Celebrate the holidays by giving back to local communities

Have fun and give back to your community at these holiday events taking place around New Hampshire

There is no shortage of fun holiday events taking place this month in New Hampshire, but there are a few where you can spread good cheer. To help out those in need in our communities, check out some of the many upcoming holiday events and other family-friendly happenings that are helping to give back this season. Best of all, you can play a part!

Jingle Bell Run/Walk

Health issues dampen the holiday spirit for many, especially if a chronic condition, such as arthritis, prevents someone from taking part in cherished holiday traditions. With these people in mind, the Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis is a fun and festive way to kick off your holidays, while also raising funds for the Arthritis Foundation’s quest to end arthritis, the nation’s leading cause of disability. Participants can run or walk the 5-kilometer route and are encouraged to get into the spirit by wearing a holiday-themed costume or by tying jingle bells to their shoelaces. There are two events this year: one in Concord and one in Portsmouth. The 2016 Portsmouth run takes place at Little Harbour School on Saturday, December 11. The 2016 Concord run takes place at Rundlett Middle School on Saturday, December 18.

Christmas Caroling in Laconia

For this fun event, the only donation needed is your voice. In Laconia, the public is invited on Wednesday, December 7, 2016, to sing holiday tunes and Christmas carols for the residents of the Taylor Home assisted living community. Participants of all ages are asked to meet at the Laconia Community Center at 7 p.m. Hot chocolate will be provided. For more information, call 524-5046.

Wolfeboro Festival of Trees

The Wolfeboro Festival of Trees (wolfeborofestivaloftrees.com) is an annual charity benefit featuring more than 65 trees, uniquely decorated by area businesses and organizations, and displayed on two levels at Wolfeboro’s Wright museum. View the trees, enjoy some refreshments, and stay for the live musical entertainment because it’s all for a good cause. Each year, admission proceeds from the event go to local charities. The 2016 Festival will be held on the weekends of December 3-4 and 10-11.

Portsmouth Holiday Parade

Portsmouth’s much-anticipated Illuminated Holiday Parade will be Saturday, December 3, 2016, at 6 p.m. with the annual tree lighting ceremony beginning at 5 p.m. For the fifth year in a row, the parade will partner with local food pantries to include a food drive during the parade. How can you participate? If you are attending, bring nonperishable food items and look for volunteers pushing shopping carts along the parade route to collect donations. Stationary food drop-off stations will also be located along the parade route.

Fitzwilliam Museum Christmas Craft Fair

On the first Saturday in December, the Fitzwilliam Historical Society opens up the 1837 Amos J. Blake House Museum to host its annual craft fair. Scoop up some handmade gifts while giving the kids a glimpse of the past by taking in the home’s festive – and historically accurate – holiday season decor. Best of all? Admission to the event is a non-perishable food item that will go to help stock up the local food pantry. For more information, call 585-7742.

Jacqueline Tourville is a freelance writer and author of New England Hiking (Moon Outdoor). A longtime resident of Nashua, she and her family now split their time along the New Hampshire and Maine seacoast. For more on her latest projects, go to jacquelinetourville.com or follow her on twitter @missmashable.

Categories: Winter Holidays