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Visit the Holy Land at Glen Mar UM Church [West Friendship]

The Holy Land comes to Howard County on Dec.5-7, 5-8 p.m., at the Glen Mar United Methodist Church. The church at 4701 New Cut Road in Ellicott City, is holding its seventh annual "Walk to Bethlehem."

Folks are invited to come anytime during the 5 to 8 p.m. hours to observe the wonders of the Christmas story. Led by guides, attendees will journey through outdoor settings where actors will enact the events leading to the Messiah's birth.

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After each walk, participants are invited to enjoy an indoor scene featuring the story of Simeon. The church congregants have even created and staged an indoor marketplace as it looked in the time of Jesus, with carpenters, weavers, jugglers, Roman soldiers, pottery makers, knitters and musicians. Questions? Go to the church website at http://www.glenmarumc.org or call 410-465-4995.

St. Nicholas is coming to town. Mark your calendar for Dec. 6, 8:30 to 11:30 a.m., when the St. Andrew's Episcopal Church on Route 97 in Glenwood, will be transformed into a winter wonderland. Breakfast with St. Nicholas and a St. Nick gift shop are on the agenda.

Kids are encouraged to give their wish list to St. Nicholas and grown ups can enjoy the holiday wreaths for sale. Breakfast, crafts, a Christmas shop and photo opportunities, too. Admission is $8 for those 10 and older and $6 for children under the age of 10. Questions? Call Heather Graham at 443-812-1839 or email hgrahamstandrews@gmail.com.

It's time to start marking the calendar for local holiday events. Sally and Shannon Stevens, the team behind Sunroom Studios, invite the community to a Holiday Open House on Nov. 29, noon until 6 p.m., at 3556 Lakeway Drive.

The artisans will showcase and sell a variety of artisan jewelry and components for making your own jewelry. The jewelry designers even offer to clean your jewelry or do small repairs during the open house. Refreshments, catching up with neighbors, and an opportunity to see Sally and Shannon's exquisite wares. Questions? Call 410-531-9624 or better yet go to the website at http://www.sunroomstudiosonline.com to catch a glimpse of some of the stunning artisan jewelry.

Visitors slated for the holiday? Here's a nearby outing for locals and their guests to enjoy. The community is invited to a Family Fall Festival on Nov. 29, 1 to 5 p.m., on the grounds of the Shrine of St. Anthony, 12290 Folly Quarter Road. Hayrides, snacks, apple cider, Advent wreath making, gingerbread house making and even a bonfire. No admission for this community event in a beautiful pastoral setting. Questions? Call the Shrine at 410-531-2800.

On Nov. 21, 6 to 9 p.m., at the Robinson Nature Center, 6692 Cedar Lane in Columbia, it will be Mistletoe and Moonlight Shopping. Kids can enjoy the exhibits and discovery room, while the grownups can shop. Raffle tickets will be doled out to those who bring a canned good for donation to an area food bank. Need directions? Call the Center at 410-313-0400.

It's been a delight to observe all the "Thank You" posters dashed across the Allan Kittleman for County Executive billboards around the western end of the county. West Friendship's favorite son, and now, Howard County Executive-Elect, Kittleman is one fine gentleman. Congratulations to Allan and to his lovely wife Robin and dedicated children Haley, Mary, Robby and James.

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