Santa may arrive on Dec. 24 in a sleigh pulled by flying reindeer, but on Dec. 12, he's more likely to arrive in Clarksville by fire truck.

Santa will be welcoming children to visit and chat in the engine bay of the Fifth District fire station on Saturday, Dec. 12 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. All are welcome to come share pizza with Santa. The cost is $6 for ages 6 and up and free for ages 5 and under. It's a great photo op.


Maybe what you want is a Santa photo op for pets. Pet photos will be taken at Bark on Dec. 12 and 13, noon-4 p.m. Dress your pet in holiday attire if you like. Photos are $10. You get a framed 4x6 print suitable for gift giving. All proceeds benefit Animal Advocates of Howard County.

Great Sage, also in the Clarksville Square shopping center, will be donating 10 percent of sales to the Humane Society of the United States on Dec. 13. You can do good while enjoying good eating.

Would you like to glimpse inside some of western Howard County's most intriguing properties?

The Howard County Historical Society is offering that possibility during the 39th annual Holiday House Tour Dec. 13, 1-6:30 p.m. Homes highlighted include Bloomsburg, Rose Hill Farm, Hobson's Choice and Mt. Gregory United Methodist Church. Eyre Tour busses will leave from Bushy Park Elementary promptly at 1 p.m. Seating is limited.

A Panera sandwich and wine will be provided with each ticket purchased, compliments of Realtor Bob Lucido of Keller Williams Integrity. Specify your choice of sandwich when ordering tickets.

Your ticket price includes a one-year membership to the HCHS. Enjoy the benefits throughout the coming year. To order and read more about the historic homes, go to hchsmd.org/events. You may also get more information by calling 410-480-3250 or send email to info@hchsmd.org.

There are always special Christmas programs at local churches this month. Linden-Linthicum United Methodist Church will feature the Children's Christmas Pageant during both services Dec. 13. The Chancel Choir Cantata is set for Dec. 13 at 7 p.m. and again during the 10:30 a.m. service on Dec. 20. All are welcome.

Dec. 15 is a special day for a great neighbor. It's Charlie Higgs' birthday. Best wishes are sent to Charlie for a happy birthday and a year filled with blessings.

Come see and hear the old, old story featuring music and an engaging cast at New Hope Church on Hall Shop Road. Doors open Dec. 18 at 7 p.m. for the first production. Doors open Dec. 19 at 4:30 p.m. for the second presentation. The Saturday program will be followed by caroling through the community. The programs are free. All are welcome.

Pause to catch your breath during the holiday rush. The Howard County Historical Society's Museum Holiday Concert with the Columbia Jazz Band will be held Dec. 19, 6-8 p.m. The Columbia Jazz Band is in its 26th year based in Columbia and is under the direction of Peter BarenBregge. Refreshments will be provided.

Part of the proceeds will benefit the HCHS. Tickets cost $10. The concert is free for children under age 14. To purchase tickets, go to hchsmd.org/events or call 410-480-3250.