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It’s not always a straight path 

      Like a holiday box of chocolates (thanks Bill Vance, Betsy and Alex), this week’s paper brings you a variety of choices, all I hope to your taste. (And none, I hope, that sticky cough-medicine flavor that makes you say yuck!)

(And dogs)

      All the best stories are about dogs. This is the opinion of my 10-year-old daughter, so her claim carries some weight.       But for me, all the best stories take place at Christmas. Whether I am watching Southern High School’s production of A Christmas Carol or reading the story of Nativity from the Gospel of Luke, I am reminded that miracles happen in the presence of those who believe, and all the best stories contain miracles.

Its fragile globes tell the ­stories of our lives

      Every year we bring them out. The boxes come up from the basement or down from the attic; in from the garage or just out of the hall closet. Among them, there it is, brimming with memories, the Christmas box brought out once a year that tells the stories of our lives in the ornaments collected over the years. 

On December 23, 1783, our first commander in chief resigned in Annapolis

     During the fall of 1783, 51-year-old General George Washington wanted nothing so much as to spend the upcoming Christmas at his Mount Vernon home. The Revolutionary War was all but over. Once the British evacuated New York and the peace treaty was signed in Paris, Washington could head for Annapolis to resign his commission as commander in chief. Only then would he ride home. 

Local teacher gives Santas a lesson

     He errs who thinks Santa enters through the chimney. Santa enters through the heart. –Charles W. Howard, 1937         Loud music, bright flashing lights, sensory stimulation, mounting excitement: The very things that make this time of year magical can become a recipe for distress for some children and their weary parents.
     You have 10 days to complete your gift-giving mission. Having difficulty coming up with brilliant ideas to wow and impress?       Here Bay Weekly helps you think outside the Big Box and impersonal online shopping sites by browsing and buying at small businesses and shops in Chesapeake Country. We talked to many of our favorites to find out what surprises you can find on their shelves.

Tour the state in one visit

      You can experience the holidays in every Maryland county with just one stop. In the State House rotunda in Annapolis are 24 Christmas trees, each decorated to reflect the character of one county plus Baltimore City.       Garden clubs across the state decorate a tree “reflecting the rich tradition of their county,” says Megan McMinn-Meals, who oversees the three-year-old program, which now includes wreaths, too. 

Artist John W. ‘Bud’ Taylor inspired an ethic of land preservation

     Mayo resident John W. ‘Bud’ Taylor told us (https://tinyurl.com/BW-Taylor-99) that for him, being outdoors wasn’t exactly a drive. “It’s more a refreshment, like recharging your batteries,” he said. It turns out that it was actually Bud, who passed away at the age of 86 on Oct. 28, who was recharging our collective drive all these years to treasure and protect the Bay landscapes. 
     With the coming weeks offering events and attractions promising to wow you, amaze you and fill your hearts with holiday wonder and glad tidings, how do you choose which of the season’s pageants makes it on to your calendar?      Here’s a bit of guidance that may help you to inspire a new tradition or rediscover a forgotten favorite.   What: Illuminated London Town  

Six small ways Chesapeake neighbors are making a better world 

     Our neighbors are some amazing people. They do not take for granted the privilege of living in Chesapeake Country in comfort and community amidst a larger world where so many suffer famine, flood, fighting and so many degrees of inferiority.      They interpret that privilege as a challenge to make a better world. Rich in resources as we are, many of us take that challenge far and wide. Others find their mission here at home — for even here, good fortune is not equally distributed.