But with so many Christmas events going on in our area these next few weeks, you may want to try to squeeze in a little fun somewhere along the way.
• Abingdon’s Community Christmas Inc. will hold its 20th annual Community Christmas Program at 7 p.m., Dec. 9 at Barter Theatre. This year’s entertainers include Clifton’s Ford, the VHCC Madrigal Singers, storyteller Eugene Wolfe, H.B. Beverly, The Coyotes, Highlands Ballet and more. Carolers from Abingdon High School’s chorus will perform in the lobby. Tickets are $5 per reserved seat and are available through Barter’s box office by calling (276) 628-3991. Community Christmas provides turkey gift certificates for the holidays as well as monetary support throughout the year. For more information, visit www.abingdoncc.org.
BIG STONE GAP, Va.
• The Southwest Virginia Museum Historical State Park in Big Stone Gap, Va., will present its annual Festival of Trees during reguar museum hours, through Dec. 31. Special night viewings will be held from 5 to 8:30 p.m. every Saturday through December. Admission is $4 for adults; $2 for children ages 6-12; and free for children younger than 6. Group rates are available for parties of 10 or more. Call (276) 523-1322.
• The Southwest Virginia Museum Historical State Park will host Breakfast with the Grinch at 9 and 10:30 a.m, Dec. 7. Join the Grinch and Cindy-Lou Who for a fun-filled holiday event in the Museum’s Victorian Parlor. Dine on green eggs and ham while enjoying a reading of the Dr. Seuss classic, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” There are two seatings for breakfast. Registration and payment deadline is Nov. 29. The cost is $10 per person. Call (276) 523-1322.
• The Southwest Virginia Museum Historical State Park will host Tea with Mrs. Claus from 2 to 3:30 p.m., Dec. 22. A proper tea will be served, and Mrs. Claus will read classic Christmas stories and lead guests in singing traditional Christmas carols. The $15 fee covers one adult and one child. Additional children from the same family may attend for $5 each. Seating is limited, and advance reservations are required. Registration and payment deadline is Dec.13.
• Bristol Motor Speedway and Dragway’s Speedway in Lights is open through Jan. 4, 2014. Guests must enter the route at the Dragway entrance, just off Highway 394. Cost is $12 per car Sunday through Thursday and $15, Fridays and Saturdays. Activity van tickets are $20 each night; bus tickets are $85 each night. Call (855) 580-5525.
• Believe in Bristol will sponsor its annual Christmas Open House from 5 to 9 p.m., Nov. 25 in historic downtown Bristol. Santa Claus will be on hand to pass out candy canes. Bristol Ballet will have dancers in costume and music will be available at several different locations. Merchants will be open late and have special discounts and refreshments. For more information, visit www.believeinbristol.org.
• Bristol’s Community Tree-Lighting will be held at 6:15 p.m., Dec. 2 at Cumberland Square Park in historic downtown Bristol, Va. Cider and hot chocolate will be served and the John S. Battle Marching Band, VHS and TCCS choirs will provide music.
• Bristol’s 32nd Annual Christmas parade will begin at 7 p.m., Dec. 5 along State Street.
• The Paramount will host Doyle Lawson for its annual Christmas show at 7:30 p.m., Dec. 7. Tickets are $20. Call 274-8920 or visit www.theparamountcenter.com.
• Broadmore Senior Living will host its fourth annual “Spirit of the Season Bazaar” from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Dec. 6 and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Dec. 7. Event will feature book signings by local artists, craft vendors, jewelry, door prizes and more. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
• The Bristol Historical Association’s annual Christmas Buffet Luncheon will be held at 12:30 p.m., Dec. 8 at The Virginian Golf Club. The program will be led by arts and community activist Betsy White, who will speak on the topic “Backcountry Makers.” Cost is $28 per person and reservations will be received through Sun., Dec. 1. Call (423) 764-1905.
• The 17th Annual Bristol Tour of Homes will be held from 1:30 to 6:30 p.m., Dec. 8. Tickets for the self-guided tour are $12 per person in advance or $15 the day of the tour. For more information, including where to purchase tickets, call Jewell Williams at (423) 652-0163.
• Natural Tunnel State Park’s “8 Days of Christmas” will continue from 6 to 9 p.m., every Friday and Saturday through Dec. 21. Visitors to the park will see thousands of Christmas Lights as they ride the chair lift down to the mouth of the tunnel. Local church choirs and performers will provide entertainment, and hot chocolate and other seasonal snacks will be available for purchase. Call (276) 940-1643.
• Natural Tunnel will host a Holiday Wreath Workshop from 2 to 4 p.m., Dec. 1 in the Powell Lodge at the park. Fee is $20 per wreath. All the material — fresh greenery and wreath forms — will be provided. Pre-registration is required by Wed., Nov. 27 by calling Megan Krager at (276) 940-1643.
• Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area’s annual Lamplight Christmas Wreath exhibit will showcase the Watauga Valley Art League’s artwork throughout the month of December. Wreaths designed and created by area civic groups, schools and various community organizations, will be hung on special lampposts with flickering lights through the building. Call (423) 543-5808 for more information.
• First Baptist Church of Fall Branch will host “A Journey Through Bethlehem” from 6 to 8:30 p.m., Dec. 14-16 at 1525 Highway 93. Visitors can experience the excitement of Jesus’ birth and hear the angels singing.
• Greeneville’s Festival of Trees Open House will be held from 2 to 4 p.m., Nov. 24 at the site in the Greeneville Commons between Q Nails and Southern Belle Bridal. The open house will feature refreshments, music and the opportunity to register for a number to bid on the 17 trees and more than 20 wreaths, centerpieces and nativity scenes that will be offered. Silent auction bidding will begin at the open house and take place through noon, Nov. 26. Call (423) 787-8753.
• The seventh annual “Madrigal Dinner” will be held Dec. 5-7 at Notre Dame Church, 212 Mount Bethel Road, Greeneville. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and dinner is served at 7 p.m. Tickets are available now for those ages 12 and older; cost is $30 per person. To purchase tickets, visit or call the church office at (423) 639-9381. Seating is limited each night, so advanced ticket sales are required.
• Tusculum College’s Doak House Museum Open House will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Dec. 7 at the museum on the Tusculum College Campus. Visitors can experience a 19th-century Christmas as they tour the museum, which was once the home of college co-founder the Rev. Samuel Witherspoon Doak. The Doak House Museum will be decorated for the holidays as it would have been during the 1800s. For more information, call (423) 636-8554.
• Lakebridge Health Care Center in Johnson City will host Breakfast with Santa at 9 a.m., Dec. 7. The event is free. RSVP by Dec. 2. Call (423) 975-0095, ext. 308.
• Jonesborough’s Yarn Exchange will share stories of Christmas past at 7 p.m., Nov. 25 on the International Storytelling Center Stage. Event will feature stories, skits and songs. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for children. For more information or to purchase tickets, call (423) 753-1010 or visit jonesboroughtheatre.com.
• The “I Am Home for Christmas” strolling tour play will be presented from 6 to 8 p.m., Dec. 5 and 12 in downtown Jonesborough. Visitors can travel with Curt, the paperboy, as he delivers more than just the news. This innovative theatrical production will let audiences move to each scene, with show times beginning every 30 minutes. Reservations are encouraged as maximum audience capacity is expected for each tour. Tickets are $5 and $12 for families of three or more and can be reserved by calling (423) 753-1010.
• The International Storytelling Center will host storytellers Bil Lepp, Andy Offitt Irwin and Kim Weitkamp for a special Christmas concert. “The Ugly Sweater Tour” will be performed at 7:30 p.m., Dec. 5-7 and 2 p.m., Dec. 6 and 7 in the Mary B. Martin Storytelling Hall. Tickets are $20 and include admission to a post-performance reception, where the tellers will be on hand for socializing and light refreshments. Call (800) 952-8392, ext. 222 or (423) 913-1276.
• The Heritage Alliance of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia will host Jonesborough’s Annual Progressive Dinner on Dec. 7 with a variety of seating times, including 3 p.m., 4:10 p.m., 5:20 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 7:40 p.m. Guests will be escorted to five historic structures during the evening as each location features a different course and live holiday music. Tickets are $78 each. Reservations can be made online at jonesboroughtn.org or by calling (423) 753-1010.
• The Jonesborough Christmas parade will begin at 6 p.m., Dec. 14 on Boone Street and will progress to Main Street and historic downtown, ending at the Washington Avenue intersection.
• The Exchange Place Living History Farm will host Christmas in the Country from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Dec. 7 at 4812 Orebank Road, Kingsport. Admission is free. Event features fresh greenery and trees; handcrafted wreaths and roping and other holiday decorations; folk arts and crafts; baked goods; hands-on activities and demonstrations and more. The event will conclude with the traditional Yule Log Ceremony at 4:15 p.m. Call (423) 288-6071.
•Downtown Kingsport will host its annual Christmas Tree Lighting Celebration on Dec. 7 in Church Circle. Festivities will begin at 5 p.m. with emcee Jim Bailey. Complimentary carriage rides, hot chocolate and cider will be available near Church Circle. Other events include the annual Ugly Christmas Sweater contest; gingerbread house decorating contest; an appearance by Santa Claus; a performance by the Dobyns-Bennett High School Marching Band; an acoustic Christmas show; and a special musical presentation at LampLight Theatre. For more information, including a detailed schedule of events, call the Downtown Kingsport Association at (423) 246-6550 or visit www.downtownkingsport.org.
• More than 30 gingerbread houses will be on display Dec. 1-Jan. 3 at Regions Bank, 415 Broad St., Kingsport, for the ninth annual Gingerbread House Contest. Cash prizes will be awarded to the winners of the Gingerbread Contest on Dec. 7, immediately following the Downtown Christmas Tree Lighting. Call (423) 229-0105.
• Holiday Loft Tours will be held from 2 to 5 p.m., Dec. 8 in downtown Kingsport. Tickets are $20 and are available at the Downtown Kingsport Association office as well as Bloom Boutique and Charmed Southern. Call (423) 246-6550.
•Rocky Mount Museum will host Candlelight Christmas at Rocky Mount at 4:30 p.m., Dec. 6, 7, 13 and 14. Tour groups of approximately 15 people will leave the Visitor Center every 15 minutes for a journey back to Christmas in 1791. The visit takes about an hour and a half, with a reception immediately following. Cost is $10 for adults and $7 for children. Group rates are available. Call (423) 538-7396.
• The Rogersville Heritage Association will host the 2013 Christmas Tour of Homes, “Christmas Under Many Roofs,” from 3 to 8 p.m., Dec. 14. Featured locations include the Johnson Home at Lazy J. Farm, Surgoinsville; the Jenkins Home, Two Springs; the Lawson Home, Twin Oaks; the Markham Home; Hale Springs Inn; the Heck Home; and Rogersville First Baptist Church. Music will be provided by the Cherokee High School Choir at First Baptist Church, and the Cherokee Flute Choir, accompanied by light refreshments, at the Hale Springs Inn. Tickets are $20 the day of the event or $15 when purchased prior to the tour. For additional information on where to purchase tickets or for tickets by mail, call the RHA depot office at (423) 272-1961.