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Votes

Worth Noting

NOW THROUGH JAN. 3

<cal2>Santa, angels, the universe and an enchanted forest — the Miracle of Lights — Northern Virginia's only drive-thru holiday light show is now open from 5:30-10:30 p.m. until Jan. 3, 2004. It features holiday theme groups, including Planet Holiday, Victorian Virginia, Noah's Ark, Santa's Woods, The Angel's Playground and The Enchanted Forest and more than two miles of lighted entertainment. Admission is $12 per carload (1-14 people), $25 per commercial van (15-34 people) and $50 per busload (35 or more). Discount coupons are available at www.miracleoflights.com. A portion of the proceeds goes to the Medical Care for Children's Partnership. At Bull Run Regional Park, 7700 Bull Run Drive, Centreville. Call 703-709-KIDS (5437) or visit www.miracleoflights.com.

<cal1>NOW THROUGH DEC. 24

<cal2>Santa will chat with youngsters at Fair Oaks Mall now through Dec. 24 in his holiday home — a 36-foot Fountain Court Tree House growing in the middle of a garden filled with life-sized and life-like animals. Children who visit Santa will receive a complimentary gift. Photo packages are available starting at $10.99 each.

<cal1>NOW THROUGH DEC. 31

<cal2>Sully Decorated in 18th Century Elegance: Experience the main house at Sully while accented with greens and gracefully decorated for an 18th century season of celebration. In the exhibit room, relive the 1885 holiday memories of a young Sully guest seeing the tree decorated in Victorian splendor. House tour included. Everyday except Tuesdays and Christmas Day, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sully Historic Site, 3601 Sully Rd., Chantilly. 703-437-1794. Groups require reservations. $5/Adult, $4/Student, $3/senior or child.

<cal1>THURSDAY/DEC. 4

<cal2>Mothers First — Centreville/Chantilly is a support group for women making the transition from careers to at-home motherhood. Activities include lectures, field trips, moms night out, etc. December meetings are Dec. 4 and Dec. 18 at 10:15 a.m. at the Centreville Regional Library. Call 703-827-5922 or visit www.mothersfirst.org.

<cal1>SATURDAY/DEC. 6

<cal2>Bring the family and enjoy breakfast and a visit with Santa on Saturday, Dec. 6 and Saturday, Dec. 13 at 9 a.m. at the Westfields Marriott Palm Court Restaurant. Reservations required, 703-818-3522. Located at 14750 Conference Center Drive, Chantilly.

Broadway Gallery will hold a Customer Appreciation Night and Holiday Silent Auction on Saturday, Dec. 6 from 6-9 p.m. Broadway Gallery is located at 12231 Fair Lakes Promenade Drive in Fair Lakes. Call 703-273-2388.

Encore Theatrical Arts Project of Chantilly will perform an original holiday show, "Let it Snow," the next two weekends, at the Ernst Community Cultural Center on NOVA's Annandale campus. Tickets are $12 for students and senior citizens and $15 for adults; they're available at the door, or call 703-222-5511.

This family-friendly, musical tale of Santa's elves at the North Pole will be presented Saturday, Dec. 6, at 2, 5 and 8 p.m.; Sunday, Dec. 7, at 1 and 4 p.m.; Friday, Dec. 12, at 8 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 13, at 2, 5 and 8 p.m.; and Sunday, Dec. 14, at 2 p.m.

Enjoy a Holiday Open House on a horse farm this Saturday, Dec. 6, from 11 a.m. -3 p.m. Cost is $10 per person, which includes horse-drawn hayrides, pony rides, riding demonstrations, art show, food and drinks. Music by The Jan Smith Band. Have your picture taken with Santa. There is a 20 percent discount off lessons if you sign up that day. Call 540-687-5255. Visit www.foxchasefarm.net. Shuttle bus available from 1 p.m. for the Middleburg parade ($2 per person). To be held at Fox Chase Farm, 23323 Foxchase Farm Lane, off Route 50, two miles east of Middleburg.

<cal2>The 2003 Clifton Candlelight Homes Tour will be held Saturday, Dec. 6, from 4-7:30 p.m. The five families who have volunteered to have their homes on the tour are Alesia and Jim Harvey, Sarah and Dwayne Nitz, Katherine Kalinowski and Brant Baber, Jo and Bill Watts, and Margie and Royce Jarrendt. Tickets are $15 for adults, $5 for children under 12 (age 3 and under free) and will be sold at shops and restaurants in town, and the Union Mill and Burke Temptations gifts stores. Caroling on Horseback is also Saturday, Dec. 6 at 2 p.m.

A Tree Lighting Ceremony at Ayre Square will take place following the Homes Tours at 7:30 p.m. Raffle tickets will be sold during the tour at the Caboose and the Primitive Baptist Church. ($1/1 ticket or $5/6 tickets or $10/12 tickets). The Second Baptist Senior Choir will be performing at the Primitive Baptist Church again this year. The Rev. Lynne Stanton-Hoyle of the Clifton Presbyterian Church is inviting tour guests to visit the church where a local choir will be performing. For details, call Jennifer Chesley 703-830-2129 or email jen2beach@aol.com or Lynne Garvey Hodge 703-322-1811 or email ghassoc@erols.com.

<cal2>The 14th Annual Model Train Display, sponsored by the Friends of Fairfax Station, will be held on Saturday, Dec. 6, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 7, noon to 4 p.m., at the railroad museum (11200 Fairfax Station Rd. Fairfax Station.) Many different gauges, all moving. Bring your model train problems to the Loco Doctor. Caboose & gift shop open. Refreshments. Cost/$3 adults, $1 children. Call 703-425-9225.

<cal2>The Lane's Mill Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution will meet on Saturday, Dec. 6 at noon for a social time and from 12:30- 3 p.m. for a meeting at the Centreville Library in the Conference Room. The program is on Virginia Page Club and Junior Membership. Lane's Mill is a small but active chapter that offers a broad range of programs on historic preservation and natural conservation, education of our nation's youth, promotion of patriotism, and love of our country. Prospective members and guests are encouraged to attend meetings. Contact Jennifer Smith, Chapter Regent, at 703 961-1030 or visit the chapter site at www.dar.org under "chapters".

<cal1>DEC. 6-7

<cal2>The Institute of Performing Arts for Youth, a non-profit performing dance company in residence at Creative Dance Center II in Ashburn and Creative Dance Center I in Chantilly (IPAY) will be sponsoring their Annual Children ’s Production of "Nutcracker in a Shell — All Jazz’d Up" This production is a shortened version of the Nutcracker, includes jazz, lyrical dance, tap and ballet and will be performed by children from the Ashburn and Chantilly studios for children. The performances will take place Saturday, Dec. 6 at 1 and 4 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 7 at 3:30 p.m. at Farmwell Station Middle School in Ashburn. Ticket prices are adults $8, children (3-10) $6, seniors (+55) $ 6, with children 2 and under free. Tickets are limited so order early. For additional information and/or advance ticket sales, call Ginny Frye at 703-378-1800 or Margaret Otto at 703-724-4900.

<cal1>Dec. 6 and 8

<cal2>Children’s Holiday Shopping: Meet at the Old Floris Schoolhouse then the children will head over to the Country Store where volunteers will help them shop for everybody on their holiday list. The Country Store has many unique items in all price ranges. Free wrapping insures surprises for family and friends. Adults are invited to wait at the schoolhouse. Saturday, 12:30-3:30 p.m./Monday, 2-5 p.m. Frying Pan Park, 2709 West Ox Rd., Herndon. 703-437-3710. Call ahead for groups of six or more.

<cal1>SUNDAY/DEC. 7

<cal2>Celebrate the holiday season with a traditional Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on Sunday, Dec. 7 at 4 p.m. at the Westfields Marriott, located at 14750 Conference Center Drive in Chantilly. Sing carols with the local high school choir, neighbors and other members of the community, while enjoying hot cocoa, spiced cider and milk and cookies. The public is welcome. Call 703-818-0300.

Centreville resident Paula Elsey, editor of the Historical Society Yearbook (the biennial publication of the Historical Society of Fairfax) and editor/author of Stone Ground: A History of Union Mills, will make a presentation on the book on Union Mills, an area in western Fairfax County which never quite coalesced into a permanent community. Elsey will be making a short talk and signing books at the Holiday Book Mart, held at the Fairfax City Regional Library, 3915 Chain Bridge Road, Fairfax, on Sunday, Dec. 7, from 2-4 p.m. Five other Virginia authors will participate. The book mart is free and open to the public. Sponsors of the event are the Friends of the Fairfax City Regional Library and the Virginia Room. Call 703-293-6383.

<cal1>TUESDAY/DEC. 9

<cal2>New Mothers Luncheons are held every Tuesday for mothers and newborn babies to 8 months old. The group meets for lunch, speakers, discussions and fun — a different program every week. Bring a friend or come alone — it's a great way to meet other new moms and babies in the area. Meets Tuesdays from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Il Lupo Italian Restaurant, 4069 Chain Bridge Road, Fairfax. Lunch is $20; four-lunch series is $75. Reservations required. Call Rochelle Goldberg at 703-961-9179 or email: eventbuilders@hotmail.com.

* Tuesday, Dec. 9 — Physical Movement for Infants, Christina Souci, The Little Gym;

* Tuesday, Dec. 16 — Allergies — Your Questions and Answers, Food allergy and Anaphylaxis Network;

* Tuesday, Dec. 23 — No lunch;

* Tuesday, Dec. 30 — No lunch;

* Tuesday, Jan. 6 — Resources for Freebies and Discounts with Rochelle Goldberg;

* Tuesday, Jan. 13 — Attachment — What it is and why it is important for your baby with Lisa Friedman, Ph.D.

* Tuesday, Jan. 20 — Kindermusik with Pam Phillips, Kindermusik of Fairfax;

* Tuesday, Jan. 27 — Sign Language for Infants with Stephanie Steffer of Time to Sign.

<cal1>WEDNESDAY/DEC. 10

<cal2>How should the League of Women Voters of the Fairfax Area, Fairfax Station Unit, direct its attention to two of the four levels of government under study — local and national? The December unit meetings will give members of this grassroots organization the opportunity to open new vistas, and evaluate the League's position as it now stands on issues studied in the past.

The Fairfax Station unit, comprised of residents of Clifton, Fairfax Station and Burke, will meet on Wednesday, Dec. 10 at 9:30 a.m. Everyone is welcome. Call the hostess at 703-690-0908 or the membership chair at 703-335-9723.

For a meeting at a more convenient day or time, call the League office at 703-658-9150.

Amnesty International, Fairfax branch, will celebrate international Human Rights Day on Wednesday, Dec. 10, at 7 p.m. at Big Bowl Restaurant in Reston Town Center. The group will participate in the Amnesty "holiday card action" and mail cards to prisoners of conscience around the world. The "Missing Guest" at the meeting will be Father Ly, a leader imprisoned in Vietnam because of his speaking out for religious freedom. Visitors are welcome to Amnesty International for discussion of cases of political and religious oppression around the world. To make reservations for the Human Rights Day dinner, or for other questions, call 703-830-4194, or write amnestyusafairfax@lycos.com. Contact Alice Foltz, Centreville, 703-830-4194.

<cal1>Dec. 12-13

<cal2>Candlelight Tours—Sully Historic Site: Stroll the candlelit path to the elegant 1794 house of Richard and Elizabeth Collins Lee and discover the spirit of Christmas past through Sully’s 200 year history. The buildings, decorated for a season of celebration, will glow with the splendor of natural candlelight. Seasonal music will echo throughout the halls during the evening. In the main house, engage costumed characters from the past as you encounter the gentry class of the 18th century and see the Victorian Christmas tree. Learn about the holiday traditions of Sully’s enslaved African American community and gather by the fire to hear about life at the quarter. Visit with Confederate troops by the campfire as they recreate a Civil War Christmas in the field. Light refreshments will be served. Friday, 6-8:15 p.m. (last tour)/Saturday, 4:30-8:15 p.m. (last tour). Sully Historic Site, 3601 Sully Rd., Chantilly. 703-437-1794. Prepaid reservations required. $7/Adult, $5/senior or child.

<cal1>FRIDAY/DEC. 12

<cal2>The Home & Garden Club of Virginia Run is sponsoring the eighth Holiday Home Tour. Get into the sounds of the season by touring six Virginia Run homes dressed for the holidays. The Candlelight Tour begins at the Community Center on Friday, Dec. 12, with a wine and cheese reception from 6-8 p.m. The tour is from 6-11 p.m. and the participants are Bill and Pat Duke, Wayne and Chris Hobbs, Larry and Megan Megale, Chris and Diane Mullins, Mike and Katherine Petty and Nancy O'Shea.

Tickets are $20 and may be purchased from Mary-Rose Woodward at 6106 Oakengate Way starting Dec. 9-11, from 7-9 p.m. Tickets will also be sold at the community center at the wine and cheese reception, from 6-8 p.m. Make checks payable to the Virginia Run Home and Garden Club. Contact Mary-Rose Woodward 703-222-2489 or Lvtoocook@aol.com or Judy Kelsen 703-263-0576 or Judy@Kelsen.com.

<cal1>SATURDAY/DEC. 13

<cal2>Girl Scout Cadetts from Troop 3623 will hold a pancake breakfast and homemade craft gift shop on Saturday, Dec. 13 from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at Centreville United Methodist Church. The Scouts are raising money for a trip to Europe in 2005. Tickets are $5/adults, $3/kids ages 3-12, and free for 2 and under.

<cal2>Holidays at Walney Farm: Discover the food eaten and gifts exchanged by the Machen family during the holidays at Walney Farm in the mid-1800s. Drink hot apple cider to drive away the cold while walking to the smokehouse and other outbuildings to see where food was stored and prepared. Ages 10 years and up. 1-2 p.m. Ellanor C. Lawrence Park (Walney), 5040 Walney Rd., Chantilly. 703-631-0013. Reservations required. Free.

See Santa's Trains — The Northern Virginia Model Railroaders Inc. will be holding an open house on Saturday, Dec. 13 from noon until 4 p.m. Come and see the action on Northern Virginia's largest fixed operating "HO" scale model railroad. Featuring award-winning scenery, digital control, sound, smoke, Christmas specials.

The club is located in the historic "Washington & Old Dominion Railroad" station, 231 Dominion Road (on the WO&D Trail) in downtown Vienna. Admission is free. However, donations will be donated to the NoVA Fairfax Ronald McDonald House. Visit the Web site at www.nvmr.org or by e-mail at nvmrinc@hotmail.com, or by calling 703-938-5157 on the day of the open house.

<cal1>DEC. 13-14

<cal2>Centreville High School's PTSA will sponsor the fifth annual Mia Saunders School of Ballet benefit performances of The Nutcracker this December at Centreville High School. Half of the proceeds from the two performances will go to scholarships for graduating Centreville seniors. Last year four $750 scholarships were awarded to Morgan Gammon, Katherine Hahm, Andrea Palombella, and George Panagakos. The other half of the proceeds will go to a charity of Ms. Saunders' choosing. This year she has again selected Western Fairfax Christian Ministries Emergency Services Fund for families in need in Western Fairfax County.

Performances are held in the Centreville High School auditorium on Saturday, Dec. 13 at 2 p.m.; and Sunday, Dec. 14 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $10 adults, $8 seniors, and $6 children/students. Tickets can be purchased at the door or in advance by calling Francine Fuhrer at 830-2558 or Christine Marshall at 222-2988.

<cal1>MONDAY/DEC. 15

<cal2>Centreville Toastmasters is the place to improve your communication and leadership skills. The club meets from 7-8:15 p.m. on Mondays at the Centreville Regional Library. Guests are welcome. Prepared speeches, oral evaluations and impromptu speeches (table topics) will be on the agenda. Upcoming meetings: Mondays, Dec. 15, Jan. 12, and Jan. 26. Call Lynn Griesmer 703-263-2468.

<cal1>TUESDAY/DEC. 16

<cal2>The League of Women Voters of the Fairfax Area presents "More Power to You." The program, comprising sessions explaining how local government works and how it relates to state government, will take place once a month from 7 to 9 p.m. in Fairfax Government Center. The next session will be on Tuesday, Dec. 16. The program costs $25. Those who complete the program will receive a certificate. Pre-registration is required; call 703-227-2231.

The Swan Ballet Dance School of Chantilly will holds its 13th annual performance of "The Nutcracker" on Saturday, Dec. 20 at 1:30 and 7 p.m.; and Sunday, Dec. 21 at 2 p.m. These performances will take place at the Ernst Theatre at NOVA Annandale. Call 703-425-9400.

<cal1>Monday, Dec. 22

<cal2>Sully Holiday Craft — Make A Pomander: Tour the house, which is decorated in the Federal for the holidays. Add spice to your visit by making a clove-studded pomander. Pomanders were used in Colonial times to freshen rooms and storage spaces with the fragrant scent of citrus and spices. Enjoy a holiday treat in the open hearth kitchen. 1:30 p.m. Sully Historic Site, 3701 Sully Rd., Chantilly. 703-437-1794. Pre-paid reservations required. $6/adult/$4/child.

<cal1>MONDAY/DEC. 29

<cal2>The Ship's Company Chanteymen will perform on Monday, Dec. 29 at 2 and 3 p.m. at Sully Historic Site in Chantilly. This jolly band of sailors will perform "A Visit from White Beard," among other favorites. Refreshments will be served in the original 18th century kitchen. All concerts include a house tour. Seating is limited and prepaid reservations are required. Tickets are $7 per seat. Call 703-437-1794.

<cal1>TUESDAY/DEC. 30

<cal2>The Celtic powerhouse IONA will perform Tuesday, Dec. 30 at 1, 2, and 3 p.m. Experience the powerful vocals, compelling flute, whistle and unique harp as they bring the music of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall and France. Bagpipes and Scottish dancing add to the mix. Refreshments will be served in the original 18th century kitchen. All concerts include a house tour. Seating is limited and prepaid reservations are required. Tickets are $7 per seat. Call 703-437-1794.