As the hours of sunlight dwindle and the calendar draws closer to Christmas, Catholics have plenty of options when it comes to ways to celebrate this season of joyful anticipation. Daley Center Nativity scene For the 35th year, a large Nativity scene will be on display on Daley Plaza, giving tourists, visitors to the Christkindlmarket and Loop workers a glimpse of what the Christmas holiday is about. The display is installed on the Saturday after Thanksgiving and remains in place until just after Christmas. Installing, taking down and caring for the display is the work of a volunteer group known as the God Squad. For more information, visit chicagonativityscene.com. More Nativity scenes Loyola University Museum of Art, 820 N. Michigan Ave., is hosting its annual “Stories of the Crèche: The Collection of James and Emilia Govan” exhibit through Jan. 5, 2020. The exhibit, featuring Nativity scenes from more than 40 countries and a Chicago Nativity complete with the skyline and Holy Name Cathedral, is open Wednesday-Friday 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Closed Dec. 25 through Jan. 1. Lessons and Carols Several archdiocesan parishes host Lessons and Carols, a devotion that dates to the late 19th century and includes Scripture reading, music and prayer. This year, Loyola University Chicago will hold a service in Dec. 7 at 4 p.m. in Madonna della Strada Chapel on the Lakeshore Campus (tickets $10, visit artsevents.luc.edu for details).St. John Cantius, 825 N. Carpenter St., will hold its service at 7 p.m. Dec. 14 (ticket prices range from $5 to $15, visit cantius.org for details). St. Edward Parish, 4350 W. Sunnyside Ave., will host Marian Lessons and Carols on Dec. 8, the feast of the Immaculate Conception, at 4 p.m., free-will donation). Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe Many, if not most, parishes will offer special Masses for the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the Americas, on Dec. 12, and dozens will celebrate with “mañanitas,” songs to the Virgin Mary, in the pre-dawn hours. For a special observance, head to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Des Plaines. Each year, more than 200,000 pilgrims from around the world visit the shrine for the feast day. The Des Plaines shrine has an exact replica of the image of the Virgen de Guadalupe donated by the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City. That image is believed to have been given to San Juan Diego by the apparition of Mary in 1531. Events start the weekend before the Dec. 12 feast day with a pilgrimage on horseback, which was to take place this year on Dec. 7. Then there are novena Masses at 7 p.m. each night that started Dec. 3. For the feast itself, there are a dozen Masses — indoor and outdoor; English, Spanish and bilingual — from 6 p.m. Dec. 11 to 8 p.m. Dec. 12. Simbang Gabi Filipino Catholics will host Simbang Gabi Masses at dozens of parishes throughout the archdiocese. The traditional pre-Christmas novena to the Blessed Mother starts Dec. 15 and runs through Dec. 23. While the Masses were originally celebrated before dawn in the Philippines, now Simbang Gabi Masses are usually held in the evening. Most parishes also host fellowship afterward. For information and a schedule of Masses, visit aci.archchicago.org/events/simbang-gabi. Posadas Latino Catholics often celebrate a novena of pilgrimages starting Dec. 16, reenacting Joseph and Mary’s search for shelter. At the end of the pilgrimage, after being refused several times, Joseph and Mary are allowed in and there is a celebration with sweets and hot drinks. Many archdiocesan parishes host their own posadas. This year, the archdiocese’s Immigration Ministry will host its 14th annual posada for immigration reform Dec. 13 from 7 to 9 a.m., starting at the U.S. Customs and Immigration Service office at 101 W. Congress/Ida B. Wells Parkway, proceeding through several stops in the Loop and ending at St. Peter’s in the Loop, 110 W. Madison St. For information, visit pvm.archchicago.org/human-dignity-solidarity/immigration-ministry/about-us. Oplatki Many Polish, Lithuanian and Slovak Catholic families celebrate Christmas Eve by sharing an “oplatki,” or special Christmas wafer, before the family meal. The large wafers are similar to a Communion host, prefiguring the eucharistic meal that is to come at Christmas Mass. Several parishes sell oplatki; they also can be purchased online. Midnight Mass Check with your parish to find out what time Midnight Mass starts. While most start at midnight, some parishes have shifted to an earlier, though still late-night, start to the first Mass of Christmas to make attendance easier. Many parishes have carols before Mass starts. Epiphany In many communities, Epiphany is celebrated as “Little Christmas” or “Three Kings Day” with cake, sweets or neighborhood processions. Check with your parish or neighboring parishes to find out what’s going on for this feast day.