Green Country gets merry and bright during the winter as people gather for festive events and light displays.
Visiting the Thompson House the first weekend in December is the official kick-off to to the holiday season by many locals and visitors alike. Decked out in its finest holiday decor, the main fundraiser for the nonprofit, historic landmark offers homemade dishes and treats that are the first to sell out every year, as well as beautiful and interesting items for Christmas shoppers and home decorating enthusiasts. The Thompson House Victorian Christmas runs 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Nov. 30-Dec. 1, and 1-5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2, at 300 S. College Ave. in Tahlequah.
Bob Taylor charms any crowd by performing on the tank drums he builds, and he will be at the fifth annual ACT Winter Concert on Sunday, Dec. 2, at 2 p.m. in the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Tahlequah. The Mandophonics will open the musical afternoon offered free to the public. It will also include Wes Combs and Oklahoma Wildlife with Denyce and Joel Finch and Debbie DuVall, Daniel Franke, and Bob and Stephanie Martin sharing three songs each.
The 26th annual Northeastern State University Lights On event at Seminary Hall is set for Tuesday, Dec. 4, at 5:30 p.m. Hosted by Mayor Jason Nichols and NSU First Lady Penny Turner, the event will feature NSU President Steve Turner, 2018 Miss NSU Lauren Frost, local entertainment, hot cocoa, Santa and Mrs. Santa and some elves. Other ways to celebrate the holiday at NSU include the Good Yule Holiday Spectacular, on Tuesday, Dec. 4, at 6:30 p.m. at the Center for Performing Arts, and a Brass Area Recital on Thursday, Dec. 6, at 7 p.m. in the NSU CPA.
Children can meet Santa and have a picture taken on Friday, Dec. 7, 4-6 p.m. in the Cort Mall for the Cherokee Nation Christmas and lighting event. Cherokee Nation first lady Sherry Baker will read a Christmas story and children can write and mail letters to Santa before the always large and exciting annual Tahlequah Christmas Parade
Hunter’s Home volunteers bring history to life the second Sunday in December, at the annual Christmas Open House, Dec. 9, 1-4 p.m. The event in Park Hill will have live music and ladies and gents in period apparel. Beverages and refreshments – some made from ingredients grown on site – are served, along with a slice of mid-1800s history. A gift shop is open with decor handmade on site by historic interpreters. This event is free to the public.
The fourth annual Tri-County Art Show meet-and-greet reception, featuring artists from Cherokee, Muskogee and Wagoner counties, is Dec. 9 at 1 p.m. This will be followed by Dr. Carl Farinelli at the 2nd Sunday at 2 History and Humanity Lecture Series. The soft opening of the exhibit is Saturday, Dec. 1, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
It’s the season of lights and one of the prettiest sights and an annual excursion for locals and families is to see the Muskogee Honor Heights Park trees, azaleas and stonework light up during Garden of Lights. Free-standing stills and action pieces took three months to set up and they light up to music played over the radio. Admission is $5 per vehicle.
Just down highway is the Castle Christmas which is open until New Year’s Eve. The Castle offers a free drive-thru wonderland with a large collection of Christmas-themed snow globe inflatables. Step into the Castle for a warm drink or snack, to see what the merchants are offering, or to visit Father Christmas. Outside, visitors can take a train ride through the village or enjoy a hayride or pony rides.
As well as the Honor Heights lights, the Muskogee Chamber will be premiering My Muskogee Christmas, a new community-wide, month-long program is designed to promote local retail and businesses, and events taking place in Muskogee, such as a Christmas Home Tour and “Your A Good Man Charlie Brown,” both on Dec. 2.
Christmas parades in Hulbert, Muskogee, and Sallisaw will take place Saturday, Dec. 8.
In the Tulsa metro area, Christmas lights are everywhere, from the historic homes near downtown, to the Philbrook and Gilcrease Museums, and the popular Rhema Bible Church Christmas Lights Extravaganza display which visitors can walk or drive through until Jan. 1.
The Tulsa Symphony with Ron Spigelman performs music from the movie “Home Alone,” Saturday, Dec. 1. Watch the Tulsa Ballet performance of “The Nutcracker” beginning Saturday, Dec. 8, and weekends through Dec. 23 at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center. On South Lewis at the Mabee Center on the Oral Roberts University Campus, enjoy the music of a Gaither Homecoming on Dec. 8 at 6 p.m.