TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Celebrate the holiday season with the Cherokee Nation during the month of December.

On Friday, Dec. 2 enjoy the annual “Christmas on the Square” from 4 to 6 p.m. featuring ornament decorating, Christmas caroling, cookies and hot apple cider, photos with Santa and more.

The event was originally slated for Thursday but will now coincide with the Tahlequah Christmas Parade on Friday, which begins at 6 p.m.

Those visiting the square are encouraged to stop by the Cherokee National History Museum to learn more about the first Cherokee Christmas, which took place in 1805, when Moravian missionaries were invited by Cherokee James Vann to his home in Georgia. The exhibit runs through the end of December and showcases not only how those Cherokee traditions began, but also shows how quickly they grew in popularity.

On Dec. 10 the Cherokee National History Museum will host its Second Saturday Artist Showcase from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. featuring traditional Cherokee basketry with Cherokee National Treasure Thelma Forrest.

Also on Dec. 10, enjoy a pottery demonstration from 1 – 4 p.m. with Cherokee artist Carrie Lind at the Cherokee Nation Anna Mitchell Cultural & Welcome Center in Vinita.

Make-and-take Christmas crafts will be offered at the Cherokee National History Museum every Saturday leading up to Christmas, featuring cornhusk doll ornaments on Dec. 3, basket ornaments on Dec. 10 and gourd ornaments on Dec. 17.

Admission, activities and demonstrations are open to the public and offered at no cost.

Cherokee Nation museums are open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For information on Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism, including museum operations, please call (877) 779-6977 or visit www.VisitCherokeeNation.com.