For many people, the holiday spirit comes alive at theater, ballet, and musical performances that celebrate the season. And residents of area communities can take in, and take part i n, a rich array of offerings:
■ On Friday, Lexington Symphony and music director Jonathan McPhee present family-friendly Holiday Pops, with a shorter show of 45 minutes (and a visit from Santa) at 4 p.m., and a 90-minute program at 8 p.m. for adults and older children. Favorite features include sing-along and popular holiday standards. Tickets for the earlier performance are $20 for adults and $8 children; the evening concert is $40 for adults, $20 for students. Available at www.lexingtonsymphony.org, by phone at 781-523-9009, in person at Crafty Yankee, 1838 Mass. Ave., Lexington (cash or check only), and at the door at Cary Hall, 1605 Mass. Ave. in Lexington.