Monday, December 6, 2010

Holiday "If Only" Ideas by Lynn Thorp

I have favorite DC holiday outings I would do more often "if only" other things didn't interfere. Last year, for example, we got hit with a foot of snow that messed up the agenda. Other times it's just every day life that gets in the way, but here are a few ideas to get us through the season.

  • Downtown Crafts Market - From December 3-23, there is a charming street market on F Street NW between 7th and 9th in front of the National Portrait Gallery. There are local artisans, food/beverages and sometimes music. It's open from Noon until 8 p.m.
  • Yule Log on the Mall - I find the holiday stuff on the Mall both "same old same old" and endlessly intriguing. I especially like the yule log... very pagan.
  • Holiday Music at the National Cathedral - There are a number of free performances and the grounds and the Cathedral itself are certainly a treasure. But I never actually do this one.
  • Eastern Market - this is an awesome place for gifts that are unique and locally made.
  • Franklin's - our local restaurant/microbrewery and general store in Hyattsville, MD has a remarkable selection of gifts, and it's another way to spend your cash on non-chain items in a non-chain business. This one I do manage to accomplish each year, and I'm never disappointed in their great selection of jewelry, toys, gadgets, humorous gifts and more.
Mom and Dad used to take us downtown to see the holiday windows at Woodward and Lothrop (Woodies). They seemed so grand. My kids had a similar affinity for the somewhat tacky decorations that graced Prince Georges Plaza. (now called the Mall at Prince Georges but I don't call it that) Children seem to know instinctively what we have forgotten - the lights and glitter of our holiday festivities is about magical thinking and knowing there is always spring just around every cold, dark winter corner.

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