Local performing arts organizations are in full-on holiday mode. Here are some highlights of events occurring through Christmas Eve, from returning favorites to promising new work:

Portland Stage Company, 25 Forest Ave., presents its traditional version of “A Christmas Carol” through Dec. 24. The cast has a lot of familiar faces: Mark Honan, Daniel Noel, Sally Wood and Bess Weldon, along with Tom Butler playing the role of Scrooge. This is Butler’s first turn as Scrooge, although he has appeared before in Portland Stage productions “Bach at Leipzig,” “Two Rooms” and “Magnetic North.”

Call 774-0465 or visit www.portlandstage.org for tickets, which range from $25 to $39. Meanwhile, all seats for “The Santaland Diaries” in the studio theater are sold out.

At 3 p.m. Sunday, actor Michael Maglaras will perform John Greenleaf Whittier’s masterful poem “Snow-Bound” with Charles Ives’ “Concord Sonata” as a musical backdrop. The hourlong reading will place at the St. Lawrence Arts Center, 76 Congress St., Portland.

Whittier wrote “Snow-Bound” during summer 1865. It captures a sense of time and place, and recounts a New England blizzard from Whittier’s childhood that isolated the young poet and his family in their Massachusetts home for almost a week. Inspired in this intimate setting, each member of the family tells a story from his or her life, revealing a depth of experience and spirit.

Tickets cost $15, and all proceeds benefit the St. Lawrence. Call 775-5568 or visit www.stlawrencearts.org.

  “Christmas with Renaissance Voices” will have three performances: 3 p.m. Sunday at Sanford-Springvale Museum, 505 Main St., Springvale; and 8 p.m. Dec. 18 and 2 p.m. Dec. 19 at the Cathedral of St. Luke, 143 State St., Portland.

Harold Stover, director of the 21-voice a cappella ensemble, has assembled a program of music from the 13th to 20th centuries. The centerpiece will be “Quatre Motets pour le Temps de Noil” by Francis Poulenc. Works by Hassler and Scarlatti and a set of French carols by Gevaert will round out the program.

Admission is $15 at the door. Advance tickets cost $12 at Starbird Music and Longfellow Books in Portland and Books Etc. in Falmouth, or at www.RenaissanceVoices.org. Student admission is $5 at the door. Call 342-2797 for information about the Springvale performance.

The American Irish Repertory Ensemble will join the Celtic music duo Castlebay to present “A Celtic Christmas” featuring the Dylan Thomas classic “A Child’s Christmas in Wales” and a “Christmas Revels” program.

The show runs Wednesday through Dec. 19 at Portland’s newest performance venue, Lucid Stage, 29 Baxter Blvd. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and Dec. 16-18, and 2 p.m. Dec. 19. Tickets range from $12 for children to $22 for adults.

For information and reservations, call 799-5327 or visit www.airetheater.com.

Acorn Productions begins a new holiday tradition for the Jewish community in southern Maine with a production of “The World of Sholom Aleichem” by Arnold Perl. It runs through Dec. 19 in the Acorn Studio Theater, a small, black-box theater in the Dana Warp Mill, 90 Bridge St., Westbrook.

The production is directed by veteran actor Harlan Baker and features a cast of local actors, including members of the Acorn Shakespeare Ensemble, students from the Acorn Acting Academy and several guest artists. The play is a collection of three short plays depicting life in Eastern Europe Jewish communities in the early part of the 20th century.

Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays and Saturdays and 5 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students and seniors, and may be purchased by calling 854-0065 or visiting www.acorn-productions.org.

Portland Ballet returns with its inventive “The Victorian Nutcracker.” This annual production places the popular holiday ballet in the Victorian Mansion in Portland, with local characters and flavor.

The story unfolds as young Olivia follows her Nutcracker Prince to the enchanted Kingdom of the Sweets, where she is dazzled by dancers from around the world, from the Russian Trepak to the Sugarplum Fairy.

The show, which takes the classic “Nutcracker” story and sets it in historical Portland with sets, costumes and characters inspired by the Victoria Mansion, Hermann Kotzschmar and others, will be performed at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 23 at Merrill Auditorium in Portland. It also will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 18 and 1 p.m. Dec. 19 at Kennett High School in North Conway, N.H.

Tickets are $17 to $47 and are available through Portttix at www.porttix.com or 842-0800, or in person at the Merrill box office, Myrtle Street, Portland.