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Five Things You Need to Know Today: Dec. 11

An early Hanukkah event, a holiday gift drive and lots of music concerts.

1. Hands-on Hanukkah.  will host a pre-Hanukkah learning afternoon for families and children. The event, which runs from 3 p.m. - 5 p.m., will include crafts, a cooking project for adults and Hanukkah music. 

2. Music everywhere! There are a number of concerts happening in Newton today including shows by the Newton Family Singers, the Cambridge Chamber Sings, Youth pro Musica as well as a Latin-American Holiday Concert. . 

3. Holiday gift drive. The is holding a holiday gift drive now through Dec. 16. Shoppers can drop off new, unwrapped toys and clothing for children and teens. Items can be dropped off at the mall's Simon Guest Services desk. 

4. Win $100,000 for Newton schools! Patch's Deck the House contest has started! To enter, just decorate your house, submit a photo here and get your friends to vote for you! If you are one of 24 Patch-wide finalists, you will receive $500 toward your December electric bill. If you are the overall, grand prize winner, Newton Public Schools will receive $100,000!

5. L'Aroma's latest exhibit. Have you seen the newest art exhibit at in West Newton? Newton North junior Daniel Seaward currently has his work on display. Seaward received a Gold Key award last year in the Boston Globe Scholastic Art Awards. L'Aroma is open today from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

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