By Meredith Somers
So you didn’t get those coveted tickets to the Washington National Cathedral Christmas Eve service. Wondering what to do with your guests once the presents are opened and you still have the weekend together? Whether you feel like belting out carols or telling ghost stories, here are some ways to spend this week on the Hill:
Ghost Hunt: “A Christmas Carol” might seem like the only appropriate ghost story for the holiday season, but the organizers behind Scary DC say otherwise.
Spaces are still open for the group’s evening walking tour of Capitol Hill on Saturday, Dec. 27.
“Scary DC is a combination of an educational experience and a fun ghosting experience,” said Gabe Schoenberg, president of Scary DC. “The idea is we have a historian who’s done research into the ghostings and hauntings of Capitol Hill.”
The tourists are guided at night around some of the Hill’s most well-known spots, including the U.S. Supreme Court building and the Congressional office buildings.
“It’s 90 minutes outside, but people forget about the cold,” Schoenberg said.
Midnight Mass: St. Peter’s on Capitol Hill has a 7 p.m. Vigil Mass on Christmas Eve.
“It’s very quiet,” said Lynn Freeman, rectory manager. “It’s for those who would prefer something not that noisy.”
The Catholic church will start its version of Midnight Mass with carol singing at 10 p.m. The 313 2nd St. NE church gets a lot of visitors, Freeman said. “People who come in to town for family, fiances or for their best friends from college.”
The church is decorated for the holiday, with red poinsettias against the creamy marble of the church interior.
“The church is quite lovely,” Freeman said. “It looks like Christmas.”
Church on Christmas Day: St. Mark’s Episcopal Church at 301 A St. SE will host a combined Christmas Day service with Christ Church on Capitol Hill.
“Our Christmas Eve services tend to be a bit more rambunctious,” said Rev. Rebecca Justice Schunior, associate rector at St. Mark’s. “So, the Christmas Day service is a quieter, more contemplative celebration.”
Community Service: Moishe House Capitol Hill is hosting a Day of Service on Christmas Day. Beginning at 1:30 p.m. at the Washington, D.C. Jewish Community Center, volunteers are encouraged to come down and help make gifts for children staying at the Children’s Inn at the National Institutes of Health. The community center is located at 1529 16th St. NW, Washington.
Merry Caroling: At 11 a.m. Dec. 28, the first Sunday after Christmas, Capitol Hill Presbyterian Church will host a Christmas Stories and Songs event at 201 4th St. SE.
“It’s old-fashioned caroling. It definitely has a more informal tone,” Pastor Andrew Walton said. “It’s a chance for people to name their favorite Christmas carol. People can also share their favorite Christmas story.”