As I transitioned from college student to community member and mother, my interest and perception of the Oneonta area matured as well.
I went from handing out trick-or-treat candy in the State University College at Oneonta dorms to chauffeuring my daughter from dorm to dorm to collect hers.
The November and December months of my college years were filled with finals and saying goodbye to friends who would not be returning for the following semester.
I looked forward to a nice, long month of doing nothing during my winter break.
The festivities of the holiday season weren't on my radar. Bringing home holiday cheer and celebrating with neighbors?
Eh, I'd pass.
Now, I find myself seeking out cultural events and activities that will make a lasting impact on my daughter and her perception of the holidays.
I hope these outings will instill a sense of tradition in her, and I hope to someday (a very, very faraway someday) watch her relive these traditions with my grandchildren.
We are lucky to live in an area rich with community spirit and the arts.
There are wonderful festivals, craft fairs and celebrations all around us, and I am saddened to have not experienced them during my four-year "visit" to the area.
But I'm making up for lost time, and I hope you'll join me:
The best gifts I've given and received are locally made arts and crafts. Two great shows are going on right now. The Cooperstown Art Association Holiday Member Show runs through Wednesday, Dec. 23, and The Roxbury Arts Group Out of Hand fine crafts show will be open until Saturday, Dec. 19. Whether you buy something or not, being surrounded by the creativity and talent that flourishes in this region brings a welcomed sense of calm during these not-so-calm weeks.
In today's world of iPods, it's nice to remember broadcasting as it used to be.
Two local organizations will have radio-style performances:
The Roxbury Arts Group will have an old-time live "radio broadcast" of "A Christmas Carol" on Saturday, Dec. 5, at 4 p.m. in their Carriage House. This event is free, but donations are welcomed.
Cherry Valley Artworks is presenting a 1940s-style radio play, "It's a Wonderful Life." Performances will be held in the Cherry Valley Old School Café at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5; 3 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 6; and 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 12. Tickets are $5, and audience members are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items for the Cherry Valley Food Pantry.
For me, and I know for many others, music sets the tone for the holidays. I remember being a child and listening to records of Christmas carols, a tradition I still practice today.
The Catskill Choral Society will mark the season with "Sounds of the Holidays" at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 5, at the First United Methodist Church in Oneonta. Ticket prices range from $7 to $15.
Hyde Hall will present its 2nd Annual Community Caroling and Holiday Bazaar from 3 to 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 11. The event will feature bonfires, luminarias, candlelight, a craft fair, carolers and Santa.
The Cooperstown Art Association's Adorn-a-Door Wreath Festival is the perfect opportunity to find a new holiday wreath _ or fuel your own creativity. From classic to zany, you will find more than 100 wreaths to bid on at this silent auction. The auction will be held from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. this Saturday.
If you're not ready for carols, you may want to escape with "Kinobe and Soul Beat Africa," presented by The Cooperstown Concert Series. The concert will be in the Cooperstown High School Sterling Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5. This concert features musicians from Uganda that use traditional and modern instruments to create a unique sound.
Or, if you need a break from it all, laugh out loud during The Roxbury Arts Group's presentation of Horowitz and Malkine's "Yule Be Sorry," a comic assault on Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, pagan Solstice rituals and other celebrations of seasonal nature. The event will be held at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12. Tickets are $5.
As November quickly slips away and the December holidays consume our lives, take a moment to appreciate the beauty around us. Open your life and your traditions to include something that connects all of us _ art.
June Dzialo is ArtsOtsego Publicity Committee chairwoman and Glimmerglass Opera's marketing and public relations manager. Column ideas may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.