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THE LAST WORD, A COLUMN BY KERRY HUBARTT

Looking for gift ideas? How about tickets to local events?

Saturday, November 10, 2012 - 11:26 am

’Tis the season.” I’m officially in the Christmas mood.

I got started on my shopping this week by purchasing tickets to a couple of great local events that will be part of the gifts my wife and I will give to some of our kids and grandkids.

What we’ve found year after year is that the grandkids (as well as our adult children) struggle to compile Christmas lists of gift possibilities to help us in our shopping. And when it comes to more toys for the grandchildren — well, where are they supposed to put them? They already have so much, it seems, they can’t keep up with them all, and it’s a continual battle to keep everything picked up and put away.

So we’ve been looking for creative alternatives the past few years. One that I’ve written about before is the annual performance of “The Nutcracker” by the Fort Wayne Ballet. Last year we took three granddaughters. This year we’re taking six (from ages almost 3 through 7) along with their mothers.

And for the boys? Well, after buying my block of tickets for “The Nutcracker” this week, I drove over to the coliseum to buy tickets for my two older grandsons (and a son and son-in-law) to the “Batman Live” performance, which will be during the same week as “The Nutcracker.”

It was a great experience to go right to the ticket offices at the Arts United Center and the Memorial Coliseum and buy my tickets in person. The women behind the counters were courteous and friendly and made the purchases easy and fast (and no extra handling fees or other charges). And I felt more confident about where the seats would be and whether I had made good choices. I think I did.

“’Tis the season” because of all the choices of events from now through the holidays. There are other events that might be good gift ideas for your family and friends as well.

The Civic Theatre’s stage adaptation of “A Christmas Story” is going on now at the Arts United Center and continues through Nov. 18. Jean Shepherd’s memoir of growing up in the 1940s follows 9-year-old Ralphie in his quest to get a genuine Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas. Surely you’ve seen the movie.

Mannheim Steamroller brings its Christmas show to the Embassy Theatre on Nov. 30. (Now there’s one I should have put on my Christmas list.)

The Philharmonic has concerts every week and will hold its Holiday Pops concert Dec. 7 at the Embassy Theatre.

The Heartland Chamber Chorale is holding a free concert, “Music for Children, A Family Concert With Mr. Puppet,” Nov. 18 at Plymouth Congregational Church. And it has four holiday concerts in December.

And there are many more events on the calendar, some at cost and some free. It’s exciting to see all the offerings and to experience the joy of the season with so many from the community at these great venues. I hope to see you there at some of them.

Kerry Hubartt is editor of The News-Sentinel