There's a chill in the air, people are starting to get into the giving spirit and more and more houses are beginning to twinkle with lights. This can only mean one thing: Christmas is right around the corner.

Now that the turkey has been eaten and holiday shopping is in full swing, it's time to mark your calendars with these can't-miss community yuletide events.

Bel Air

It wouldn't be Christmas without Harford Dance Theatre's annual performance of "The Nutcracker." The beloved ballet will again be performed at Harford Community College, 401 Thomas Run Road, 8 p.m. Nov. 26, with youth matinees 1 and 4 p.m. Nov. 27 and Dec. 4. Tickets are $8 to $15. Visit harford.edu/cultural for all of the details.


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Take an inside peek at Harford's most beautifully decorated homes on the AMC Annual Holiday House Tour, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 4. Advance tickets are available at Preston's Stationery, Richardson's and Jonathan's Florist, Tea by Two, Simply Grande, Broom's Bloom and Harford Artist Gallery at Rockfield Manor.

The 22nd Annual Bel Air Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting will brighten up Main Street in Downtown Bel Air 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. Dec. 4. There will be Christmas carols, hot chocolate and more holiday fun.

Check out the Hays House Museum, 325 Kenmore Ave., 1 to 4 p.m. Dec. 4 for their holiday open house. The museum will be decorated for the holidays and the Catherine Street Consort will perform.

The Reckord Armory, 37 N. Main St., will hold its free Hometown Bel Air Christmas event 2 p.m. Dec. 10, when the Maryland Conservatory of Music will put on a magical performance of holiday songs. Go to musicismagic.com for more information.

Whiteford

It'll look like a winter wonderland 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 3 at the Delta/Cardiff/Whiteford Christmas village at the Backyard Boys, 2419 Whiteford Road. The DCW Business Organization will have crafts, live music, activities, food and vendors at the free event. Santa will also take a trip on his train through the village.

Havre de Grace area

The annual Christmas parade and Light up the Night tree-lighting ceremony will kick off the season 6 p.m. Dec. 2 at the corner of Washington and St. John streets. Santa will also make an appearance. Call 410-939-2100 for more information.

The historic Steppingstone Museum, 461 Quaker Bottom Road, will hold a Christmas open house noon to 4 p.m. Dec. 3 and 4. The museum will be decorated for the occasion, have music in the parlor from the Baltimore Vocal Jazz Ensemble and pump organist Lilma Hutley and cider and cookies in the kitchen. The museum store will also be open for holiday gift shopping. Visit steepingstonemuseum.org or call 410-939-2299 for all the details.

"A Christmas Carol" tea and storytime will be Dec. 4 at Steppingstone. Historic re-enactor Alisa Dupuy will read. Tickets are $25.

Also on Dec. 4, run a 5K or participate in the 1K fun walk at the first Running with the Reindeer race 10 a.m. at Tydings Memorial Park, benefiting local children with cancer. All registered participants will receive a free T-shirt, and prizes for the best holiday costumes will be given out. Register online at runningwiththereindeer.com.

Aberdeen

The community's "Old-Fashioned Christmas" Christmas Street celebration will begin at 7 a.m. Dec. 3 with a breakfast with Santa. The craft fair at Aberdeen Fire Hall, 21 N. Rogers St., will be 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The nativity scene at Grace United Methodist Church, 110 W. Bel Air Ave., will be set up 1 to 2 p.m., with the Bel Air Avenue Street Fair immediately afterward.

The Christmas Street parade will begin at 3 p.m., followed by the tree-lighting and a visit with Santa.

Singer/songwriter Charlie Zahm will perform a Christmas concert 5 p.m. Dec. 3 at St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 201 Mount Royal Ave. Admission is $10 for adults, and free for children younger than 16. Refreshments will be available at the fellowship hall.

Perryville

The annual tree-lighting ceremony for the Cecil County Holly Tree will be 4 to 6 p.m. Dec. 3. Shuttle busses will run from Perryville High School, 1696 Perryville Road, to the event site at Jackson Station. Admission is free.

Perryville Fire Company's holiday dance party will be 8 p.m. to midnight Dec. 3 at the Minker Banquet Hall on Route 7. Admission is $10 per person and includes draft beer. All other drinks will be available for happy hour prices. Attendees must be 21 or older. For tickets, call 443-350-0871.

Perryville's Christmas tree-lighting ceremony, 4 to 5:30 p.m. Dec. 10, will also have Christmas carolers, activities for kids and refreshments. It all takes place across from Rodgers Tavern on Broad Street.