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EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES IN DECEMBER

DECEMBER 1

Crystal Springs public forum in Sellwood. 'Crystal Springs: Past. Present. Future.' is the name of a public forum conducted by a two PSU capstone project research teams this evening, at SMILE Station, 6:30-8:30 pm. Benjamin Britt, of the group, explains that 'We will have information booths set up with information on the ecology and history of Crystal Springs, and will tell local residents how they can get involved with upcoming projects to restore Crystal Springs Creek. We also plan to have fun and interactive science projects for children, and will hold a raffle to give out prizes. Our objectives are to tell people about: 1) Why Crystal Springs and its creek are unique resources; 2) How improving watershed health benefits the community; 3) What opportunities residents can get involved with. SMILE Station is on the southeast corner of S.E. 13th and Tenino, a block south of Tacoma Street, in Sellwood.

DECEMBER 2

33rd Annual Duniway Holiday Home Tour today. Every year, the Duniway Holiday Home Tour begins the Holiday season by showcasing graciously-decorated homes in Eastmoreland. Attendees tour several beautiful neighborhood homes, including a grand, historically significant English cottage, and the Reed College Parker House. The tour is the Duniway PTA's largest fundraiser; all proceeds directly benefit Duniway Elementary School. The daytime tour is 10-3; this evening's tour 6-9. The tour starts at Duniway Elementary School, where ticket-holders receive a Home Tour Booklet and map showing the homes on the tour. Included in the $25 ticket price is admission to the Duniway Holiday Boutique, open in the school's south gymnasium from 10 am to 7:30 pm. Tickets are available online: www.pps.k12.or.us/schools/duniway, (click on Home Tour link) - and at Duniway Elementary School, as well as New Seasons and Sweetpea's in Sellwood, e.moreland Market and Deli, Jill's Hallmark in Woodstock, and all Chrisman Picture Frame and Gallery locations. For information call 503/774-4176.

DECEMBER 3

Snowflakes in Sellwood Holiday Bazaar! December 3-4th, enjoy a variety of quality and affordable gifts that family and friends will love! Today, 9 am-4 pm, and tomorrow, Sunday, 10 am-3 pm, at the Sellwood Community Center - S.E. 14th and Spokane Street. A Holiday Tradition! Call 503/823-3195 for more information.

'Holiday Express' excursions by train start today. Today and tomorrow, and next weekend as well, the ORHF 'Holiday Express' steam engine train rides between Oaks Park and OMSI through Oaks Bottom will again take place all day. Departures start at 10 am, and continue all day and into the evening. Great fun, and the money raised helps build the new Enginehouse and Rail Heritage Center near OMSI. Tickets available through TicketsWest. For schedule and more details, go online to www.ORHF.org . Some departures are sold out, so check online before driving down to the Oaks Park Station.

'Holiday Tree and Greenery Sale' at Lewis Elementary. A benefit Holiday tree and greenery sale to benefit the school is being held at Lewis Elementary School in Woodstock, at 4401 S.E. Evergreen Street, from 10 till 4 tgoday and 10 to 2 tomorrow. Nobles, grands, blue spruce, Serbian spruce, Doug firs, live trees, swags, and greenery!

'Adventures with Bugs' for families this morning at Sellwood Library. You will not be afraid of bugs after learning about all the amazing things they can do. Join the Bug Chicks - two female entomologists (bug scientists) - in exploring the world of insects, spiders, and their relatives. You can even hold, pet and look at all sorts of crazy creatures - including tarantulas, cockroaches, scorpions, and more! Free. 10:30 am till noon. The Sellwood Branch Library is situated on the corner of S.E. 13th and Bidwell Street.

Rotary public 'Wreath Auction' and oral auction. This evening, 5-9 pm, the Southeast Portland Rotary Club again presents its annual fund-raising Wreath Auction, which consists of three auctions - a silent auction, the silent auction of multitudes of hand-decorated Holiday wreaths sponsored by local businesses and individuals, and finally an oral auction of major items, such as foreign vacations, wine tasting parties, and more, overseen by auctioneer Brad Caldwell, who made the event so much fun last year. The auction is in the gym at Our Lady of Sorrows, S.E. 52nd and Woodstock Boulevard, and is open to the public. No admission charge, but attendees are asked to bring along a can or two of food for FISH Emergency Services, if they are able to do so. For more information on the club and its services, go online to: www.SoutheastPortlandRotary.com.

DECEMBER 4

Second Sunday in Advent. Moreland Presbyterian Church's 9:30 am service includes Bach Cantata #61, Women's Christmas Tea, Men's Pancake Breakfast. 1814 S.E. Bybee Boulevard in Westmoreland.

Children's Breakfast and Celebration at All Saints'. Children and families are warmly invited to the Advent Children's breakfast and program at 9:45 am, at All Saints' Episcopal Church. The event features singing, storytelling and decorating a special 'Jesse Tree'. All Saints' Church is situated at 4033 S.E. Woodstock Boulevard. For information, call 503/777-3829.

'Fruit Cake Redeemed' for adults, at Woodstock Library. If you've long suspected that the fruit cake jokes are bogus and the cakes are actually delicious, then this is the class for you! Cookbook author and food historian Jean Johnson will demonstrate creating one of these tasty cakes while offering samples. Fruit cakes are rich in dried fruits, nuts, eggs, and butter, and can make great gifts. Afraid no one will want your fruit cake? Attend this class to learn Jean's secret to making yours a delectable seasonal treat. Free. 2-3 pm this afternoon, at the Woodstock Branch Library, S.E. 49th at Woodstock Boulevard.

'Sing-Along Messiah' tonight in Reed neighborhood. Share an evening of music,singing portions of Handel's 'Messiah'. Whether you love singing or simply prefer to listen, there is a place for you! Bring friends, and your own score if you have one - limited scores are available. It starts at 6:30 pm in the Worship Center of the Reedwood Friends Church, 2901 S.E. Steele Street. Holiday treats will be served in the foyer following the sing-along. Call 503/234-5017 for additional information.

DECEMBER 7

Ladybug Theater offers 'Shrinking Reindeer'. Famous Ladybug Theater for kids presents its December show, today and tomorrow - and also on the 14th and 15th - 'The Shrinking Reindeer'. Show is appropriate for everyone - showtime is 10:30 am, and the plays lasts about 40 minutes. $4 admission for all, except babes in arms. Please call for reservations to 503/232-2346, then pay with cash or check at the door, which opens at 10:15 am each of these days. All performances are at SMILE Station, on the southeast corner of S.E. 13th at Tenino Street, one block south of Tacoma Street, in Sellwood.

Evening of review, at WNA. Celebrate the end of the year with the Woodstock Neighborhood Association at the last monthly meeting of 2011, 7-8:30 pm - looking at 2011 accomplishments, as well as plans for 2012. Hear a report on testimony for the draft Portland Plan. Refreshments of homemade cookies donated by Jan Elliott, accompanied by sparkling cider. The location is the Woodstock Community Center, 5905 S.E. 43rd Avenue.

DECEMBER 10

Christmas Bazaar today at Trinity United Methodist Church. The annual 'Homemade for the Holidays Christmas Bazaar' is today from 9 am to 9 pm. Come early and enjoy a hot cinnamon roll and coffee, or arrive later for hearty chicken soup with homemade noodles and rolls, and assorted pies. The bake shop will offer homemade cookies, breads, cupcakes, and candies for your Holiday entertaining. Handcrafted items include re-useable fabric shopping bags, gift bags and boxes, cards, Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls, hand-knit items, holiday table runners, and treasures from Grandma's Attic. It's at Trinity United Methodist Church, on the corner of S.E. 39th (Chavez) and Steele Street.

'OOPS! Art' for families, today at Sellwood Library. Art does not need to be perfect. In fact, great pictures are often made out of mistakes. Of the multiple ways to create 'OOPS! Art', try these three: Scribble pictures, drip and splatter pictures, and torn paper pictures. Artist Addie Boswell will share books to inspire your messy art, including 'Beautiful Oops!' by Barney Saltzberg, 'Ish' by Peter Reynolds, and 'Art' by Patrick McDonnell. Great for children ages 4-10 and their families. Free; 10:30 am till noon today at the Sellwood Branch Library, S.E. 13th at Bidwell.

DECEMBER 11

Third Sunday in Advent. At Moreland Presbyterian Church, worship at 9:30, Christmas Pageant at 10:30 am. Decorate the sanctuary; caroling with JOIN at 3 pm. 1814 S.E. Bybee Boulevard in Westmoreland.

DECEMBER 18

Fourth Sunday in Advent. Chrismon Tree and Wassail Party, 9:30 am, Moreland Presbyterian Church, 1814 S.E. Bybee Boulevard, Westmoreland.

DECEMBER 20

'Pageturners Book Group' for adults, at Sellwood Library. Read 'The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks' by Rebecca Skloot, then plan on attending the Pageturners book group tonight, 6:30-7:30 pm, at the Sellwood Branch Library, S.E. 13th and Bidwell Street. Engage in stimulating conversation about books, exchange perspectives about characters and plot, and get to know your neighbors. Free, and sponsored by the Friends of the Library.

DECEMBER 24

Christmas Eve at Moreland Presbyterian. At 5 pm this evening, a Christmas Eve service, with Children's Choir and Family Bells; Candlelight Communion Service at 11 pm. Both at Moreland Presbyterian Church, 1814 S.E. Bybee Boulevard, Westmoreland.

Christmas Eve Candlelight Services in a Coffee Shop! All are invited to the fourth annual Southeast Christmas Eve Candlelight Service at Papaccino's Coffeehouse, 4411 S.E. Woodstock Boulevard, tonight at 5:30 and at 7 pm. Each service will include a reading of the Christmas story, singing traditional Christmas carols, and candle lighting. Warm and cozy drinks will be provided, and families are encouraged to attend. The service is presented by Lifehouse Church. For more information, go online to: www.lifehouseportland.com - or call 503/922-0151.

DECEMBER 25

'Service of Carols'. Moreland Presbyterian Church offers a Christmas Day Service of Carols this morning at 9:30 am. Open to all, as always. 1814 S.E. Bybee Boulevard in Westmoreland.