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GR8RJax™ Rings in the Holidays: Dec. 18-24

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With Christmas just a week away now, there’s still plenty to do – fun, music, food – that doesn’t involve shopping, wrapping or cooking.

Take a break from the business of the season to renew its spirit so that your holiday high doesn’t crash before the big day.

Then, you know, there’s that breather week before the New Year, and then it’s off to the races again.

Ho Ho Ho!

GJE

ALACHUA COUNTY

  • A Blest Messiah Born – Tues., Dec., 24, 5 p.m. St. Patrick Catholic Church, 500 NE 16th Ave., Gainesville, Fla. Admission: FREE & open to the public. This Christmas Cantata by Larry Shackley will be performed by the St. Patrick Choir. The celebration of the Holy Mass follows at 5:30 p.m. Hot Chocolate and cookies will be served after the Mass. For more information, please call 352-372-4641.
  • Christmas Eve Service – Tues., Dec., 24, 5:30 p.m. First Baptist Church of Alachua, 14005 NW 146 Ave., Alachua, Fla. Admission: FREE & open to the public. Candlelight service at a family-friendly time. For more information, please call 386-462-1337.
  • Sugar Plum Tea – Sat., Dec., 21, 4 p.m. Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, 3201 Hull Rd., Gainesville, Fla. Admission: $15. Join the Sugar Plum Fairy and members of the Nutcracker cast for cookies, cake and a special ‘Sugar Plum Tea'. Photo opportunities available with the beautiful Sugar Plum Fairy, the handsome Nutcracker Prince and other members of cast. Hand-painted tea set designed specifically for this event will be raffled off along with a supply of the exclusive Sugar Plum Tea blend. For more information, please call 352-371-2986.

CLAY COUNTY

  • 32th Annual JP Hall Charity Christmas Party – Sat., Dec. 21. Clay County Fairgrounds, State Rd. 16 W., Green Cove Springs, Fla. Admission: FREE to kids newborn-14 & Clay county residents who need assistance during the holidays. Children receive new and used toys, and families can receive clothing. For more information, please visit www.jphallcharities.com.
  • Children’s Christmas Party – Sat., Dec. 21, 1 p.m. American Legion Post 250, County Rd. 218, Middleburg, Fla. Admission: FREE & open to the public. American Legion Auxiliary Unit 250 presents “Making Dreams Come True,” featuring an appearance by Santa and Mrs. Claus. For more information, please call 904-282-3766.
  • Live Nativity – Fri., Dec. 20, 7-9 p.m. First Christian Church Orange Park, 2876 Moody Rd., Orange Park, Fla. Admission: FREE & open to the public. Come join to share the reason for the season. Walk through the story and meet people who have gathered to view the arrival of the baby Jesus. Live animals, the Magi, townspeople and more as you approach the town of Bethlehem. Special gift for visitors as well as toasted marshmallows and goodies. For more information call 904 272-1250.

DUVAL COUNTY

  • Christmas Eve Candlelight Worship – Tues., Dec. 24. Deermeadows Baptist Church, 9780 Baymeadows Rd., Jacksonville, Fla. Admission: FREE & open to the public. Christmas Eve service featuring carols, scripture and candle-lighting. For more information, please visit www.deermeadows.org.
  • The Grinch: A Free Family Friendly Event – Fri., Dec. 20, 5 p.m. & 7 p.m., Sat., Dec. 21, 4 p.m. & 6 p.m., Sun., Dec. 22, 9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 4 p.m. & 6 p.m. 9555 R.G. Skinner Pkwy., Jacksonville, Fla. Admission: FREE & open to the public. A family-friendly production. Free childcare for ages 0-2. For more information, please visit www.celebration.org/grinch.
  • Handel’s Messiah – Sat., Dec. 21, 8-10 p.m. Times-Union Center, 300 W. Water St., Jacksonville, Fla. Admission: $25-$72. One performance only. For more information, please visit www.jaxsymphony.org.

FLAGLER COUNTY

  • Navy Band Southeast Holiday Concert – Tues., Dec. 17, 7 p.m. Flagler Auditorium, 5500 E. Hwy. 100, Palm Coast, Fla. Admission: FREE & open to the public. For more information, please call 386-437-7547.

ST. JOHNS COUNTY

  • Brunch with Santa at TPC Sawgrass – Sat., Dec. 21, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. TPC Sawgrass Clubhouse, 110 Championship Way, Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. Admission: $42 Adults, $10.50 Kids 6-12. Enjoy a tour of the holiday tress located throughout the Clubhouse, then enjoy brunch and a visit with Santa. For more information, please call 904-543-5105 or visit www.tpc.com/sawgrass.

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©2013 All rights reserved.

OFFICIAL BIO: K Truitt is a second-generation, native Floridian born in Jacksonville. Truitt worked in public higher education for 25 years and knows newspaper publishing, printing and graphic design. Contact: kt.4examiner@yahoo.com

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