Dog Tales: The Dogs Trust will host this storytelling and crafts session about safety around dogs and responsible dog ownership. For ages 5-10. 2-3pm, Gilmerton Library, 13 Newtoft Street.

Salt Yard outside wall sign

Messy Nativity! 4-5.30pm, Saltyard Cafe, 158 Dalry Road. Also at same times on Tuesday 23rd and Wednesday 24th December 2014.

Greenman’s Grotto at The Secret Herb Garden: instead of Santa asking a child ‘what do you want for Christmas?’, why not allow a child the chance to hear how to respect and care for something really special – a tree? Enter the enchanted glasshouse and follow a fairy path to a hidden natural grotto where the Greenman awaits; once here choose a bare root tree from six indigenous species: alder, rowan. silver birch, oak, scots pine or hawthorn. The Greenman will help you to pot up your tree and to choose a stone or shell to keep with it; there will also be advice on how to nurture your gift. Allow the tree to become part of your life, grow together through the changing seasons, and witness the magic unfold. 10am-4pm, The Secret Herb Garden, 32a Old Pentland Road, EH10 7EA (for more information re location see the Secret Herb Garden’s website or call 07525 069773). £5 per child or adult, no booking required. Also at same times on Tuesday 23rd December 2014.

St John's Church Blue Sky

Christmas in the City: carols and more. 6pm, St John’s Episcopal Church, Princes Street.

Festive crafts for children: 3pm, Piershill Library, 30 Piershill Terrace. All welcome!

lauriston castle

Festive Felt: come and make unique felt decorations at the castle, and learn how to personalise them with lots of different craft materials, simple stitches or even natural items foraged from the grounds. An event for all the family: children must be accompanied by at least one adult, and both adult and child will require a ticket. Children under 3 attend free provided they are coming with at least one paying sibling. 10.30am-12.30pm, Lauriston Castle, 2a Cramond Road South. £5 per person: bookings must be made via the Usher Hall website, in person, by phone (0131 228 1155) or online.

dundas st gallery

December 22: The Experience of Landscape – A Painting Expo. Works by Mairi Clarke, Constanza Dessain, Duncan Fisher, Finlay Graham, Simon Morison, Charles Murray Brown, Sarah Robinson and Rosemary Walker. Opening party tonight, 6.30pm, Dundas Street Gallery, 6 Dundas Street, then until 3rd January 2015 (afternoon only 26th December and 1st & 2nd January, closed 25th December).

Music Among The Trees: Duo Aulos. Maltese flute duo Laura Cioffi and Clara Galea entertain visitors to the Edinburgh Christmas Tree Festival. 12 noon-1pm and 2-3pm, Sanctuary, St Andrew’s and St George’s West Church, 13 George Street. Free: all welcome.

Image: Lofty
Image: Lofty

Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols: 7.30pm, St Mary’s Cathedral, Palmerston Place.

St John’s Portobello Open Doors: the church plans to be open and warm all day, with music playing quietly and Advent and Christmas readings on offer, for people to pop in for a time of quiet on the busiest of pre-Christmas days. St John’s RC Church, 35 Brighton Place, Portobello.  Also planning to be open on Tuesday 23rd December 2014.

Coffee Club: tea, coffee, home baking and a warm welcome to all! 10-11am, Session Room, Portobello and Joppa Parish Church, Brunstane Road North. £1.50 per person. The group also arranges four outings a year to places of interest in Scotland.