Hickory – The Hickory holiday season officially kicked off on November 16 with the City’s annual Lowes Foods Christmas parade and tree lighting in downtown. In continuing the celebration of the season, the City of Hickory offers a number of festive activities and events throughout the month of December.

Create a Christmas Stocking – Tues., Dec. 4, 9:30am– 12 pm, Westmont Senior Center
During the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, let’s put a smile on someone’s face. Stop by Westmont Senior Center and create Christmas stockings that will be distributed to residents of surrounding assisted living facilities. All materials will be provided.

Lunch with Santa – Wed., Dec. 5, 10:30am–12:30pm, Ridgeview Recreation Center
Youth ages 3-5 years old are invited to join Santa for a delicious lunch and enjoy holiday crafts, reindeer games, activities, and more. Remember to bring your cameras to capture memorable moments. Each child in attendance will get a special visit with Santa and will receive a small gift. This event is free, but pre-registration is required for groups of five or more by Wednesday, November 28. To pre-register, call Recreation Programmer Sade Roseboro at (828) 328-4890.

Gift Wrapping Workshop – Wed., Dec. 5, 6pm–7pm, Highland Recreation Center
Could your gift wrapping skills use a little improvement? Learn tips and tricks to giftwrap like a pro at a free workshop for ages 18 and up. Get some creative inspiration and make your gifts stand out under the tree this holiday season. The workshop will be held in the Highland Recreation Center Community Room and Christmas cookies will be provided. Attendees may opt to bring a square and/or cylindrical object to wrap.

Decorate the Tree – Wed., Dec. 5, 6pm, Westmont Recreation Center
Help us decorate Westmont’s Christmas tree! Participants will make the ornaments to go on this special tree. This event is free for youth and teens, ages 5-15. Christmas materials will be furnished.

“Beautiful Star” Playwright Preston Lane – Sat., Dec. 8, 11am–12pm, Patrick Beaver Memorial Library
Meet Preston Lane, playwright of the musical “Beautiful Star,” a heartwarming rendition of the Christmas story that is being performed at the Hickory Community Theatre Nov. 30 through Dec. 16. Lane, the Founding Artistic Director for Triad Stage, will share his motivation and inspiration for writing “Beautiful Star” and his process for writing and getting his plays and adaptations published.

Christmas Tissue Fun – Sat., Dec. 8, 12 pm, Neill Clark Recreation Center Gymnasium
Youth ages 4-10 are invited to make Christmas decorations out of colored tissue paper. All supplies will be provided.

Decorate a Tree Relay – Mon., Dec. 10, 2pm–2:30pm, Highland Recreation Center
Decorating a Christmas tree is a fun activity to do with your family. Let’s elevate the fun and turn it into a relay race! Join us in the Highland Rec. Center Aerobic Studio for a fun Christmas activity that is sure to get your heart rate up. All ages are welcome.

TMNT Christmas – Mon., Dec. 10, 3pm–6pm, Ridgeview Recreation Center
Donnie, Raph, Leo, and Mikey are getting ready to decorate a tree near you! Create your “totally awesome” turtle ornament on Mon., Dec. 10, starting at 3pm.

Christmas Circuits – Tues., Dec. 11, 5pm–6pm, Highland Recreation Center
With all the activities going on, your workouts may be the first thing to go. To help maintain your cardiovascular and muscular endurance, meet in the Highland Recreation Center Fitness Center on Tues., Dec. 11, at 5pm to learn variations of circuit workouts and how they can save you time this holiday season!

Sit With Santa – Tues., Dec. 11, 5:30pm–7pm, Highland Recreation Center
Join Highland Recreation Center and Lowes Foods at Sandy Ridge for the annual Sit with Santa event. Santa and Mrs. Claus, along with their helpers, will take Christmas wishes and provide a variety of other holiday activities.

Holiday Jazz Concert – Tues., Dec. 11, 6 pm–7 pm, Patrick Beaver Memorial Library
Take a moment away from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season and join Hickory Public Library for a pleasant evening of music with the Just Friends Jazz Trio. The jazz trio, featuring David Wortman on saxophone, Gary Schwartz on piano, and Charles Smith on drums, will play traditional Christmas tunes in a jazz style.

Holiday Grinch Party – Tues., Dec. 11, 6pm, Ridgeview Branch Library AND Thurs., Dec. 13, 6pm, Patrick Beaver Memorial Library

The Grinch is coming to Hickory Public Library to steal Christmas! Don’t miss this chance to meet him in person (and his dog, Max) as they bring Dr. Seuss’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” to life in their own special, silly way. Make sure to stick around after this fun, family program for photos and silliness during an exclusive Meet-and-Greet. Your heart will grow three sizes!

Snow Globe – Wed., Dec. 12, 4:30pm–6:30pm, Brown Penn Recreation Center
Don’t know what to get your loved ones for Christmas? Let your snow glow in a personalized snow globe. All snow and globes will be provided for youth ages 15 and under.

Santa’s Seniors Christmas Brunch – Thurs., Dec. 13, 12 pm, Highland Recreation Center
Sleigh bells are ringing, are you listening? Active adults ages 50 and better are asked to join Santa and Mrs. Claus at Highland Recreation Center for a Christmas brunch at noon. Make your season merry and bright by joining us for fun activities like corn hole toss, bingo, prizes, and more. Lowes Foods at Sandy Ridge will provide the turkey, ham, dressing, and drinks; participants are asked to bring their favorite side dish or dessert. For more info. about this free event, call Von Curry at (828) 324-1200.

Holiday Cookie Decorating – Thurs., Dec. 13, 4pm, Ridgeview Branch Library
Kids in Grades 5-9 are invited to celebrate the holidays by visiting the library to design the most festive, jolly cookie creation. Supplies are limited. Call (828) 345-6037 to register.

Holiday Craft Mixer – Thurs., Dec. 13, 4 pm–6pm, Ridgeview Recreation Center
Pick a holiday craft to make at the Holiday Craft Mixer. There will be three different styles of holiday ornaments to create and take home. All supplies are provided and free for all ages.

Christmas Wrapping – Thurs., Dec. 13, 6pm, Westmont Recreation Center
Wrapping Christmas presents can be difficult. Learn how to wrap a beautiful gift at this free holiday program for ages 15 and up. Wrapping paper and boxes will be provided, but participants may bring their own.

Ornaments – Fri., Dec. 14, 3pm–6pm, Brown Penn Recreation Center
Youth ages 15 and under can add a personal twist to the Christmas tree this year. Just bring your creativity and everything else will be provided for you to create original ornaments to celebrate the holiday.

Christmas Snow Angel – Fri., Dec. 14, 4:30pm–5 pm, Neill Clark Recreation Center Gymnasium
Youth ages 4-10 are invited to come make a unique snow angel. Participants can decorate their walls and windows with this fun craft. Supplies will be provided.

Jingle Bell Rock Out – Sat., Dec. 15, 3 pm–4pm, Highland Recreation Center
Are you looking to add your own homemade decorations to the Christmas tree this year? If so, come join us in the Highland Rec. Center Game Room for our Jingle Bell Rock Out event. Participants will be given a chance to create their very own Christmas ornaments out of clay. This free program is open to all ages. All materials will be provided.

Lacy Snowlady – Mon., Dec. 17, 10:30am, Westmont Senior Center
Lacy is sassy and classy and the perfect Christmas craft for young and old. Grandparents can bring their grandchildren with them to design a beautiful Styrofoam lady. Milk, cookies, and all supplies will be provided.

Hand Prints – Tues., Dec. 18, 6:30pm–8:30pm, Brown Penn Recreation Center
This is for the little ones. Parents, bring your children 7 yrs. and under to make cute hand print ornaments for the tree and for you to cherish as a personal keepsake.

Flashlight Candy Cane Hunt – Wed., Dec. 19, 6:30pm, Highland Recreation Center
Santa has hidden candy canes around the center. Bring a flashlight and help find them! Kids ages 7-12 are invited to decorate a bag for collecting the candy canes and then hunt for them. This free event will conclude with cookies and milk.

Top Secret Santa – Thurs. Dec. 20, 12 pm–2pm, Ridgeview Recreation Center
Sssshhhh! Attention naughty or nice adults! Seniors are invited to come and draw a name on Tuesday, Dec. 4, for top secret Santa. The Christmas gift exchange party will be held on Thursday, December 20, at 12 pm All gifts must be up to $5 value and Santa’s identity must remain unknown. Adults ages 50 and up are welcome to participate.

Christmas Card Fun – Thurs., Dec. 20, 4:30pm, Neill Clark Recreation Center Gymnasium
In the spirit of Christmas, youth ages 4-10 are invited to make Christmas cards. Various arts and crafts will be available to make these very memorable cards.

Christmas Cookies – Thurs., Dec. 20, 3:30pm, Westmont Recreation Center
Get into the Christmas spirit by making Christmas cookies at this free event for youth and teens ages 12-15. Cookie ingredients will be provided.

Invisible Tree – Sat., Dec. 22, 2 pm–4 pm, Brown Penn Recreation Center
The ornaments have been created, so now it’s time for the tree. Christmas will never be the same on Sat., Dec. 22, at 2pm. Free fun for ages 15 and under.

International Christmas Concert – Sat., Dec. 22, 6pm, Drendel Auditorium – SALT Block
The Hickory International Council and Romanian Baptist Church Choir present an International Christmas Concert featuring American traditional carols, Romanian acapella carols, and classical songs by Vivaldi, Beethoven, and Handel.

A Kwanzaa Celebration – Thurs., Dec. 27, 5:30pm, Ridgeview Branch Library
Join the library with your friends, family, and the community to celebrate Kwanzaa. April C. Turner will perform stories, songs, and dances demonstrating the principles and symbols of the Kwanzaa celebration.

In addition to these City of Hickory events, many community organizations host holiday events throughout the whole city. Check out www.hickoryeventscalendar.com to find a holiday event near you.