Festive and fun events for your holiday calendar

Happy Holidays! Here’s a round-up of safe and festive events and classes for adults and for all ages. All are free, unless otherwise indicated. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 19

Cool Yule Tip: Would you like to serve a traditional Buche de Noel / Yule Log cake for the Winter Solstice on Monday, December 21st? Order your cake today from your local La Madeleine ($34.99) for pickup on Monday.

National Wreaths Across America. All veterans cemeteries. Click the link to volunteer.

Reston Town Center live, outdoor  entertainment. Roving Holiday Performers, Market Street  12PM-4PM Holiday characters, stilt walkers, and jugglers. Carolers Town Square Park  1PM-3PM Acapella quartet performing holiday favorites.

ONLINE Wolf Trap Holiday Sing-A-Long 4 p.m. STREAMING LIVE ONLINE.  This annual musical celebration reprises this evening with an all-new performance of Christmas carols and Hanukkah songs with choir and vocal groups from the metropolitan Washington area. Sing along while remaining safer at home.

Fairfax Symphony and Fairfax Ballet present The Nutcracker. 4 p.m. George Mason University Center for the Performing Arts. $39 – $89.

Mansion House Christmas Candlelight Tour – Carlyle House, Alexandria. 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. Tickets required.

Sunday, December 20. Fourth Day of Advent

Today is Go Caroling Day

Cool Yule Tip: Today is the USPS recommended deadline for mailing holiday greeting cards.

Northern Virginia Ukulele Ensemble plays holiday favorites next to the Reston Town Center Tree (outdoors) Noon – 2 pm.

Beltway Brass quintet performs holiday favorites 2 pm – 4 pm in Town Square Park, Reston Town Center.

National Online Class: Setting Up a Wellness Mindset (with planners) 2 p.m. Make wellness a priority. The key to success is building a plan to guide you to the best practices that’ll work for you. Learn the tips and tricks with Nita from @neatlyplanned as she guides you through setting up your Happy Planner to target inner peace and mental wellness, mindfulness, gratitude, etc. Free.

Washington National Cathedral Joy of Christmas Concert. 3 pm – 4 pm. Online. The Cathedral Choral Society performs carols in this cinemantic production. This concert is available on the Cathedral Choral Society’s Facebook and YouTube pages.

Michael’s National Online Class: Budget Building: Using your Happy Planner to Achieve your 2021 Finance Goal. 4 pm The new year is the perfect time to get your finances in order. We’re recovering from post-holiday spending and need that fresh start to manifest financial goals, manage budgeting, and start saving. The Happy Planner has planners and accessories to help you organized and track expenses while motivating you to reach your savings goals. Get tips on how to use these tools to your advantage and learn the best practices with Christine from @twinkleplansherday.

Washington National Cathedral Advent Service (live, online). 6 p.m. Contemplative and inspirational service of prayer and music shaped by the words of the prophet Isaiah. Live each Sunday evening in Advent, on website or YouTube channel.

Monday, December 21. Winter Solstice

Cool Yule Tip: Today is the USPS recommended deadline for mailing Priority Mail packages.

Saturn and Jupiter conjunct in Aquarius, a significant astrological event, also known as the “Christmas Star.”

Tuesday, December 22. 

Today is National Christmas Cookie Exchange Day

ZOOM ONLINE Class: Holiday Trivia Happy Hour!  5:30 p.m. – 6:45 p.m. Sponsored by the Reston Public Library and featuring special holiday categories. Free but you must register. Registration opens on December 8. An invitation to join this online Zoom event will be sent to registered participants 24 hours before the event.

ZOOM Online Family Holiday Karaoke. 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Sponsored by Chantilly Public Library. Grab a pretend microphone and get ready to show off your singing skills during our holiday karaoke. A Zoom link to this event will be emailed to registrants. Registration is required (R). All ages are welcome, one registration per family. Register now; limited space.

Wednesday, December 23. Festivus.

Today is National Pfferneusse Day!

Make a Winter Sensory Bottle and Snowball Pom Pom online crafts class 5 p.m. – 6 p.m. All ages. Free. Register on Michaels Crafts website.
Washington National Cathedral ONLINE Christmas Lessons & Carols Service. 6 p.m. – 7 p.m. Through readings from Holy Scripture, favorite hymns, instrumental music, we move from Creation to the manger in Bethlehem, telling the ancient story of God’s continued love as shown in Christ in this online service.

Thursday, December 24. Christmas Eve.

Today is National Egg Nog Day and it is also Dr Fauci’s Birthday!

U.S. Botanic Garden Online Cooking Demo: Decadent Desserts. 12 p.m. – 12:15 p.m. Free; link.

Washington National Cathedral ONLINE Family Christmas Service. 12 p.m. – 1 p.m. This joyful online service of carols, prayers, and the Nativity story is told from the Bishop’s Garden—and includes live animals!
ONLINE Manassas Ballet presents The Nutcracker. 7:30 p.m. $25. Purchase advance, on-demand tickets from Vimeo; 30-day viewing period. Note: from the trailer, this looks really good!
Washington National Cathedral ONLINE Christmas Eve Holy Eucharist. 8 p.m. – 9 p.m. One of the Cathedral’s most beautiful services of the year is presented online. Readings from Holy Scripture, favorite hymns and seasonal choral and instrumental music all herald the birth of Christ.

Friday, December 25. Merry Christmas!

Today is also National Pumpkin Pie Day!

ONLINE Washington National Cathedral Christmas Day Organ Recital 12 Noon – 1 p.m. Program of festive music.

Saturday, December 26. Kwanzaa.

Today is Thank You Note Day and Candy Cane Day.

Sunday, December 27.

National Fruitcake Day. Make Cut Out Snowflakes Day. 

Washington National Cathedral Online Retreat: Moving Mindfully Into the New Year. 2 p.m. – 5 p.m. Explore ways to take stock of the old year while looking forward to the new through guided meditations, individual reflections and shared ritual. Remember and release 2020 and set our intentions for 2021. A Zoom link and password along with any relevant materials for the program will be sent to you before the program. Advanced registration is required; registration closes at 5 pm EDT on December 26

Michael’s National Online Class: Setting and Tracking your Intentions for 2021 Using your Happy Planner. 4 p.m. 2021 is going to be our year, we can feel it! Let’s put the past behind us and set new intentions for a fresh start. Take this opportunity to reset and put your goals back in motion with Mary Ellen from @planningwithbumble. Use your Happy Planner to keep you on track while also giving you space to reflect and overcome any challenges that lies ahead. We don’t know what’s in store but we can manage how we will feel about it, so learn the best practices to becoming your best self! Free but registration required. 

Monday, December 28. 

Today is National Call a Friend Day

Michael’s National Online Class: Ready Set, Reset, Go! Using Your Happy Planner Gear to set your New Year, Accessories and Extension Packs. Free. 4 pm – 5 pm. New year, new you! Always wanted to get into planning? Hoping for some more organization tips for a clear mind? This is the perfect time to get into gear and learn how to use your Happy Planner, accessories, and extension packs to suit you the best. With endless customization options and accessories to elevate your game, learn the best practices with Heather Kell from @kellofaplan. It can be overwhelming to get started so get a crash course from an expert!

Tuesday, December 29

Michaels Crafts National Online Class: Wellness Wins! Building and Tracking a Healthy Lifestyle Using your Happy Planner. 2 p.m. Learn the building blocks to wellness and find the best practices that work for you. Track progress and keep your mind in check using The Happy Planner to bring wellness into your life. For beginners and advanced planner users.

Washington National Cathedral online presentation: Christmastide. 4 p.m. – 5 p.m. Christmas is not just a day, but an entire season—the Twelve Days of Christmas—that lasts until January 6. Docent Lori Amos explores Christmas images and symbolism, both inside and outside the Cathedral, which can help us to experience the familiar Christmas story in new ways. Registrants will be sent information with a Zoom login.

Wednesday, December 30 Cold Moon Full Moon.

Today is Bacon Day


Thursday, December 31. New Year’s Eve.

Today is Champagne Day

Cool Yule Tip: The long-range weather forecast for New Year’s Eve 2020 predicts a cold night with possible inclement weather. Please make your plans accordingly and if possible, remain safer at home.

Cool Yule Tip: Today is the last day to register for the First Day Hike Contest sponsored by Virginia State Parks.

Today is the LAST day to walk through the Pathway of Peace and see the National Christmas Tree on the mall, Washington, DC.

U.S. Botanic Garden Online Cooking Demo: Brilliant Brunch. 12 p.m. – 12:15 p.m. Free; link to watch.

Meadowlark Garden Winter Walk of Lights is open from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. $8 – $13. Vienna.

Bull Run Festival of Lights (drive-through) is open 5:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. $20 – $25/car. Bull Run Regional Park, Centreville.

Ice and Lights: Winter Village at Cameron Run is open 5 p.m. – 11 p.m. $5 for the village, plus $8 for optional skating and $4 skate rental. Alexandria.

Busch Gardens “Christmas Celebration” is open, as of this writing, until 10 p.m.

25th First Night Alexandria Festival. The street festival, mutliple venue expereince will not be offered this year. Instead, customers can choose from a drive-in experience with no live performances or a live stream link ($20) of the event. Even the fireworks will be pre-recorded.

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