Here are the latest Back Bay - Midtown neighborhood notes:
Christmas fair, concert
The annual Christmas fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 1 at the Old South Church, 645 Boylston St.
More than 30 New England artists and crafters will offer unique gifts for the holidays, including pottery, knitwear, photography, fine art, jewelry, blown glass, woodwork, candles and more. Mulled cider and cookies will be served.
The Old South Ringers will hold their Christmas Concert at 4 p.m. in the Sanctuary.
Visit www.oldsouth.org or call 617-536-1970 for more details.
The French Cultural Center of Boston, 53 Marlborough St., will present the 17th annual Marche de Noel holiday gift fair from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 1.
Decorations, candles, linens, soaps, clothing, culinary treats and other traditional French Christmas gifts will be available for purchase at this fair inspired by the traditional French Christmas markets. There will be children’s entertainment and seasonal activities and pictures with Papa Noel.
Parents can enjoy a complimentary glass of mulled wine or hot cider while they browse through the vendors’ wares in the 1860s Beaux Arts-style mansion decorated in seasonal splendor.
Admission is free for members and $3 for non-members. Children, ages 10 and under, are admitted free.
For more information, call 617-912-0400 or visit www.frenchculturalcenter.org.
Capturing family stories
A two-part workshop, “Capturing Family Stories with Your Cell Phone” will be held from 2 to 3:30 p.m. on Dec. 1 and 8 at the New England Historical Genealogical Society, 99-101 Newbury St.
In this workshop, led by Emmy-winning videographer, editor and producer Bob Craigue, students will learn the basic skills needed to record their story: composition, lighting, audio, interviewing, editing and publishing to the web. The class will also look at point and shoot cameras and small video cameras.
Session 1: Attendees will learn pro tricks and techniques for lighting, audio and composition. Students will practice by filming each other.
Session 2: They will learn how to edit videos using iMovie. Craigue will also demonstrate how to publish finished video to YouTube.
The fee is $30. To register online, visit www.americanancestors.org or call 617-536-5740.
The community is invited to the 10th annual Hanukkah cantata of “A Light through the Ages” from 4 to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 2 at the Central Reform Temple, 15 Newbury St.
This holiday offering is a unique opportunity for the Boston community to experience the broader significance of Hanukkah, the eight-day Festival of Lights, and celebrate the holiday as an interfaith experience.
The presentation recounts the meaning of Hanukkah throughout Jewish history in story and song. The Zamir Chorale of Boston will perform traditional and contemporary holiday classics. The program will conclude with a dramatic candlelight ceremony.
Admission is free. Visit www.centralreformtemple.org or call 617-262-1202
A public one-hour tour of the Ayer Mansion, 395 Commonwealth Ave., which showcases the striking interior and exterior embellishments designed and created by Louis Comfort Tiffany, will be offered at noon on Wednesday, Dec. 5.
Reservations are required as space is limited Admission is $15 for adults, $10 for students and seniors.
To make a reservation, visit www.ayermansion.org or call 617-536-2586.
Repeal Day fete
The Gibson House Museum, 137 Beacon St., will celebrate Gibson House’s seventh annual Repeal Day celebration from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 7.
Etiquetteer Robert B. Dimmick will host this fun evening of Prohibition-era gaiety. Kirsten “Miss Kitty” Amann and Misty Kalkofen will oversee the bar and speak about their new book, “Drinking Like Ladies: 75 Modern Cocktails from the World’s leading Female Bartenders.”
Sumptuous hors d’oeuvres will be served in the dining room. Period attire is encouraged.
Tickets are $85 and can be purchased online at www.thegibsonhouse.org or by calling 617-267-6338.
The Cantata Singers will present “A Renaissance Christmas: Music of Victoria, Lassus and Schütz” at 8 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 7 and Sunday, Dec. 9 at the First Lutheran Church, 299 Berkeley St.
The ensemble will perform Renaissance and Baroque music for chamber chorus and orchestra by Heinrich Schütz, Giovanni Gabrieli, Dieterich Buxtehude, William Byrd, Henry Purcell and others.
Tickets range from $25 to $75 with discounts for students and seniors.
Call 617-868-5885 or visit www.cantatasingers.org to purchase tickets and for more information.
The French Cultural Center of Boston, 53 Marlborough St., will present a holiday open house for kids and teens from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8.
Children will enjoy ateliers and holiday-themed activities including cookie decorating, arts and crafts, a cooking workshop and French story time. There will be hot chocolate and holiday treats.
All activities are free and open to the public. Walk-ins are welcome, but activity registration is required as space is limited.
A schedule of activities and further information is available at www.frenchculturalcenter.org or by calling 617-912-0400.
Music for All at Trinity Church will perform Handel’s masterpiece “Messiah” at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 9 at Trinity Church, 206 Clarendon St.
The program will feature the Advent and Christmas portions with the Hallelujah chorus from the “Messiah” as well as Bach’s Cantata 62 “Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, BWV 62” and Corelli’s “Christmas Concerto, Op. 6, No. 8 in G minor” performed by the Trinity choirs, soloists and Baroque orchestra. This is the only Boston performance of Handel’s work in a sacred space.
For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.trinitychurchboston.org or call 617-536-0944.
Emmanuel Church, 15 Newbury St., is presenting its 42nd season of the J. S. Bach Cantatas at 10 a.m. on Sundays now through May 12.
The orchestra and chorus of Emmanuel Music will present weekly performances of the cantatas and motets of J.S. Bach and others, conducted by Ryan Turner.
For more information, call 617-536-3356 or visit www.emmanuelmusic.org.
Boston Public Library volunteers will give art and architecture tours of the McKim Building, a National Historic Landmark, in its main building, constructed in 1895, throughout the week.
Highlights include the murals of John Singer Sargent, Pierre Puvis de Chavannes and Edwin Austin Abbey and the work of architect Charles Follen McKim.
Self-guided tours are available as well, and literature describing the architectural highlights is available on the web at www.bpl.org/central/tours.htm.
For tours by appointment, call 617-536-5400.