With Thanksgiving now over, the countdown to Christmas is in full swing and there are events throughout Royse City and Rockwall County marking the days left until the arrival of jolly, old Santa Claus.

• Today, the Royse City fire and police departments are holding a toy drive benefiting Rockwall Helping Hands and Toys for Tots. The first responders will be accepting toys and monetary donations from 6-9 p.m. in the police department parking lot at 100 W. Main St. in Royse City. Representatives from the U.S. Marines will be in attendance in support of Toys for Tots. 

• On Dec. 6, Royse City businesses are hosting a block party with Santa at Bob Ellis Insurance Services, 115 FM 2453 in Royse City, from 4-6 p.m. The block party includes pictures and story time with jolly, old Saint Nick himself, warm drinks and sweets and an office decorating contest. 

• Also on Dec. 6, the city of Fate will host its community Christmas tree lighting from 6-8 p.m. at Fate City Hall, 1900 C.D. Boren Pkwy. The free event will feature food, crafts and more. Visit cityoffate.com/christmastreelighting to volunteer or for more information. 

• On Dec. 7, the Royse City Ag Supporters will host a pancake breakfast with Santa at the Royse City First United Methodist Church, 305 N. Josephine St. in Royse City, from 8-10 a.m. The breakfast plate is $5 and will benefit Royse City FFA students. 

• Also on Dec. 7, Santa will make a stop at Fate Family Dental, 7406 W. Hwy 66, from 1:30-3 p.m. for pictures and hot chocolate.

•Also on that day, the Kiwanis Club of Rockwall County kicks off its annual “Golden Christmas Memories” Christmas Parade at 9 a.m. and will feature Christmas-themed floats from area nonprofits, businesses and more. For more information, visit rockwallkiwanis.org.  

• Lastly on Dec. 7, Christmas will takeover Downtown Rockwall during “Hometown Christmas.” The event, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., will feature Santa Claus, a skating rink, food trucks and more throughout the downtown area. In the evening, Rockwall Parks and Recreation will have a Christmas tree lighting event from 6-8 p.m. at Rockwall City Hall, 385 S. Goliad St. Attendees will be able to create their ornaments and holiday decorations and holiday treats, all for free. 

• On Dec. 13-14, The Downtown Rockwall Association hosts the Second Annual Holiday Home Tour, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. both days. Tickets for the holiday home tour are $20 and can be purchased at Enjoy, Bella’s House and Bunches.

• Also on Dec. 14, Santa Claus makes a stop at Cookston Court in Royse City from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. to visit and take photos with area kids. In the evening, the Royse City Christmas parade kicks off at 6:30 p.m. from Ruth Cherry Intermediate School. From there, the parade will head west on Highway 66 and through downtown Royse City. 

• Lastly on Dec. 14, Wreaths Across America has joined with Rest Haven Funeral Home and Memorial Park to remember and honor veterans who have passed away. Wreaths will be laid at the graves of the fallen veterans in a ceremony starting at 11 a.m. at Rest Haven Memorial Park, 2005 Hwy 66 E. in Rockwall. To sponsor a wreath or for more information, visit wreathsacrossamerica.org. 

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