Local Bounty: 170 Ways to Celebrate the Season

It's true that much of the pleasure of good times comes from looking forward to them. Christmas morning's rapture -- as sleepy eyes contemplate a tree swimming in presents -- is an investment banked by weeks of anticipation.

But it's truer still that each of those moments of anticipation is a good time in itself. Memories of childhood, when pleasure came full and undiluted by responsibility, prove the point.

Does Christmas itself shine any brighter than, say, the annual trek with Grandmother to the big downtown department stores to gaze on huge plate glass windows decorated for the season? Within the frosted frame, the Claus couple beamed while mechanical elves busy as shoemakers hammered and sawed and painted. More elves polished sleighs while reindeer nuzzled their harnesses. Miniature trains sped through miniature snow-kissed villages untouched by poverty, pollution or poor taste. Ideal became real during that annual visit.

Holidays are made up of many points of light. That's part of the wisdom of Hanukkah, which begins this year on December 4 and takes eight days to celebrate.

It's with that same sense of blessed munificence we felt gazing at holiday windows so many years ago that we present you with our annual holiday guide. For Local Bounty, the handy eight-by-10-inch special guide you find inside this week's paper, is just as full of treasures. Its 48 pages chronicle a full 40 days of holiday celebrations.

Santa, we've found in readying this year's annual guide, is hardly ahead of Chesapeake Country in holiday preparations. Throughout our communities, neighbors, friends and geniuses are pouring their energies into making the last Christmas season of the decade, century and millennium the most celebrated ever.

They're stringing millions of lights; decorating forests of trees; decking their halls -- and teaching you to deck yours -- with holly and ivy and evergreens; transforming their boats into ships of light; filling Santa's and Frosty's calendars with dates; tuning their instruments; raising their voices in song; practicing their dance steps; donning gay apparel; learning their parts; perfecting their impersonations of characters from history and imagination; creating masterpieces of art; and cooking bountiful meals.

All for your holiday pleasure.

From the 170 events in our Indispensable Guide to Holidays on the Bay, you can choose such pleasures as singing along with the Messiah (Sun. Nov. 28 at St. James Church in Lothian). Traveling to fantasy land in any number of marvelous Nutcracker enactments (including Ballet Theatre of Annapolis' Nutcracker on Dec. 11, 12, 18 and 19). Watching Eastport Yacht Club's Lights Parade from the fine vantage of the Charles Carroll House (Sat. Dec. 11). We've also tracked down 11 more illuminations so you won't be in the dark.

Many events are so special that they're worth traveling for. So we've stretched the boundaries of Chesapeake Country to sample some of the extraordinary celebrations you'll find in Washington, Baltimore, Columbia and Ocean City.

Just as alluring as these bountiful occasions are the many holiday treasures, both gifts and services, you'll find offered by our many advertisers in Local Bounty.

Now some people groan when the holiday season starts. It's too early, they say, when Christmas wreaths go up before ghosts and goblins come down. And we agree. It's too commercial, they say, and we agree.

But none of that diminishes the bounty of Chesapeake Country's celebration -- or the opportunity you have, by sharing in that bounty, to make this the most memorable holiday of your life.

Visit Local Bounty.

| Issue 47 |

Volume VII Number 47
November 24-December 1, 1999
New Bay Times

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