Holiday Events Abound in New Canaan!

data blogDecember 15, 2020
Church Exterior

December is a month rich in multicultural celebrations throughout the world. Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Ōmisoka – New Canaan will be observing each cherished tradition virtually, or with strict COVID-19 guidelines in effect.

From Christmas Eve caroling on God’s Acre, to the Holiday Lights Stroll, to the Annual Gingerbread House Tour, December in New Canaan is a most wonderful time of the year! 🎵🎉

Read below to see what different celebrations are occurring, and how some religious organizations in town are observing this holiday season.

First Presbyterian Church of New Canaan

Slow down during Advent at the First Presbyterian Church of New Canaan’s Facebook Thursday Concerts with our series Advent Meditations, beginning on Thursday, December 3rd at 6:00 pm and each Thursday through December 17th.

Through musical and spoken meditations, we encourage you to join us for this journey from darkness to light. Each week we will explore the themes of the Advent candles - hope, peace, joy, and love. Rev. Scott Herr will share meditations on each of these themes, and the programs feature a solo instrumentalist providing a musical meditation in the beautiful candlelit Philip Ives Sanctuary. David Bakamjian (cellist), Adam Cockerham (Renaissance lutist), and Kristi Shade (harpist), will be our featured soloists for each program.

We hope that through these meditations in word and music will bring you solace and hope during these uncertain times.

Advent Meditations will be aired on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/FPCNC each Thursday in December, beginning on December 3rd at 6:00 pm and through December 17th.

Advent Meditations will also be aired on New Canaan’s Channel 79 on Fridays following the Facebook premiere. The schedule can be found at http://www.nctv79.org/ and can also be viewed on their YouTube page https://youtube.com/c/NCTV79

Menorah Lightings

Once again, this year, there will be nightly Menorah Lightings on G‑d's Acre: The New Canaan Menorah is lit each evening of Hanukkah on G‑d’s Acre. The first night, December 16th, is special, as the community will gather with prayers and songs at 6pm. Volunteer families light the candles and lead the singing on the following seven nights at 5:00pm. For more information, or if your family would like to volunteer to light the menorah for a night, please call the organizer, Marty Reiss, at 203-966-2797.

Grace Community Church

We’re pleased to offer three unique ways for you and your family to worship with us every Sunday.

The pandemic has been a challenge,  but we are so grateful to have found ways to continue to worship together! Join us for an in-person worship service at St. Paul’s Church in Darien from 9-10am, our 10am service online, or 3-4pm gathering in the Knechtle backyard. Registration is required for both in-person services, and you’ll find all the important details in the registration link.

We hope you’ll join us for the option that best suits your needs. We continue to pray that we’re all able to be together again soon!

Sign up for our Christmas Eve services here.

Saint Aloysius Roman Catholic Church

You can stay connected to all that's happening at St. Aloysius Church in New Canaan! Click here to view the most recent church bulletins containing photos, stories, news and event information.

  • All Masses are held in the church, with additional Masses being offered in the Gym at 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday and at 8:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. on Sunday. Please see the link for the Mass Schedule here.
  • Pre-Registration required for Sunday Mass. Please Click Here to sign up for Weekend Mass.
  • There is no Pre-Registration required for Weekday Mass, but please do sign in when you arrive.
  • Please wear a face-covering when attending Mass or visiting the church
  • Weekday and Sunday Mass are live-streamed from the home page of our website.
  • We ask that if you have been away in a state which is on the self-quarantine list (viewable here), that you please help us keep everyone safe by participating in Mass online for the 14-day period after you return.

We look forward to praying with you!

St. Mark's Episcopal Church

For the full outline of upcoming events at our Church you may visit the St. Mark's Episcopal Church's website by clicking here

Maranatha House Churches for Advent and Christmas

House churches begin meeting the week of November 29 (The First Sunday of Advent) and run through the week of January 6 (Epiphany). House church conversation, fellowship, and prayer are organized around a beautiful book of daily devotions for these seasons by Maggi Dawn, an Anglican priest and spiritual writer, and a friend of Fr. Justin and Dr. Jewelle, called Beginnings and Endings (And What Happens in Between). The book will be provided in PDF format to all house church participants via Realm upon registration.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

Every year at Christmastime, hundreds of musicians from school, community, and religious groups perform live on Temple Square. This year, due to pandemic restrictions, we are keeping the tradition alive virtually. Many of these groups, along with several families and individuals, have submitted videos of their Christmas music to share with you in an online concert series. We call it “The Christmas Collection”—a gift from their homes to yours. We thank everyone for their submissions, which far exceeded the number we could possibly share in concerts this year. We hope you will continue to #lighttheworld by sharing them in your own ways on social media.

Concerts are broadcast at 6:00 p.m. MST, every night from December 2–23, (except for special presentations on December 6, 14, and 20, also starting at 6:00). Concerts originate from Temple Square in Salt Lake City and can be viewed on ChurchofJesusChrist.org. Tuesday and Friday concerts can also be viewed on the Temple Square Facebook page.

The Congregational Church of New Canaan

Concerns about COVID-19 exposure prompted the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce to cancel this year’s Christmas Eve caroling celebration on the grounds of the Congregational Church. Instead, New Canaan Public Television (NCTV79) will host a pre-recorded 1-hour Christmas Eve program that will feature internationally acclaimed pianist Andrew Armstrong.

This year’s Christmas Eve caroling on God’s Acre will go on, albeit in a manner that will certainly be remembered for years to come.

United Methodist Church of New Canaan

We are back in the sanctuary for worship on Sundays at 10:00 AM.

Masks are required for everyone over two years. The masks must stay on the entire time a person is in the building. We are carefully following the strict COVID-19 guidelines required by the NY Conference of the United Methodist Church, and you can feel comfortable that our church is thoroughly sanitized.

We have two events upcoming this December 2020:

Virtual Christmas Pageant
Sunday, December 20, 10:00 AM
Our Sunday School families will record at home their telling of the Christmas pageant, and our virtual pageant will air during the 10:00 AM worship.

Christmas Eve Zoom Service
Thursday, December 24, 5:00 PM
Our traditional service of lessons, carols, and candle lighting has been moved online! We will once again hear the Christmas story in music, song, and word. You will need a candle for each family member for the candle lighting.

Our morning services are also live streamed. Click here on "livestream" on Sunday, December 20, at 10:00 AM to watch this week’s service, The Children’s Christmas Pageant. You may also view previous livestreams using that link as well.

The Annual Gingerbread House Tour

There is at least one New Canaan holiday tradition that continued in 2020 -- the community’s annual Gingerbread House Tour.

The gingerbread creations of budding architects and builders are being displayed in storefront windows throughout the community, continuing a tradition that started in 2003. Each gingerbread house is accompanied by a picture of the child or children who created it.

Many of the local New Canaan merchants who are participating in this year’s event have multiple gingerbread houses on display.

Like most everything in 2020, the distribution and collection of this year’s gingerbread house kits required extra precaution. Every family had to reserve a time to pick up a kit, and businesses had to make arrangements with each family when the finished houses were delivered to the stores.

“Despite all the extra preparation and planning, the event has once again been a big success,” said Laura Budd, executive director of the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce. “The support the event receives from local business owners is truly amazing.”

The gingerbread houses will be on display through Christmas weekend.

Christmas Eve Caroling is Here!

The show must go on.

The local effort to continue one of New Canaan’s oldest holiday traditions has paid off! This year’s Christmas Eve caroling on God’s Acre will go on, albeit in a socially distanced manner that will certainly be remembered for years to come.

Concerns about COVID-19 exposure prompted the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce to cancel this year’s Christmas Eve caroling celebration on the grounds of the Congregational Church. Instead, New Canaan Public Television (NCTV79) will host a pre-recorded 1-hour Christmas Eve program that will feature internationally acclaimed pianist Andrew Armstrong.

Armstrong will perform a repertoire that will feature classical Christmas music and traditional carols. Singing will be provided by the Madrigal Ensemble and the Bella Voce choirs from New Canaan High School, and the New England Academy of Dance will perform a selection from The Nutcracker Suite.

The show will be televised at 6 p.m on Christmas Eve, with repeat performances scheduled on NCTV79 for anyone who can’t watch the Christmas Eve show. High-definition video of the performance will be available on NCTV’s YouTube channel, YouTube.com/NCTV79.

Producing and taping the video took many hands. The New Canaan Chamber Music and NCTV79 collaborated on production. The Carriage Barn Arts Center served as the recording studio and Samantha King of SBK Staging and Styling decorated the Arts Center space where the performance was taped.

A 9-foot Bluthner piano was donated by Allegro Pianos and images were provided by Devon Chivvis Creative. Donations were used to pay for the production crew. Armstrong, who served as the show’s creative director, recorded his music on December 1st. Additional guest performances have been recorded in the ensuing weeks.

Caroling on Christmas Eve in New Canaan was first documented in 1916. The tradition of caroling around a lit Christmas tree has continued every year since, with the exception of 1942 and 1943 when the U.S. was fighting in World War II in Europe and restrictions of energy use prevented the community from lighting the tree.


Do you see town wide events missing that you’d like to add? Be sure to contact us! This page is being updated to encompass all New Canaan Holiday Traditions and Celebrations. We look forward to hearing from you.