(ABBY LEPAGE / Courtesy of Berkshire Theatre Group)
Dec. 18 to 24 Calendar of holiday and art events in the Berkshires and Southern Vermont

Holiday Albany Berkshire Ballet: "Nutcracker" 2 and 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 21, at Paramount Theater – 30 Center St. Full Story
The 413
(Photos by Jenn Smith — The Berkshire Eagle)
Berkshires After Dark: The Roasted Garlic offers warm, inviting atmosphere

Good food at The Roasted Garlic on West Housatonic Street
PITTSFIELD >> 'Tis the season for gatherings with family and friends, to celebrate making it through another year, and to raise glasses for the happy advent of a new one. Full Story
(Courtesy of Trustees of Reservations)
Hikes welcome the solstice in the winter woods

From valley to ridge, outdoor explorers can enjoy winter
12/17/2014 06:13 PM EST
Each year, the winter solstice marks the shortest day and the longest night of the year and the gradual conversion to longer days and shorter nights. 
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Hanukkah gatherings light the dark across the Berkshires and Southern Vermont
12/17/2014 06:12 PM EST - Happy Hanukkah! Accross the Berkshires and Bennington County, candles are burning tonight, and families will celebrate the festival of lights. Full Story

Vermont community greets Hanukkah
12/17/2014 06:11 PM EST - BENNINGTON >> Known as the Feast of Lights for honoring the re-opening of the Temple of Jerusalem in the Second Century BCE, Hanukkah as a modern holiday has become a point of gathering and community celebration. Full Story

(Holly Pelczynski / Bennington Banner)
Bennington bakers bust out before the holidays

Berkshire Bakeries More Vermont Bakeries
12/17/2014 06:13 PM EST
BENNINGTON >> Bakkerij Krijnen specializes in authentic Dutch baked goods and pulls from the traditions of the Netherlands to create Christmas treats each year, calling on baker Hans Krijnen's Dutch childhood and ancestry. 
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Letters and calls come from North Pole
12/17/2014 06:10 PM EST - When the holiday season begins, many children sit down and compose letters to Santa, advising him of the toys they would like to find under the tree on Christmas morning. Full Story

Readsboro couple make candy canes from glass
12/17/2014 06:10 PM EST - Thirty-one years ago, when friends told glass artists Bill LeQuier and Mary Angus about a bankruptcy auction at the former Readsboro Chair Company, little did the couple realize they would end up owning the place. Full Story

Manchester's annual Elf Express brings polar live music and games
12/17/2014 06:02 PM EST - MANCHESTER >> It will be "all aboard" the weekend of Dec. 20-21, when the Elf Express shuttles back and forth between Arlington and Manchester, with Christopher Pop-In-Kins lurking about somewhere on the train. Full Story

Still looking? Ways to find last-minute gifts near home
12/17/2014 05:58 PM EST - When you're running out of time to wait for the mail, when you want to make a few quiet stops, miss the traffic and watch the snow fall, or when you want to find a gift that could only come from here, the variety within a few miles of your door may surprise you. Full Story

Kate Abbott: The appeal of giving expeditions
12/17/2014 05:58 PM EST - I gave my brother a day. We were home on a holiday, and we had vacation time together. Full Story

Last-minute gifts: Time, company, flavor and music don't need wrapping
12/17/2014 06:14 PM EST - The presents that people remember most vividly may not come in wrapping paper. Full Story

Take Me Outside: How to choose a Christmas Tree
12/17/2014 06:13 PM EST - In this season, many people spend time examining evergreen trees as they search for the perfect Christmas tree. Full Story

3 Pears Gallery in Dorset displays art on Christmas trees
12/10/2014 05:01 PM EST - DORSET >> Late at night, a figure stood on a ladder inside the Manchester Chamber of Commerce, putting final touches on a 20-foot tree, plump with frosted boughs and berries, lush with hundreds of red balls. Full Story

Manchester Merriment inn tours bring visitors to Vermont
12/10/2014 04:50 PM EST - MANCHESTER >> The Northshire region has entered the holiday season, and many local inns will play a role in the annual Inn Tour, part of the annual Manchester Merriment holiday festival that runs this year through Jan. Full Story

Town Players will present 'Christmastime in the City' Cabaret
12/11/2014 03:27 PM EST - PITTSFIELD >> It's that time of year again. Bright lights and merriment prevail. Full Story

Among change, gift of jewels for Salvation Army

DORAL, Fla. (AP) — In one of its famous red kettles in South Florida, the Salvation Army has received a gift worth more than a little bit of change: an emerald and diamond necklace. Full Story
Broadway seeks a new Carole King with open auditions

NEW YORK (AP) — If you think you can sing "It's Too Late" and "So Far Away" like Carole King, some Broadway producers would like to hear from you. Full Story