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Warm your heart over the stories of neighbors whose giving satisfies the ache of real need

All Elsa’s grandparents are stumped. What can Santa bring to a nine-year-old who already has two of everything and sometimes 22? She loves Webkinz, but her mother and father say their Webkinz population has already exploded.

There are plenty of things I want to give this granddaughter, but few of them fit in a box that can be wrapped up with a bow.

Ten-year-old grandson Jack, on the other hand, knows just what he wants. Jack wants an iPad. 

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Dear Bay Weekly:

After my spring, 2009, internship at Bay Weekly, wanted to update you on my continuing post-retirement quest to keep myself off the streets of Annapolis and out of trouble.

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Your evergreens will get a good pruning while you clip and snap

The tradition of bringing greens indoors comes from Europe and Scandinavia. The winters were long, and bringing greens in the house gave hope that spring would soon be coming. It must have worked, as we still do it today.

If your evergreens are overgrown, now is the time to prune them back into shape and use the greens for decorations. Don’t be afraid to take the pruners and whack those evergreens.

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Gifts to bring the heavens into focus

While the day of commercial space flight has yet to dawn, a few choice astronomy-related gifts are enough to open up the heavens for anyone on your gift list. Who knows? You could be giving someone the start of a lifelong hobby or even a career.

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A moralistic adventure shines through evil fog in this allegorical fantasy.

Edmund and Lucy (Skandar Keynes and Georgie Henley: the prior two Narnia movies) are feeling pretty miserable. While the rest of the Pevensie family is off in America, these two are hunkered down with insufferable cousin Eustace (Will Poulter: Son of Rambow) — a know-it-all, curmudgeonly, 10-year-old —  in wartime Oxford....

A few ideas sure to please

Buying a special holiday present for an avid angler, hunter, canoeist or kayaker is fraught with difficulty. Most dedicated sportsmen and women already have the gear they need. Those who don’t have definite ideas of what they want — but it is almost impossible to divine just what. However, there are a few things this holiday season that can be counted on to give special joy to just about anyone who’s outdoor obsessed.

 

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It’s not only what you give but how you wrap it

“It’s all about the presentation,” my mother told me. So she taught me how to wrap a gift. How to center a box on the paper, how to make sure the edges were even and no tape was visible. She used miles of ribbon. She taught me how to tie a proper bow. Those pre-made self-stick bows were, in her opinion, the epitome of laziness.

It was meticulous work.

On Christmas morning, it took seconds to destroy it all.

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Dear Bay Weekly:

I pick up Bay Weekly every week, usually at Gary’s Grill, and I love the sudoku puzzle. I try the crossword, too, but I’m better at the sudoku.

You haven’t run the answers to the sudoku the past couple weeks. And why don’t you have the answers to the puzzles in that week’s paper instead of the next week? A week is a long time to wait.

–Pauline Koch, Severna Park

 

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Dear Bay Weekly:

Had to write with kudos on the Season’s Bounty: 41,000 words … Wow!

I of course enjoyed Ellen Moyer’s trail article in the same issue, Go Outside and Play [http://bayweekly.com/articles/good-living/article/go-outside-and-play].

–Dave Linthicum, Jug Bay

 

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12 calendars to spruce up the march of time

In the pages of this illustrious paper, I get credited only as staff writer occasionally. For the most part, I’m Bay Weekly’s Calendar Editor. I’m the one who tells you what’s happening in Bay Country every day of every week.

It’s my job to rely on calendars, to get the dates right and to plan ahead. I look at a calendar every day. Every. Single. Day.

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