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Shopping for a good cause

Community Kiln in Framingham celebrates its first anniversary with a holiday sale and open house.

SHOP FOR A CAUSE The Franklin Garden Club opens its annual holiday auction to the public this year on Tuesday, Dec. 5, beginning at 6 p.m. at the Franklin Senior Center, 10 Daniel McCahill St., Franklin. A silent auction will run from 6 to 7 p.m. followed by a live auction beginning at 7:15 p.m. Appetizers and desserts will be served throughout the evening. The auction will feature a wide variety of holiday items made by Franklin Garden Club members, including live flower and evergreen arrangements, holiday decorations, baked goods, and other types of home and garden items. Proceeds help to support the club’s community activities, which include the awarding of a scholarship to a graduating high school student, the distribution of pine tree seedlings to Franklin first graders to mark Arbor Day, and maintenance of the Franklin Town Common Garden in partnership with the town.

Community Kiln in Framingham celebrates its first anniversary with a holiday sale and open house on Saturday, Dec. 9, from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the South Middlesex Opportunity Council’s Community Kiln facility, 46 Park St. Samples from the hundreds of ceramics created during the past year by students and their teachers will be on sale. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Community Kiln Scholarship Fund to help financially eligible student artists. For more information about this event or the Community Kiln program, go to www.brickstack.org or call 508-309-4604.

Browse amidst the creative handmade goods of the Lexington Field & Garden Club and the Lexington Historical Society, including pomander balls, handcrafted ornaments, evergreen creations and other old-fashioned treats, at the Holiday Greens and Décor Sale at the Lexington Depot, 13 Depot Square, Lexington on Sunday, Dec. 10, from 1 to 4 p.m. For more information, go to www.lexingtonhistory.org/

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IDEAS AND DEMONSTRATIONS Dr. John Ratey discusses his two books on healthy aging, “Spark” and “Go Wild,” as well as his pioneering research on health and well-being, on Tuesday, Dec. 5, at the Brookline Senior Center, 93 Winchester St., Brookline. Ratey is Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and an internationally recognized expert in neuropsychiatry. Refreshments will be served from 6 to 6:30 p.m., followed by the author’s talk. The event is free, but preregistration is requested. To preregister, call 617-730-2770.

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“Criminal Injustice in America” is the topic of a panel discussion on Tuesday, Dec. 5, from 7:30 to 9 p.m. at the Leventhal-Sidman Center, 333 Nahanton St., Newton. The discussion will be moderated by Jelani Cobb, a staff writer at The New Yorker who writes about the complexity of race in America. The panel includes civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump; death row exoneree Anthony Ray Hinton; and Ronal Serpas, Professor of Practice, Criminology and Justice at Loyola University New Orleans. Tickets are $18. For tickets or more information, go to www.bostonjcc.org/hotbuttons or contact 866-811-4111 or boxoffice@jccgb.org.

The Pinefield Garden Club of Framingham meets on Wednesday, Dec. 6, at the Heritage House, 747 Water Street, Framingham. A brief meeting takes place at 7 p.m., followed at 7:30 p.m. by a lecture and demonstration on winter arrangements and container gardening. Admission is free. Email peterandlindav@comcast.net for more information.

MORE HOLIDAY FUN Holiday fashion and self-improvement are on view on Tuesday, Dec. 5, from 5 to 7 p.m., as successful patients from Emerson Hospital’s Center for Weight Loss program model holiday attire at Talbots, 149 Great Rd., Acton. Attendees will enjoy light refreshments, a 25 percent discount on all full-priced merchandise, and music by a professional cellist who recently had weight loss surgery at Emerson. For more information, call 978-287-3221, email scoverdale@emersonhosp.org or go to www.emersonhospital.org/weightloss.

The Cheese Shop of Concord holds its ever-popular annual cheese parade, heralding the arrival of a tremendous wheel of Crucolo cheese from Trentino, Italy, on Thursday, Dec. 7, at 3:30 p.m. at the intersection of Main and Walden Streets in Concord Center. This year’s parade features a team of Belgian draft horses hauling the giant cheese down the street in a straw-filled wooden cart, a brass band, and a Concord Academy dance troupe as onlookers wave their Italian flags. Cheese samples are handed out following the conclusion of the parade. For more information, go to www.concordcheeseshop.com.

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New England bluegrass group Southern Rail performs a Christmas concert with a mix of Christmas, gospel, and traditional bluegrass at the OCC Coffeehouse in the Original Congregational Church, 1 East St., Wrentham, on Saturday, Dec. 9 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 advance and $25 at the door. Children 12 and under are free with an adult. For tickets and more information, go to www.musicatocc.org or call 508-384-3110.

Send ideas to NancySWest@gmail.com.