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Good Living

Christmas crafting almost ruined my childhood

     From ages five through nine, I viewed the Christmas season with a mixture of delight and hesitation. There would be presents and cookies — and lots of work. As the child of a stay-at-home mom in a rural area in the 1990s, I became a worker in my mother and friend’s holiday craft sweatshop from the beginning of August well into November. 

We deck the boughs with tradition and meaning 

     How do you adorn your Christmas tree? Are you a traditionalist with balls and garland? Or is your tree decorated from the artistic palette of children’s creations, salt-dough handprints and laminated artwork?       Whatever we hang on the boughs, we are telling our story. Many cultures share traditional stories, while our American trees reflect our individuality.

Each of our Christmas ­evergreens tells a story

      Early Americans celebrated a long Yuletide from December 15 to Epiphany on January 6. Europeans started earlier on December 6, Saint Nicholas Day. In every tradition, evergreens have been part of the celebration.      Why do we decorate our homes with boughs of pine and holly?

Bay Weekly Moviegoer’s not-so-traditional takes on what to watch in the holiday season

      Movie-makers love the holiday season as much as you do. It’s a Wonderful Life and The Grinch are the bare tip of the iceberg. To take you far beneath the surface, I offer a sampler of 10 that prove the winter holidays can be an ideal backdrop for all genres. Take my challenge and dip beneath the surface …   

Every wall needs a calendar

      Even in this digital age, the old-school practice of following the year month by month — and enjoying a lovely scene each month with room for jotting down notes — is worth preserving. Consider these locally conceived calendars for yourself, as stocking-stuffers or as New Year’s gifts.   Baltimore Orioles Pet Calendar

Clear your calendar for these holiday traditions

What: The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

Tom Crockett’s trains at Tan’s Cycles

     “He created a destination with his trains,” Marygrace Baergen says as she gestures across the kitchen table to her brother Tom Crockett.       A pile of thank-you notes and old pictures are scattered on the table. Cardboard boxes wait to be unpacked in Crockett’s new house in Rose Haven, where he moved from the apartment at his former business, Tan’s Cycles in North Beach.

Galway Bay makes a splash big enough to celebrate 20 years

      It takes an Irish boat and crew to ferry beer across the Chesapeake. They won’t be dying the Chesapeake green — as the Irish of Chicago dyed the Chicago River for St. Patrick’s Day — but they’ll be transforming the Bay into an Irish Channel to bring Galway Bay its special 20th anniversary brew. 

What should we do to push back the tide?

      Dozens of islands in Chesapeake Bay were home to human populations, farms, forests, even a few stores and hotels, in the 18th and 19th centuries. Starting in the early 1900s, islanders migrated to the mainland. Now all but two of these offshore islands have disappeared or no longer sustain the communities that once thrived in isolation.

It took a neighborhood to make this book

      After years of swapping stories and researching their shared history, a group of Arundel-on-the-Bay residents have finally published their collected neighborhood history in a fully illustrated book.