Marathon: The Columbia Metric Marathon & 5K will be held today. Event starts at 8:15 a.m. at the Lakefront in Columbia. The 26.2K course is moderately hilly and runs through wooded trails, residential areas and roads. The 5K course runs on bike paths around the lake. There will many age-group awards and post-race food. Sponsored by the Howard County Striders. Go to striders.net for more information.
Nativity scene: More than 250 Nativity sets, including ones from Israel, Saudi Arabia, Panama, China, Nepal and other countries, as well as two made from gingerbread, will be on display at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 4100 St. John's Lane in Ellicott City. Hours are 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Free admission. Call 410-707-2918.
Holiday concert: The Howard Community College Singers and Senior Choir performs holiday music by Banchieri, Handel, Loesser, Stocker and others at 4 p.m. in Monteabaro Hall, 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway. Tickets are $5. Call 410-772-4900 or go to www.howardcc.edu/music.
Holiday craft fair: Town Center Community Association holds its annual event from noon to 4 p.m. at Historic Oakland Manor, 5430 Vantage Point Road in Columbia. More than 30 vendors will offer for sale jewelry, pottery, baskets, glass and more. Admission is free. During the fair, donations of nonperishable food items will be accepted for the Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center. For more information, call 410-730-4744.
"Uh-Oh, Here Comes Christmas": Laurel Mill Playhouse presents this holiday musical through Dec. 20 at 508 Main St. in Laurel. Performances at 8 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sunday matinees. Tickets are $13, $10 for students and seniors. Call 301-617-9906 or go to laurelmillplayhouse.org.
"Symphony of Lights": Howard County Hospital Foundation's drive-through outdoor display of more than 70 animated and stationary holiday light creations runs through Jan. 3. For directions and more information, call 410-740-7840.
Book sale: Howard County General Hospital sponsors a book sale from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday and Tuesday at 5755 Cedar Lane in Columbia. A large variety of new books and holiday gifts will be on sale in the main lobby. Proceeds benefit the hospital's expansion program. Call 410-312-9140 or 410-997-4969 for more information.
Passport services: The Passport Acceptance Facility at Howard County Library's East Columbia branch at 6600 Cradlerock Way offers passports and passport photos from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays. Call 410-313-7700.
Meet the authors: The Columbia Archives will host an open house from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. to showcase books about Columbia and their authors. Josh Olsen, Joe Mitchell, Missy Burke, Robin Emrich and Barbara Kellner will be on hand to meet the public and discuss their work. Columbia Archives is on the ground floor of the American City Building, 10227 Wincopin Circle. Call 410-715-6781 for more information.
PFLAG meeting: The Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays holds its monthly meeting and hosts its annual holiday party beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the Owen Brown Interfaith Center, 7246 Cradlerock Way in Columbia. For more information, call 410-290-8992.
Hanukkah cooking and recipe exchange: Howard County Hadassah sponsors a cooking and recipe exchange featuring Eve Klein from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. 5262 Five Fingers Way in Columbia. Participants are encouraged to bring their favorite Hanukkah dish and copies for the recipe to exchange. Tickets are $15-$20. For more information, call 301-854-0503.
Genealogy group: The Laurel Museum will hold an organizational meeting to form a genealogy group at 7 p.m. at the Laurel Municipal Pool Meeting Room, Ninth and Main streets. For more information, call Mike Boivin at 301-385-6090 or the Laurel Historical Society at 301-725-7975 or go to laurelhistoricalsociety.org.
Meeting: The Howard County Board of Education meets at 4 p.m. at 10910 Route 108 in Ellicott City. Both the afternoon and evening session, which convenes at 7:30 p.m., begins with a public forum, when members of the public can address the board on any topic other than those for which a formal hearing process exists. Call 410-313-7194.
Classical concert : Clarinetist Jane Winer performs music by Beethoven at 7:30 p.m. in Monteabaro Recital Hall at Howard Community College's Horowitz Visual and Performing Arts Center, 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia. Free admission. Call 410-772-4900 or go to www.howardcc.edu/music.
Blues concert: 2nd Saturday Cafe presents the Tom Principato Band from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. at Oliver's Carriage House, 5410 Leaf Trader Way. $20 admission fee includes snacks, soda, dessert and coffee. Wine and beer is also available for purchase. Proceeds benefit Agape House. Go to 2ndsaturdaycafe.com for tickets and more information.
"Kangaroo Kids": This award-winning precision jump rope team performs at 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. at its annual "Holiday Hop," noon to 4 p.m. at the Glenwood Community Center, 2400 Route 97 in Cooksville. Event showcases jumpers at all levels, from beginner through their travel and competition level. Admission is free, however, everyone planning to attend is asked to bring a canned or nonperishable food item to support the Howard County Food Bank. Call 410-489-7529.
Literacy program: The "Passport to Financial Literacy" program for Howard County parents and their middle and high school-age children will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 6695 Dobbin Road in Columbia. This free, drop-in event includes an interactive program and games that help participants learn about planning, goal setting, decision making and finances. Call 240-372-9194 or go to passporttofinancialliteracy.com.
Concert: The Columbia Concert Band performs at 3 p.m. Dec. 13 at River Hill High School, 12101 Route 108 in Clarksville. Program includes Carol Barnett's "Cyprian Suite," Brian Balmages' "Reverberations," Frank Tichell's "Joy Revisited," and some holiday tunes. Free admission. Call 301-596-9783.
Christmas concert: The Columbia Pro Cantare Chamber Singers, 28 singers selected from the Columbia Pro Cantare Chorus, presents a concert of seasonal music ranging from the Renaissance to modern times at 3 p.m. Dec. 13 at Christ Episcopal Church, 6800 Oakland Mills Road. Advance tickets are $15, $13 for seniors and students, $17 and $15 at the door. Call 410-799-9321, 301-854-0107 or go to procantare.org.
College night: An "Arts College Night" for parents and students, especially those in eighth to 11th grades, who are interested in theater, dance or the visual arts, will be held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Dec. 14 at Atholton High School, 6520 Freetown Road in Columbia. Event includes panels focusing on preparing for college, the admissions process and collegiate expectations. For more information, e-mail Stephanie Gurwitz at sgurwitz1Averizon.net or call the school at 410-313-7065.
Announcements for the datebook can be sent by mail to The Baltimore Sun in Howard County, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278; by e-mail to email@example.com; or by fax to 410-332-6455.