How to choose what to show the visitors, the kids, yourself?

Here are half a dozen holiday highlights; at least a few should work for you.

On the Ellipse, you'll find the 59th PAGEANT OF PEACE, the national Christmas tree's white and green lights changing to gold and green every minute, with 57 smaller companions trees representing the states, territories and possessions. Beginning at 7 this Friday night and through December 23, chorus and concert groups will perform for two hours each evening on a stage near the tree. Saturday's fourth annual CAROLING THROUGH THE METRO is your chance to sing Christmas songs faster than ever before. Former public affairs director Cody Pfanstiehl comes out of retirement for just a day to lead carolers through the tubes of Washington in cheerful verse. Meet at 2 outside Metro Center Station at 11th and G streets NW. Bring 65 cents for a farecard with you, and don't worry if you can't remember the words -- the Folklore Society will bring the songbooks. Carolers will go to Woodley, Dupont Circle, Farragut North, Union Station and Metro Center stations. For more information call 281-2228. The horns will grab you by the ears as nearly 500 tuba, sousaphone and baritone-horn players from miles around converge on the Ellipse next Thursday for the seventh annual TUBACHRISTMAS. Professional, amateur and student players will give a free concert at 7.

"IT'S THAT TIME AGAIN," an original improvisational musical performed by 16 young local actors, appears at the Kennedy Center Theater Lab on Saturday at 10:30 and 12:30. It's free and no tickets are required, but seating is first-come, first-served. Looking for a little candlelight Friday night? From 7 to 10 there'll be tours of Washington's oldest home -- the Old Stone House at 3051 M Street in Georgetown, which dates back to 1765, when cabinetmaker Christopher Layman lived there. Carolers amid traditional decorations will sing in the parlor, while the staff in period costumes will bustle about their chores. Through December 31. And to see what kind of toys your grandparents got for Christmas, go to the WASHINGTON DOLL'S HOUSE & TOY MUSEUM, which brings out its favorite treasures through January 1. It's at 5236 44th Street NW, Tuesday through Saturday 10 to 5, noon to 5 Sundays. Call 244-0024.