Holiday happenings at area hotels

Dust off that Christmas apparel, don the red and green, and bring your checkbook because Christmas tree lighting and other festivities will be happening soon at upscale hotels all over Washington.

For the third year in a row, the Georgetown Festival of Trees will be held at the Four Seasons Hotel on Dec. 1. Wendy Silver started the benefit for the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders of the Children’s National Medical Center when her daughter was stricken with cancer.

Patrick G. Ryan
Bob Madigan

The festivities include a cocktail party, a silent auction and tree lighting.  Top area designers have designed tree skirts, wreaths and stockings filled with gifts for the silent auction. For these items, pricing starts at $50 and up. Individual tickets are $100 while families can expect to pay $250. All donations raised benefit an infusion center in the new hospital wing to be built at the Children’s National Medical Center.  Last year, the benefit raised $200,000, and this year the goal is to reach $250,000. The event runs from 6:30 until 9 pm. 

As if one tree lighting service couldn’t cover it all, the Fairmont Washington, D.C. has a ceremony of its own, also on Dec. 1.

A benefit for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve’s Toys for Tots, the second annual tree-lighting ceremony will take place in the Crystal Garden of the hotel.  While watching animated deer and shining Christmas trees, guests can partake of hot chocolate and other refreshments.  The Georgetown Visiting Madrigals will provide the holiday music. Bob Madigan of WTOP radio will serve as master of ceremonies.  Children can say hello to Santa Claus and Rudolph while members of the United States Marine Corps Reserve perform a presentation of colors.  Participants are asked to bring an unwrapped toy to be donated. 

Tree lightings are not the only festivities that will be going on.  At the Ritz-Carlton Lobby Lounge in Georgetown, a holiday tea will take place during December on Saturdays and Sundays at 1 p.m. leading up to Christmas Day.  Children can eat sandwiches and sweets while they listen to storytelling.  As a token for participating, children will receive a keepsake nutcracker.   Tickets are $45 per person.  To reserve a spot, call (202) 912-4100.  Also, Christmas caroling is planned on Christmas Eve.  After jolly singing, guests can eat fine desserts like cherries jubilee. The caroling begins at 5 p.m. 

While drinking hot toddies and champagne, guests can watch the Ritz-Carlton chef give a presentation on canap