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Hang a gift on the National Zoo’s Enrichment Giving Tree

Grateful for the wild things that enrich your world? Choose a wild gift from the Animal Enrichment Wish List to hang on the Smithsonian National Zoo’s Enrichment Giving Tree.
    Speaking for the animals, zookeepers and researchers have asked for toenail clippers, bubble machines, natural-colored feather dusters and shower radios with CD players.
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The Volvo Ocean Race isn’t the only high-profile sailing event

The Volvo Ocean Race is an around-the-world marathon showcasing 70-foot high-tech sailing machines. Precise rules govern boat and sail design, making each boat similar. It takes the racers nine months to sail the globe, with extended stops in eight ports. The boats are sponsored by syndicates that hire the world’s finest sailors to ride these carbon-fiber, sail-powered rockets. It costs about $100 million to play that game....

Volunteers take flight each year so that isolated Tangier Island has a green Christmas

The miracle of flight has long been Santa’s secret to guaranteed overnight delivery, but sometimes the reindeer need a break. During the pre-Christmas rush they’re in demand everywhere, including some pretty remote locales....

Make the first gift to yourself by savoring the Season’s Bounty as you shop.

If you’re one of those people who love to shop, you can stop reading now and go wrap some presents.    
    But if it takes eight crazed reindeer to drag you to the store during the holidays, this story is for you.
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What to call a giant octopus?

The National Zoo’s new giant Pacific octopus will pick its own name, but suggestions from local kids are welcome. The zoo asks invertebrate enthusiasts ages five to 15 to submit their favorite name for the rapidly growing cephalopod.
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Five heart-warming ways to expand your giving circle

“The need in the world is so great that we cannot reach everyone by doing just our part. We must expand our reach exponentially so more and more lives can be touched,” says Steve Anstett of Severna Park, executive director of Giving Back, Linda’s Legacy.
    From Thanksgiving to Chanukah and Christmas, we live in the season of giving.
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Your gift makes room in the inn, warmth in the stable

The Christmas story tells us that animals made the only warmth in the stable where baby Jesus was born. If animals have also warmed your home and your heart, making a gift to the animals may be the right way for you to give back this season.
    Especially because so many animals nowadays lose their warm homes because their owners no longer have the means to afford their pets.
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As temperatures and food supplies drop, mammals hunker down to hibernate

Seen enough of the groundhog, which experts, admirers and detractors alike agree was the Mystery Creature who so fascinated Bay Weekly readers?
    Good thing. Because whatever you call him, her and them — groundhogs, woodchucks or whistle pigs — these omnipresent neighbors are ending their season above ground.
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Duck would never again be as fun as the tough, skinny, buckshot-riddled birds Mom and I cooked

“Mrs. Safer, Do you like ducks?” my adorable third-grade student asked as class was dismissed on a November Friday in 1962.
    “Oh, yes,” I replied, recalling my many hours spent feeding the ducks and geese and riding the swan boats in Boston Common where I had grown up.
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The Kniskerns’ yard is a sustainable smorgasbord

The fifth of an acre where James and Mary Kniskern live in Arnold was about what you’d expect for a suburban dwelling: grass, azaleas, daffodils in the spring, pachysandras year-round. As you’d expect, it required the drone of a mower and sweat non-equity to keep it in shape.
    “I didn’t like to mow,” says James.
    But what was the alternative?
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