It may not be “white,” but the Isles will certainly be “merry and bright” this season. With the passing of Thanksgiving, the area has shifted into full on Christmas mode with a flurry of activities beginning this weekend, carrying into the first of December.

First up, the Brunswick Downtown Development Authority will kick off the holiday season with its Festival of Lights and Window Wonderland. Downtown merchants will decorate their windows with holiday themes. City officials will light the Christmas tree at 5:30 p.m. today in Jekyll Square downtown. Caroling, carriage rides and, of course, Santa will round out the festivities.

It’s the beginning of an eventful month for the downtown area with businesses marking Shop Small Saturday, the following day, with a Christmas bazaar also taking place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. tomorrow and again on Dec. 8 in the squares along Newcastle Street.

But that’s not all the fun that is to come. From 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Dec. 8, a holiday market will fill Mary Ross Waterfront Park downtown.

Susan Molnar, event co-chair along with Sandy Dean says, historic downtown Brunswick will come alive with the Christmas spirit, offering an array of activities to make lasting memories for the whole family.

“From the tree-lighting ceremony to the annual parade, the bright lights to the new decorations, the unique shopping opportunities to seasonal music, and the children’s games and craft projects to visits with Santa, there is festive fun for everyone,” she said.

It’s just the beginning for those who love crafty Christmases. The Isles will be filled with artistic fun following Thanksgiving and moving into December. Over on Jekyll Island, the season will begin with a Pier Road Pajama Party, from to 8 to 11 a.m. today, in the island’s historic district. Shoppers donning family-friendly pajamas will receive discounts from the Pier Road shops. Prizes will be awarded for the best individual and family pajamas. Holiday music will set the mood and Santa will make an appearance as well.

Those who meander over to Goodyear Cottage within the historic district will find an artistic buffett at the annual Jekyll Arts Association’s Merry Artists’ Show and Sale. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today the doors of the cottage will be open for shoppers to peruse unique items including paintings, jewelry, sculptures and fiber arts. The items are all priced under $150 and offer something for every price point and will be available throughout the month.

The holiday excitement on Georgia’s Jewel will culminate with the tree lighting at 8 p.m. today. The historic district’s main lawn will also morph into a winter wonderland and fireworks.

St. Simons Island is also getting into the spirit. There will be a holiday art and craft market will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Postell Park on St. Simons Island. Following that event, the artsy fun will continue with GVA’s Mistletoe Market from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 1 and 2 at Postell Park on St. Simons Island. There will even be an opportunity to get four-legged friends into the act. A pooch parade, where pups will rock their festive best, will be held at 11 a.m. Dec. 2. The entry fee is $10.

Susan Ryles, executive director for Glynn Visual Arts, says there will be more than 50 artisans offering their wares.

“This is the traditional kick-off to the holiday season in the Village. Our artists offer a higher quality of handmade good to our customers. This is our eighth annual Mistletoe Market,” she said.

“It’s a festive shopping atmosphere with hundreds of options for unique and unusual, handmade holiday gifts. We have holiday music and a free kid’s art table to add to the festivities. A special treat is also the Holiday Hound Hike Pooch Parade starting at 11 a.m. Dec. 2.”

It’s just the beginning of the holly jolly season. The Isles will continue to offer holiday frivolity throughout the month. Here is just a sampling of things to come to add to your list:

• Friday, Nov. 23

The Brunswick Downtown Development Authority will host its 2018 Festival of Lights and Window Wonderland from Nov. 23 to Jan. 6. It will kick off with a Christmas tree lighting at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 23 in Jekyll Square.

• Saturday, Nov. 24

The Jekyll Island Arts Association will host its Merry Artists Show and Sale from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Goodyear Cottage in the Jekyll Island Historic District on Jekyll Island.

A Holiday Art and Craft Market will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Postell Park on St. Simons Island. It will continue Nov. 25. A variety of handcrafted items will be available for purchase.

The Santa Express will depart at 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. from the Theatre by the Trax in St. Marys. Each ride lasts about an hour and a half and takes guests through scenic woodlands and marshlands to Santa Village. The Santa Express runs four times a day Nov. 24, Dec. 1, 8 and 15. Tickets are $20 for adults and $14 for children. Children 2 and under ride free. Get Santa Express tickets at www.stmarysrailroad.com or call 912-200-5235.

• Monday, Nov. 26

Friday, Nov. 30

Hofwyl-Broadfield will hold its 38th Annual Christmas Tour from 6 to 9 p.m. Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 at the historic site, 5556 U.S. Hwy. 17 N, Brunswick. The cost is $10 for adults and $5 for youth. For more information, call 912-264-7333 or visit www.GeorgiaStateParks.org/hofwyl.

• Saturday, Dec. 1

D-Reck’s Angels and Warriors will host its second annual toy drive from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Golden Isles Olive Oil, 306 Redfern Village, St. Simons Island. The toys will benefit children in Wolfson Children’s Hospital.

The Cassina Garden Club will host its annual bake sale from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Hamilton Plantation slave cabins, 1195 Arthur J. Moore Dr., St. Simons Island. They will also offer soups, casseroles, flowering bulbs and decorative boxwoods. The cabins will also be open for tours.

The Santa Express will depart at 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. from the Theatre by the Trax in St. Marys. Each ride lasts about an hour and a half and takes guests through scenic woodlands and marshlands to Santa Village. Tickets are $20 for adults and $14 for children. Children 2 and under ride free. Get Santa Express tickets at www.stmarysrailroad.com or call 912-200-5235.

The Annual Brunswick Christmas Parade will begin at 5:30 p.m. at Howard Coffin Park and proceed along Gloucester St., ending at Mary Ross Waterfront Park in downtown Brunswick.

A Merry Mixer, a benefit for the Boys and Girls Club’s Elizabeth F. Correll Teen Center, will begin with a 3 to 6 p.m. with a tailgate experience at Tramici and Halyards, 75 Cinema Lane, St. Simons Island, followed by the Merry Mixer at 6 p.m. at the same location. It will be catered by Tramici, Halyards and LaPlancha. The cost is $100 per person, plus a $25 add on for the tail gate experience. Prices increase by $10 Nov. 1. For more information, contact Brooke Parmelee at 912-264-1455.

Mistletoe Market will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 1 and 2 at Postell Park on St. Simons Island. More than 50 artisans will be on hand to offer wares. There will be a pooch parade at 11 a.m. beginning at the park and proceeding to the pier. The entry fee is $10 per dog. For more information, visit http://www.glynnvisualarts.org.

• Saturday, Dec. 2

Golden Isles Ballet Co. will present The Nutcracker at 2 and 6 p.m. at Brunswick High School’s auditorium in Brunswick. Advance tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for students. They are available at www.goldenislesballet.org. Tickets on the day of the performance are $25 for adults. For more information, call 912-289-2120.

• For a complete listing of Christmas activities, continue to check the Community Calendar.

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