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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.

Registration renewal notices do double duty

       Learning about vehicle recall problems is a little easier now thanks to a pilot program by the Maryland Department of Transportation. More than 73,500 recalls have alerted car owners to potential safety problems since the program began in April. Recall information is mailed and emailed with registration renewal notices.

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.
Here’s how Chesapeake neighbors describe their very best gifts
      The best gifts bring happiness to both giver and receiver. Memorable gifts forever hold a place in the heart, and recalling the moment the gift was given recreates the pleasure.       This year, reflective Chesapeake neighbors told us about gifts that have meant the most to them through the years. We’ve shared their stories in the hope that reading them reminds you of the best gifts you’ve given or received.

Many of the best come from your heart and hands

       Giving is my favorite part of the holidays. I love the process — the decision, the secret, the wrapping, the unwrapping and the smiles ... or tears. Last year I even sent my boyfriend on a scavenger hunt to search for his Christmas present. Gifting is a sport to me, but thoughtful giving is tough on a bartender’s salary of tips.

Give yourself a gift by savoring the Seasons 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.

The winning wood stove designers are...

       Winners of last week’s Wood Stove Design Challenge are celebrating. The E-Stove, a living room-based combined heat and power unit, took top honors in both of two categories, automated and thermoelectric. Created by Wittus-Fire by Design out of New York and German-based HE Energy, the stove was recognized in the automation category for emissions levels, efficiency andsafety. Its ability to create electrical output up to 250 watts and more than 300 watts when using densified wood logs won it first place in the thermoelectric category.