Resist the temptation to sleep in, and make your way to the awe-inspiring National Cathedral for Sunday services. You'll be welcome here, as the church seeks to be a national house of prayer for all people. Each Sunday, the congregation salutes a different state and prays for its leaders. Call ahead to see when your state is being honored, and plan to participate in the ceremony. Before you leave, stop by the cathedral's gift shop. You'll find gemstone crosses, Christmas music, and replicas of the West Rose Window.
Head back downtown for lunch at Old Ebbitt Grill, one of the oldest institutions in the city. The food is not fancy, but the restaurant draws both tourists and politicos, thanks to its location across from the White House. We like the burger and fries for a quick, simple meal.
Enjoy a timeless tale of redemption at a matinee performance of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol at Ford's Theatre. You'll leave with a smile when Scrooge abandons his miserly ways and Tiny Tim utters his famous line: "God bless us every one."
For more information: Contact the Washington, D. C., Convention and Tourism Corporation, 1212 New York Avenue NW., Suite 600, Washington, DC 20005; 1-800-422-8644 or www.washington.org.