By GWEN SISSON
Starkville continues to celebrate the Christmas holidays with a wide variety of events set for this week, including a special visit from Santa tonight.
• For one afternoon only the Educational Facility of OCH Regional Medical Center will turn into Santa’s Sweet Shoppe! From 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. today, join Santa for a variety of holiday festivities, including refreshments. Parents should bring a camera to capture special moments with Santa and children should bring their wish lists! For more information, call OCH at 615-3067.
• Welch Funeral Home will hold their annual Christmas Memory Service to honor those who will not be celebrating the holidays, but will be missed. The special service will be at 6:30 p.m. tonight at the Funeral Home. The event is open to the public and guests are asked to bring an ornament to place on the trees as part of the service.
• On Monday, Wednesday and Friday of this week, the Starkville Sportplex invites the public to visit and take photos with Santa from 6 to 8 p.m. The event is free and will be held in the Sportsplex activities room.
• Throughout the week, Three Generations Tea Room will host the “12 Days of Christmas” event with proceeds benefiting OSERVS. The event is open to the public, but reservations are required. For more information, call Three Generations Tea Room at 324-1507.
• Walt Grayson will visit Starkville to sign his new book, “Oh! That Reminds Me: More Mississippi Stories from Walt Grayson.” The book signing will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. Thursday at the BookMart in downtown Starkville.
• The Mathiston Christmas Parade is set for Thursday.
• Mississippi artist Wyatt Waters will be signing his new book, “Christmas Memories from Mississippi,” from 3 to 5 p.m. Friday at the BookMart in downtown Starkville.
• Get tickets now for a special trip to Bethlehem this weekend. The event is free but tickets must be reserved. Tickets are available at the First United Methodist Church office. The church invites the public to experience the excitement of walking through the city of Bethlehem during the birth of the Christ Child. See the landscape of the city, and the buzz of the marketplace containing clothing, pottery and stone cutting. A short walk away, find the stable with Joseph and Mary with baby Jesus along with the shepherds and Kings of the East. This special event will be held Friday through Sunday from 5 to 8 p.m. each night.
• On Saturday morning visiting with Santa again as the youth of First Presbyterian Church are hosting a “Breakfast with Santa” fund-raiser. The event will be from 8 to 10 a.m. in the First Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall. All proceeds benefit the Youth Mission trip to Honduras this summer. Tickets are $5 each and include a picture with Santa.
• The whole family will enjoy the Christmas Extravanganza at Emerson Family Center. The Starkville School District-Families First Resource Center will hold Christmas Extravaganza, a family event from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday at Emerson Family Center.
• Call today to reserve tickets for the Second Annual Father/Son Quail Breakfast for Sunday morning. All fathers and sons in the Starkville community and men of all ages are invited to the Annual Quail Breakfast on Sunday, in the fellowship hall at 8 a.m. Dr. Marty Brunson will be the featured speaker to discuss the Catch a Dream Foundation. Admission is $7 for fathers/grandfathers and other men and $3 for sons/grandsons, payable at the door. To assist in planning they must have reservations in advance by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org  or phone the church office at 323-1994.
For more activities taking place in and around Starkville and Oktibbeha County, see the Starkville Daily News website calender at http://www.starkvilledailynews.com .