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Good Living

Even soldiers in Vietnam set the table for a Christmas feast

     Christmas in Vietnam. Say or think what you want about the Army, good morale is what keeps it going. It does everything it can during the holiday season to raise the spirits of the soldiers, many away from home for the first time.

I don’t remember if my parents laughed like my sisters did or if they just smiled

     It was Christmas in the early 1950s; people just getting over World War II. Wages were such that raising three children, paying for a house, heat, food and a car was stretching dollars to the limit.      I attended Catholic school in Baltimore, complete with Dominican sisters and priests of some order. I rode a bus to and from school as it was several miles away. We had a Christmas tree in the school hallway, decorated no doubt with ancient holy ornaments.

Start the new year out and active

      Making resolutions to be more active in 2019? Start the New Year off on the right foot with a first day hike. Last year nearly 28,000 people welcomed 2018 by hiking a collective 66,000 miles across the country on January 1. 

Calvert rallies to bring warmth to kids

      Santa is checking his list, and Jack Frost is nipping at our noses, but it’s hard to bundle up against the cold without the proper gear. Calvert’s new Koats for Kids program hopes to give county kids all the bundling essentials this holiday season.       The program was born out of a partnership between Calvert Parks and Recreation and Maryland’s Department of Social Services. The partnership is new for Calvert, but community outreach is not.

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