NORTH OLMSTED, Ohio - The calendar shows that Halloween was just two weeks ago and Thanksgiving is next week, but we're charging full speed ahead into Christmas mode.
I happened to be at Great Northern in North Olmsted a few days ago and it was hard to hide from the holiday trappings throughout the mall. Even Santa's spot - in the middle of the mall - was awaiting his arrival.
Guess I'll have to pace myself so the Christmas spirit doesn't peak too soon.
Speaking of the holidays: It's time to start thinking about Christmas shopping, decorating and all the seasonal celebrations. Here's a look at some of the upcoming holiday happenings.
- Angels on the Avenue is having its 2017 holiday plant sale through Nov. 25. Proceeds benefit the St. Augustine Health Ministries Resident outing Fund. A variety of plants and greenery can be purchased. Plants also can be donated to the facility's chapel in memory of a loved one. Poinsettias, hydrangeas, Christmas cactus, fresh wreaths and white pine roping are available. Prices range from $4 to $30. For more information, call Joe Dailey, 216-701-3143, or Pat Finegan, 216-634-7402. Plants can be picked up 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 1 at St. Augustine Health Campus, 7801 Detroit Ave., Cleveland.
- Friends Helping Friends will have its 40th annual holiday luncheon 11:30 a.m., to 2 p.m. Dec. 8 at Ahern's Banquet & Catering, 726 Avon Belden Road, Avon Lake. Cost is $35 for a buffet lunch and bar, entertainment by North Ridgeville High School Choir, presentation of the Friend of the Year Award and a video highlighting what the group's assistance means to those it helped. Make checks payable to Friends Helping Friends. Include your name, the number and names of those in your party and send the check to Bill Simko, 27502 Linwood Circle, North Olmsted, Ohio 44070.
- A fair trade festival will take place 4-6 p.m. Nov 18 and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 19 in the social hall at St. Mark Parish, 15724 Montrose Ave., in Cleveland's West Park neighborhood..
- More than 50 crafters will be selling handmade goods, bakery, jams, jellies and more 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 18 at the OLA craft fair in Linus Hall, just north of Our Lady of Angels Church, 3644 Rocky River Drive, West Park. Admission is free and there will be a split pot drawing, door prizes on the half hour and plenty of food for purchase, including cabbage and noodles, homemade chicken noodle soup, chili, pulled pork, hot dogs and beverages. The Poor Clare nuns, whose monastery is across the street, will be selling knitted sweaters and some items from their gift shop. There is plenty of free parking.
Breakfast with Santa: Ticket sales are under way for two breakfast with Santa events in Lakewood.
Friends of St. James will host their annual Santa breakfast 9-11:30 a.m. Dec. 9 at Brennan's, 13000 Triskett Road, West Park. Cost is $16 for adults, $8.50 for children older than 2 and free for those 2 and younger. The event includes a breakfast buffet, crafts, raffles and photos with Santa. Event organizers said tickets sell fast. Call Darlene, 216-521-4061, for tickets or information.
The Downtown Lakewood Business Alliance, a merchant association of LakewoodAlive, will have its annual breakfast with Santa 9 a.m. to noon Nov. 25 in the assisted living building at O'Neill Healthcare Lakewood, 1381 Bunts Road, Lakewood, in conjunction with Small Business Saturday.
The family friendly event usually sells out quickly. There are two seatings, 9 and 10:30 a.m. Cost is $12, free for children 2 and younger. High chairs and booster seats are not available. The event includes pancakes, eggs, sausage, an activity room and "Selfies with Santa," so be sure to bring a camera.
For more information, call LakewoodAlive at 216-521-0655 or visit the event's Facebook page. Tickets can be purchased online at eventbrite.com/e/breakfast-with-santa-tickets-39260010749.
Event proceeds will benefit the Downtown Lakewood Business Alliance.
On stage: The North Olmsted High School Eagle's Nest Theatre will present "Almost, Maine" at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 17-18 and 2 p.m. Nov. 19 at NOHS. Use the Revere Road entrance for the school. Tickets are $8 for adults, $5 for students.
NOHS is as 5755 Burns Road.
Volunteers needed: The IRS-sponsored AARP Tax Aide Program is looking for volunteers for the 2017 tax filing season. The program provides free personal income tax assistance and tax form preparation for low- and moderate-income taxpayers, with special attention to those 50 and older.
Tax preparation sites are established during tax season and trained volunteers help prepare and file tax returns for qualifying residents. AARP Tax Aide volunteers receive free training through IRS-designated classes. Volunteer sites are available on the West Side of Cleveland and in the western suburbs.
Among the roles filled by Tax Aide volunteers are counselors, who work with taxpayers to prepare tax return paperwork; computer operators, who enter the taxpayer information for electronic filing and printing; greeters who greet and assist clients, as well as keep the sites operating smoothly; and technical coordinators who set up and maintain the hardware and software used at the tax preparation sites.
To volunteer, visit taxaide.webs.com. For more information, call Tom Smith, 216- 21-9388.
Ornament order deadline: Nov. 21 is the deadline to order a Fairview High school Alumni Association Christmas ornament. Two styles are available; one has a picture of FHS on one side and a list of FHS traditions and organizations on the other side, or the second option features local places that will trigger memories of living in Fairview Park.
Call Sandy Bennhoff, 440-356-3500, Ext. 4106, to place an order.
Historical society news: Lakewood Historical Society will have a donation drop-off day 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 18 in the skate house at Lakewood Park, 14710 Lake Ave. Volunteers will accept gently used housewares and knick-knacks, vintage Christmas and New Year's decorations and almost anything in between. Just bring your "treasures" to the skate house.
Save the date for the historical society's Christmas Sale on the Grounds Dec. 1-3. Visit lakewoodhistory.org for more information or to purchase $10 tickets for the Dec. 1 preview party.
And don't forget to order a live holiday wreath from the society's Women's Board. This tradition began about 30 years ago. Wreaths are $35 and must be pre-ordered. They can be picked up noon to 4 p.m. Nov. 28-29 or 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Nov. 30 at the Oldest Stone House in Lakewood Park, 14710 Lake Ave., Lakewood.
Turkey shootout: Nov. 17 is the deadline to register for the turkey shootout, which will take place at 10 a.m. Nov. 18 in the Gemini Center gym, 21225 Lorain Road, Fairview Park. Cost is $5 for members/residents; $8 for non-residents. Teams consist of one adult and a child 4 or older.
Register at the Gemini Center front desk or online at activityreg.com.
Know your home: The 16th and final 2017 Knowing Your Home workshop, "Waterproofing Basics," will be 7-9 p.m. Nov. 16 at Deagan's Kitchen & Bar, 14810 Detroit Ave., Lakewood. LakewoodAlive hosts the popular workshops. This session will cover a range of problem-solving topics relating to basement waterproofing. Steve Allen of Integrity Waterproofing will lead the program.
To reserve a seat, call 216-521-0655 or visit lakewoodalive.org.
To reserve your free spot or for more information, call 216-521-0655 or visit LakewoodAlive.org. In lieu of charging for the workshops, participants are asked to consider either making a donation to LakewoodAlive or bringing canned foods or other non-perishable items for donation to the Lakewood Community Services Center.
Family portraits: Friends of the Fairview Park City Schools will offer holiday family portraits 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 2 in the Gilles-Sweet School cafetorium, 4320 W. 220th St., Fairview Park, with all photo fee proceeds benefiting a local charity. The Friends group will have a bake sale, take-and-make crafts for kids, gift basket raffles and a 50/50 drawing. Cost is $20
Those interested in signing up for a session must sign up at friendsfpcs.org. Spaces are limited.
Grand opening: Rising Star Coffee Roasters will open its newest location on Nov. 15 at 13380 Madison Ave., Lakewood. The new store offers a full line of the company's coffees, as well as pastries and other snacks. It is the first location outside of the city of Cleveland.
There are two spaces in the new store that are separated by a wall, which offers flexibility for hosting community events like entertainment, private events or educational coffee classes.
Visit risingstarcoffee.com for more information.
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