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Posted at 9:00 PM ET, 12/19/2010

Free and Easy: Christmas trees and Christmas lights

By Alex Baldinger, David Malitz and Stephanie Merry

This week in free: Santa takes to the water and jazz greats play at the Kennedy Center.

Monday
Festival of Lights
The Mormon Temple's annual holiday display is a real spectacle: more than 500,000 lights, 16 Christmas trees and a life-size nativity scene, not to mention twice-nightly musical performances.

Tuesday
National Christmas Tree
There are only a few days left before the big day to check out the 42-foot Colorado blue spruce on the Ellipse.

Wednesday
Downtown Holiday Market
It won't cost you a cent to stroll among the stalls stocked with handmade crafts and goods at the penultimate day of this downtown bazaar. You might even finish your holiday shopping while you're at it, which is a priceless development three days before Christmas.

Thursday
Messiah Sing-along
Get ready to belt out Handel's masterpiece at this annual event that joins music fans, whether you're a tone-deaf novice or a world-class singer, with the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra. Free tickets will be distributed starting at 6 p.m., but lines will start forming much earlier than that.

Friday
Water-skiing Santa
In addition to St. Nick, there will be his reindeer on knee boards, flying elves, a dinghy-bound snowman and a jet-skiing Grinch.

Saturday
'All-Star Christmas Day Jazz Jam'
If it's Christmas Day, it's time for a free jazz bonanza at the Kennedy Center, now in its 12th year. Catch a performance by pianist Robert Redd, vibraphonist Chuck Redd, stick-man Lenny Robinson and vocalist Delores Williams.

Sunday
'Tales of Manhattan' and 'Anna Karenina'
These are the final two screenings in the National Gallery's series saluting the prolific and multifaceted mid-20th century French director Julien Duvivier.

By Alex Baldinger, David Malitz and Stephanie Merry  | December 19, 2010; 9:00 PM ET
Categories:  Events, Free and Cheap  
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Next: Getting Up Guide: Survive the holidays through story and song

 
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