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Five Cool Places for Holiday Spirit

Feeling like a Grinch? Or a Scrooge? Or just not that into the holidays yet. These activities should fix that wagon.

We can’t avoid them. They’re coming. We’re talking about the holidays. Banish your inner Scrooge and get excited–this is the time of year where those we love are all who matter.

1.  Lights in the Parkway, Allentown. Pile everyone into the car and head to the festive display that sprawls for a mile of Allentown’s Lehigh Parkway. It’s been keeping Valley residents (and many visitors, too) enthralled for the past 15 years. $5 in advance, $9 at the door–so to speak. December 3-January 2, 2011, 5:30pm-10pm; closed Christmas.

2. Easton Shines. This weekend, get your holiday off to a great start with this shopping promotion in downtown Easton. Two dozen businesses downtown are offering a spirited kickoff, with rejuvenation stations, (free quick massages) and refueling (hot beverages and cookies), live music, promotions, and other incentives. Start the I Love Easton Marathon, which means the more you shop downtown, the more likely you are to win a host of prizes from a raffle drawing, with services and gift cards from downtown businesses. Believe it. December 4-5.

3. Christkindlmarkt, Bethlehem. Ok, so I technically gave props to this event a couple of weeks ago, but it’s great for holiday spirit, too, even if you *don’t* buy any of the crafts or wares. Styled after the German (and other middle European) Christmas markets, Christkindlmarkt is full of unique items, foods, and holiday music. You can also expect Santa, and the opportunity to take a carriage ride along Main Street. December 2-5; 9-12; 16-19; 10am-8pm Thursday-Saturdays; 10am-6pm Sundays.

4. Bach Choir of Bethlehem. Don’t miss the Christmas Concert. Did you know we have a choir dedicated solely to the masterpieces of Bach? Yes, it’s true. Don’t miss the Christmas Concert; there’s something magical, nay, transcendent, about choirs during the holidays. Go and hear Parts 1 and 6 of Bach’s “Christmas Oratorio” and two advent cantatas. December 11, 8pm.  First Presbyterian Church, 3231 W. Tilghman St., Allentown, 610-866-4382. The same program is being held on December 12, 8pm, at the First Presbyterian Church of Bethlehem, 2344 Center Street, Bethlehem, 610-866-4382.

5. Good for the Jews. Here’s something a little left-of-center for the holidays: irreverent songs and humor from David Fagin and Rob Tannebaum (the former of the Rosenbergs and the latter of much music writing and Vh-1 appearances).  December 15, 8pm,  Sellersville Theater, 24 West Temple Avenue, Sellersville. 215-257-5808.

Carrie Havranek wanted to take her train-obsessed twin boys on the Polar Express in Phillipsburg but it’s ALREADY sold out. Next year.