You might call him Santa, but the jolly old elf a.k.a. Père Noël and Weihnachtsmann will soon deliver Christmas delights to good children in countries near and far.
Whether you're an international transplant feeling wistful for home, a local interested in exploring ancestral roots or someone simply into learning about cultural diversity, here are organizations and shops in North Texas that are sharing holiday traditions from around the world.
A Very British Christmas
British Emporium in Grapevine frequently throws fun, free events -- take its Doctor Who cosplay parties or birthday parties for Queen Elizabeth, for example -- and now anglophiles are invited to, as they might say on a Channel 4 sitcom, "come round for a proper Christmas do" on Dec. 1.
Sample mince pies, cakes and other food and drink, and meet Father Christmas until 3 p.m. Browse the shop for an "enchanting assortment of Christmas crackers." (Those aren't a salty snack. A Victorian tradition, crackers are a bit like confetti poppers; when pulled apart, they reveal party hats and other surprises.) You can also meet Dallas News theater critic Nancy Churnin, who will sign copies of her new children's book, The Queen and the First Christmas Tree.
Dec. 1 from noon to 4 p.m. at British Emporium, 140 N. Main St., Grapevine. Free. facebook.com/britishemporium.
Love the U.K.? See also: Celtic Christmas Dallas
This concert, with back-to-back dates in Allen and Fort Worth, features local folk band The Selkie Girls performing songs from their new Christmas album, Winter Lore, Songs of Celtic Christmas. They will be accompanied by the North TX School of Irish Music, "the largest full-time Gaelic youth chorus in the world that sings in the Irish and Scottish languages," folk band String Theory, harpist Sarah Copus, fiddler David Mehalko and other musicians, as well as the Blue Bonnets Highland Dance troupe.
Dec. 7 from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Allen Public Library, 300 N. Allen Drive, Allen, and Dec. 8 from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. at City Life Church, 915 Florence St., Fort Worth. $15 for adults; $12 for seniors 65 and up; $10 for youth 6-17; free for children 5 and under. celticchristmasdallas.com.
Marché de Noël
Strasbourg, France, is known as la capital de Noël (the capital of Christmas), due to its world-famous outdoor holiday markets, which date back to 1570. Located near the German border, Strasbourg's market history emphasizes regional culture, with traditions unique to the Alsatian countryside and the people who live there.
Inspired by that history and culture, this fifth annual event in Dallas features "high-quality French and French-inspired products, including food and beverages, jewelry, art, pottery, clothing, accessories and services," organizers say, as a way to "foster cultural, intellectual and artistic exchange."
Festivities include photo opportunities with Santa and elves, a petting zoo and pony rides, cirque performances, face-painting, holiday arts and crafts, and soccer activities by FC Dallas. Organized by Alliance Française de Dallas and Dallas International School, the event's proceeds benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation of North Texas.
Dec. 2 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Dallas International School (Secondary Campus), 17811 Waterview Parkway, Dallas. Free admission; vendor prices vary; some activities may require fees. afdallas.org.
Roughly translated to "Baby Jesus market," Christkindl markets date back to the late middle ages. In fact, it's been argued that the Germans invented Christmas -- not the religious aspects, of course, but many of the holiday's modern rituals and accoutrements such as Advent calendars, decorated trees and, well, shopping.
German-style markets have spread across the world. This long-running event in Arlington will be a bit "cozier," organizers say, in 2018 due to a move to a new venue and in an effort to return its former free admission. But, you'll still find authentic, handcrafted German gifts and collectibles, plus Käthe Wohlfahrt decor.
While you shop, purchase treats such as hot chocolate, glühwein (rough translation: "glowing wine," a hot spiced drink for grown-ups) and other German snacks.
Through Dec. 23 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Texas Live, 1650 E. Randol Mill Road, Arlington. Free. Vendor prices vary. txchristkindlmarket.com.
Mehr aus Deutschland? See also: Dallas Bach Society: Baroque Christmas
This classical music performance features music for Advent and Christmas from German, Italian and French composers. There will also be caroling in German following the concert. Dec. 8 at 7:30 p.m. at Zion Lutheran Church 6121 East Lovers Lane, Dallas. $30-$50. dallasbach.org.
D-FW Tamale Festival
Christmas tamales are a centuries-old Latin American tradition that has happily found its way to Texas, and locals of diverse backgrounds have enthusiastically adopted the annual culinary treat.
While you can purchase tamales at restaurants and independent tamaleras across D-FW, this fourth annual festival will "celebrate family, stories, relationships and values" with chances to meet and order from a variety of vendors all in one spot. There will also be a gift market and Christmas tree lighting (at 6 p.m.).
Dec. 1 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Dallas Farmers Market, 920 S. Harwood St., Dallas. Free. Vendor prices vary. facebook.com/dfmdallasfarmersmarket.
¡Más tamales! See also: Tamale and Beer Pairing Flight at LUCK
Enjoy four tamales from Casa Masa featuring a variety of meats and spices such as slow-braised pork with roasted poblanos, jalapenos & serranos and ancho chile barbecue brisket paired with local craft brews. Dec. 2 with seatings at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. at LUCK, 3011 Gulden Lane, Dallas. $20. luckdallas.com.
More ways to celebrate the season:
Check out the best places to find Christmas lights and events galore at our 2018 Holiday Hub.