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December 2012

With the Polar Bear Plunge New Year’s Day and a portable ice skating rink set up for fun the first weekend of the New Year, North Beach become the winter capital of Chesapeake Country.

An epic musical with a few sour notes

Life hasn’t turned out well for Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman: Rise of the Guardians). After stealing bread to feed his nephew and sister, he’s arrested and given 20 years hard labor. Branded a dangerous man, Valjean must wander the countryside looking for work and finding nothing but cruelty.

It’s time we vow to take better care of one another

Bay Weekly’s 51st issue of the year celebrates family, the warm nest where we are born and nurtured.     For this is the season of birth, which we enter each year in hopes of renewal.     If it seems to you a little odd — as it does to me — that our cultural feasts of rebirth fall in the darkest time of the year, when in our cold clime is just setting in, there’s good reason.

For multi-family kids, the holidays mean more of a good thing

Serene, peaceful, harmonious — three words that do not describe Christmas in the life of a child of divorced parents. It’s more like hectic, crazy, running like a headless chicken.     I remember the day my parents sat me down on the couch to tell me the news. “Ashley, sweetie, Mommy and Daddy are going to live in two separate houses …” My six-year-old translation: Yes! Now I will have two houses like Elaine, the childhood friend whose vacation house I envied.

The most beautiful tree of all, yours

Every tree has a story. Whether it’s the tree, the trimmings or the decorator, you can bet your family, friends and neighbors would be happy to tell you why they chose their own special tree.     Live or artificial?     Thirty-four percent of Maryland households buy a real Christmas tree each year, according to the University of Maryland College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.     That’s my family tradition.

Christmas, like most holidays, has a lot to do with eating. We have our traditions, family recipes and occasional experiments. For as long as I can remember, my mother’s Christmas morning menu included a delicious egg casserole, sticky buns and fruit salad. The mimosas were reserved for the adults.

Chris Swarth’s swan song gets you closer to nature

Jug Bay’s new wetlands boardwalk at the Glendening Preserve in Lothian is for nature enthusiasts, ecosystem exploring and kayakers and canoeists.     The new boardwalk extends out to Old Galloway Creek, a Patuxent River tributary. It’s an official site on the Patuxent River water trail.

Eagle Cove School reaches way downstream for environmental education

While we are getting last-minute gifts, hanging garlands and hitting every holiday party in the neighborhood, Tim Decker will be teaching kids in Costa Rica about environmental and community stewardship.
A fantastic concept gone horribly awry, Hyde Park on Hudson tells the story of the first time an English king visited America. It wasn’t a social call. In 1939, England was in grave danger from Nazi Germany and needed help.     President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (Bill Murray: Moonrise Kingdom) invited the king and queen to his New York estate, Hyde Park.

Getting old isn’t for sissies.

From the outside, Debbie (Leslie Mann: ParaNorman) and Pete (Paul Rudd: The Perks of Being a Wallflower) have it made. A big house, two adorable kids and lots of luxury playthings. But look a little closer and you see the cracks.     Debbie is having trouble dealing with her fading youth. Turning 40 years old has made her a neurotic mess. She fights with Pete, worries about their daughters and constantly seeks validation.