Do, Re, Mi
Tune Up Your Singing Voices and Join in a Cheerful Holiday Tradition
By Ariel Brumbaugh
As the Christmas season begins, our lives become extremely busy. Between shopping, wrapping, working and planning, we are ready for a night of fun with the family.
A favorite activity that dates way back is caroling. Here are some tips and stories from expert carolers Sarah Brewer, Kathy Gramp and Scott Smith.
Have the words written down; when you are out in the cold, it's surprising how fast you forget them;
Have an accompanist, like a guitar player to lead;
Bring kids because they aren't shy about singing;
Neighborhood caroling has given Gramp and Smith lots of funny stories. "We were at one house singing, when from inside, they turned off the outside light and closed the shades. Another time, we had come to a house and started to slink away when we saw a guy playing an air guitar and jumping around singing.
"It was embarrassing for us, but it would have been much worse for him."
There are, however, problems with caroling. I have found that caroling is so much fun that by the time everyone joins our group, there aren't many people left to carol to.
Here are some of our favorite carols: "We Wish you a Merry Christmas"; "God Rest ye Merry Gentlemen"; "Silent Night"; "Frosty the Snowman" and, of course, "Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer."
Have fun this holiday and spread some Chrismas cheer to your friends and neighbors!
Candy Canes Christmas' Sweetest Treat
Candy canes are made in batches as big as 100 pounds. The sweet candy is poured onto a 'rock' and cooled.
Next comes the pulling machine, which adds air to the candy, making it white. Here the yummy peppermint oil is added.
Red coloring is added to unpulled candy, then cut into strips to be placed on rectangles of the white candy. The final stripes are put on the outside of a huge block of soon-to-be candy canes.
The big stretch is next. The candy is put into a machine, where it is stretched and twisted. It gets waxed and skinny as it goes through the sizing rollers.
A lmost done! The skinny striped candy is cut and bent to make the familiar cane.
The final step is to pack it and send it to the stores to be bought by you. Then comes the best part your first taste of this year's sweetest Christmas treat.
Make a Pretty Christmas Tree to go with your Gingerbread House
- A pointed ice cream cone
- Green frosting
- M&M's: regular and mini
- Powdered sugar (optional)
- A large, round sugar cookie (optional)
Turn the cone upside-down on a piece of waxed paper.
Frost all over with icing.
Decorate with M&M's and sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar if you would like some snow.
Place your tree on a large round sugar cookie.
Sprinkle some powdered sugar around the base of the tree for snow-covered ground.
National Christmas Tree Shines Bright
Thru Jan. 1-The gigantic National Christmas Tree casts a glorious glow over the Ellipse as centerpiece for the 2000 Pageant of Peace. Fifty smaller trees, representing each state, line a winding path to the gilded gargantuan. Enjoy free live music, too (6-9pm Dec. 12-23 & 26-30). Tree viewing daily 10am-11pm on the Ellipse, btwn. Washington Monument and the White House: 202/208-1631.
Celebrate with Oliver
Dec.15 (7:30pm), 16 (2pm, 7pm), 17 (2pm)-The Children's Theatre of Annapolis presents Oliver. Bring hats, mittens, socks and non-perishable food items for needy kids and their families. $8 w/discounts. Pascal Center for the Performing Arts, Anne Arundel Community College, Arnold. rsvp: 410/757-2281.
Photos with Santa!
Sat. Dec. 16 (noon-4pm)-Bring your list and comb hair; Santa Claus is coming to Deale to have his picture taken with you! Free @ Century-21, Deale: 410/867-1610.
Santa Eats Breakfast
Sat. Dec.16 & 23 (8am & 10am)-Join Santa in a newly restored farm firehouse for stories, fun and songs. Santa visits each child with a special gift. $13.50/child. Horizon Organic Dairy, Gambrills. rsvp: 410/923-7600 x17.
Another Pancake, Santa?
Sat. Dec.16 (11am-1pm) -Share pancakes and cocoa w/Santa and his helpers. Loews Annapolis Hotel, 126 West St. $18; $12/kids; rsvp: 410/263-7777.
Eat Brunch with Santa
Sun. Dec.17 (8am)-Kids, meet Santa by the buffet, and have your list ready and get a free gift. Rod 'n' Reel, Chesapeake Beach. $9.95; $4.95/kids; rsvp: 410/257-2735
A Musical Christmas Gift
Mon. Dec. 18 (7pm)-Chesapeake Youth Symphony Orchestra presents its annual Christmas concert. Four ensembles of kids ages 8 to 18 perform holiday music ending with an audience sing-along. Admission is a canned or non-perishable food item. Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, Annapolis. 410/263-2664.
Santa Visits Rose Haven
Wed. Dec. 20 (6:30pm)-Santa Claus lands his sleigh in Rose Haven to mingle w/kids, who enjoy complimentary photos w/St. Nick plus cookies & milk. Herrington on the Bay: 301/855-8435.