Ready? Set. Go Christmas shopping! Let the buying begin.

Christmas is just around the corner and so are several churches with holiday bazaars to ease shopping angst.

Plan to patronize them all. You can fill your shopping bags and delete names from your gift list. You might even buy yourself a decoration or two.

Start Friday. Oakland United Methodist Church opens its annual "Christmas in the Country" with unique crafts and tree ornaments. You can stay for a turkey dinner, too. Sale runs from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and continues from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

The church is at Mineral Hill and Oakland Mills roads, Sykesville.

Information: 795-7038.

While you are still in South Carroll, stop in at Holy Spirit Lutheran Church where they are having a Country Holiday Craft Fair.

You'll find crafts, wreaths, and personalized ornaments. You could win a raffle, too.

Doors open from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. The church is at 2205 Liberty Road, Eldersburg. Information: 795-6333.

If Hampstead is closer to home, visit "Christmas at the Church" as St.

John's United Methodist Women show you how to have a country Christmas.

You'll find a country store, rare treasures, silent auction and gifts for children. Sale runs from 3 to 8 p.m. Friday and continues from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

St. John's is at 1205 N. Main St., Hampstead. Information: 239-8088.

As if that's not all, the Carroll County Christmas Farmers Market opens 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday with all the trimmings and gifts to bring some country to your holidays.

The market runs Saturdays only through Dec. 15 at the Ag Center, Smith Avenue, Westminster. Information: 875-2158.

Not in the mood to shop? How about laughing at the foibles of Felix and Oscar, everyone's favorite odd couple?

The Mount Airy Players present "The Odd Couple" at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Mount Airy Middle School, on Watersville Road.

Come at 6:30 p.m. for a buffet dinner, too. Adult tickets are $14.25 for dinner and play, $13.25 for senior citizens and students.

Information: 829-0332.

If you are not done in by all those Friday options, Saturday offers even more adventures in diversions and shopping: * Put safety first and learn how to prevent fires. Westminster Volunteer Fire Department offers a Fire Prevention Seminar, featuring several guest speakers.

They request a $5 donation to cover the cost of coffee, doughnuts and lunch.

The program runs from 8:15 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at 66 E. Main St.

Information: 848-1800.

* Sam's Creek Church of the Brethren offers handcrafted items for holiday decorations at its annual bazaar. You can even buy a miniature decorated tree. Light lunch and baked goods will be available, too.

Sale runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 2736 Marston Road, New Windsor.

Information: 635-2772.

* Santa will visit Trinity Lutheran Church's annual Christmas bazaar.

Shoppers can feast on crafts, ceramics, decorations while the children browse in a Santa Shop or indulge in a face painting.

Doors open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Social Hall, 833 Deer Park Road, Westminster. Information: 848-1091.

* Too tired to cook? Let Meadow Branch Church of the Brethren do it for you.

Members will serve you a spaghetti dinner from 4 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

Cost is $4.40 for adults and $2.50 for children.

The church is at Route 140 and Royer Road, Westminster. Information: 848-7478.

* Trip the light fantastic to the strains of the Helmut Licht Orchestra at the 31st Annual Silvery Moon Ball Saturday at Friendly Farm Restaurant.

Cocktail hour, with an assortment of hot hors d'oeuvres, begins at 7 p.m. Open bar lasts all evening.

Dinner will be served at 8 p.m., complete with a dessert bar at 10 p.m.

Dance the night away from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Tickets are $80 per couple and proceeds benefit Carroll County General Hospital.

Valet parking will be available.

Information, tickets and reservations: 848-3484.

* When you are all shopped out, sit back and enjoy the music at Sunday's 7 p.m. big band bash at Westminster High School, 1225 Washington Road.

The Carroll County Jazz Band and "Just Us" will stage a concert to benefit a scholarship fund in name of late music teacher Jerry Myers.

Chris Vadala is guest soloist. Tickets are $4 for adults, $3.50 for senior citizens and $2 for students. Information: 795-1700.

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