november 24 Carl Anderson has been playing Santa Claus at NorthPark Center for so long, many people probably think he really is jolly old St. Nick. Thousands of kids have sat on his lap during his nearly two-decade tenure as Santa, telling him--sometimes demanding--what they want for Christmas. Since 1983, he has kept a journal of his experiences on the job, and now he has collected them in a book, All I Want for Christmas Is... Anderson, a licensed psychologist, will discuss some of his favorite moments in the red suit and sign copies of his book at Barnes & Noble, Preston and Park in Plano, on Tuesday at 7 p.m. Call (972) 612-4028.
On Wednesday, Fair Park will officially signal the beginning of the Christmas season with the flick of a switch, when the park's annual Holiday Lights display begins. It really doesn't feel like Christmas without at least one trip to Fair Park, creeping past the various light displays like a convoy of senior citizens. Since it doesn't snow that much in Texas, the Holiday Lights at Fair Park are practically the only things that do make it feel like Christmas in Dallas (except for the cutthroat parking-lot maneuvering at the Galleria). Sure, there is an entire month to witness this parade of lights, but just like Christmas shopping, we know everyone will wait until the last minute. Take our advice: Go early, while most people are sleeping off their Thanksgiving dinners. Holiday Lights are on display every day after dark at Fair Park, from November 25 through January 2. Call (214) 748-5535.