You survived cynical Black Friday and now it's time for the fun part of the Christmas season: hot cocoa, carolers, Santa and tree lightings.
Tour the tinsel around the county starting at the McKinleyville Shopping Center on Thursday, Dec. 4 at 4 p.m. with crafts, treats, a tree lighting and a visit from someone whose name starts with Santa (free).
On Friday, Dec. 5, head to the Arcata Plaza at 6 p.m., when the streets close and the Clauses roll up on an antique fire truck with their elven entourage (free). Have a cookie, sip some cider and tell Santa what you want.
After songs from children's choruses starting at 4:30 p.m., the big tree at the Eureka Inn lights up on Saturday, Dec. 6 at 5 p.m., so wear something nice for a photo by the enormous fireplace (free).
On Sunday, Dec. 7 at 5:30 p.m., the Community Commons in Willow Creek hosts a lighting with holiday songs from rosy-cheeked kids and more cocoa and cookies with the man in red. Meanwhile, folks in Ferndale will be gathering at the end of Main Street at 5:30 p.m. to electrify the living tree to the sound of the Booster Band (free) and feast on bowls of beans and linguica from the Portuguese Hall (TBA). Check out the Holiday Heads Up for more events this season.
— Jennifer Fumiko Cahill