An image of downtown Hillsdale. Facebook/Courtesy
An image of downtown Hillsdale.

The most joyful season can often become stressful as schedules fill up. One key means of avoiding this stress is to plan ahead, so be sure to put these Christmas events on your cal­endar.

As the Christmas season begins to set in, holiday bazaars are a great chance to grab that final dec­o­rative piece or snag that perfect stocking stuffer.

Hillsdale High School will host the Holiday Craft Bazaar on Sat­urday, Nov. 26, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the cafe­teria and the gym­nasium.

Admis­sions to the bazaar is $3, and pro­ceeds will be split between the Hillsdale High School vol­leyball team and the Hillsdale High School Business Pro­fes­sionals of America.

Event coor­di­nator and Hillsdale High School teacher Mindy Eggleston said the stu­dents play a large part in making the bazaar pos­sible, which makes the reapings of the fundraiser all that much more rewarding.

The Third Annual HUB Christmas Bazaar will be at held at the Hillsdale United Brethren Church on Sat­urday, December 3, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

At both bazaars, cus­tomers can look forward to a wide selection of local vendors, ranging from handmade fur­niture and dec­o­ra­tions to food and clothing.

In order to start December with the true meaning of Christmas in mind, The Hillsdale College Choir, Chamber Choir, and Sym­phony Orchestra will team up to present George F. Handel’s “Messiah” at College Baptist on the nights of Dec. 2 and 3, fol­lowed by a matinee show on Dec. 4.

This show is only pre­sented every four years, so this will be the only oppor­tunity for current stu­dents to take in the wonder. For the first time, the work will be per­formed in its entirety and only stu­dents will be par­tic­i­pating. Pro­fessor of Music James Holleman said the show is a special oppor­tunity for both those per­forming and those that may attend, espe­cially in the middle of such a busy time.

“We are so busy in our lives with our here to there. The fact that we are so busy is the best reason to come,” he said. “You get to turn off the elec­tronics and unplug from the world for over two hours. You get to bathe in the beauty of the sound and just reflect.”

The per­for­mance is free of charge, but tickets must be reserved, either by calling 517 – 607-2848 or emailing the Sage box office. Holleman warned that the show will fill up, so tickets should be reserved before Thanks­giving.

On Sat­urday, Dec. 3, downtown Hillsdale will be buzzing with Christmas cheer, thanks to the Hillsdale Business Asso­ci­ation.

First, the ninth Annual Scav­enger Hunt for the golden sleigh will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

This year, 30 dif­ferent stores will be hiding a sleigh among their mer­chandise. Once hunters spot the sleigh, they can point it out to the shop owner to receive a stamp on their map. At the end of the day, stamps will be used towards a raffle for goods from all of the stores that par­tic­i­pated.

The scav­enger hunt is a great way for the family to have fun, while becoming familiar with some of the local busi­nesses, co-chair­person Mary Bertakis said.

From 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., Santa Claus will be taking pic­tures at the Hero’s Nest at 14 N. Howell St.

At 6 p.m., the fifth Annual Light Up Parade will make its way through the business dis­trict. This year, orga­nizers antic­ipate over 40 entries, including every­thing from firetrucks to tractors.

“We are always talking about being a light in the world and this is a very real way to do that,” Bertakis said.

This year’s parade marshal will be Gary Leininger, who will soon retire after 30 years as Hillsdale County Trea­surer.

If anybody wishes to be in the parade they should contact

For those that wish to catch a glimpse of Christmas past, the Hillsdale Poor­house offers a chance to see how the paupers cel­e­brated Christmas. The Poor­house will be dec­o­rated using only dec­o­ra­tions that would have been available to the poor, but event coor­di­nator Sally Fallon said this doesn’t stop the Poor­house from looking beau­tiful for the event.

“The open house is a great way for people to get a little bit of history while they cel­e­brate Christmas,” Fallon said. “It makes us realize how very for­tunate we are to live under our current cir­cum­stances.”

The open house will be from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sat­urday, Dec. 3, and from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 4. The old-time general store will also be open during the event, and Santa will be at the store from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.

On the night of Sat­urday, Dec. 10, the Barber House Children’s Garden will be illu­mi­nated by thou­sands of lights. Arboretum Program Coor­di­nator Laurie Rosenberg said the lights turn the garden into a type of won­derland, espe­cially when the ground is covered in snow.

The Barber House will also be open so attendees can pop inside for some hot chocolate and to make a take-home ornament.

Of course, this is a very busy time of year, and one can often be over­whelmed by all of the things that must get done. Remember, however, to stop for a moment and take advantage of the oppor­tu­nities available.