Q: Holiday shopping, which usually gives me a warm, fuzzy rush, has left me feeling cold, empty – and broke. I need an injection of holiday spirit.
A: If buying tickets for Carnegie Hall feels too much like shopping, take solace in this short list of free concerts that will fill washed-up consumers with glee.
* At Lincoln Center’s annual tree-lighting ceremony, bass Samuel Ramey joins Big Bird, Telly Monster, and jazz-vocalese icons Jon Hendricks and Annie Ross. Also featured: Jamaican drummers, Ernest Borgnine, and new music by Tania León and Tom Cabaniss. (December 3 at 7 p.m.; Lincoln Center Plaza, Broadway at 63rd Street.)
* Cantors Rebecca Garfein, mezzo-soprano, and Jennifer Frost, soprano, lead excerpts of Handel’s Judas Maccabaeus, the 1746 oratorio about the hero of the Hanukkah story. (December 10 at 6 p.m.; Congregation Rodeph Sholom, 7 West 83rd Street.)
* George Steel conducts the VOX Vocal Ensemble in “An Italian Renaissance Christmas,” with works by Palestrina, Philips, Dering, and Clemens. (December 14 at 6 p.m.; Casa Italiana, Columbia University, 1161 Amsterdam Avenue, at 116th Street.)
* The St. Francis Singers perform “Christmas Favorites,” including works by Geoffrey Ballet, Guillaume Costeley, William Billings, and Robert Smith, and carols from England, France, Germany, and America. (December 16 at 1:15 p.m.; Church of St. Francis of Assisi, 135 West 31st Street.)
* The Manhattan Chamber Orchestra and Choir of Sacred Music perform “Treasures of Christmas Past,” including Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 2, Saint-Saëns’s Christmas Oratorio, Vivaldi’s “Winter,” and Handel’s Messiah. (December 17 at 7:30 p.m.; the Church of the Holy Innocents, 128 West 37th Street.)
* Experimental-theater group DZIECI presents A Fool’s Mass, a musical tale of bereft village idiots during the Plague. It features one dead pastor and an innovative mass with comic audience participation along with sacred medieval hymns. (December 23 at 1:15 p.m.; Lower Church, Church of St. Francis of Assisi, 135 West 31st Street.)