Happy Thanksgiving Week!

It is a shorter work week for many, not all, of course, and will hopefully be a time for you to be with family and friends and celebrate Thanksgiving, 2011.

There are also many things for you to do over the next 5 holiday weeks.  No, not shopping.  Enjoying the holidays by enjoying what our community has to offer.

Here are some of my suggestions.

“Christmas and Holiday Traditions Around the World.”

There are more than 40 international trees at the Meijer Gardens.  It's an annual display with Christmas trees decorated in the tradition of each country.  It opens Tuesday and continues through Jan. 8. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, except for Sundays (opens at 11 a.m.) and Tuesdays (open until 9 p.m.). Extended hours are planned Dec. 20-23 and 26-30. There is an admission charge.  For more info, call 957-1580, or log on meijergardens.org.

If you want more lights, take the family to

“Nite Lites.” It opened Saturday at Fifth Third Ballpark, and will be open daily from 6-10 p.m. Cost is $12 per vehicle to drive-thru.  It's pretty spectacular.  For more info, call 292-1434, or log on nitelitesshow.com.

And then there is the traditional Grand Rapids Ballet Company's “The Nutcracker.”

The Nutcracker comes to DeVos Performance Hall as the Grand Rapids Ballet along with the Grand Rapids Symphony bring this holiday favorite to life.  It opens this Thanksgiving weekend, and performances also run December 9 - 11.

You can buy tickets through Ticketmaster, or visit the Ballet's box office Monday through Friday 9 to 5.  You can get more information by logging on grballet.com

Happy holiday!