Northland is far from the North Pole, but Christmas and the myriad other holidays observed this time of year are not far from the hearts of residents of the region.

Northland is far from the North Pole, but Christmas and the myriad other holidays observed this time of year are not far from the hearts of residents of the region.

A wide array of holiday-themed events and gatherings are planned over the coming weeks.

A sampling:

CHA Animal Shelter, 3765 Corporate Drive, will host a "Black Friday" Adopt-a-Thon from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Nov. 27. Adoption specials run all day, starting at 60 percent off regular adoption fees from 6 to 9 a.m., 50 percent off from 9 a.m. to noon, 40 percent off from noon to 3 p.m. and 30 percent off from 3 to 6 p.m. This special pricing will be available on both dogs and cats. The adoption fee includes spaying/neutering, vaccines, micro-chipping and the first bag of food. For more information, visit www.CHAAnimalShelter.org.

CHA Animal Shelter also will host a number of Pet Pictures with Santa events at area businesses in November and December, with proceeds benefiting CHA. Courtesy of Fleshman Photography, the holiday package includes one 8-by-10 and two 5-by-7 photos for $25.

Those dates are:

Nov. 28, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., PetPeople, 1341 Stoneridge Drive, Gahanna

Nov. 28, 4-6 p.m., Mutts & Co., 7549 Sawmill Road, Dublin

Nov. 29, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., PetPeople, 1023 Hill Road N., Pickerington

Dec. 2, 5-7 p.m., VCA Mill Run, 3660 Ridge Mill Drive, Hilliard

Dec. 5, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., PetPeople, 5997 Maxtown Road, Westerville

Dec. 6, 2-6 p.m., the Basement Doctor Showroom, 7369 E. Livingston Ave., Reynoldsburg

Dec. 8, 5-8 p.m., PetPeople, 1341 Stoneridge Drive, Gahanna

Dec. 10, 5-8 p.m., PetPeople, 1023 Hill Road N., Pickerington

Dec. 12, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., CHA Shelter, 3765 Corporate Drive, Columbus

Among other events:

Friendship Village of Columbus, 5800 Forrest Hills Blvd., holds the annual Bazaar on Dec. 4 from noon to 4 p.m. and Dec. 5 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

St. Anthony School will be hosting the annual Secret Santa Shoppe and Cookie Walk. Open to the public, the event will be held on Saturday, Dec. 5, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the school gym at the rear of the building off Atwater Drive. At the Secret Santa Shoppe, children can shop secretly for everyone on their holiday list. All items for sale are priced appropriately for a child's budget. Homemade goodies will be available for purchase at the Cookie Walk. Other activities will include pictures with Santa, personalized ornaments, gift raffle and lunch. All proceeds benefit St. Anthony School, located at 1300 Urban Drive in the Northland area. For more information, call 888-4268 or visit www.StAnthonyColumbus.org.

The YMCA North Branch will be holding a Breakfast with Santa and Bazaar on Saturday, Dec. 5. The breakfast portion of the event runs from 9 to 11 a.m. while the bazaar is to last from 8 a.m. to noon. The bazaar is a fundraiser for the Teen Leaders Club and will help send youngsters to training school and retreats throughout the year. The breakfast menu includes pancakes, bacon, fruit and juice.

Heritage Huskies for Life, the civic engagement club at the Heritage Day Health Center on East Dublin Granville Road, is involved with a Toys for Tots drive as well as adopting a nursing home during December.

The YMCA North Branch will be holding "Drop and Shop" events on Dec. 5 and 19 from 3 to 9 p.m. Parents may drop off children from first through fifth grade for pizza, crafts, games and a movie while they finish off holiday shopping. The cost is $15 for Metro members, $20 for program members. For more information, contact Michelle Gerdeman at 885-4252, extension 212 or send an e-mail to mgerdeman@ymcacolumbus.org.

On Wednesday, Dec. 9, at 7:30 p.m. there will be a free Christmas band concert at St. Francis DeSales High School, 4212 Karl Road.

On Saturday, Dec. 12, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., CHA Animal Shelter will hold the annual Cookie Walk Bake Sale, benefiting the homeless dogs and cats at the shelter. Holiday cookies and candy provided by volunteer bakers will sell for $12 a box. Holiday and CHA merchandise also will be available for sale.

The Heart of Ohio Ferret Association and Rescue's annual Christmas party and photos with Santa will take place on Sunday, Dec. 13, from 1 to 5 p.m. at 4385 Almont Drive. For additional information, visit www.HOFARescue.org or call 428-0279.

The Sharon Woods Civic Association has three events coming up during the Christmas season, beginning with Santa Claus visiting homes in the area. Those who live in Sharon Woods may call Char Schneider at 882-6224 to make arrangements. Santa will be visiting homes on Dec. 14-16. Visits last from 10 to 15 minutes. Next up is a Christmas lighting contest, with preliminary judges going out on Dec. 14-15 from 7 to 10 p.m. to look at homes decorated for Christmas with lights and displays. Final judging is Dec. 17. Call John Osmond at 901-9174 for more details. Finally, residents will put out luminary candles on Christmas Eve. More information can be obtained by calling Rhonda Welker at 865-0430.

The Transitions Drama Program at Heritage Day Health Centers, 1700 E. Dublin Granville Road, will be putting on a holiday play on Dec. 15 and 22. It will be an adaptation of the Dr. Seuss classic "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas." Performances will be at 1 p.m.

Some 64 leaders from all of the Neighborhood Pride areas this year, including Clinton Estates, will gather for a holiday party on Dec. 16 at the King Arts Complex. Since 2002, the party has included a talent show put on by students from schools in and around the Pride area. Northland will be represented this year by Clinton Middle School and Mifflin International, according to Neighborhood Pride coordinator Bruce Black. "It's a chance for neighborhood leaders from all over the city to just kind of come to one place together and share ideas," Black said. "It's just an opportunity really to say thank you to those neighborhood leaders and volunteers."

Ohio Business College, 1880 E. Dublin Granville Road, will be holding a holiday open house on Thursday, Dec. 17. It will run from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Crafts and games for children focusing on Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa are on tap, along with catering by Chipotle. Those planning to attend are asked to RSVP by calling Jennifer Glaze at 891-5030 or sending an e-mail to jglaze@ohiobusinesscollege.edu.

Columbus Baptist Temple, 5075 Cleveland Ave., will be holding a Christmas Eve candlelight service on Dec. 24 at 6 p.m. It will be, according to the Rev. Paul Gabriel, "a warm, fast-moving, one-hour service of carols, Christmas story, children's stories and special music." The church will also be hosting a New Year's Eve "Watchnight Service" on Dec. 31 starting at 8 p.m., featuring a film, snacks, volleyball and board games leading up to a midnight showing on large-screen televisions of the ball dropping in Times Square.

A winter "Fast Break Basketball Bonanza" is scheduled at the YMCA North Branch Dec. 28-31. It will run from 9 a.m. to noon all four days and is for students ages 6 to 16. The cost is $40 for Metro members, $60 for program members.

kparks@thisweeknews.com