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From the Back Pew: Christmas activities abound locally

December 02, 2010|By Michael J, Arvizu

If you've watched Classic Arts Showcase (locally, it airs on KCET late nights) for any length of time, you've probably caught its mission statement, which tells viewers that it is the program's hope that by providing video clips of the arts, it "may tempt you, the viewer, to go out and feast from the buffet of arts available in your community."

I remembered this mission statement as I've been looking at the buffet, if you will, of Christmas events/celebrations taking place in our local churches and around the area in the next couple of weeks, including some food and gift drives. Everything from nativity scenes with real animals and concerts to arts and crafts for kids and services by candlelight — not to mention a plethora of great food — will be presented either for free, or for a nominal price.

I get dizzy just looking at all that's going on, and I won't include all of the events in my column this week, but there are some really cool ones I'd like to point out. You can check out The Valley Sun's Around 'n' About calendar pages for more events.

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The first is La Crescenta Presbyterian Church's annual live nativity scene. It will be held outside the church before Christmas services at 7 p.m. Dec. 23, and at 5 and 7 p.m. Dec. 24. The scene features a donkey (sort of the must-have mascot for all nativity scenes), lambs, chickens and "other animals," according to the church. Nativity scenes represent what tradition tells us is the birthplace of Christ — a manger, in a barn in Bethlehem. The scene is set up a few feet from the church entrance and is easily visible as you drive down Montrose Avenue. Other services include a 10 p.m. Christmas Eve service featuring the Cathedral Choir singing Christmas carols by candlelight.

Just down the street and around the corner on La Crescenta Avenue, Crescenta Valley Community Church will offer another live nativity scene from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Dec. 5. Hot chocolate and Christmas carols for all.

In Glendale, St. Luke's Anglican Church will present, at 10 a.m. Sunday, a program on St. Nicholas, the third-century bishop of Myra, who is the basis for that jolly old fat man, Santa Claus. There will also be a toy drive that day, benefitting World Impact.

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