The time is drawing near for Santa to begin his journey from the North Pole, and for us all to enjoy a few days with our friends and family during the holiday season. As you can imagine, this week's blog is all about the holidays and includes some fun things you can experience on this final weekend before Christmas.

We also want to pique your interest for a post-holiday tradition that's returning to the area later this month in Lewes. The "Slam Dunk to the Beach" high school basketball tournament, for years a tradition between Christmas and New Year's Day, will once again take place at Cape Henlopen High School this year, beginning on Dec. 27.

We will highlight this in a coming edition of our "Weekender Blog," but for now, mark your calendars and plan on being there for all the action.

Now on to this weekend's happenings. Here are some of our favorite things to do on the final weekend before Christmas:

Decorating Delmarva HolidayFest (Dec. 18-20). One of Sussex County's most unique holiday events concludes this week. "Decorating Delmarva," hosted by the Delaware International Speedway in Delmar, is a popular community event that features food and craft vendors, nightly entertainment, visits with Santa Claus, live reindeer and holiday displays made by several local schools and organizations. For more information on this festive holiday event, visit www.decoratingdelmarva.com.

Weekend Wonderland in Bethany Beach (Dec. 19). The third and final installment of this December weekend event is planned for this Saturday. Activities scheduled for this week include photos with Santa, a "snowman" party, story time at Bethany Beach Books and a holiday magic show from Dickens Parlour Theater. Visit the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce for more information.

A Holiday Peace Concert (Dec. 20). The Rehoboth Concert Band, assisted by the Camp Chorus Ensemble, will perform this "multi-cultural" program at 4 p.m. this Sunday at Epworth United Methodist Church on Holland Glade Road. Selections include "Christmas on Broadway," "A Jazzy Christmas," Russian Christmas Music," African Bell Carol" and many more. To learn more about this event, visit www.rehobothconcertband.org.

Horse and Carriage Rides with Santa (Dec. 19-20). This one is across the state line in Ocean City, but come and join Santa for a carriage ride down the Boardwalk in his very own big, red sleigh. Meet Santa from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on 27th Street for your interactive holiday experience. Call 443-783-1409 for more information.

"National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" (Dec. 18-19). Spend Christmas with the Griswolds this Friday and/or Saturday night at Milford's Riverfront Theater. The film begins each night at 7:30 p.m. and prizes will be awarded to moviegoers who come dressed in their favorite ugly Christmas sweaters.

These are just a few of this weekend's fun-filled events here in coastal Delaware. For more ideas on what you can do with your friends and/or family, contact your local chamber of commerce or town hall.

And be on the lookout again next week for more great ideas from the Oldfather Group. Now get out there and enjoy all the things that make living at the Delaware beaches such a wonderful experience!