Two one-man shows from Canada will be opening here early in 1980.

Herbert Mitgang's "Mr. Lincoln," starring Roy Dotrice, will be the occasion of Abraham Lincoln's first serious venture into Ford's Theatre since his assassination there 114 years ago. "Mr. Lincoln" had its premiere in Edmonton, Alberta. It will be at Ford's from Jan. 14 through Feb. 10. iPeter Coe will direct.

The play begins, incidentally, with a reenactment of the assassination itself -- but a Ford's spokeswoman promises that this will be handled onstage. iLincoln's box will not be disturbed.

"Side by Side by Sondheim," which had been scheduled for the same time slot, has been canceled.

The other one-man show is "Billy Bishop Goes to War," a musical about a World War I flying ace, starring Canadian actor Eric Peterson and written and directed by John Gray. "Billy Bishop" opened in Vancouver last year and has been touring Canada almost continuously ever since. It will come to Arena Stage on March 5.

Three recent Arena productions, by the by, are now playing in New York, all with essentially the same casts that appeared here. The plays are Michael Weller's "Loose Ends" at the Circle-in-the-Square, Walton Jones' "The 1940s Radio Hour" at the St. James, and Isaac Bashevis Singer's and Eve Friedman's "Teibele and Her Demon," at the Brooks Atkinson,

"A Christmas Carol" is 136 years old and, in the Washington area at least, unstoppable.

Scrooge, Marley, Tiny Tim and the gang will be going about their business this holiday season at Ford's Theatre in the District, at the Wayside Theatre in Middletown, Va., at Center Stage in Baltimore and at the Springfield Community Theater in Springfield, Va.

The Ford's version, with larger-than-life-sized puppets, has been extended through Jan. 5. The Center Stage version, adapted by playwright Israel Horovitz and told from Jacob Marley's perspective, plays through Dec. 30.

If you have children for whom you are in search of other accessible holiday fare, consider these alternatives: "Snow White" at the National; a puppet version of "Babes in Toyland" at Alexandria's Torpedo Factory;" Amahl and the Night Visitors" at the New Theater in downtown Washington; and the Bob Brown Marionettes in "The Nutcracker Suite" at the McLean Community Center Dec. 22-23 and the Kennedy Center's Terrace Theater Dec. 26-28.

If you should accidentally let the holiday season slip by, one better-late- than-never possibility is "Pinocchio" at the Warner Theater the week of Jan. 15. "Pinocchio" will be performed by merely life sized marionettes.

The Warner, by the way, has begun selling tickets for the adult attraction that follows -- Alexis Smith in "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas," opening Jan. 22.