The calendar is filling with a flurry of special events to celebrate the holidays. Among the festive attractions of the season not too far from Washington:

*Bethlehem (Pa.) by lantern light: Founded on Christmas Eve in 1741 by a Moravian sect, this Pennsylvania community near Allentown enjoys Christmas with a flair. The historic district glows with lights, and lantern-bearing guides in costume will lead tours at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 12 and 19. Admission charged. For information: (215) 868-1513.

*"Christmas at Sea": A 19th-century sailor's holiday -- not always a happy time -- is the subject of this new exhibit at the Mariner's Museum in Newport News, Va. The focus is on the crew's quarters, featuring a seafarer's Christmas tree made from scraps of wood. Daily, except Christmas, through Jan. 6. Admission. For information: (804) 595-0638.

*Candlelight pub crawl in Annapolis: It's a gala evening on the town in Maryland's beautiful 18th-century capital on the Chesapeake Bay. Gather at 7 p.m. at the restored Governor Calvert House on State Circle for wassail, and then enjoy a walking tour of Main Street and a progressive dinner at several of the city's fine inns. Open to 90 persons nightly, today through Thursday and Dec. 15 through 19. Admission is $42 per person for food and drink. Reservations: (301) 263-5401.

*Longwood Gardens at Christmas: Outside, the trees at this famous Brandywine Valley garden sparkle with holiday lights. Inside, brilliant poinsettias and gaily decorated trees fill four more acres. Daily from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. through Jan. 5 in Kennett Square, Pa. Admission. For information: (215) 388-6741.

*An Elizabethan holiday in Jamestown: The music and dance of America's earliest colonists (1607) are recreated in the glow of lantern light at Jamestown Festival Park, a short drive from Williamsburg. The 90-minute program begins at 6 p.m. on Dec. 20, 22 and 28. Warming refreshments afterwards. Admission. For reservations: (804) 229-1607.

*An 18th-century Christmas Market: A frontier trading post springs alive for three weekends at Pricketts Fort State Park in Fairmont, W.Va. The fort structures are decorated in greenery; candles light the windows; a Yule log blazes in the large fireplace; and shoppers are welcomed with wassail and cookies. On sale are handmade American crafts, many made at the fort. Open today, noon to 5; and the next two weekends, Dec. 14-15 and 21-22. Saturday hours, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. No admission. For information: (304) 363-3030.