Next Year, We’ll Solve the World’s Problems

December is for good times, good will and good news

Thanks had been given and the feast cooked, appreciated and eaten. On the mid-day interlude between dinner and dessert, Christmas trees had been chosen and cut at Bay Gardener Frank Gouin’s Upakrik Farm and hauled home in promise of a new season. Pie, persimmon pudding and chocolate-pecan-pumpkin cheesecake — from Rod ’n’ Reel’s recipe in Bay Weekly’s November 11 Thanksgiving feast issue — were being digested. Despite coffee, turkey drowsiness was setting in. When one of the Thanksgiving party asked us to turn our attention to solving the world’s problems, I had to demur.
She could be global, urban and innovative.

Me, all I can manage is Chesapeake Country.

We have problems of our own to solve in Chesapeake Country, and Bay Weekly will get to them. In January.

Sure, I want to figure out how to harvest Maryland’s offshore wind. But not on December 4, the busiest day of the richest month of the year.

Like the states of the Chesapeake Bay Program — at least those like Maryland that got their Bay diet plans in on deadline — this time of year, I want to rejoice and wind down after months of hard work.

I want to put aside my troubles, lay down my burden and dedicate my energies to good times.

To do otherwise would slight our Chesapeake neighbors who have thrown their time, energy and creativity into making an extraordinary time in this very special place.

Enchanting December has for months obsessed our region’s promoters, event-organizers, merchants, actors, artists, directors, dancers, crafters, musicians, singers, librarians, cold-crop farmers, bakers, candy makers, illuminators, Christmas tree and poinsettia growers, wreath-weavers, florists, naturalists and nurserymen and women.

All those people — and many more makers for whom I don’t have names — have produced a season full of pageantry and play. They have spared neither effort nor invention.

Each event on December’s calendar is fully orchestrated. Every hall is decked. Every light strung and ready to be lit. Every gingerbread house frosted. Every poinsettia coaxed into bloom. Every tree decorated. Cookies are baked and cider pressed.

All that’s needed to begin the party is you.

Reading about all these events in advance — as calendar editor Diana Beechener serves early notice of them to me — has so enticed me that each day of my December calendar is booked three and five events deep.

Our early Season’s Bounty — the special supplement in the paper of Nov. 18 — no doubt has you as eager as I am.

Still, good news bears repeating. So in each December paper, an extra-large 8 Days a Week reminds you of what’s coming locally in the next week. (For wider range, keep Season’s Bounty close at hand. It’s not online, so if you’ve missed your copy, you’ll have to stop by our offices. Or catch up with the Bay Weekly contingent in the North Beach Christmas Parade December 4.)

In December, we dedicate our pages to all that’s good among us.

Beyond the bountiful season of events, we take note of people motivated by grace and inspiration. This week, you’ll read about University of Maryland sophomore Andrew Greene, of Broadneck, whose love of ragtime music is so great he created an orchestra to play it — against the background of silent movies.

In our Giving Guide later this month, you’ll read about people who really do make our world better — locally, regionally and even nationally.

Throughout the month, we offer tips on how each of us can rise to the season by shopping smart (as Roberta Safer wryly advises this week), wrapping artfully and choosing the right calendar to mark the days of 2011.

Enjoy December with us. Our burdens and problems will be there for us to resume in 2011 — when we can all hope to be so revived that sustainable solutions seem simple.