Alexandria Mom's Calendar of Events

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Christmas movie quotes

We are A Christmas Story kind of family.  We love this movie!  We have the leg lamp, the board game, ornaments, magnets, and more.
But we also love Elf, Home Alone, Scrooge (the Albert Finney musical version), and The Santa Clause.  
And if I can sneak in my favorites, It's A Wonderful Life and Love Actually.   

Here are some of our favorite movie quotes that we like to throw around during the holidays and all year round.    (can you guess the movie?)

"I want an official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two Hundre Shot rifle"
"You'll shoot your eye out kid"A Christmas Story

"Santa, Oh My God, Santa's coming.  I know him!  I know him!' 

Bless this highly nutritious microwavable macaroni and cheese dinner and the people who sold it on sale. Amen

Home Alone

"If you put on the suit, you're the big guy.”

The Santa Clause

You guys give up yet? Or are you thirsty for more?

Home Alone

Fa ra ra ra ra, ra ra ra ra 

A Christmas Story

We elves try to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup."



A Christmas Story

"This is my house! I have to defend it!"

Home Alone

The best way to spread Christmas Cheer, is singing loud for all to hear."


My little brother had not eaten voluntarily in over three years.

A Christmas Story

You used up all the glue on purpose!

A Christmas Story

Buzz, your girlfriend, WOOF

Home Alone

Oooh fuuudge!
A Christmas Story

I just like to smile, smiling's my favorite


It's a Major award!
A Christmas Story

Fra-gee-lay. That must be Italian.

A Christmas Story

I'm eight years old. You think I would be here *alone*? I don't think so.
Home Alone

Not too hot. Extra chocolate. Shaken, not stirred.
The Santa Clause

Friday, December 6, 2013

Christmas Reading

from the archives:

I thought I’d share some of my family’s favorite Christmas books. 

(And these are in no particular order)
Happy Holidays

The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg

How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss

The Crippled Lamb by Max Lucado

Alabaster’s Song by Max Lucado

The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojceichowski

Merry Christmas Big Hungry Bear by Don & Audrey Wood

Santa’s Book of Names by David McPhail

Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree by Robert Barry

Snowmen at Night
Snowmen at Christmas by Caralyn Buehner,

This is The Star by Joyce Dunbar

Santa Calls by Willam Joyce

Christmas Day in the Morning by Pearl S. Buck

Who’s That Knocking on Christmas Eve by Jan Brett

I’ve Seen Santa by David Bedford

The Wild Christmas Reindeer by Jan Brett

Santa Mouse & Santa Mouse Where Are You by Michael Brown

Bright Christmas, an Angel Remembers by Andrew Clements

Rocking Horse Christmas by Mary Pope Osborne

How Santa Got His Job by Stephen Krensky

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Comments Sought on Draft Children and Youth Master Plan

Comments Sought on Draft Children and Youth Master Plan

The Children, Youth and Families Collaborative Commission will hold an additional meeting for comment on the draft Children and Youth Master Plan. The community forum on the draft plan will be held Monday, December 16, at 6:30 p.m. at T.C. Williams High School, 3330 King St., in the Rotunda Room on the second floor.

To view the draft plan, provide comment about the plan online, or learn more about the Children, Youth and Families Collaborative Commission,  Call 703.746.5970 to RSVP, to request additional information or to request language interpretation assistance.

Gingerbread Firehouse Contest in Old Town: Event to benefit Friendship Firehouse Museum

Gingerbread Firehouse Contest in Old Town:
Event to benefit Friendship Firehouse Museum

December 14-15, 2013

The Friendship Firehouse Museum and Office of Historic Alexandria will host the start of a new holiday tradition in Old Town Alexandria, a Gingerbread contest and exhibition focused on the city’s proud firefighting heritage.  All contest entries must depict a firefighting theme associated with an architectural structure (real or imaginary) such as a firehouse or burning building, and will be judged on the creativity or originality in the use of gingerbread and other edible materials. Participants are invited to compete in either the adult or junior division.
All entries will be judged on Saturday, December 14, 2013 at the historic Lloyd House in Old Town, Alexandria, and prizes will be awarded in each division.  The aromatic displays will remain on view through Sunday, December 15, as part of the Candlelight House Tour event, and will be supplemented by a display of antique toys.  The first floor of Lloyd House will also be decorated to the period of 1932 when William Smoot, Mayor of Alexandria, resided there with his family.
For more information or a list of the complete gingerbread contest rules and entry form, please visit or call 703.746.4554.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

2013 Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities Needs Assessment Findings Are In!

2013 Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities Needs Assessment Findings Are In!

The City of Alexandria Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities conducted a citywide Needs Assessment survey during Summer/Fall 2013. The purpose of the survey was to establish priorities for the future development of Alexandria’s parks, recreation, cultural facilities, programs and services based on identified community needs. The City of Alexandria, with a consultant, Leisure Vision, designed and administered the survey to obtain statistically valid results from households and to benchmark findings against the 2011 Needs Assessment results.
The Department of Recreation, Parks, and Cultural Activities conducts a short-version survey (2013) every other year and a long-version survey (2011) every five years in order to assess change in residents' needs over time and strategically plan the future park and recreation system.
Significant Findings include:
  • Visitation of Parks. Eighty-two percent (82%) of respondents visited the City of Alexandria Parks within the past 12 months. This is higher than the national benchmark of seventy-eight percent (78%). Of those, eighty-two percent (82%) of respondents who visited the parks, twenty-three percent (23%) of respondents rated the parks as being in “excellent” condition. Other condition ratings include: Sixty-one percent (61%) “good,” fifteen percent (15%) “fair,” and only one percent (1%) rated the condition of the parks as “poor.”
  • Participation in Recreation or Cultural Programs or Special Events. Forty-eight percent (48%) of respondents said that they have participated in the City of Alexandria programs or activities within the past 12 months, which reflects a 2% increase since the 2011 needs assessment. City of Alexandria respondent participation in programs at forty-eight percent (48%) is significantly higher (by a margin of 18%) than that of the national average at thirty percent (30%).
  • Need for Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Facilities. Eighty-one percent (81%) of respondents (representing 54,874 households) have a need for “walking trails.” Other similar needs include: Natural areas and wildlife habitats (67% representing 45,887 households), biking trails (53% representing 36,015 households) and indoor exercise and fitness facilities (52%; representing 35,062 households). Based on the sum of respondents with a need for facilities, sixty-seven percent (67%) of respondents with a need for “walking trails” has a rate of 75% or more of their needs being met. Respondents whose needs for facilities are being met 50% or less include: natural areas (representing 21,200 households), indoor exercise and fitness facilities (representing 21,143 households) and indoor swimming pools (representing 19,286 households).
  • Need for Recreation and Cultural Programs. Seventy-seven percent (77%) of respondents (representing 52,083 households) state they have a need for Farmer’s Market programs. Other household needs include: Cultural special events, i.e. concerts, movies (59% representing 39,964 households), adult fitness and wellness programs (44% representing 29,820 households) and outdoor public art (42% representing 28,594 households). Respondents’ unmet needs for programs only being met around 50% or less include: Adult fitness and wellness programs (representing 20,188 households), adult continuing education programs (representing 18,991 households), outdoor public art (representing 18,186 households), cultural special events (representing 17,904 households) and natural programs and environmental education (representing 17,336 households).
  • Actions Household are Most Willing to Support with Tax Dollars. Based on the sum of respondents’ top four choices, forty-eight percent (48%) of respondents said that they would be most willing to fund the improvement of trails that connect parks, which is the highest response of all choices. Other actions respondents are willing to fund with their tax dollars include: purchase land to preserve natural areas (41%), develop new trails that connect parks (40%) and improve existing passive use neighborhood parks (31%).
Visit www.alexandriava/recreation to view the full results.
The City of Alexandria is committed to compliance with the City’s Human Rights Code and the Americans with Disabilities Act. To request a reasonable accommodation or to request materials in an alternative format, contact Dana Wedeles at 703.746.5590(Virginia Relay 711) or e-mail

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Del Ray Holiday Tree Lighting & Luminaries


Del Ray Celebration of the Holidays
Annual Holiday Tree Lighting, Luminaries, & Visit with Santa Claus!
Friday, December 6 ~ 6 pm

Events are at the Del Ray Farmers Market 
Corner of Mt. Vernon Avenue and East Oxford Avenue
And along Mt. Vernon Avenue
  • Enjoy thousands of Luminaries along Mt. Vernon Avenue.
  • Sing holiday carols at the Del Ray Farmer's Market led by:
  • The Rainbow Lady from Rainbow Rock aka Kate Moran. 
  • Enjoy a cup of hot chocolate provided by Evening Star & Buzz Bakery
  • Sit on Santas lap and have a photo taken
  • ·Come out and see if you can “Find the Spirits†in Del Ray.  Many businesses will be open late for shoppers & offering special holiday spirits/beverages.
  • Stop by Del Ray Artisans Holiday Market to shop & enjoy festive food

 And, in the true spirit of the holidays, we are asking our neighbors to help those most in  need. In partnership
with Carpenters Homeless Shelter, we ask you to please bring and drop in the boxes at the tree lighting any of the following items:
  • ·        Food - canned goods (soup, vegetables, canned meat)
  • ·        Disposable diapers
  • ·        New Twin Sheets
  • ·        Towels and wash cloths
  • ·        Deodorant/Razors 
 Volunteers are needed December 6 at 2 pm to distribute the luminaries along Mt. Vernon Avenue,

To help, contact Gayle Reuter at

Sponsored by the Del Ray Business Association

Special thanks to Bill Blackburn from Pork Barrel BBQ, Holy Cow & Sushi Bar for taking the day to drive all the way out to a Christmas Tree farm to cut down & bring back our beautiful tree.  If you see him, please be sure and say thanks!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Civil War Christmas at Fort Ward

Meet a patriotic Civil War Santa Claus, visit an officers’ hut decorated for the season, talk with soldiers in winter camps, and tour the historic Union fort at Fort Ward Museum’s “Civil War Christmas in Camp.” This historical holiday program will take place Saturday, December 14 from 12-4 p.m. Suggested donation is $2 per person.

The program will feature a variety of fun and educational activities for all ages. Learn about the history of Santa Claus from historian and interpreter Kevin Rawlings, who portrays a patriotic Union Santa Claus based on a period woodcut engraving from Harper’s Weekly. Civil War Santa will listen to children’s holiday wishes, read “The Night Before Christmas,” and visit troops in camp.  Reenactors will interpret how soldiers celebrated the holiday, including opening Christmas boxes from home and decorating living quarters in camp. Children can make a Victorian ornament or greeting card, and see examples of period ornaments on the Museum’s Victorian tree. The Museum and reconstructed Officers’ Hut will be decorated in period style. Soldier-led tours of the fort will be offered, weather permitting. Visitors can also enjoy hot mulled cider and shop for Civil War gifts in the Museum shop.

Fort Ward is the best preserved of the extensive network of Union forts that comprised the Civil War Defenses of Washington. The Museum offers exhibits, programs and special events throughout the year. Fort Ward Museum and Historic Site is located at 4301 West Braddock Road in the west end of Alexandria. For more information, please contact the Museum at 703-746-4848 or check the web site,