Grab that Santa hat and get ready. The Christmas crazy season has officially begun, so there’s no rest for the weary this weekend. Parades, festivals, a toy run, home tours and more will keep everybody off the couch and on the go the next few days. But, hey, it’s only once a year and many of the events benefit great causes, too.


1. Santa’s coming to town


That jolly, old elf — a.k.a. Santa Claus — will make his official visit to Denison Thursday for the annual Christmas parade on Main Street. The fun begins with a tree-lighting ceremony and live music from 5:30 p.m. until 6 p.m. at Heritage Park. The parade kicks off at 6 p.m. Get there early for a good watching spot because the popular event typically draws a full-house in the downtown area. Contact the Denison Area Chamber of Commerce at 903-465-1551 for all the details.


2. There’ll be snow in Sherman?


Maybe there won’t be real snow, but that won’t stop the annual Snowflake Festival and Christmas parade on Saturday on the downtown square. It’ll be a free, day-long event which will include vendors with crafts, food and drinks from noon until 8 p.m., breakfast with Santa, the Rudolph 5K and Family Fun Run/Walk, a candy cane hunt, pictures with Santa, the tree-lighting and then the finale — the parade at 6 p.m. Get all the times, details and contact information at www.ShermanTX.org.


3. It’s all “For The Kids”


It’s a good day when you can hop on that two-wheeled ride or climb into that bad-to-the-bone hot rod and go cruising. It’ll be even better by joining hundreds of others this Sunday for the annual “For The Kids” Toy Run to help families and children right here in Texomaland and you don’t have to have a bike or a hot rod to participate. Register between 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. at Classic Cars in Denison. The entry fee is a new, unwrapped toy and two canned goods or $10. The group will ride/drive to the Sherman Elks Lodge for a BBQ dinner, raffles and more. All the donations and proceeds will be for the Salvation Army. Call 903-813-1311 or 903-436-0157 for information.


4. Stroll through history


Walk through history and the holidays on Saturday during the annual Tour of Homes sponsored by the History Club of Whitesboro. The tours will run from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m. in Whitesboro and proceeds from the $10 per person tickets will go towards scholarships given by the club. Addresses are 510 East Main, 2413 Evelyn, 219 Main Street and 122 South Union. Tickets are available at Lovejoy’s in downtown Whitesboro or at any of the four tour sites the day of the event.


5. Want a great deal?


Where can you get a free photo with Santa himself, plus a free holiday movie? Bonham, that’s where! This Saturday, go to the Bonham downtown square between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. with a nonperishable food donation and, in return, get a free five by seven photo with Santa. There will also be an outdoor movie showing of a holiday classic between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., weather permitting. Call the Bonham Chamber of Commerce at 903-583-4811 for information.


6. Home for the holidays


Sip on hot chocolate. Do some caroling. Hang an ornament. Enjoy a parade. Do it all at once on Dec. 6 when Durant holds its “Hometown Holiday” Christmas tree lighting and parade. Get in on the sweet treat, music and decorating from 5 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. during the Christmas tree lighting at Market Square. The tree gets officially turned on at 6:30 p.m., just in time for the parade that begins at 7 p.m. Durant Main Street is handling the whole thing, so call 580-924-1550 if you have questions.


7. Enjoy some Christmas cheer


Between the homemade goodies, crafts and gift items, you’ll be sure to get into the holiday spirit during the annual Holly Jolly Arts and Crafts Fair this Saturday in Gunter. The event runs from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. at Gunter High School and the admission is $1 for anyone age 11 and older. Even Santa will drop by from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. so he can hear all those Christmas wishes. Call the Gunter Chamber of Commerce at 817-675-0345 or go to www.guntertxchamber.com.


8. Be sweet and wipe your feet


Don’t track mud from recent rains into the great houses that will be on the annual Christmas Tour of Homes, held by the After WorkPlanters Garden Club in Bonham. The tour will be this Sunday from 3 p.m. until 6 p.m.. Tickets are $10 per person and can be purchased at Hope Chest Collectibles or on tour day at any of the four homes being featured. The owners and addresses are: Laura and Tracy Lackey in Boyd (turn left on first road past Boyd Baptist Church, then follow signs); Ricki and Dan Rollins, 1100 N. Main Street, Bonham; Karen and Steve Halbrook, 803 N. Main, Bonham; and Jaine and Doug Brister, 417 East Ninth, Bonham. Call 903-640-8406 for information.


9. Keeping them warm


Do some easy quilting to help others stay warm and comfortable this Thursday at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Bonham. There will be a “Charity Quilting Day” from 9:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. at the church. The church’s quilting group will work with volunteers to tie quilts that will be donated to local charities. Supplies will be provided. For more details, call 903-583-5694 or send an email to dc.abbott4@gmail.com.


Be sure to check out Friday’s “Artful Entertainment” listing for even more weekend activities you won’t want to miss!