Events announce the coming of Christmas

This crèche, constructed of copper, is an example of the many intriguing nativity scenes on display in Palo Alto next month.

Historically, Christmas Day was preceded by a month-long season called “Advent.” This was a penitential time, a period of solemn preparation for remembering the birth of Christ and his promise to return to earth.
Of course, today’s preparations for Christmas in the United States come much earlier; sometimes even before Halloween, stores are decorated and display their Christmas wares while cable networks are show holiday-themed movies. But the next few weeks are full of opportunities for those who want to experience the spiritual aspects of the Christmas.
– The Greatest Gift: Community Christmas Concert will be presented by St. Catherine Roman Catholic Church and the Morgan Hill Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. at 1790 East Dunne Ave. For more than two decades this event has brought local talent together to usher in Christmas for the South Valley community; this year’s cast includes vocalist Heidi Henderson, the Zion Youth Choir, the Promise Heirs Gospel Quartet and several different choirs from the sponsoring churches. There will also be a sing-along with audience participation. Free admission. Details: 408-316-0173.
– In Hollister, the LDS Church is also sponsoring Let Us Adore Him: Community Christmas Concert at San Benito High School (1220 Monterey St.) on Dec. 8 at 7 p.m. Among the performers are Mr. O’s Jazz Band, USA Sports Glee and the Hollister Men’s Quartet, plus a sing-along, “Peace, Peace.” Free admission. Details: 831-637-8737.
– Morgan Hill’s Advent Lutheran Church (16870 Murphy Ave.) presents its 10th annual Messiah Sing-along on Dec. 8 at 5 p.m. Advent’s choir and musicians will be accompanied by the DeAnza College orchestra and a choir of English hand bells. Light refreshments will be served. Free admission, but donations to support Reach Out, the local food bank, are requested. Details: 408-779-3551.
– Morgan Hill’s Community Christian Church (305 West Main Ave.) will present The Christmas Schooner today at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 1 and 7 p.m. (matinee $13/evenings $20 with dessert). This musical is based on a true story about a captain and crew risking their lives to deliver Christmas trees to Chicago’s German immigrant community in the 1880s. Details: 408-316-0700.
– The 25th annual Christmas Crèche Exhibit will be held at the Palo Alto Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (3865 Middlefield Road) Saturday through Wednesday from noon to 9 p.m. More than 350 nativities from around the world and many centuries made from an astonishing variety of materials will be on display in artistic settings with live holiday music. Free admission. Details: 650-856-3781.
– Santa Clara’s First Baptist Church (3111 Benton St.) is holding its annual Bethlehem: Walk Through the Christmas Story Dec. 6 through 10 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Five 30-minute performances let visitors experience a reenactment of history as they witness Joseph and Mary seek refuge and are visited by shepherds, angels and wisemen. Music, drama, farm and exotic animals, and hot beverages provide a great experience for the whole family. Free admission. Details: 408-241-7635.
– San Jose’s St. Joseph Cathedral Basilica (80 South Market St.) sponsors its annual Season of Hope Performance Series Dec. 12 through 23. Diverse groups perform each night at 7:30, such as the San Jose Youth Symphony, Interfaith Gospel Choir, Music at the Mission Choir, San Jose State University Guitar Ensemble, South Bay Trombone Choir, Harper Hall Celtic Harpists and others. Free admission. Details: 408-283-8100 ext. 2205.
– The Morgan Hill Wind Symphony will present their Winter Concert: Tales from the Imagination, at 16970 DeWitt Ave., on Dec 2 at 2 p.m. This volunteer group is often called South Valley’s “secret treasure.” Selections will include “Scheherazade” and “March from Camelot.” Free admission. Details: [email protected]

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