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Nothing evokes Christmas in the District like the smell of gingerbread in the oven, the sound of carolers on the stoop, and the sight of Santa Claus on water skis. For years, tourism flacks from up north have insisted that Santa likes cold weather. Nonsense. Santa doesn’t give a crap about sledding, or snowmen, or shoveling slush. Santa is a beach bum. When he’s not up at the North Pole battling with the elf union, Santa spends his off-season on the beaches of Rio, his belly slathered with cocoa butter, his beard glistening with droplets of piña colada, his nose red and peeling from the booze and the sunshine. Ho, ho, ho. But every December for the past 18 years, Santa has traveled from the Copacabana to the shores of the Potomac with his water skis in tow, seeking to rekindle the magic of the holidays for us Washingtonians. Look at the fat man go at 1 p.m. at the Columbia Island Marina, George Washington Memorial Parkway, South Arlington. Free. (703) 280-1788. (Felix Gillette)