Neighborhood Roundup

Christmas Celebration Set for Dec. 16 at First Church Boston

Director of Music Gigi Mitchell-Velasco leads the First Church Boston Choral Ensemble in ‘A Ceremony of Carols: A Christmas Celebration’ featuring Benjamin Britten’s Ceremony of Carols on Saturday, Dec. 16, at 7 p.m. at First Church in Boston at 66 Marlborough St.

Other works by Whitacre and Lauridsen, as well as carols from across the globe sung in Ukranian, Scottish Gaelic, and Latin. Special guests include harpist Hyunjung Choi, cellist Eleanor Blake, and organist Heinrich Christensen. The concert is free and open to the public. Donations are welcome to benefit the Music Program of First Church Boston. Complimentary hot cider and cider donuts will also be provided to guests.

Visit for more information.

Annual MesSIah-Sing at Church On The Hill

There are many opportunities to hear the Messiah this season in various venues in and around Boston.

The Boston Society of the New Jerusqlem and the Sounds on the Hill Concert Series invite you to raise your voice at their annual Messiah-Sing on Sunday, Dec. 17, at 3 p.m. at Church on the Hill at 140 Bowdoin St.  Join The Choir of the New Jerusalem and Soloists, under the direction of Andrew David Mattfeld.  BSNJ.

For information, call 617-523-4575.

Upcoming Events at The Vilna Shul

The Vilna Shul at 18 Phillips St.  will offer “Exploring Sephardi Culture” on Wednesdays, Dec. 20 and Jan. 10, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Explore the history of Sephardic Jews through music, film, and literature. Experiment with the ancient Jewish language of Ladino, spoken by Jews in Spain and throughout the Ottoman Empire beginning in the 15th century. No background experience is required.

Additionally, The Vilna will offer “American Jewish Women in Television” on Wednesdays, Dec. 20, and Jan. 10 and 17, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

During this course, which costs $120 per participant, attendees will analyze the ways in which contemporary American television is establishing a new take on Jewish female identity that challenges the stereotypes of Jewish femininity proliferated on television since its inception. Register online at

For more information on The Vilna Shul, visit or call 617-523-2324.

Join the Hidden Gallery for Holiday Shopping Strolling Beacon Hill This Holiday Season?

The Hidden Art Gallery at 25 Myrtle St. will offer a warming cup of hot chocolate as you peruse the holiday and seasonal artwork for sale on weekend days, including Saturday, Dec.16. Hours are on Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m.

Greeting cards, prints, small paintings, and watercolors, are offered for unique gift giving this year. Enjoy shopping in person and feel the warmth of the holiday spirit with a cup of cocoa as you discover some of the stories in the creation of the artwork.

Coffee Hours For City’s Beacon Hill-Back Bay Neighborhood Liaison

Maggie Van Scoy, the city’s neighborhood liaison for Beacon Hill and Back Bay, will hold Coffee Hours on Friday, Dec. 29,  from 10 to 11 a.m. at the West End Branch Library.

Free Lessons in American Mahjong Offered at West End Branch Library

The Friends of the West End Library will be offering lessons in American Mahjong to new and experienced players at no cost.

The group meets on Wednesdays at 1:30 p.m., on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month in the Community Room of the West End Branch Library, 151 Cambridge St.

To sign up or for more information, email Audrey Tedeman ([email protected]) or Julia Forbes ([email protected]).

Plan Ahead by Shopping for Good at J. McLaughlin.

Shop J. McLaughlin at 34 Charles St. for Holiday Gifts on Saturday, Dec. 16, and your shopping will also benefit the New England Musicians Resource Fund, a non-profit formed in 2020 and dedicated to helping professional musicians. Stop by J. McLaughlin then for shopping, festive sips, music, and good cheer, with 15 percent of sales made from noon to 4 p.m. to benefit NEMRF, as well as your holiday gift recipients. For more about NEMRF, visit

Gibson House Museum’s Annual Open House Set for Sunday, Dec. 17

Gibson House Museum at 137 Beacon St. will offer its annual Holiday Open House on Sunday, Dec. 17, from 1 to 4 p.m.

Come see the Gibson House decorated in all its finery, and experience  19th-century Christmas. Light seasonal refreshments will be served, and select rooms will be open for viewing. The event is free to attend, and no reservation is necessary.

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