Holidays in Washington: Chevy Chase hosts caroling, cookie decorating-events

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Marelise Voss and her family, shown in 2015, will once again bring a musical Christmas Eve to Chevy Chase this year. (Brian Kapur/The Current/December 2015)

Chevy Chase residents are invited to attend two community holiday events this year, as a way to meet neighbors and get in the spirit of the season.

Marelise Voss is hosting the third annual Chevy Chase caroling event this Sunday, Christmas Eve, from noon to 1 p.m. Neighbors should meet at Starbucks, 5500 Connecticut Ave. NW. From there, carolers will wander up the street, visiting local retailers and restaurants and singing to patrons and passerby alike.

“You can come for the whole thing or just pop by while you’re doing some errands,” Voss told The Current.

Carolers can choose the songs they’d like to sing from a book of secular and religious tunes provided by Voss on the day. “The Little Drummer Boy” and “Jingle Bells” are among the most popular selections each year. “I think those are the two that we never do without,” she said.

Voss said she hopes the event will bring neighbors together and spread holiday cheer in Chevy Chase.

“It brings spirit, and a community spirit,” said Voss. “That feeling of getting out and doing something, showing togetherness and having fun.”

Voss’ childhood, spent in a small Illinois town, inspired her love of carol singing. Voss and her family gathered at her grandmother’s house each festive season and sang holiday tunes, she said.

But in Chevy Chase, the fun doesn’t have to stop after the Christmas tree is dismantled or the Hanukkah menorah is packed away. On Dec. 29, residents of all ages are encouraged to attend a holiday cookie-decorating and craft-making afternoon, hosted by the neighborhood’s citizens association. The event at the Chevy Chase Community Center, 5601 Connecticut Ave. NW, will run from 1 to 4 p.m. The decorating day is scheduled after Hanukkah and Christmas to cater for children who have that week off school.

“They’re home, and they might be getting a little bit antsy,” the association’s acting president Kate Barnes-Domotor told The Current. While the cookies are drying, children can decorate foam gingerbread houses and festive ornaments, she added.

“We’re trying to do more activities that engage the community and provide more of a service to the community,” said Barnes-Domotor. “We’re trying to get in touch with the community, spend some time with them and provide a service to them.”