Part of the fun of the season is all the side attractions other than pure maniacal shopping and eating out that offer a few moments aesthetic enjoyment of art, and crafts and seeing and doing things with family and friends that maybe you haven't tried before.

This weekend December 7-9 enjoy the FREE Holiday Art Market at the Central School Arts and Humanities Center, 809 Kirby Street, in Lake Charles. Phone 337-439-2787 You'll see a fine array of handmade items crafted by local and artists from throughout the region. Friday 3-7 pm, Saturday 10-5 pm, and Sunday Noon-5.

The First United Methodist Church will be filled to the shingles with harmony and the Christmas Spirit during Sunday afternoons (9 December) 3 pm concert from the Masterworks Chorale. The first note will be sung at 3 and admission is $15 for adults, students with ID and children get in free.

More music reigns during the Lake Charles Community Band Christmas Concert at St Luke-Simpson Methodist Church. Downbeat is 7 pm on 7 December and admission is FREE. To learn more call 713-825-6864

For the second year, you can attend Christmas in The Bluff, another FREE event for young and old alike with food, games, vendors booths and of course an appearance by the season's all-time rock star: Santa! It's all Saturday the 8th from 10 am - 5 pm at the Moss Bluff Recreation Complex, 1180 Don Manuel Blvd, near the middle school.

Check back often for updates and changes to various schedules, it's that most wonderful time of the year when so much is going on, you won't want to miss out on any of the fun festivities.