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Volume XVII, Issue 48 ~ November 26 - December 2, 2009

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Say Your Thanks, Eat Your Dinner

Then jump right into December

In this issue, we pause for just a moment to give thanks before rushing full steam ahead into the festive winter holidays.

At least in print, we’ve done all our preparations for Thanksgiving. We’ve said almost all we need to say.

In newspaper time, it’s December.

But the clocks at weekly newspapers are always fast, and the calendars on our walls always a week ahead. In real time, we have not yet gathered the harvest, prepared the feast or given thanks. I don’t want to hurry past that great time.

So I’ve asked the youngest of our contributing writers, Ariel Martinez Brumbaugh, to give the thanks in our pages this year, just as at many tables the youngest begins the prayer of thanks.

Her Reasons for Thanks are impudent. They’re not what we expect to hear. And for that I am so thankful that I’m moved to my own enumeration of Reasons I’m Thankful to Ariel.

1. For truth. Thanks, Ariel, for saying, in your own way, the kinds of things many of us are thinking but dare not express because of the solemnity of the occasion.

2. For youth. Thanks for reminding us that there are whole generations of people out there who see the world differently than we do. Who don’t have enough hold on the big stuff to sweat it and can, for that reason, be carefree. Or at least free of my cares.

3. For recollection. Thanks for the shove back in time. Yes, once upon a time I, too, counted my blessings in very different ways. How about you? Hello back there!

4. For trivia. Thanks for throwing a little light on the things we hold nearest and dearest, like our soft pillows and warm blankets and full stomachs, things that fade in the brilliance of the big abstractions we profess.

5. For innocence. Thanks for the comparison. It’s true, isn’t it, that all of us who have escaped the terrible realities — war, plague, famine — have every reason in the world, large and small, to give thanks.

6. For laughter. Thanks for a moment to forget my own cares as I chuckle at your irreverence.

7. For encouragement. Thanks for the model. I’ll come to the table prepared with a better list of blessings and a deeper sense of thanks.

Dear reader, I hope you do, too. If you think Ariel has wasted her time, or yours, you’ll have all the reason you need to do better in your own thanksgiving.

Now, into December

No sooner than our thanks are said and plates cleaned, lights will be going up around Chesapeake Country, and around America, to hold the darkness at bay.

That’s a practice I’m ever thankful for. Illuminations brighten these long nights, when we have four hours less daylight, and darkness is with us for 14 hours.

Like Thanksgiving, the lighting of our domiciles is a ritual we share in common. It crosses religions, ethnicities, genders and socio-economic groupings. All of us are feeling the same shiver, the same deprivation. So together we light our candles, string our bulbs — and presto! our world becomes a brighter place.

As in Ariel’s Reasons for Thanks, there’s a good deal of humor in the lights we turn on. So we’re also fortified with smiles in this darkest time of year.

In the spirit of thanksgiving for all the lights that shine, Bay Weekly welcomes December by taking you backstage in the biggest lightshows in Chesapeake Country — Lights by the Bay in Annapolis and Garden in Lights in Solomons — just before the lights
go on.

Sandra Olivetti Martin

editor and publisher; editor@bayweekly.com

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from the Editor