homes Tour, 6 to 9 p.m. Dec. 2. Self-guided tour of five homes and a business decorated for Christmas. Tickets: $10, available on tour evening at Yellow Trail Museum, on the Hope Town Square, beginning at 5:30 p.m. Information or to reserve tickets: 812-371-7969.
- St. Peter Evangelical Lutheran Church’s live nativity, 6 to 8:30 p.m. Dec. 2, at the church at 11750 W. County Road 930S. For the sake of realism, its scene has featured an actual camel, sheep, donkeys, llamas, alpacas and ponies. Cookies, cocoa and coffee will be served in the parish hall. The event has attracted 600-plus people in the past.