STEPHENVILLE - The spirit of the holiday season and the magic of the planetarium on the campus of Tarleton State University combine for a special presentation of shows, Dec. 5-13.

“Season of Light,” the annual holiday show, will be presented at various times, including: Dec. 5 and 6 at 12:30, 2 and 7 p.m.; Dec. 9 and 11 at 2 p.m.; Dec. 10 at 1 and 2:30 p.m.; Dec. 12 at 1, 2:30 and 7 p.m.; and on Dec. 13 at 1 and 7 p.m. Admission is free.

“Our holiday show, ‘Season of Light’, is about the coldest and darkest of seasons?a season which holds some of the warmest and brightest celebrations of the year,” said Larry Barr, planetarium manager.

Narrated by National Public Radio’s Noah Adams, the show traces the development of many of the world’s endearing holiday customs, and how they involve lighting up the winter season. Whether it’s the burning of the Yule log, the sparkling Christmas tree lights or the lighting of the menorah, each brings a spark of brightness into the dark and cold environment.

The show also recounts the religious and cultural rituals practiced during the time of winter solstice?not only Christian and Jewish, but also Celtic, pagan, Nordic, Roman, Egyptian and Hopi. It also takes a look at some of our more light-hearted seasonal traditions?from gift-giving and kissing under the mistletoe to songs about lords a-leaping and ladies dancing; and the custom of decking the halls with greenery and candles. St. Nicholas, Sinterklaas, Kris Kringle, Father Christmas and Santa Claus all drop by as well.

“The show has been very well-attended in the past and has developed into something of a Christmas tradition, like the movie ‘It’s a Wonderful Life,’ with folks coming back every year,” Barr said. “Since our seating is limited to 56 people, and we don’t make reservations, they know to come early.”