Well my friends, the holidays have definitely arrived. Seasonal music, festive lights and halls decked with boughs of holly are all around us.

So before we go any further, let us see what is planned locally for these gala weeks.

That jolly man in red will visit Rodgers Forge Community youngsters on the evenings of Dec. 13 and 16, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. These evening session fill up quickly, so we hope parents have completed the coupon found in your November Rodgers Forge newsletter. If not, fill out the coupon in the December newsletter and return it to the address listed.

Meanwhile, our young neighbors in Gaywood will have a good time on Dec, 8, when Santa visits the Gaywood Green. Crafts, treats and a lot of fun will keep guests busy.

Music will fill our area churches this season. Lessons and Carols will ring through Ascension Lutheran Church, 7601 York Road, on Dec. 16, at 4 p.m., and also at St. Pius X Roman Catholic Church, 6428 York Road, at 3 p.m. that same day, Dec. 13.

"What Can I Give Him?" is the musical question posed in the Sundays at Central Concert Series performance at Central Presbyterian Church, 7308 York Road, featuring the Chancel Choir, organ, bell choir and a full orchestra. The series' Christmas concerts are extremely popular and will be performed twice, Dec. 14 at 7:30 p.m. and again on Dec. 16 at 3 p.m.

December is an exciting time for students in our local schools.

On Tuesday, Dec. 11, at 6:30 p.m., the Rodgers Forge Elementary School fifth grade will present its Winter Concert with full band, chorus, orchestra and the before-school chorus.

At St. Pius X School, several performances will be held. The school's band and chorus Christmas program will be held on the morning of Dec. 12, and again at 7 p.m. that evening.

The St. Pius X community invites all friends and neighbors to join them for the ninth annual Breakfast with Santa and craft show on Dec. 8. The breakfast is $7 per child and will be open from 9 to 11 a.m. Parents can enjoy the craft show, from 9 to 2 p.m. It is truly a day for the entire family. Reservations may be made by calling the school at 410-427-7400.

Trees are a big part of Christmas, and the St. Pius X youth group's tree sale has begun. It opened on Nov. 24 and will continue through Dec. 18, or until all trees are gone. For hours, call the church at 410-427-7500.

All trees need presents underneath them, and some of our schools have just the thing — books.

Dumbarton Middle School's Book Fair began Dec. 3, and will continue through Dec. 8. Family night is Wednesday, Dec. 5, from 5 to 7 p.m., and Saturday, Dec. 8, 9 a.m. to noon.

The book fair at Rodgers Forge Elementary School will run from Dec. 10-14. Call the school at 410-887-3582 for hours.

This is a season when many faiths enjoy special celebrations, and on the evening of Dec. 8, those of the Jewish faith will begin their eight days of Hanukkah. To commemorate this, Brown Memorial Woodbrook Presbyterian Church will hold a Hanukkah Dinner on Dec. 14.

The Rodgers Forge Community Inc. board of directors is changing some members. Michael Bayer and Ryan Wagner have joined the board, replacing Mike Calwell and Bill Grothmann, who retired. Although long time board member (newsletter editor and corresponding secretary) Jay Dunn retired, he will continue as editor until a replacement is found.

The Dumbarton Middle School Student Government Association officers were elected for the current year. Congratulations to Jozi Kozak, president; Tara Katims, vice president; Kelsey Fringer, secretary of the interior; Tommy King, treasurer; and Corliss White, secretary of correspondence.

Three Dumbarton Middle School students were sent to the Baltimore County Leadership Camp. They were Burke Harmon, Tara Katims and Tommy King. Kudos, one and all.

Rodgers Forge Elementary School's morning news crew took on a new look when a new team debuted last month. The school's "Today Show" welcomed Sandy Bailey, Natalie Anderson, Lilli Heffron, Liam Olsson, Ava Cooper, Abbey Cobrun, Ben Osmeyer, Jacob Malter, Matthew McShane and Wyatt Kwiakowski.

As we enjoy our celebrations this month, let's also remember Pearl Harbor Day on Dec. 7, marking the beginning of America's entrance into World War II.

Till we meet again ...