Events around Louisville, gift ideas and ways to give back this holiday season.
Written by Diane R. Paylor | Photos sourced as captioned
The Nutcracker – Louisville Style
The Louisville Ballet is once again bringing the magic of the holiday season to the stage as it begins its run of The Brown Forman Nutcracker, its slightly modified version of the beloved Christmas classic. With breathtaking sets and costumes, the entire family will be transported to Sugar Plum Fairy land. Performances run December 9th to the 23rd. For an added fee on select dates, the Ballet is offering Sugar Plum Parties before matinee performances. The whole family can meet and take photos with members of the cast, enjoy a few snacks and take part in a few activities. There’s also a Nutcracker-themed dance workshop for the tiny dancers at home between the ages of 3 and 7.
For more info/tickets on the show, Sugar Plum Parties and or the Nutcracker Dance workshops, visit www.louisvilleballet.org.
Sisters in Song
Every Tuesday night at 7:30, in an empty storefront in Jeffersonville, magic happens. That’s when an eclectic group of women gather to spend two hours perfecting choral arrangements they will perform at community gatherings and choral competitions. The singers come from all walks of life and for all kinds of reasons; they’re doctors, teachers, retirees, high school students, mothers and daughters, cancer survivors. “The music brings us together but the friendship is why we never leave,” explains Melissa Marksbury Roe, Membership Chair.
Recently, they caroled in the cold at Nulu’s Jinglefest. They’ve sung the national anthem for the University of Louisville men’s basketball games and for the Louisville Bats. They’ll do business conventions, women’s clubs, corporate meetings and even singing valentines– a favorite annual fundraiser. Each year, the women prepare for regional competitions in the hope of attending the international convention and competition that attracts roughly 10,000 Sweet Adelines from all corners of the globe. And our local ladies go to win. They’ve been regional champs many times and placed in the Top Ten internationally four times– ranking as high as third in the world.
Next fall, the international convention will be held right here in Louisville. It’s a moment they want to be ready for, which is why they’re actively recruiting new members. Their rehearsals are open to any interested women and their only requirement is that you can carry a tune and want to learn. “We are an educational organization,” says Betty Lou. “If you can sing in the shower, we can teach you the rest!” For more information, go to prideofkentuckychorus.org.
Fair Trade Holidays
Their beautiful, artisan fashion and home decor collections have grabbed national attention before. Anchal’s products have been sold at Urban Outfitters, Madewell and previously at the Guggenheim, making them one of our city’s most notable sustainable style success stories. Founded by sisters Colleen and Maggie Clines a little over a decade ago, this fair trade collaborative works with a women’s co-op in India– training and employing them to create beautiful hand-woven textiles that are then made into Anchal’s home and fashion products.
The new, 11-piece capsule collection is designed by the sisters and based on the works of Brooklyn-born artist Alex Katz. It features a diverse mix of hand-quilted quilts, apparel and fashion accessories that reflect the artist’s bold colors and refined compositions. “As designers, it is a dream come true for my sister Maggie and I to be invited to create a custom collection for the Guggenheim Museum,” says Colleen, Co-Founder, and CEO, of Anchal. “Bringing this opportunity to the talented women artisans in India and witnessing them bring the most complex applique techniques to life has been inspiring.” The limited edition collection is available now at Guggenheim Museum Store. You can see the newest exhibit, Alex Katz: Gathering at the Guggenheim Museum from October 21, 2022 – February 20, 2023.
A Merry Little Stocking Stuffer
Nat Bickel, local writer and media professional, has authored a charming Christmas-themed children’s picture book titled, The Christmas Clue. An homage to a holiday tradition started by her father when she and her brother were young, the book tells the story of two siblings – Ryan and Natalie – and their quest to find their presents by solving a series of clues that were left by Santa. Written for ages 5-9, The Christmas Clue may inspire you to try something new with your own kids this Christmas. To get a copy of the book to stuff in your holiday stockings, check Amazon.com or visit: natmosfear.com/books.
Christmas in the Cavern
Lights Under Louisville, the underground holiday spectacular inside the Mega Cavern, is a one-of-a-kind light show you can experience from your car. With more than 40 themed displays, multiple projection areas, music and over 6million points of light, you’ll be immersed in the coolest subterranean holiday- event attraction in the city! Load the family in the car and take the 30 minute drive through the sights and sounds of the season. Open daily until January 1, 2023. For more information and tickets. Visit lightsunderlouisville.com.
Deck the halls with festive and flavorful cocktails at Miracle on Market Street, the Christmas themed pop-up cocktail bar. Stop by the Green building in NuLu to partake in some holiday décor and celebratory liquor. The mixologists will be serving up creative holiday concoctions like Christmas Cricket, Santa’s Little Helper, Jingle Balls Nog. Open daily until December 26th. For more info visit: miracleonmarketlouisville.com.
Yuletide and Yew
For more outdoor holiday festivities, put Yuletide at Yew Dell on your to do list. The annual event that transforms the botanical gardens into a magical winter wonderland runs from Friday to Sunday until December 11th. Dazzling light and décor displays, yummy eats, a model train set up, story time and, of course, a visit from Santa, will surely boost your holiday mood. For tickets or more info visit yewdellgardens.org/yuletide.
WAYS TO GIVE BACK
Hope for the Holidays
Give the gift of hope by donating essential hygiene items, household products and holiday gifts to the Volunteers of America’s Hope for the Holidays campaign. VOA provides support for veterans in need, helps pregnant and parenting women overcome addiction, serves homeless families and assists adults with disabilities. Make a monetary contribution online or shop for items on the VOA’s Amazon wish list. For more information on how you can make the holidays happier for someone in need, visit voamid.org/holidays.
Dare to Care
Help make Dare to Care’s mission of a hunger-free Kentuckiana a reality by visiting one of their partner stores this holiday season. Target, TJ Maxx, Whole Foods, and The Cheesecake Factory are just a few of the companies that have committed their support to the non-profit’s mission. To learn how your purchases can be used to lend a hand to those in need go to daretocare.org.
Red Kettle Challenge
The Salvation Army needs you this holiday season. You can help them reach their goal to have 400 volunteer Bell Ringers by signing up for The Red Kettle Challenge. Whether you volunteer for a shift in person at a location in the city or create a virtual Red Kettle online, ring the bell and help raise funds for the most vulnerable. For info on how to join the challenge, visit salvationarmylouisville.org/red-kettle-challenge.
A Guide for Giving
The Coalition for the Homeless has put together an awesome guide for those who wish to donate or volunteer to help the homeless during the winter season. The guide lists the specific needs for over 20 organizations, grassroots outreach groups and others in the Lou who serve the people living on the streets and in shelters. To make sure you give the right item to the right team at the right time, check out the Coalition’s guide at louhomeless.org/winter-needs.