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December 2013

Michael Ryan’s baton and mighty voice bring the Messiah home to St. James Parish

Late afternoon on Thanksgiving Sunday, singers file into the 1765-church. Some carry their well-thumbed scores of Handel’s Messiah; others will borrow or buy a score, $10 at the door.     As 4pm approaches, some 200 wait for director Michael S. Ryan to lower his baton.      For the 27th year, annual Advent Messiah Sing-Along opens the Christmas season at historic St. James Parish with joyful impromptu song.

More ways to share in this season of thanks and giving

Bay Weekly reader Nadine Snyder wants to know where to donate outgrown but still good clothing. So she called to ask if we’ll soon be running a listing of drop-offs for clothing donations.     Thank you, Nadine, for asking because that was the missing ingredient in this week’s feature story, our annual Thanksgiving take on charitable giving.

Foresee this year’s inch total and Laura Neuman will buy you lunch

Is it ever going to snow in Maryland? Probably, out there in our mountainous west. But how about closer to home? Will Anne Arundelians see snow in 2013-2014?     Nobody knows when — or if — it will snow.     But that shouldn’t stop you from guessing. Especially when the right guess can win you lunch — as well as bragging rights.

Nominate what’s there and what’s needed by December 1

What’s your favorite place to get out on the water, swim or fish? Where is a boat ramp, fishing pier or trail needed? Now is the time to tell the National Park Service your thoughts.     Use the interactive online mapper, already marked with existing sites and past suggestions, to share your suggestions for new public access sites across the Chesapeake Bay watershed. But hurry, there are only a few days left: the mapper is only open until December 1.     Share your suggestions at

See if you can find the naked-eye five

The waning crescent moon rises later and later in pre-dawn skies through the weekend before disappearing behind the sun with Tuesday’s new moon.

We’re eating well and will be into spring

This year’s fall garden has been better than ever.     The August plantings of Contender and Crocket green beans each provided at least three pickings of the most tender and flavorful green beans we have ever enjoyed.

A perfect orphan for the holidays

Leapin’ lizards, Annie, how do you still break hearts after 35 years, even when we know what’s coming? It’s not just your heart-warming premise or sweet songs, your adorable mutt or Vaudevillian villains. It’s the magic of a cast so sincere and invested that two hankies are not enough for Colonial Players’ family holiday classic.

When fighting for life and liberty, who has time for teen romance?

In a dystopian nation of Panem, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence: The Silver Linings Playbook) is considered lucky. The winner of the 74th Hunger Games, Katniss was the last woman standing in a government-sponsored death match. With a spark of rebellion, she refused to kill hometown boy Peeta (Josh Hutcherson: Epic), claiming that she loved him and would rather die than end his life. The two were allowed to live as the first pair of winners in Hunger Games history.