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Fairfax County's Holiday Season

A collection of events to fill your days with cheer.

Screaming fire engine sirens herald the arrival of Santa Claus at the annual Church Street Holiday Stroll, always held the Monday after Thanksgiving.

Screaming fire engine sirens herald the arrival of Santa Claus at the annual Church Street Holiday Stroll, always held the Monday after Thanksgiving. Photo by Donna Manz.

Send notes to the Connection at south@connectionnewspapers.com or north@connectionnewspapers.com or call 703-778-9416. The calendar deadline is Friday. Dated announcements should be submitted at least two weeks prior to the event.

Wednesday/Dec. 12

Fabulous Fashions for the Holidays. 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., at Springfield Golf & Country Club, 8301 Old Keene Mill Road, Springfield. The day includes a luncheon, bake sale and showcased holiday fashions from attire for a holiday luncheon to a black-tie affair; make reservations for luncheon and complementary childcare by Dec. 7. 703-590-6552 or SpringWmConn@yahoo.com.

Fairfax Christian School Holiday Performance. 12:30-1:30 p.m., at Fountain Square, 11921 Freedom Drive, Reston. The Fairfax Christian School Music Ensemble spreads holiday cheer in the square. www.fairfaxchristianschool.com.

Fabulous Fashions for the Holidays. 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., at Springfield Golf & Country Club, 8301 Old Keene Mill Road, Springfield. The day includes a luncheon, bake sale and showcased holiday fashions from attire for a holiday luncheon to a black-tie affair; make reservations for luncheon and complementary childcare by Dec. 7. 703-590-6552 or SpringWmConn@yahoo.com.

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Finishing the Hat: A Tribute to Stephen Sondheim.

Fairfax Christian School Holiday Performance. 12:30-1:30 p.m., at Fountain Square, 11921 Freedom Drive, Reston. The Fairfax Christian School Music Ensemble spreads holiday cheer in the square. www.fairfaxchristianschool.com.

Mason Madrigals with Santa Claus. 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., at the Tower Club's Fairfax Room, 8000 Towers Crescent Drive, No. 1700, Vienna. A seasonal musical performance from the Mason Madrigals and Madison High School warrant a special appearance from Santa. Bring an unwrapped toy for the Toys for Tots drive. www.vtrcc.org.

Holiday Open House. 5-7 p.m., at the office of Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust, 6649-A Old Dominion, McLean. Meet and greet at John Foust's holiday open house with refreshments and good-spirited cheer; donations to benefit children in need at Hutchinson Elementary School, including closed-toed sneakers sizes 12 through four are welcome as well as gift cards for Target, Kohl's, Walmart or K-Mart in $10 increments. RSVP. 703-356-0551 or Dranesville@fairfaxcounty.gov.

Alice in Winter Wonderland. 7 p.m., at Chesterbrook Elementary School, 1753 Kirby Road, McLean. McLean High School Theatre Company's traveling children's theatre production offers a new twist to an old tale for the holidays; donations support the McLean HS theatre program. www.mcleandrama@gmail.com.

Thursday/Dec. 13

Mason Madrigals with Santa Claus. 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., at the Tower Club's Fairfax Room, 8000 Towers Crescent Drive, No. 1700, Vienna. A seasonal musical performance from the Mason Madrigals and Madison High School warrant a special appearance from Santa. Bring an unwrapped toy for the Toys for Tots drive. www.vtrcc.org.

Alice in Winter Wonderland. 7 p.m., at Chesterbrook Elementary School, 1753 Kirby Road, McLean. McLean High School Theatre Company's traveling children's theatre production offers a new twist to an old tale for the holidays; donations support the McLean HS theatre program. www.mcleandrama@gmail.com.

Friday/Dec. 14

Christmas Cantata, "A World of Christmas."11 a.m., at Franconia United Methodist Church, 6037 Franconia Road, Alexandria. Joseph Martin gives the world in his new cantata that celebrates the carols and traditions of Christmas. The church is handicapped accessible and assisted listening devices are available. 703 971-5151 or admin@franconiaumc.org. http://www.franconiaumc.org.  

Holiday Open House. 5-7 p.m., at the office of Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust, 6649-A Old Dominion, McLean. Meet and greet at John Foust's holiday open house with refreshments and good-spirited cheer; donations to benefit children in need at Hutchinson Elementary School, including closed-toed sneakers sizes 12 through four are welcome as well as gift cards for Target, Kohl's, Walmart or K-Mart in $10 increments. RSVP. 703-356-0551 or Dranesville@fairfaxcounty.gov.

Sounds of the Season Concert & Live Nativity. 6:30-8:30 p.m., at Redeemer Lutheran Church, 1545 Chain Bridge Road, McLean. Uplifting music from bell and voice choirs and sing-along carols at the 7:30 p.m. concert, live baby animals including a donkey, sheep, goat, calf and bunnies at the live nativity; treats like hot chocolate and bake sale items available. 703-356-6537.

Alice in Winter Wonderland. 7 p.m., at Kent Gardens Elementary School, 1717 Melbourne Drive, McLean. McLean High School Theatre Company's traveling children's theatre production offers a new twist to an old tale for the holidays; donations support the McLean HS theatre program. www.mcleandrama@gmail.com.

A Christmas Chaos. 7:30 p.m., at the Industrial Strength Theater, 269 Sunset Park Drive, Herndon. When the Royal Shakespeare Company fails to show up for their performance of A Christmas Carol, a fearless band of hapless actors and technicians try to pull together their own production in a matter of hours. $15, general admission; $10, children 10-and-under. www.eldentstreetplayers.org.

Friday/Dec. 14

Christmas Cantata, "A World of Christmas." 11 a.m., at Franconia United Methodist Church, 6037 Franconia Road, Alexandria. Joseph Martin gives the world in his new cantata that celebrates the carols and traditions of Christmas. The church is handicapped accessible and assisted listening devices are available. 703 971-5151 or admin@franconiaumc.org. http://www.franconiaumc.org.

Sounds of the Season Concert & Live Nativity. 6:30-8:30 p.m., at Redeemer Lutheran Church, 1545 Chain Bridge Road, McLean. Uplifting music from bell and voice choirs and sing-along carols at the 7:30 p.m. concert, live baby animals including a donkey, sheep, goat, calf and bunnies at the live nativity; treats like hot chocolate and bake sale items available. 703-356-6537.

Alice in Winter Wonderland. 7 p.m., at Kent Gardens Elementary School, 1717 Melbourne Drive, McLean. McLean High School Theatre Company's traveling children's theatre production offers a new twist to an old tale for the holidays; donations support the McLean HS theatre program. www.mcleandrama@gmail.com.

A Christmas Chaos. 7:30 p.m., at the Industrial Strength Theater, 269 Sunset Park Drive, Herndon. When the Royal Shakespeare Company fails to show up for their performance of A Christmas Carol, a fearless band of hapless actors and technicians try to pull together their own production in a matter of hours. $15, general admission; $10, children 10-and-under. www.eldentstreetplayers.org.

Annual Community Christmas Open House. 1 p.m., at the Historic Antioch Christian Church, 1860 Beulah Road, Vienna. The afternoon will include Traditional Christmas Carol Singing, food, gifts and the ringing of the historic Antioch Bell. 703-938-6753 or www.antiochdoc.org.

Saturday/Dec. 15

Christmas Gift Distribution Day. 7 a.m., at St. Stephen's United Methodist Church, 9203 Braddock Road, Burke. A praise service followed by breakfast and distribution of food and clothing to guests who could use some holiday help. www.ststephensfairfax.org or www.graceministriesumc.org.

Holiday Pancake Breakfast with Santa Claus. 8 a.m.-noon at the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department Auxiliary, 400 Center Street S., Vienna. All-you-can-eat pancakes, sausage, bacon, juice, coffee and treats prior to Santa's 11 a.m. arrival to greet the children and hear their Christmas lists with tours of fire equipment to follow. $7, seniors; $6, children under 12; $8, adults.

Santa's Workshop. 10 a.m.-noon, at Herndon Community Center, 814 Ferndale Ave., Herndon. A visit with Santa, crafts and brunch; register by Monday, Dec. 10. $8 per child; $4 per adult (if eating brunch). 703-787-7300 or www.herndon-va.gov.

Christmas/Holiday Potluck Party. 10 a.m.-1 p.m., at Irving Middle School, 8100 Old Keene Mill, Springfield. Korean and Filipino, German, Chinese and Hawaiian foods among other culinary delights; Hawaiian hula, tap dancing, line dancing and all-around fun.

The Nutcracker Tea. 10 a.m., 1 p.m., at the the Ritz-Carlton Tysons Corner, 1700 Tysons Blvd., McLean. Enjoy the Nutcracker Ballet with afternoon tea and treats while members of the Creative Dance Center put a contemporary twist on the beloved classic and the pastry team tantalizes palates with tea sandwiches, pastries and sweets. $75 (includes nutcracker doll for all children). www.ritzcarlton.com/tysons.

Gingerbread House Decorating Class. 10 a.m., 1 p.m., at the Ritz-Carlton Tysons Corner, 1700 Tysons Blvd., McLean. Children ages 3-12 can explore the life-size gingerbread house at the hotel, then make their own sugary homes in a decorating class taught by the pastry chefs; includes all ingredients as well as a souvenir. $70 per child. www.ritzcarlton.com/tysons.

Mr. and Mrs. Claus and the World's Best Cheddar. 11 a.m.-4 p.m., at Balducci's, 6655 Old Dominion Drive, McLean. Cabot Creamery Cooperative's Mr. and Mrs. Cabot Claus stop in town on their way to the North Pole to hand out children's presents and pose for pictures. www.balduccis.com.

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Holiday Art Show. Noon-8 p.m., at Clifton Town Hall, 12641 Chapel Road, Clifton. The Art Guild of Clifton, supported by Clifton Betterment Association, serve up art demonstrations, wine tasting, and the art show and sale to benefit your holiday giftings and spirit. A reception follows the show at 6 p.m. 703-830-1480 or www.artguildofclifton.org.

A Magical Christmas. 1 p.m., at the W-3 Theatre, the Lorton Workhouse, 9601 Ox Road, Lorton. Santa hasn't stopped in the town of Believe for three whole years and doesn't even know the place exists--can Joy's grandfather turn the town Christmas spirit around? $8, children; $12, adults. www.lortonarts.org.

A Christmas Chaos. 2:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m., at the Industrial Strength Theater, 269 Sunset Park Drive, Herndon. When the Royal Shakespeare Company fails to show up for their performance of A Christmas Carol, a fearless band of hapless actors and technicians try to pull together their own production in a matter of hours. $15, general admission; $10, children 10-and-under. www.eldentstreetplayers.org.

Alice in Winter Wonderland. 7 p.m., at Colvin Run Elementary School, 1400 Trap Road, Vienna. McLean High School Theatre Company's traveling children's theatre production offers a new twist to an old tale for the holidays; donations support the McLean HS theatre program. www.mcleandrama@gmail.com.

Messiah Sing Along. 7-9 p.m., at Truro Anglican Church, 10520 Main St., Fairfax. Part I of the Messiah and Hallelujah Chorus, accompanied by orchestra, organ, soloists and you (bring your own score or purchase one at the door), open singer rehearsal on Tuesday, Dec. 11 at 7:30 p.m.; non-singers are welcome for listening to the Christmas music tradition. www.truroanglican.com/artsbytruro.

Holiday Open House. Noon-8 p.m., at the Greater Reston Arts Center,12001 Market Street #103, Reston. Come by the gallery and bid on a collection of art and browse the exhibit CAIRNS; complementary refreshments. www.restonarts.org.

'Tis the Season Choral Concert. 4 p.m., at Epiphany Episcopal Church, 3301 Hidden Meadow Drive, Herndon. The Fairfax Choral Society West Campus Youth Choruses will present "'Tis the Season" featuring carols, chorales, and songs of the season. In advance: $20 for adults; $10 for students. At the door: $22 for adults; $10 for students. 703-642-3277 or www.fairfaxchoralsociety.org.

Sunday/Dec. 16

“A Different Kind of Christmas: Living and Giving Like Jesus” Advent Service. 10 a.m., at the Great Falls United Methodist Church, 10100 Georgetown Pike, Great Falls. The sermon will look at the celebration of Christmas and find ways to bring the focus of the season back to the reason it is celebrated. 703-759-3705 or office@greatfallsumc.org.

Gingerbread House Decorating Class. 10 a.m., 1 p.m., at the Ritz-Carlton Tysons Corner, 1700 Tysons Blvd., McLean. Children ages 3-12 can explore the life-size gingerbread house at the hotel, then make their own sugary homes in a decorating class taught by the pastry chefs; includes all ingredients as well as a souvenir. $70 per child. www.ritzcarlton.com/tysons.

The McLean Symphony Annual Holiday Concert

The McLean Symphony, together with Maestro Dingwall Fleary, will present their annual holiday concert at 3 p.m. on Dec. 16 at the McLean Community Center's Alden Theatre. Go to www.mclean-sympho... or visit the Alden Theatre box office for tickets. For additional information, call 571-332-2944 or e-mail veronicaroyal@cox.net.

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The McLean Symphony during the 2011 Holiday Concert.

The Princess Tea. 11 a.m., 2 p.m., at the the Ritz-Carlton Tysons Corner, 1700 Tysons Blvd., McLean. Disney princesses, treats and a special teatime make it a magical day; holiday gift bag and photo with princesses included. $75. www.ritzcarlton.com/tysons.

A Christmas Chaos. 2:30 p.m., at the Industrial Strength Theater, 269 Sunset Park Drive, Herndon. When the Royal Shakespeare Company fails to show up for their performance of A Christmas Carol, a fearless band of hapless actors and technicians try to pull together their own production in a matter of hours. $15, general admission; $10, children 10-and-under. www.eldentstreetplayers.org.

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Classical Guitarist Ben Beirs.

The McLean Symphony and Maestro Dingwall Fleary Annual Holiday Concert. 3 p.m., at the McLean Community Center's Alden Theatre, 1234 Ingleside Avenue, McLean. The 2012 concert features the Baltimore-based classical guitarist Benjamin Beirs and the Symphony Festival Singers in a musical celebration of the season. Children 12 and under free. 571-332-2944 or veronicaroyal@cox.net.

Glorious Sounds of Christmas. 4 p.m. and 7 p.m., at Vienna Presbyterian Church, 124 Park St, NE, Vienna. Join the Sanctuary Choir, Cathedral Brass & Childrens' Choirs of Vienna Presbyterian Church in singing the music of the season. Free-will offering; childcare available. 703-938-9050 or www.viennapres.org/news_and_events/events/.

Peace Service. 7 p.m., at the Dranesville Church of the Brethren, 11500 Leesburg Pike, Herndon. The congregation will gather to remember the battle and pray for peace; A small exhibit on the battle, including a few artifacts found near the church, will be in the downstairs meeting hall. 703-430-7872 or www.dranesvillebrethren.org.

Monday/Dec. 17

Herndon for the Holidays. 6-8 p.m., throughout Herndon. Area-wide neighborhood decoration contests for traditional, whimsical, lights and more categories. 703-435-6800 ext. 2084 or www.herndon-va.gov.

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The Langley Madrigals Choir.

Langley Choral Holiday Winter Concert

All six choral departments at Langley High School, including the Women's Treble, Women's Select Treble, Concert Choir, Women's Chamber Choir, Voicemale and the award-winning Langley Madrigals, will sing winter and holiday favorites on Tuesday, Dec. 18 at 7:30 p.m. in the auditorium at the high school, 6520 Georgetown Pike. Admission is free and the concert is open to the public

Tuesday/Dec. 18

Langley Choral Holiday Winter Concert. 7:30 p.m., in the auditorium at Langley High School, 6520 Georgetown Pike, McLean. All six of the high school choral departments, including the Madrigals, join to sing winter and holiday favorites. 703-283-1697.

"Toys for Tots" at the McLean Racquet & Health Club, 1472 Chain Bridge Road, McLean. A collection box for new, unwrapped toys is located in the club lobby.

Wednesday/Dec. 19

Great Russian Nutcracker. 7:30 p.m., at the GMU Concert Hall, 4400 University Drive, Fairfax. The Moscow Ballet 20th anniversary production brings new "Dove of Peace" choreography inspired by the work of Stanislov Vlasov, former Bolshoi Ballet dancer, to Fairfax for the holidays. $48-127. www.Nutcracker.com.

Thursday/Dec. 20

Great Russian Nutcracker. 7:30 p.m., at the GMU Concert Hall, 4400 University Drive, Fairfax. The Moscow Ballet 20th anniversary production brings new "Dove of Peace" choreography inspired by the work of Stanislov Vlasov, former Bolshoi Ballet dancer, to Fairfax for the holidays. $48-127. www.Nutcracker.com.

McLean High School Holiday Ensemble Performance. 6-7:30 p.m. at the McLean Racquet & Health Club, 1472 Chain Bridge Road, McLean. Players for this event are the members of the McLean High School Philharmonic orchestra, who are under the direction of Mrs. Katie LaBrie.

Saturday/Dec. 22

A Magical Christmas. 1 p.m., at the W-3 Theatre, the Lorton Workhouse, 9601 Ox Road, Lorton. Santa hasn't stopped in the town of Believe for three whole years and doesn't even know the place exists--can Joy's grandfather turn the town Christmas spirit around? $8, children; $12, adults. www.lortonarts.org.

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Founder and artistic director of the American Festival Pops Orchestra, Anthony Maiello, directs the concert of cherished Christmas carols and festive holiday classics.

Welcome Yule! 4:30 p.m., at Vienna Baptist Church, 541 Marshall Road, Vienna. The Vienna Choral Society celebrates the season with traditional English carols in a wood-beamed church with hot cocoa and Christmas cookies to follow the concert. $20, adults; $15 over 64, under 18; and $35 for families. www.ViennaChoralSociety.org.

Holiday Pops: Songs of the Season. 8 p.m., at George Mason University's Center for the Arts, 4400 University Drive, Fairfax. As part of the Great Performances at Mason series, the American Festival Pops Orchestra Holiday Brass Quintet performs holiday classics with guest narration from Rick Davis. $24, $40, $48; youth through 12th half price when accompanied by adult. 888-945-2468 or cfa.gmu.edu.

Cooking in Season Book Launch/Demonstration. 1-4 p.m., at The Fresh Market store, 150 Branch Road, Vienna. Chef Matt Flemister demonstrates two of the 90 recipes in the new cookbook. 703-242-8923 or www.thefreshmarket.com.

Sunday/Dec. 23

“A Different Kind of Christmas: Living and Giving Like Jesus” Advent Service. 10 a.m., at the Great Falls United Methodist Church, 10100 Georgetown Pike, Great Falls. The sermon will look at the celebration of Christmas and find ways to bring the focus of the season back to the reason it is celebrated. 703-759-3705 or office@greatfallsumc.org.

Wednesday/Dec. 26

Nutcracker Working Stage Rehearsal. 6:30 p.m., at the Ernst Community Cultural Center, 8333 Little River Turnpike, Annandale. Virginia Ballet Company and School presents their 63rd Nutcracker performance; limited seating available. Tickets in advance only, $12. 703-249-8227 or www.virginiaballetcompany.org.

Thursday/Dec. 27

Nutcracker. 2 p.m., 7 p.m., at the Ernst Community Cultural Center, 8333 Little River Turnpike, Annandale. Virginia Ballet Company and School presents their 63rd Nutcracker performance. $33, adults; $23, children, students, seniors. 703-249-8227 or www.virginiaballetcompany.org.

Friday/Dec. 28

Nutcracker. 2 p.m., 7 p.m., at the Ernst Community Cultural Center, 8333 Little River Turnpike, Annandale. Virginia Ballet Company and School presents their 63rd Nutcracker performance. $33, adults; $23, children, students, seniors. 703-249-8227 or www.virginiaballetcompany.org.

Saturday/Dec. 29

Nutcracker. 2 p.m., 7 p.m., at the Ernst Community Cultural Center, 8333 Little River Turnpike, Annandale. Virginia Ballet Company and School presents their 63rd Nutcracker performance. $33, adults; $23, children, students, seniors. 703-249-8227 or www.virginiaballetcompany.org.

Monday/Dec. 31

New Year's Eve Golf Tournament. 10 a.m., at the Herndon Centennial Golf Course, 909 Ferndale Ave., Herndon. An annual four-person scramble with a cart, range balls, prizes and lunch included; entry deadline in Dec. 21. $70. 703-471-5769 or www.herndongolf.com.

Fairfax Four Miler. 6 p.m., at Old Town Hall, 3999 University Drive, Fairfax. The most fun way to kick off New Year's Eve; sweatshirt, pizza and soda included. Register at http://pacersevents.com/race/fairfax-four-miler.

Watch Night. 7 p.m.-midnight at the crossroads of Broad and Washington Streets, Falls Church. Named after the ancient African tradition of watching in the New Year, the community comes together for small-town festivities including magicians, storytelling, face painting, karaoke, digital dance revolution, live music, restaurants and more. www.fallschurchva.gov.

New Year's Eve Celebration. 7 p.m.-12:30 a.m., at ArtSpace, 750 Center St., Herndon. Family activities, a bonfire from 9-10 p.m., music and refreshment in the gallery starting at 10 p.m. All ages welcome. 703-956-6590 or www.artspaceherndon.org.

Ongoing:

Ice Skating Pavilion. Various times, at Reston Town Center, 11900 Market Street, Reston. Open most days from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. until March (look online for holiday hours). $7, children; $9, adults. www.restontowncenter.com/skating.

Horse-drawn Carriage Rides. 4-9 p.m., at Reston Town Center, 11900 Market Street, Reston. The horses and carriages are out the first four Saturdays in December. $5; children 5-and-under free. www.restontowncenter.com.

Fourth Annual Food for Trees. Pickup at the Old Firehouse Teen Center, 1440 Chain Bridge Road, McLean. SHARE of McLean and the teen center have teamed up with A.V. Remodeling & Construction to provide a Christmas spirit-filled food drive in which a food donation and the cost of a tree get donors a North Carolina frasier fir which helps stock SHARE's food pantry for those in need. Order online by Sunday, Nov. 25 and pickup on Dec. 1 or 2. 703-307-7860 or www.foodfortrees.org.

National Realty Toys for Tots/FISH Drop-off. 9 a.m.-5 p.m., at 11890 Sunrise Valley Drive, Reston. Through Dec. 14, drop off new, unwrapped toys in the donation box in the lobby or buy a $25 gift card through Herndon-Reston FISH for teenagers through age 18 to use for Christmas wishlist items. 571-205-8874.