Fryeburg Academy will hold the annual candlelight concerts on Sunday, Dec. 8, at 4 and 7 p.m. The shows will feature the school’s choral and instrumental ensembles performing a vast selection of holiday favorites. Admission is free, but donations will be gratefully accepted in support of the FA music program. Please note that they are not taking reservations for these shows. The lobby will be open at 3 and 6 p.m. and seating will begin at 3:45 and 6:45 p.m. The snow date is Monday, Dec. 9, (7 p.m. show only). Admission is free.

Fryeburg Public Library will be presenting a book release event by MJ Pettengill on Tuesday, Dec. 10, from 4:30 to 6 pm. Stop by to check out the third book in her “Etched in Granite” historical-fiction series, “Down from the Tree.” Her first two books “Etched in Granite” and “The Angels’ Lament” are set in rural New England in the late 1800s.

In her third novel, in 1878, on a poor farm in New Hampshire, lived a courageous orphan boy named Samuel. Following the death of his mother, he is threatened to be taken away from the only home he knows.

Unworldly and innocent, he navigates merciless conditions and risks getting lost entirely, until finding comfort in a tree — a knowing tree. Legend has it that if one climbs high enough, it is possible to disappear and view the entire world. What Samuel witnesses from the heart of the tree forever changes him. Maintaining a determined spirit, he fends for himself, piecing together clues leading to the identity of his father, the farm boss who never claimed him. Is there really such a thing as a second chance? Destiny awaits and dark family secrets are revealed. What lies beyond the fence? Will Samuel come down from the tree? You can find out for yourselves when you read this intriguing book.

On Friday, Dec. 13, at 7:30 p.m., Bradley Backstage will be presenting the Heather Pierson Jazz Trio and its annual "Charlie Brown Christmas" concert at the Leura Hill Eastman Performing Arts Center. The trio, featuring singer/pianist Heather Pierson, bassist Shawn Nadeau and drummer Craig Bryan, will perform the entirety of the “A Charlie Brown Christmas” album as it was recorded by the Vince Guaraldi Trio. Bradley Backstage concerts “flip” the theater by seating the audience on stage with the performers. Tickets may be purchased online or at the door. The cost is $20 for adults and $5 for students.

Enjoying the holidays continues with Tina Titzer's Act One Dance Co. as the company will be presenting the 11th annual Holiday Festival of Dance and “The Nutcracker Sweets” at the Leura Hill Eastman Performing Arts Center. Performances will be held on Saturday, Dec. 14, at 4 p.m. and on Sunday, Dec. 15, at 2 p.m. This family-friendly program will include ballet, tap, and jazz pieces to your favorite Christmas tunes in the first half, and a shortened version of “The Nutcracker” in the second half. Call Titzer's studio at (207) 935-4020 or stop by Spice & Grain to reserve or purchase tickets.

The Fryeburg Library's annual open house will take place on Tuesday, Dec. 17, from 4 to 6 p.m. They'll celebrate with holiday treats, crafts and a book sale. Be sure to mark your calendars and head over to the library for this festive event.

Harvest Hills Animal Shelter and Nine Lives Thrift Shop will celebrate its 21st annual Light of Our Lives Fundraiser now through Dec. 25. They ask that you help to make a brighter future for all the homeless animals. A $5 donation in honor or memory of a loved pet will light up one magical light on the exterior and interior of the shelter or thrift shop. For more information, call (207) 935-4358 or visit the shelter during regular open hours.

If you happen to run into my son Joshua on Dec. 17, be sure to wish him a very happy 40th birthday.

“If cold December gave you birth —

The month of snow, and ice, and mirth —

Place on your hand a turquoise blue,

Success will bless whate'er you do.”

— Author unknown, "A Gem for Every Month," c.1883

Robin Johnson can be contacted at

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