book coverSailor's Night Before Christmas

You've heard lots of Christmas stories in your time, but never this one. It's brand new this year, and written for kids like you who live in Chesapeake Country.

Well, almost like you.

Sailor's Night Before Christmas author Kimbra Cutlip writes this story for her daughter Sienna. Kimbra, husband Mike and Sienna lived aboard the family sailboat until last year. Rocking a crib on a rocking boat proved to be difficult. And with limited space on the sailboat, they decided to become landlubbers (slang for living in a house). But they didn't venture far from their original home on the Bay, settling in Galesville.

Kimbra wanted to do something special for her daughter and other babies who got their Bay legs early. She fondly remembered the little children who asked her about living on a boat the whole year. With no chimney and no roof to hold tiny reindeer and a sleigh, everyone wondered how Santa delivered presents to Sienna and the rest of the family.

So Kimbra decided to rewrite Night Before Christmas with salty words. The story takes off on Christmas Eve, with the boat's passengers sound asleep. Only the first mate stays awake, watching for any signs of trouble. It's only moments before the weather changes, bringing fierce winds and crashing waves.

Then Santa appears, pulled out of the rough waters on a tugboat led by eight giant seahorses. Of course, he doesn't come empty-handed or empty-pocketed. Fish and seaweed spring out of his clothes. And you can imagine what that would be like.

But real treasures are left in stockings for the boys on board. This sailing Santa still arrives with a sack of goodies for waterchildren everywhere. And yes, he still has a snack before leaving. So be sure to set out milk and cookies, even on a boat.

Kimbra leaves Bay kids with this Christmas story and with a piece of advice: "Believe in yourself. Keep doing what makes you happy. If you feel in your heart that you are a writer, don't wait for someone else to call you a writer. Call yourself a writer."

If you want to sail into Christmas, cast the line off and head over to Barnes & Noble in the Annapolis Harbour Center, or another local bookstore, to find this holiday tale. Or, if you're lucky, you might find it under your tree on Christmas morning.

"E smelled like a tide gone too long from the shore,

An' 'e stood in the cabin drippin' o'er the floor,

Red tailcoat, red kerchief, black boots, an' black belt,

An' thar in 'is pockets, leapin' minnows an' smelt.


Wit 'is big rounded belly 'e stood soakin' wet,

An' rolled from 'is shoulder a fisherman's net,

Stuffed full o' treasures I'd ne'r seen a'fore,

An' toys fer the young lads, the ship's cat, an' more.

Calling all Kid Writers!

Our special Christmas edition, on Dec. 22, will feature favorite holiday stories and pictures. Whose? Yours. Send in your stories and tell your family to look for you in New Bay Times.

Mail stories to NBT, Not Just for Kids Christmas, PO Box 358, Deale, MD 20751.

Kids' Calendar

Winter Fun Fri. Dec. 10 (10am)-Are you having fun? You should be. Learn to enjoy the winter weather. Bring a photo and make your own ornament at Barnes & Noble, Harbour Center, Annapolis: 410/573-1115.

Dazzling Jewels Sat. Dec. 11 (9:30-11:30am)-Spend the day with your mom or dad or appropriate sub at the Walters Art Gallery. Wander thru the Bejeweled and Bedazzled exhibit, learning about the history of jewelry. Then make a piece of jewelry of your own. Ages 6-10 w/parent. 600 N. Charles St., Baltimore. $35 w/discounts. rsvp: 410/547-9000.

Furry Fun Sat. Dec. 11 (11am-noon)-Hop on over to Battle Creek to learn about the cottontail. Listen to a story and song. Make a craft and walk around, searching for these furry animals. Pt. Republic. $3 w/discounts. rsvp: 410/535-5327.

Nutcracker Dreams Dec. 11 & 12, 18 & 19-Dancing mice, fanciful fairies, a princess and a prince. Watch the Ballet Theatre of Annapolis dance The Nutcracker, a Christmas ballet based on a young girl's dreamland. 2pm Sa, 3pm Su plus 8pm Sa Dec. 18. Maryland Hall, 801 Chase St., Ann. $22 w/discounts; rsvp: 410/263-2909.

Chorale Christmas Sat. Dec. 11 (7:30pm)-Hear two musical fables featuring knights and dragons, donkeys and angels: Brother Heinrich's Christmas and The Reluctant Dragon, performed by the Annapolis Chorale, with a special guest appearance by Santa. Maryland Hall, Ann. $10; kids $8. rsvp: 410/263-1906.

Santa Letters Thru Dec. 15 (9am-9pm)-Have you written to Santa yet? Does he know all the cool toys you want this year? Hurry over to leave your Christmas wish letter in Santa's Mailbox at Northeast Community Center. He'll even write you back. Chesapeake Beach: 410/257-2254.

A Zany Christmas Thru Dec. 24-Zany Brainy is showing one special holiday movie every day until Christmas. Take a peek at some of your favorite characters, Madeline, Winnie the Pooh, the Rugrats and even Barney. See how they celebrate the holiday. Call Zany Brainy for times and shows: 410/266-1447.

| Issue 49 |

Volume VII Number 49
December 9-15, 1999
New Bay Times

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