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Calendar

Send announcements to the Gazette, by e-mail to gazette@connectionnewspapers.com; by fax to 703-917-0991; or by mail to 1604 King St., Alexandria VA 22314. Photos and artwork are encouraged. Deadline is Friday at noon for the following week's paper. Call Rebecca Halik at 703-917-6407 with questions.

Thursday/Dec. 14

The Kissing Ball. Steal a kiss beneath the kissing ball this festive season. We’ll tell the story of this Victorian alternative to mistletoe and use evergreens from the gardens to create these fragrant holiday decorations from 1-3 p.m. at Green Spring Gardens, 4603 Green Spring Road. A traditional English tea follows the program. $24/person. For reservations, call Historic Green Spring at 703-941-7987, TTY 703-324-3988 or visit www.greenspring.org.

Holiday Music. The Award Winning TC Williams Orchestra will be performing their winter concert at 7:30 p.m. in the TC Williams Auditorium. The concert is free and open to the public. A free will donation to help with the orchestra's coming Spring trip will be accepted. For further information, contact Brian McCormick 202-297-3968.

Music Event. A free music event "Crescendo Noonday Concert Series: The Organists of Old Town" will be at noon for 30 minute recitals at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 228 S. Pitt St., Alexandria. Perofrmance by Jason Abel from Christ Church. Performances are on the church's pipe organ. For more information, call 703-549-3312.

Thursday Art Night. From 6-9 p.m. treat yourself to an evening filled with chocolate indulgence where chocolate is the main attraction at Torpedo Factory, 105 N. Union St., Alexandria. Participate in a fun scavenger hunt with prizes. Also experience first-hand the sculpture casting process as Chris Erney of studio 336 produces a mold of his large-scale angel sculpture Angel of Night. Browse open studios, interact with the artists, and enjoy refreshments. The event is free and open to the public. Visit www.torpedofactory.org for more information.

Bilingual Story Time. 11 a.m. at A Likely Story Children's Bookstore, 1555 King St., Alexandria. Spanish stories with coloring activities and hands on fun. 703-836-2498 or visit www.alikelystorybooks.com for more.

Holiday Luncheon. The Mount Vernon Republican Women will be holding their ChristmasHoliday Luncheon at the Mount Vernon Country Club, Old Mill Road, at 11:30 with lunch served at noon. The guest speaker will be the CEO and President of World Wide USO Headquarters. $25/person. All spouses, guests, and interested community members are invited. For information, call Debbie Fountain, 703 780-5942.

Fundraiser. Chipotle will have a fundraiser for West Potomac High School from 5-8 p.m. at its new store, 6770 Richmond Highway in the Beacon Mall. A $5 donation will be rewarded with a gourmet burrito and a drink. All the money raised will go towards the athletic department. 703-660-9214.

Friday/Dec. 15

Santa Railway Express. Ride with Santa from King Street Station to Old Town Manassas and back on two Fridays before Christmas. The train departs King Street Train Station in Alexandria at 1:25 p.m. and travels to Old Town Manassas Train Station. Passengers will disembark for holiday stories and treats. The train returns to King Street at 3:30 p.m. Tickets are $15.00 each and are on sale now exclusively at Whistle Stop Hobbies. Children will receive a special goody bag and holiday memories that will last a lifetime.

Music Performance. 7 p.m. Thomas Jefferson Science & Technology High School Choir will perform holiday music at City Hall, 301 King St., Alexandria. Free. For additional information call the City’s Special Events Hotline at 703-883-4686.

Special Santa Workshop. 7 p.m. at A Likely Story Children's Bookstore, 1555 King St., Alexandria. Free. Keep children entertained and educated with special story times while you shop. 703-836-2498 or visit www.alikelystorybooks.com for more.

Wiggle Story Time. 11 a.m. at A Likely Story Children's Bookstore, 1555 King St., Alexandria. Join with your little one who likes to get up and go. This is going to be a movement class sprinkled with a few stories. 703-836-2498 or visit www.alikelystorybooks.com for more.

Music Performance. The Alban Chorale will perform at 8 p.m. at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 228 S. Pitt St., Alexandria. $12 suggested donation. For more information, call 703-549-3312.

Holiday Feast. Mount Vernon United Methodist Church, 2006 Belle View Blvd., Alexandria, will host a Renaissance Christmas Feast and Madrigal Dinner. The prime rib banquet will be held in Laughlin Fellowship Hall, and the church's choirs will perform carols and dances of the period. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25, and advanced purchase is required. Call 703-765-1100 or e-mail mvumc.office@verizon.net to purchase tickets.

Saturday/Dec. 16

Canoeing and Sundaes. From 12:30-1:30 p.m. join the YMCA Alexandria at 420 East Monroe Ave. in Alexandria for canoeing and sundaes with Santa. There will be a Great Toy Adventure from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. where parents can see the latest toys for the holiday season. Contact Linda Blake at 703-838-8095 for more information.

Music Performance. Rick Whithead Jazz Trio will be performing at 9 p.m. at 219 Restaurant, 219 King St., Alexandria. Led by guitarist Rick Whitehead, the trio will include bassist John Previti and as special guest, drummer Leonard Cuddy. $5/person. Call 703-549-1141.

Theater Performance. The Ballet Arts Ensemble of Fairfax will present “Nutcracker in a Nutshell,” a condensed version of the classic holiday ballet at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center, 3001 N. Beauregard St. Advanced tickets for all shows are $15 and are available by calling 703-273-5344. Tickets will also be available at the door for $18. For more information on “Nutcracker in a Nutshell” or the Ballet Arts Ensemble of Fairfax, visit www.thecenterforballetarts.com or call 703-273-5344.

Holiday Feast. Mount Vernon United Methodist Church, 2006 Belle View Blvd., Alexandria, will host a Renaissance Christmas Feast and Madrigal Dinner. The prime rib banquet will be held in Laughlin Fellowship Hall, and the church's choirs will perform carols and dances of the period. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25, and advanced purchase is required. Call 703-765-1100 or e-mail mvumc.office@verizon.net to purchase tickets.

Sunday/Dec. 17

Holiday Music Performance. From 3-5 p.m. enjoy music by "The Colonial Ringers and the Canterbury Ringers" at the Lyceum, 201 S. Washington St., Alexandria. Free. Visitors will also be able to give a try with the music bells. Call Bob Schurk at 703-838-4994.

Christmas Candlelight Service. 7 p.m. Alexandria Presbyterian Church, 2405 Russell Road, Alexandria, will hold its annual Christmas Candlelight Service with choirs and instrumentalists, the Belmont Brass, and carol singing

by candlelight. A reception will follow. For information, call

703-683-3348 or visit www.alexandriapres.org.

Holiday Music Performance. 2 p.m. Hazamir of Alexandria Choir will perform a Hanukkah Concert and Alexandria Kleztet with contemporary and traditional Jewish holiday songs. They will also be performing them a capella at City Hall, 301 King St., Alexandria. Free. For additional information call the City’s Special Events Hotline at 703-883-4686.

Holiday Concert. The Alexandria Singers will present “Home for the Holidays” a holiday pops concert for the entire family, at 3 p.m. at Bishop Ireton High School located at 201 Cambridge St. in Alexandria. The performance will be sign-language interpreted, and there is ample free parking. It’s also rumored that there will be a special appearance by Santa!) Tickets are $5-$20.

Theater Performance. "A Mouse Christmas" is being performed at Woodlawn Chapel Gospel Service at 4 p.m. at 1801 Wright Road, Fort Belvoir. The performance is open to the public and free of charge. Call 703-806-5904 for more information.

A Colonial Family Christmas. People ages 8 years and up can learn how Christmas has evolved over the years from 1-3 p.m. at Green Spring Gardens, 4603 Green Spring Road. Learn how holiday celebrations have evolved in America from the early days of the Jamestown Settlement to today. A traditional English tea follows the program. $24/person. For reservations, call Historic Green Spring at 703-941-7987, TTY 703-324-3988 or visit www.greenspring.org.

Music Event. The Alexandria Singers will present “Home for the Holidays” a holiday pops concert for the entire family, on at 3 p.m. at Bishop Ireton High School, 201 Cambridge St. in Alexandria. The performance will be sign-language interpreted, and there is ample free parking. (It’s also rumored that there will be a special appearance by Santa!) Tickets are $5-$20.

Theater Performance. The Ballet Arts Ensemble of Fairfax will present “Nutcracker in a Nutshell,” a condensed version of the classic holiday ballet at 3 p.m. at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center, 3001 N. Beauregard St. Advanced tickets for all shows are $15 and are available by calling 703-273-5344. Tickets will also be available at the door for $18. For more information on “Nutcracker in a Nutshell” or the Ballet Arts Ensemble of Fairfax, visit www.thecenterforballetarts.com or call 703-273-5344.

Opening Reception. From 6-10 p.m. at Empowered Women International, 1307 King St., Alexandria, enjoy a celebration and artists' graduation reception. There will also be an opportunity to view "UnFenced Perspectives" by 10 graduates and shop for gifts from the gallery and silent auction. For more information visit www.ewint.org.

Monday/Dec. 18

Special Santa Workshop. 7 p.m. at A Likely Story Children's Bookstore, 1555 King St., Alexandria. Free. Keep children entertained and educated with special story times while you shop. 703-836-2498 or visit www.alikelystorybooks.com for more.

2 & Under Storytimes. At 11 a.m. at A Likely Story Children's Bookstore, 1555 King St., Alexandria. Free. Join Miss Dinah at one of the award winning story times as they read stories, perform finger plays and sing together with the littlest of listeners. 703-836-2498 or visit www.alikelystorybooks.com for more.

Book Discussion. From 7-8 p.m. at James Duncan Library, 2501 Commonwealth Ave., discuss "Lost in the City" by Edward P. Jones. For more information call Ruth at 703-838-4566.

Tuesday/Dec. 19

Winter Performance. 7 p.m. in the Mount Vernon High School Little Theatre. Free. Performances by the Mount Vernon High School Bands. Contact Richard.Bacz@fcps.edu or call 703-619-3163.

2 & Under Storytimes. At 11 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. at A Likely Story Children's Bookstore, 1555 King St., Alexandria. Free. Join Miss Dinah at one of the award winning story times as they read stories, perform finger plays and sing together with the littlest of listeners. 703-836-2498 or visit www.alikelystorybooks.com for more.

Music Performance. T.C. Williams High School concert and symphonic bands will perform a holiday concert at 7:30 p.m. in the school's auditorium, 3330 King St., Alexandria. Free and open to everyone. Contact Vaughn Ambrose at 703-824-6859 or vambrose@acps.k12.va.us for more information.

Wednesday/Dec. 20

Holiday High School Performance. 7 p.m. in the Mount Vernon High School Little Theatre. Performances by the MVHS Choirs and Orchestras. $4/student; $7/adult but no more than $15/family. Contact Suzanna.Sitomer@fcps.edu or call 703-619-3163.

Special Santa Workshop. 7 p.m. at A Likely Story Children's Bookstore, 1555 King St., Alexandria. Free. Keep children entertained and educated with special story times while you shop. 703-836-2498 or visit www.alikelystorybooks.com for more.

Democratic Book Club. 7:30 p.m. at La Madeleine, 500 King St. "The Known World" by Edward P. Jones. For information call Lois Walker 703-549-3360 or e-mail lowalker@aol.com.

Thursday/Dec. 21

Bilingual Story Time. 11 a.m. at A Likely Story Children's Bookstore, 1555 King St., Alexandria. Spanish stories with coloring activities and hands on fun. 703-836-2498 or visit www.alikelystorybooks.com for more.

Music Event. A free music event "Crescendo Noonday Concert Series: The Organists of Old Town" will be at noon for 30 minute recitals at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 228 S. Pitt St., Alexandria. Performance by Wayne Earnest from Old Presbyterian Meeting House. Performances are on the church's pipe organ. For more information, call 703-549-3312.

Book Discussion. From 7-8:30 p.m. at Charles Beatley Jr. Central Library, 5005 Duke St., discuss "The Fall of the House of Usher," by Edgar Allen Poe. For more information call Bill Scouton 703-931-3559.

Friday/Dec. 22

Special Santa Workshop. 7 p.m. at A Likely Story Children's Bookstore, 1555 King St., Alexandria. Free. Keep children entertained and educated with special story times while you shop. 703-836-2498 or visit www.alikelystorybooks.com for more.

Wiggle Story Time. 11 a.m. at A Likely Story Children's Bookstore, 1555 King St., Alexandria. Join with your little one who likes to get up and go. This is going to be a movement class sprinkled with a few stories. 703-836-2498 or visit www.alikelystorybooks.com for more.

Thursday/Dec. 28

Short Story Discussion. 7-8:30 p.m. at Ellen Coolidge Burke Library, 4701 Seminary Road, discuss short stories from the anthology "Art of the Story." Stories by D. Eisenberg, N. Englander and V. Erofeyev. Call Mark 703-519-3498 for more.

Saturday/Dec. 30

Opera Event. Watch "The Magic Flute" at the Hoffman 22 in Alexandria at 1:30 p.m. in high definition. This event is being put on by the Metropolitan Opera. Tickets are $18/adult and $15/children. Visit www.metoperafamily.org/hdlive for more information.

Sunday/Dec. 31

New Year's Eve.

First Night Alexandria. Kick off at 5 p.m. families can enjoy a variety of events throughout Old Town and Del Ray. First Night Alexandria is a family-friendly, alcohol-free event. Dozens of Old Town and Del Ray businesses, including bookstores, coffee shops, art galleries, and theaters host parties and performances for children and teens. A midnight fireworks display wraps up the night. $10 before Dec. 25, $15 after. Call 703-838-5005 or visit www.firstnightalexandria.org.

Monday/Jan. 1

New Year's Day.

Polar Burr Plunge. The American Liver Foundation will host its second annual Polar Burr Plunge to raise awareness and funds for research. Starts at 1 p.m. at Old Dominion Boat Club, 1 King St., Alexandria. Pre-register at www.alfdc.org or call 703-535-8880.