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Christmas merriment around the diocese

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After seeing “A Christmas Carol” and the nearest winter light show, go to a few family-friendly Christmas festivities hosted by Catholics around the diocese. Check with your parish to see what other activities may be planned.

Baby Jesus Party

Pauline Books and Media

Saturday, Dec. 8, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.

1025 King St., Alexandria 

Go to Pauline.org or call 703/549-3806

Celebrate Jesus’ birthday early with the Daughters of St. Paul. There will be birthday cake, story time and crafts. Families are welcome to don costumes for photos with baby Jesus and leave a prayer request in the chapel.


Country Christmas

St. James Church in Falls Church

Saturday, Dec. 8, 6 p.m. - 8 p.m.

103 N. Spring Street, Falls Church

Go to stjamescatholic.org or call 703/532-8815

Both horse-drawn carriages and real camels will offer rides around St. James during the Country Christmas event. Sing along to Christmas carols led by the Bishop O'Connell High School Band and Choir. Warm up by a fire with hot chocolate and hot dogs. Other attractions include children's crafts and a petting zoo. The church's Hispanic community will wrap up the evening with a live Nativity.


Christmas Market Village

St. Francis de Sales Church in Purcellville 

Saturday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

37730 St. Francis Court, Purcellville

Go to saintfrancisparish.org/christmas-market-village or call 540/338-6431

Get your Christmas shopping done at this daylong craft fair while your kids make their own crafts or watch Christmas movies. To complete the Christmas mart vibe, get a bite of German food. Those with a sweet tooth can sign up for the gingerbread house making workshop to be held at the parish Dec. 15, 1-3 p.m.


Christmas Bazaar

St. Joseph Church in Alexandria

Saturday, Dec. 15. 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

711 N. Columbus St., Alexandria

Call 703/548-7239

This bazaar has everything: books, toys, antiques, jewelry, baskets and more. Grab something to eat as you browse. World Youth Day pilgrims will be selling T-shirts they designed to fund raise for their upcoming trip to Panama.


Bethlehem Walk

Holy Trinity Church in Gainesville

Thursday, Dec. 20 and Friday, Dec. 21, 5 p.m. - 8 p.m.

8213 Linton Hall Road, Gainesville

Go to holytrinityparish.net/bethlehem-walk or call 703/753-6700

Take a trip back in time with the Bethlehem Walk at Holy Trinity. Extensive decorations and parishioners in costumes set the scene for the birth of Christ. Visitors meet King Herod, the Magi and the animals who kept the holy family company.


Pick out a tree

Support your Catholic community and buy a tree from one of the many churches hosting tree and wreath sales, including St. Timothy Church in Chantilly, St. Mary of Sorrows Church in Fairfax and Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Arlington.


Listen to some Christmas cheer

Many parishes are holding Christmas concerts or Lessons and Carols, including the Cathedral of St. Thomas More in Arlington, St. Raymond of Peñafort Church in Springfield and Our Lady of Hope Church in Potomac Falls.


Celebrate Advent the Filipino way

From Dec. 15 to Dec. 24, several churches will host evening and morning Masses for Simbang Gabi, a novena of Masses celebrated during Advent. A reception of Filipino food typically follows. For a full list of Masses, go to arlingtondiocese.org/simbanggabi.


Know of another local event? Share it in the comments. 

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2018