Thousands of candle-carrying carolers will gather joyfully at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 21, at Jackson Square, in the heart of the French Quarter.

Caroling begins at 7 p.m., and the annual event is hosted by Patio Planters, the garden club of the Vieux Carre.

A bouquet of thanks goes to all garden clubs of the New Orleans area for bringing beauty to our surroundings during holidays and all year round.

Federated Council of New Orleans Garden Clubs Inc. includes Aurora Plantation Gardeners, Belle Chasse Garden Club, Colonial Garden Club, Country Club Home Gardeners, Fleur de Lis Garden Club, Green Thumb Garden Club, Lake Forest Garden Club, Lakeview Botany Guild, Lake Terrace Garden Club, Metairie Ridge Garden Club, Tall Timbers Garden Club and Terrytown Garden Club.

Jefferson Parish Council of Garden Clubs Inc. includes Acres of Green Garden Club, Chateau Estates Garden Club, Colonial Garden Club, Creative Planters Garden Club, Metairie Garden Club, Metairie Ridge Garden Club, Petals of North Bridgedale, Rambling Rose Gardeners, River Ridge Garden Club, Shady Oaks Garden Club, Terrytown Garden Club and Twilight Gardeners.

Washington Square caroling

A more intimate neighborhood setting for caroling will be created from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 14, at historic Washington Square, 700 Elysian Fields Ave. in Faubourg Marigny.

Sing along and sip hot chocolate with the Pfister Sisters and enjoy being with people of good cheer.

Holidays sorrowful for some

Founded in 1994 and organized by Dr. Shiva Akula, the nonprofit Akula Foundation is offering free grief support meetings for those who spend the holiday season dealing with significant loss, such as the death of a loved one.

Remaining group meetings include:

ORLEANS PARISH: 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 18, at the McFarland Medical Plaza Harmony Room, third floor of Ochsner Baptist Hospital, 2700 Napoleon Ave.; and at 7:15 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 18, at Touro Infirmary, 1401 Foucher St.

WEST BANK: 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 17, at West Jefferson Medical Center, 1101 Medical Center Blvd.

EAST BANK OF JEFFERSON: 6:15 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 16, and 11 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 20, at Canon Hospice,1221 S. Clearview Parkway, Building A, fourth floor.

The free meetings are for adults and will be facilitated by a licensed therapist who can help people find relief by telling their stories. For information, call (504) 247-7818 or visit www.akulafamily

Art and education celebrated

Young Audiences of Louisiana will celebrate more than 50 years of art and education for children with food, cocktails and music from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 11, at Martine Chiassion Gallery, 727 Camp St.

Tickets for the holiday party are $100 and include entry into a raffle for round-trip airline flights anywhere in the United States and Canada. Enjoy music by Julio y Cesar. For information call (504) 523-3525.

Lynne Jensen writes about New Orleans community events and people. Contact her at