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5 local Christmas events to raise your holiday spirit

There are certain things we all do every Christmas. Plays and ballets to see, movies to watch, popular events that attract people from all over the Tri-State.

But then there’s those smaller-scale celebrations that not only reflect the individual communities that produce them, but also present a more immersive and authentic holiday experience. If you’re interested in celebrating Christmas in your own community or perhaps in someone else’s, consider the following:

1. CHRISTMAS IN THE COUNTRY

Shandon was founded in 1801 as Ohio’s first Welsh settlement, and Shandon hasn’t forgotten. To prove it, every year the residents thrown a Welsh-themed Christmas festival. There will be Welsh cakes and other home-cooked items at several locations downtown. Start out at the Shandon Congregational Church and move through the historic shops featuring antiques, country crafts, and Alpaca products. In between, enjoy the music, take a horse-drawn carriage ride, and even take a stroll through the old Welsh cemetery, which is about as old as the town itself.

How to Go

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When: Nov. 24-25, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday

Where: Shandon Congregational Church, 4872 Cincinnati-Brookville Road, Shandon

Cost: Free

More info: 513-738-4127 or www.shandonchurch.com

2. A MIDDLETOWN COMMUNITY CHRISTMAS

This community Christmas show includes performances by a local choir, dance troupe and orchestra. A small skit will be performed. A reception including punch and cookies will follow.

How to Go

When: Dec. 8-9, 7 p.m.

Where: Sorg Opera House, 57 S. Main St., Middletown

Cost: $6

More info: www.sorgoperahouse.org

3. A PIONEER CHRISTMAS AT THE FARM

History buffs will appreciate this recreation of a 19th-century Christmas party. Enter the log cabin, cozy up to the fire, sample pioneer fare such as molasses cookies, venison chili, buffalo, elk, duck, and rabbit, and wash it all down with apple cider. Santa Claus will be available for photos by the live Christmas tree, and every child goes home with a candy cane.

How to Go

When: Dec. 9, 1-4 p.m.

Where: Keehner Park, 7211 Barrett Road, West Chester

Cost: Free

More info: 513-777-5900 or www.westchesteroh.org

4. GERMAN VILLAGE CHRISTMAS WALK

This historic district in Hamilton offers a Victorian Christmas that will put you in mind of Charles Dickens and “The Nutcracker.” As you wander the streets, you will see large toy soldiers while listening to musicians in Dickensian attire. Village ambassadors will welcome and answer your questions. You can also take a carriage ride, tour historical (and decorated) homes, buildings, and churches, and snack on roasted nuts and other holiday treats in between.

How to Go

When: Dec. 2, noon-5 p.m.

Where: German Village, N. 2nd St., Hamilton

Cost: Free

More info: 513-288-4688

5. 12 HOUSES OF CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY TOUR

Do you enjoy looking at houses even when you’re not looking to buy one? Combine your passion with your Christmas cheer by touring 12 homes in Hamilton’s Rossville Historic District, which will be specifically decked out for the occasion. The tour is self-guided, so you can linger as long as you want. Music, cookies, coffee, and hot chocolate will be available throughout.

How to Go

When: Dec. 9, noon-7 p.m.

Where: The Father’s House, 425 S. D St., Hamilton

Cost: $15

More info: Search for the event on either Facebook or www.eventbrite.com

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