Suzy Hill, owner of Curves of Glenelg, surveys the loot that has been collected for the U.S. Marine Corps Foundation’s Toys for Tots holiday drive. During the first week of collection, Suzy Hill counted more than 90 toys and games. By the time representatives from the Marines came for a second pick up at Curves in Glenelg, the amount of playthings had doubled. (Submitted photo / November 29, 2011)

During the first week of collection, Suzy Hill counted more than 90 toys and games. By the time representatives from the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation came for a second pick up at Curves in Glenelg, the amount of playthings had doubled.

If you would like to pitch in with an unwrapped gift for a child, then bring your donation to the Curves in Glenelg by Friday, Dec. 2. Don't forget that Eyre Tour and Travel, Olney Theatre Center, the Pink Cabbage at Triadelphia and Route 144, St. Michael's Church in Poplar Springs and the front office of Glenelg High School, via the Key Club are organizations also acting as local host venues for Toys for Tots.

This beloved and long traditional holiday giving effort begun by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve in 1947, is alive and well. The first toy donated back in 1947 was a Raggedy Ann doll handcrafted by the wife of Toys for Tots founder Col. Bill Hendricks. Bring your new toys and games to the Toys for Tots depot boxes by Dec. 9.

This is the time of year and in particular the weekend in December when there are so many local holiday offerings that there is almost not enough room to mention them all. But here we go.

St. Michael's Church in Poplar Springs will host a pancake breakfast Saturday, Saturday Dec. 3, 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. The annual breakfast is sponsored by the Men's Club of St. Michael's and word has it that a visit from St. Nicholas is in the works.

Pancakes, sausage, juice, home fries and eggs are on the menu. Free sleigh rides with Santa are promised if the weather permits. Admission is $6 for adults, $3 for children younger than 10.

Santa Claus is headed to the Firehouse Museum in historic Ellicott City Saturday Dec. 3, noon to 4 p.m. That jolly fellow from the North Pole sure gets around doesn't he? The Ellicott City Business Association is sponsoring this event with the hopes that families will come out and enjoy the charm of shopping in the historic district while visiting with Santa too.

Questions? Call Ed Lilley at 410-303-2959 or e-mail Ed at ecrfpres@aol.com.

Holiday Mart. That's the name of Howard County's juried arts and crafts show which is celebrating 39 years of quality crafts and artisan products this year. The show, which features more than 138 vendors, is set for the third year in a new location.

The Holiday Mart 2011 will be held at the Glenwood Community Center, 2400 Route 97, Cooksville. The craft show will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Dec.3. Several local artists are participating in the Holiday Mart, including West Friendship photographers Roger and Judith Roark .

Sally and Shannon Stevens will host a holiday open house Saturday Dec. 3, 4-8 p.m., at 3556 Lakeway Drive, in Ellicott City. Jewelry as wearable art is the main attraction at the holiday show which features the best designs of Sunroom Studios, Sally and Shannon's jewelry design business. A specialty of this creative mother and daughter team is their creation of glass beads.

This year, the open house will feature handcrafted jewelry, glass beads, the decorative art of Sally and Shannon, as well as the creative works by local artisans. Sunroom Studios has been featured in several trade magazines with a focus on the teaching skills of jewelry making.

Come out and see Sally and Shannon's exquisite work this weekend and enjoy holiday cheer with the artists. Questions? Call 410-531-9624 or email sunroomstudios@aol.com.

Local songbirds Sharon Stewart, Sara Cronk, Carol Anne Bucher and Jeanne McCulley are raising the roof with song as they prepare for the Columbia Pro Cantare's stirring annual rendition of Handel's Messiah. The holiday favorite will be performed at the Jim Rouse Theatre Sunday, Dec. 4 at 7:30 p.m.

For ticket information call 410-799-9231 or log on to http://www.procantare.org.

Never been to the West Friendship Farm Museum? Now's the chance and in particular when the Hebb House portion of the museum is decked out in holiday splendor. The Howard County Living Farm Heritage Museum's Hebb House will be the setting for a holiday open house Dec. 3, 4, 10 and 11, noon-4 p.m. This is an excellent opportunity to view the local farm museum, a dream that has come true for the members of the Howard County Antique Farm Machine Club.

Virginia and John Frank and all the committees have worked tirelessly for several years now to see the fruition of this local museum which is dedicated to life in simpler times. There is no admission, though donations are gratefully accepted.

The open house will feature a train garden, antique displays, live music and refreshments. Virginia Frank notes that the motif will be one of holiday seasons from years past.

Hebb House is at 12985 Frederick Road (Route 144), just across the street from the Howard County fairgrounds. Questions? Call 410-531-2569 or go to the club Web site at http://www.farmheritage.org.

A few local calendar reminders which are worth repeating.