• BENEFITS

TODAY

Empty Bowls Dinner, eat dinner using bowls donated by area potters; benefits the Volunteer Regional Food Pantry in Unity; Unity Centre for the Performing Arts. $10 /donation. unity.edu. 5 to 7 p.m.

Gingerbread House Competition, benefits the Ronald McDonald House, Residence Inn by the Marriott, Portland. $25 per entry. 761-1660. Competition today to Dec. 16.

Annual Silent Auction, benefits the library, Curtis Memorial Library, Brunswick. curtislibrary.com. 5 to 8 p.m. 

FRIDAY

“The Gift of the Magi,” holiday play benefits actor Mark Calkins and his family, whose South Portland house was destroyed by fire, First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church, Kennebunk. $15; $10 for students and children ages 17 and under. covelight2011.com. 8 p.m.

Art for Everyone: A Collection of Donated Art, benefits Goodwill’s job training and support services, Goodwill Industries of Northern New England, Portland. goodwillnne.org. 5 to 8 p.m. Friday.

21st Anniversary Music Scholarship Gala, hors d’oeuvres, holiday banquet with tableside serenading, champagne, dessert and more, University of Southern Maine (Abromson Community Education Center), Portland. $90 to $150. 780-5003. 5:30 to 10 p.m.

Kimmy’s Odd Ball 2011, performances by Preheat, The Scallywags, Beat Horizon, and many more; benefit for the Open Sky Fund, which provides musical instruments and opportunities to kids in Maine; Big Easy, Portland. $10. openskyfund.org. 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Festival of “Fostering” Trees, more than 100 decorated Christmas trees, raffles and refreshments; benefits youths involved with the Southern Maine foster care system; American Legion Post 56, York. Free. 351-1988. 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. 

SATURDAY

“The Gift of the Magi,” holiday play benefits actor Mark Calkins and his family, whose South Portland house was destroyed by fire, Dunaway Community Center, Ogunquit. $10; $8 for students and children ages 17 and under. covelight2011.com. 8 p.m.

Viva Lebowski 2011, bowling, movia trivia, costume contest and screening of “The Big Lebowski”; benefits the American Heart Association; Bayside Bowl, Portland. $20. vivalebowski.com. 9 p.m.

Festival of Trees, benefit for Westbrook charities with live entertainment, Westbrook Warren Congregational Church. westbrookfestivaloftrees.com. 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday; 2 to 8 p.m. Sunday; 10 a.m. to noon, 2 to 4 p.m., and 6 to 8 p.m. Monday to Wednesday. Through Dec. 10. 

SUNDAY

Wildland Sundays, hayrides, bonfire, cocoa, cookies, cut your own tree; benefits the Great Pond Mountain Conservation Trust; Great Pond Mountain Wildlands, Orland. $25 per tree. 469-2008. Noon to 3 p.m.

Dinner and Kirtan Celebration, benefits Hridaya Hermitage with Indian cuisine and traditional chanting by Shiva Lila; The Jewel of India, South Portland. $25 in advance; $30 at door. 542-6606. 7 to 10 p.m. 

MONDAY

Cut Your Own Traditional Christmas Tree, plus wagon rides, drinks and treats, benefit for the Damariscotta Lake Watershed Association; West Branch Preserve, Somerville. $25 per tree. dlwa.org. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

• CRAFT FAIRS

TODAY

“HANDMADE” and Craft Show, unique, high-quality handmade goods and artwork by more than 40 indie crafters and artists, Waterfall Arts, Belfast. waterfallarts.org. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday to Monday; by appointment Tuesday and Wednesday. Through Dec. 11. 

FRIDAY

Holiday Craft Fair, The Creatorium, Lincoln Street Center for Arts and Education, Rockland. thecreatorium.org. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

Maine Fiberarts Holiday Open House Sale, handspun yarn, knitted goods, basketry, felted goods, hooked rugs and more, Red Studio, Topsham. mainefiberarts.org. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday to Sunday.

Holiday Bazaar, decorations and baked goods, Mid Coast Hospital, Brunswick. 373-6015. 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Holiday Art Exhibit and Sale, Lincoln Building, Brunswick. 798-6964. 5 to 9 p.m.

Holly Jolly Fair, crafters, cookie walk, raffles and more, First Parish Church Congregational, Freeport. 865-3573. 5 to 8 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

MECA Holiday Sale, handmade arts and crafts by students and alumni, Maine College of Art (Porteous Building), Portland. meca.edu. 5 to 10 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday.

SEA Holiday Sale, blown glass, jewelry, journals, paintings, textiles, pottery and more, East End Community School, Portland. seaportland.org. 6 to 9 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

Downtown Winter Arts & Crafts Fair, locally made arts and crafts, downtown Biddeford. 229-3560. biddefordartwalk.com. 4 to 8 p.m.

Good Shepherd Parish Christmas Fair, bake sale, raffles, crafts and more, Most Holy Trinity Church, Saco. 284-8035. 4 to 8 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday; 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday.

Christmas Fair, handmade children’s clothing, aprons, wreaths, baked goods and more, First Congregational Church, Kittery Point. 439-2878. 3 to 8 p.m. 

SATURDAY

2011 Holiday Bazaar, unique holiday gifts and decorations, Merryspring Nature Center, Camden. 236-2239. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Holiday Art Sale and Celebration, paintings, prints and cards by artists Lea Peterson, Barbara Bean, Letty Husson and Susan Zimmerman, Old Post Office Gallery, Georgetown. leapetersonart.net. 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Tree, Wreath and Poinsettia Sale, Brunswick Junior High School. 725-9436. 8 a.m. to noon.

Holiday Art Exhibit and Sale, Lincoln Building, Brunswick. 798-6964. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

Outdoor Holiday Fair, wreaths, narcissus centerpieces, cider and muffins, Unitarian Universalist Church, 7 Middle St. office, Brunswick. 729-4062. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Shaker Christmas Fair, Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village, New Gloucester. 926-4597. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Christmas Fair, Raymond Village Community Church. 655-7749. 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Christmas Fair, St. Ann’s Episcopal Church, Windham. 892-8447. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Holiday Fair, handmade knits, raffles, bake sale and more, Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, Windham. 892-3048. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday; noon to 3 p.m. Sunday.

Christmas Fair, baked goods, crafts and more, Pinea Rebekah Lodge, Windham. 772-6806. 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Bradbury Mountain Arts Holiday Show and Sale, paintings, prints, turned wood, jewelry, African handcrafts and more, Mallett Hall, Pownal. 688-2272. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

Winter Holiday Show, handmade crafts, Blueberry Ridge Farm, Pownal. 688-4153. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Christmas Fair, luncheon, jewelry, attic treasures and more, St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church, Yarmouth. 846-9244. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Holiday Fair, crafts, gifts, wreaths, cookie walk and more, West Cumberland United Methodist Church. 653-2974. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Christmas Fair, crafts, wreaths, baked goods, silent auction, luncheon and more, Foreside Community Church, Falmouth. 781-5880. 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Christmas Fair, antiques, crystal, china, vintage linens, knitted goods, holiday gifts and more, St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Falmouth. 781-3366. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Holiday Fair, handmade crafts, eco-friendly items, raffles, baked goods and more, Allen Avenue Unitarian Universalist Church, Portland. 885-9522. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Old Fashioned Christmas Fair, antiques, jewelry, books, wreaths and more, Trinity Episcopal Church, Portland. 772-7421. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

34th Annual Holiday Arts and Crafts Show, handcrafted items from 95 Maine artisans, USM Sullivan Gym, Portland. $2. 621-2818. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

The Big Chill, arts, crafts and vintage sale, Mayo Street Arts, Portland. mayostreetarts.org. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Coastal Christmas Fair, Maine-made items, knits, baked goods, books and more, Peoples United Methodist Church, South Portland. peoplesumc.com. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Christmas Fair, homemade candy and baked goods, crafts, gift baskets and more, First United Methodist Church, South Portland. 767-2688. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Loretta Voyer Fund Craft Fair, handmade gifts by Peaks Island artists and craftsmen, Inn on Peaks, Peaks Island. 332-2443. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Yuletide Fair, crafts, handmade items and lunch, First Congregational Church, Scarborough. 883-2342. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Holiday Craft, Poinsetta and Wreath Sale, Morrison Center, Scarborough. 883-6680. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Christmas Fair, Blue Point Congregational Church, Scarborough. 883-6540. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. (haddock chowder lunch, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.)

Cookie Fare, Cressey Road United Methodist Church, Gorham. 675-3317. 9 a.m. to noon.

Christmas Fair, crafts, silent auction, gifts and more, First Parish Congregational Church, Gorham. 839-2809. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Christmas Market Place, Santas, snowmen, knitted items, greens and more, Bar Mills Community Church, Buxton. 929-3535. 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Jolly Snowman Fair, crafts, books, silent auction, lunch, baked goods and more, United Methodist Church, Cape Elizabeth. ceumc.org. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Christmas Fair, homemade crafts, baked goods and lobster roll luncheon, United Baptist Church, Saco. 283-3411. 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Holiday Fair, more than 30 crafters, used books, silent auction and more, Sea Road School, Kennebunk. 985-1105. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Wells/Ogunquit Music Boosters 24th Annual Holiday Craft Fair, Wells Junior High School. 351-5741. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

SUNDAY

Christmas Craft Fair, American Legion Hall, Gray. 576-3870. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Annual Christmas Open House and Craft Fair, crafts and holiday activities, Stone Mountain Arts Center, Brownfield. stonemountainartscenter.com. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

• SPECIAL EVENTS

TODAY

National Theatre in London, live broadcast of “Collaborators,” Strand Theatre, Rockland. $23; $15 for students. rocklandstrand.com. Live at 2 p.m.; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.

National Theatre in London, live broadcast of “Collaborators,” Leura Hill Eastman Performing Arts Center, Fryeburg. $18; $15 seniors; $10 students. 935-9232. 2 p.m.

National Theatre in London, broadcast of “Collaborators,” Lincoln Theater, Damariscotta. $15. 563-3424. 7 p.m.

World AIDS Day Reception and Vigil, reading and talk by John-Manuel Andriote, author of “Victory Deferred,” Victoria Mansion, Portland. peabodycenter.org. 5 to 7 p.m.

Antique Tackle Appraisal and Road Show, York Public Library. 363-2818. 7 p.m.

Deck the Halls: The Carols of Christmas, holiday celebration, Victoria Mansion, Portland. $15; $13.50 seniors; $5 ages 6 to 17. victoriamansion.org. Today through Jan. 8. 

FRIDAY

Home for the Holidays Downtown Celebration, caroling, open houses, tours, entertainment and more, various locations, South Berwick. southberwickmaine.org. South Berwick Village Center. 5 to 8 p.m.

Model Railroad Celebration, Maine State Museum, Augusta. Free. mainestatemuseum.org. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

Jingle Bell Express Train Rides, journey on the rails to Santa’s outdoor workshop, Maine Eastern Railroad, Rockland. $20. 596-6725. Various times Friday and Saturday.

“Polar Express” Train Rides, holiday-decorated train rides to “The North Pole,” Narrow Gauge Railroad, Ocean Gateway Terminal, Portland. $25 to $40. porttix.com. Rides start at 2:45 p.m. Friday to Sunday. Through Dec. 23.

Chocolate Tasting, Music and Art Extravaganza, Aarhus Gallery, Belfast. 338-0001. 5 to 7 p.m.

“Season of Light,” history and astronomy of the winter solstice, New Year’s, Hanukkah and Christmas, University of Southern Maine (Southworth Planetarium), Portland. $4 to $6. usm.maine.edu/planet. 7 p.m. Friday; 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Through Dec. 30.

“Search for the Solar System’s Edge,” astronomy show, University of Southern Maine (Southworth Planetarium), Portland. $4 to $6. usm.maine.edu/planet. 8:30 p.m.

Five Dollar First Friday, admission to mansion is $5 for all, Victoria Mansion, Portland. victoriamansion.org. 5 to 8:30 p.m. 

SATURDAY

“Night Tree,” pinecone decorating, nature walk and tasty treats inspired by Eve Bunting’s book, Wolfe’s Neck Farm, Freeport. $5. 865-4469. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Holly Daze Children’s Activities, old-fashioned games, “history hunt” and refreshments, Sanford-Springvale Historical Museum, Sanford. Free.

324-2797. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Share the Wonder, exhibit of holiday art, artifacts and a large model train set, Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland. 596-6457. Children’s holiday films “Rudolph” and “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; author signing with Don Carrigan and Tom Block, 1 p.m. Saturday; Penobscot Bay Ringers Bell Choir, 3 p.m. Sunday; Camden Hills Regional High School Women’s Choir and Chamber Singers, 4 p.m. Dec. 8.

Met Opera: Live In HD, screening of Handel’s “Rodelinda,” Lincoln Theater, Damariscotta. $23; $21 for seniors. atthelincoln.org. 12:30 p.m.

Met Opera: Live In HD, screening of Handel’s “Rodelinda,” Strand Theatre, Rockland. $27. rocklandstrand.com. 12:30 p.m.

Met Opera: Live In HD, screening of Handel’s “Rodelinda,” Leura Hill Eastman Performing Arts Center, Fryeburg. $23 to $26; $18 for students. 935-9232. 12:30 p.m.

31st Annual Tree Lighting and Carol Sing, plus hot chocolate and a visit from Santa, Memorial Green, Yarmouth. Free; bring mittens to donate. 846-2406. 5 p.m.

“A Christmas Tea,” Victoria-style event includes choice of desserts and tea, Jefferds Tavern, York Village. $6; free for children under 5. 363-4974. Noon to 4 p.m.

Seventh Annual Festival of Gingerbread Houses, York Public Library. 363-2818. Opens Saturday. Through Dec. 17.

Pine Tree State Country Music Association Annual Christmas Party, with Bobby Le, Gloria Jean, E-Z Riders Band, a gift exchange and more, American Legion Post 197, Westbrook. $5; free for children 12 and under. 490-1232. 1 to 4 p.m.

Christmas Tree Tour of the Kennebunks, tour of homes with trees decorated by community artists and designers, The Sugar Shack, Kennebunk. $20 in advance; $25 day of show. 967-9988. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

North Pole Express Train Rides, steam-heated train ride with storytelling and Santa Claus, Boothbay Railway Village. $10. railwayvillage.org. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Through Dec. 10.

Holiday Open House, Yarmouth Historical Society. 846-6259. 9 a.m. to noon. 

SUNDAY

Santa’s Workshop for Kids, shopping, breakfast with Santa and photo for children under 12, Sebago Town Hall. 787-2489. 8 to 11 a.m.

MERI Holidays, family party for children of all ages, Marine Environmental Research Institute, Blue Hill. Free. 374-2135. 2 to 4 p.m.

“Polar Air Mail Express” and Holiday Concert, Santa arrives via airplane, demo of Polar Air Mail Express and music from the Mid-Coast Community Band, Owls Head Transportation Museum. Free. ohtm.org. 11:30 a.m.

Sit with Santa, for dogs and their companions., Planet Dog Company Store, Portland. $10. planetdog.com. 10 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3 p.m.

“Celebrate the Season by the Sea,” Santa and Mrs. Claus, parade, musical performances, hay rides, treats and more, Old Orchard Beach. 934-2500. 1 p.m. 

MONDAY

Festival of Trees, co-sponsored by the Buxton Garden Club; donations accepted for Buxton “Keep the Heat On” fund; Bar Mills Community Church, Buxton. Free. 929-8283. 1 to 7 p.m. Monday to Dec. 8. 

TUESDAY

“A Red Hot Christmas,” trees decorated by 22 area businesses, Winter Street Center, Bath. 443-4112. Tuesday and Wednesday. 

• FILMS

Palestinian Film Festival, Space, Portland. $5, $7. space538.org. “Jenin Jenin” (documentary), 7:30 p.m. today; “Salt of this Sea,” (romantic drama), 7:30 p.m. Saturday; “An Encounter with Simone Weil” (USM philosophy symposium film), 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

“Meet Your Farmer,” Maine farming documentary, Local Sprouts Cooperative, Portland. Free. mainefarmlandtrust.org. 6:30 p.m. today.

Palestinian Film Festival, Meg Perry Center, Portland. $5, $7. megperrycenter.com. “Eyewitness Gaza” (documentary), 8 p.m. Friday.

“Beats, Rhymes and Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest,” music documentary, Strand Theatre, Rockland. $8.50. rocklandstrand.com. 8 p.m. Friday. 

• BOOKS/AUTHORS

FRIDAY

Rebecca Guay, illustrator/co-creator of fantasy books “Flight of Angels” and “The Last Dragon,” book signing, Casablanca Comics, Portland. Free. 780-1676. 6 to 8 p.m. 

SATURDAY

Dahlov Ipcar, author and illustrator of “Dahlov Ipcar’s Wild Animal Alphabet,” Georgetown Historical Society. 371-9200. 10 a.m. to noon.

Toni Buzzeo, author of “Lighthouse Christmas,” Nonesuch Books, South Portland. 799-2659. 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Michael Chase, author of “Am I Being Kind: How Asking One Simple Question Can Change Your Life and Your World,” Nonesuch Books and Cards, Biddeford. 282-2638. 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Robin Taylor-Chiarello, author of children’s book “The Blue Lobster,” GreenLight Studio, Portland. greenlight-studio.com. 3:30 p.m.

Jim Witherell, author of “L.L. Bean: The Man and His Company,” Sherman’s Books and Stationery, Freeport. 869-9000. 1 to 3 p.m. 

SUNDAY

Spindleworks Book Signing and Poetry Reading, Gulf of Maine Books, Brunswick. spindleworks.org. 4 to 5:30 p.m.

Linda and Martha Greenlaw, authors of “The Maine Summers Cookbook,” Lisa-Marie’s Made in Maine, Bath. 443-2225. 1 to 3 p.m.

Neil Rolde, author of “Maine in the World,” Sherman’s Books and Stationery, Freeport. 869-9000. 2 to 4 p.m. 

MONDAY

Feeding Creativity, FCA Conversation Series: “The Art and Craft of Publishing Online” with Emma Bouthillette, Josh Christie and Mark Diehl, Freeport Community Center. $5. freeportcreativearts.org. 7 p.m. 

TUESDAY

Susan Conley, reading and book signing, Higgins Hall, North Yarmouth Academy, Yarmouth. Free/donations. nya.org. 7 to 8 p.m.

Port Veritas Spoken Word Night, weekly poetry reading, Local Sprouts Cooperative, Portland. Free/donations. localsprouts.coop. 7 p.m.