View Photo Gallery: Don’t let another holiday season pass in a blur of colored light and tinsel. Mark your calendars for these popular annual traditions.

Returning to the office a long holiday weekend (come on, it’s not like you accomplished anything on Black Friday, even if you had to report) is the professional equivalent of finding a stale fig in your fruit log. But the four week sprint between Cyber Monday and Christmas Eve is unusual in that it’s imbued with that hard-to-define spirit known as holiday cheer.

The weeks ahead are decked with holiday parties, spiced Christmas ales, potato latkes, trips to the Christmas tree farm and enough surplus calories to power Santa’s sleigh, all of which help take the sting out of the dropping temperatures and early sunsets. We’ve also got plenty of holiday events to look forward to: tree lightings, parades, light displays, jazz concerts and outdoor ice rinks. We rounded up 25 of the most cheer-inspiring holiday events in the gallery above.

More from the 2012 Holiday Guide:

Cut-your-own Christmas tree farms

2012 Ski Guide