It's almost here! The big guy is checking and re-checking his lists; his route has been cleared with the FAA; and the reindeer are carbing up for a long night.

Holiday season 2013 is about to kick into high gear in Montgomery County. The Pursuit of things to do before these last shopping days melt away like our recent snowfall includes plenty of holiday happenings and jolly jaunts.

This Friday, December 20, if you're picking up those last-minute gifts at King of Prussia Mall, keep a sharp eye out from 1-3 p.m. Two of our area's most iconic historical figures - General George and Lady Washington - will be roaming the halls, shopping for gifts for each other. Also on hand is information on how to find Cabin Fever Relievers when January, February and March make the promise of spring seem very far off. The first First Family would love to have your gift-buying input, so feel free to stop them along the way, snap a picture and offer your stocking-stuffer suggestions. Warm socks for George, perhaps?

December 21 and 22 gives you two opportunities to enjoy the Hollywood holiday classic It's a Wonderful Life on the big screen of The Colonial Theater. The 1946 tearjerker, a tale of redemption in the same vein as A Christmas Carol, was the subject of our blog on Tuesday, when we were thrilled to interview Karolyn Grimes Wilkerson (Zuzu Bailey). Despite being 73 years old, she'll surprise you with her spunkiness and spirit. If you can't make the screening this weekend, treat yourself to a matinee showing on Christmas Eve.

It's a Wonderful Life

The Norristown Nutcracker on December 20-21 at the ACPPA Community Art Center turns the holiday chestnut on its ear. The traditional orchestra, sets and pas de deux have been scrapped in favor of strumming guitars, bell-ringing snowflakes, and hip-hop mice. The energy and enthusiasm of this troupe are difficult to resist; in fact, the 2012 performances sold out, so if you're interested, jump to it.

Act II PlayhouseMany family room shelves this time of year are observation points for elves. But at the Act II Playhouse, one sprightly sprite, Murray, isn't sitting still. He's busy trying to figure out why toy production has ceased in "Murray the Elf and the Case of the Terrifying Tinsel." Turns out it's the evil doings of the "tinsel monster," which Murray needs your help to defeat. Performances of this comedy-mystery, targeted to children 5-12, run December 21-24 and December 27-28.

If your youngster hasn't seen Santa yet and still wants some 1:1 time, he'll be front and center at the Story Time with Santa at the Royersford Free Public Library on December 21. Mr. Dan will be on hand to sing Christmas songs. Santa will take time from his wish-list compilation to read stories, and children's activities and a bake sale round out the event.

This week is all about reconnecting with family and friends. If you're bringing in Uncle Harry and Aunt Mary Lou from Peoria or your old college roommate from Austin, a comfy hotel is the perfect place to tuck them. Our website has listings that reflect all budgets, needs and tastes. And yes, we're certain Santa can find everyone on his list, even if they're not at their usual addresses on Christmas Eve.