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Volume 16, Issue 51 - December 18 - December 24, 2008
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Letter From the Editor

Spare Me a Minute, and
I Promise You a Lightened Heart

            Do you have a minute?

            I know you haven’t many to spare this the time of year, when capturing the fleeting season quickens your already brisk pace.

            But if you give me just that minute, I promise to give you a lightened heart.

            I know that’s a promise I can keep, because I’ve just read Bay Weekly’s 2008 holiday story.

            Each year at this time, we seek out a story that captures the values of the season.

            Time is not on our side, we know, as you race to fit in all the rituals that make your holiday, whether Christmas or Chanukah. Anything you make time for has got to pay its way in the value it gives you.

            That’s how I challenge my writers every autumn when I go seeking that year’s holiday story.

            Helen Chappell rose to my first challenge. The Eastern Shore fabulist who created her version of the hard-to-find village of Brigadoon in Oysterback gave us a story that still sets my ribs aching when I tell it to myself: The Last Word in Christmas Lights,

            At the millennium, droll young Mark Burns gave us holiday humor again, telling the perfectly true story of The House of Twelve Trees — his own house:

            Nancy Hoffmann used a lighter touch in 2002, reporting the mishaps of her first Christmas in the Country Her story was so persuasive that she and husband Phil soon moved to their own farm.

            Resident humorist Allen Delaney presented us humor again last year, with a story from his younger days, Our Otherwise Perfect Christmas           

            Often, our holiday story touches us in spots more tender than the belly of laughter, as did Helena Mann-Melnitchenko’s The Girl Who Forgot Christmas Stories like that memoir are bittersweet: sweet in the healing words of retelling but sad in the truth of their time.

            Another of those, combining sentiment and history, was first-time writer Penne Romar’s Could a Cowboy’s Promise Save Christmas?

            I took my turn in 2001, telling the story of my mother’s last Christmas and the kitty who made it one of her best: The Kitty Who Came for Christmas

            Some years, writers have managed to touch and tease us at the same time. Thus my smile nearly breaks into a laugh as I remember Louis Llovio’s self-deprecating Black Bean Christmas

            What do we have to lure you away from this year’s holiday race?

            Jane Elkin’s heart-warming tale of a kitchen stove, illustrated — as so many of these memorable stories have been — with colorful whimsy by Bay Weekly’s own Betsy Kehne.

            If you take a load off your feet to sit down and read it, it will take a load off your shoulders — and lighten your heart.

            You might find, as I did today, you’ve got time enough to revisit all those earlier Bay Weekly holiday stories.

            Good reading. Merry Christmas. Happy Chanukah.

            editor and publisher


© COPYRIGHT 2008 by New Bay Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved.