While the weather continues to cool, the holiday celebrations are heating up all over town. We've got Very Merry Pops with the Houston Symphony, caroling with HGO at Discovery Green, and a Winter Wonderland of crafting over at Asia Society Texas Center. There's much to be thankful for, and MFAH's Normal Rockwell exhibit is a poignant reminder of the need for human rights both at home and around the world. Art collectors will want to check out Lawndale's Silent Auction before it closes Saturday night and, for the ultimate in tacky, there's a chance to wear ugly sweaters at Bayou Bend's Christmas Village. We'd like to think Ima Hogg would have found it festive, though perhaps not tasteful.
Very Merry Pops is scheduled for December 13-17 at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2:30 p.m. Sunday and 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. For information, call 713-224-7575 or visit houstonsymphony.org. $34 to $149.
Carols on the Green is scheduled for December 14 from 7-8 p.m. Saturday at Discovery Green, Anheuser-Busch Stage, 1500 McKinney. For information, visit discoverygreen.com. Free.
The Lawndale Lending Library Silent Auction is scheduled for December 14 from 5-7 p.m. Saturday at Lawndale Art Center, 4912 Main. For information, call 713-528-5858 or visit lawndaleartcenter.org. Free.
For information about purchasing a membership for the Lawndale Lending Library, contact Emily Fens at 713-528-5858 or visit lawndaleartcenter.org. $150 to $200.
Family Craft Day: Winter Wonderland is scheduled for December 14 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Asia Society Texas Center, 1370 Southmore. For information, call 713-496-9901 or visit asiasociety.org/texas/events/family-craft-day-winter-wonderland. Free to $5; registration is requested.
"In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms. The first is freedom of speech and expression – everywhere in the world. The second is freedoms of every person to worship god in his own way – everywhere in the world. The third is freedom from want…everywhere in the world. The fourth is freedom from fear…anywhere in the world. That is no vision of a distant millennium. It is a definite basis for a kind of world attainable in our own time and generation." — Franklin D. Roosevelt, January 6, 1941
When President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered his State of the Union address, it was a pivotal moment in history that shifted the tide from American isolationism toward the realization that we actually had skin in the game and needed to assist the British and Allied troops against the Axis powers. Norman Rockwell's 1943 depictions of the four freedoms are central to "Norman Rockwell: American Freedom," a new exhibition opening this Sunday at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. It's paired with paintings, illustrations and prints by Rockwell and his contemporaries, as well as historical documents, photographs and videos. A companion exhibit in the adjoining gallery, a photography project by Hank Willis Thomas and Emily Shur, presents a contemporary response on those freedoms that we hold dear.
"Norman Rockwell: American Freedom" is scheduled for December 15 through March 22 from 12:15 to 7 p.m. Sundays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays at Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Audrey Jones Beck Building, 5601 Main. For information, call 713-639-7300 or visit mfah.org/exhibitions/norman-rockwell-american-freedom. Free to $23.
Bonus event: Not all fun is relegated to the weekends, and if you need proof then look no further than Ugly Sweaters at the Bend. MFAH's house museum for American decorative arts and paintings, Bayou Bend, is partnering with Montrose's retro thrift store Pavement Clothing for one night only during Christmas Village at Bayou Bend with Santa and his reindeer. There's no better time to be tacky, so embrace those colorful, tasseled and blinking seaters to receive a 20 percent off coupon to Bayou Bend's Holiday Shop, as well as five dollars off the exhibition price to see "Normal Rockwell: American Freedom." Our recommendation is to upgrade your evening with a theatrical, holiday-themed tour of the first floor of Ima Hogg's former home, though advance reservations are suggested. There you'll find drinks for sale at the bar — it will make wearing a silly sweater more giggly and fun — plus dinner, light bites and more treats can be purchased at the food truck, village tent, and sweet shop.
Ugly Sweaters at the Bend is scheduled for December 16 from 5:30-9 p.m. Monday at Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens, 6003 Memorial Drive. For information, call 713-639-7750 or visit mfah.org. Free to $20.
Christmas Village at Bayou Bend with Santa and his reindeer continues through December 30; for more information visit mfah.org/a/christmas-village-at-bayou-bend.