It doesn’t take much to get me in the holiday spirit. I love getting together with my family. I love Christmas songs, and, of course, I love stuffing my face.

That doesn’t mean, however, that I’m immune from the stress that inevitably comes along with the excitement.

Did you know that you can get sap all over your car from loading a live tree in the back?

Also, as great as I am at eating, I’m not the best cook. While getting ready for a party, I’ve had to make more than one batch of cookies or appetizers, because I either forgot to put in a key ingredient or simply burnt them to sad little crisps. Or, I’ve been known to underestimate the time it takes to make a dish — like last year when I showed up almost two hours late to Friendsgiving with steaming hot twice-basked potatoes that nobody wanted to eat with their slices of pumpkin pie.

But rather than let it bum me out, I’ve learned some strategies for maintaining my jolliness, my favorite of which is going to see a holiday show. Taking a couple of hours out of this season’s extra busy schedule to listen to an orchestra play holiday music or watch ballerinas flutter across the stage dressed as Christmas toys never disappoints. And, there are plenty of productions (including the one that is this week’s main feature) worth checking out. Here are few to keep in mind:

— Monongalia Arts Center’s MACglee group will perform a free “Christmas Choral Concert” at 2 p.m. Sunday at Avery United Methodist Church, 1152 Canyon Road. The show is family friendly and a donation of $5 is suggested. Parking is available. Avery United Methodist Church is at 1152 Cheat Road. Info: monartscenter.com.

— West Virginia Public Theatre has chosen to do “A Christmas Carol” for it’s holiday production this year. Catch Scrooge and the Cratchits for four performances in the Lyell B. Clay Concert Theatre at the WVU Creative Arts Center. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Dec. 14-16 and 2 p.m. Dec. 17. Call the box office at 304-293-SHOW (7469) or visit ticketmaster.com. Ticket prices range from $13-$21. Adult, child and group rates available.

Alchemy Dance Project will also present a contemporary version of the Dickens’ classic with “Ebenezer” at 8 p.m. Dec. 14-16 and 2 p.m. Dec. 16-17 at M.T. Pockets Theatre. The semi-professional dance company’s version has all the heartwarming trappings of the original, but it also adds a dose of creepiness. I mean, this is a drama in which a mean old man is visited by a handful of ghosts. For info and tickets, visit mtpocketstheatre.com.

— The West Virginia Symphony Orchestra will bring its “Home for the Holidays” concert to the WVU Creative Arts Center at 7:30 p.m. Monday. WVSO, conducted by Grant Cooper, will play songs like “Away in a Manger” and “Sleigh Ride” as well as selections from “The Polar Express.” Tickets are available at wvsymphony.org or 304-293-SHOW (7469). All tickets cost $25.

Lindsey Fleming is a writer/copy editor for The Dominion Post. Email her at lfleming@dominionpost.com.