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Still dazzling after 35 years

Let me describe the spirit of Christmas: It’s the wonder in a child’s eyes when Scrooge talks to them as they wait in line November 19 with their parents for a ticket to Colonial Players’ 35-year Annapolis holiday tradition, A Christmas Carol. It’s another child’s giddy excitement when Ebeneezer pulls them from the audience to dance as he joyfully transforms from cold-hearted humbug to warm, genial benefactor.

Luminaries and a parade boats light up Solomons Christmas Walk

When Solomons Islanders see Boy Scouts by the dozens running up and down the street, they know the Christmas season has begun.

A lot of ego sparks the famous boat parade on Ego Alley

“It started as a silly dare,” explains long-timer Pete Chambliss of the phenomenon that’s become the Eastport Yacht Club Light Parade. What would Christmas in Annapolis be without it?     Thirty-four years ago, the parade was a handful of boaters singing Christmas carols whilst cruising down Ego Alley with a string of fairy lights attached to their boats.

This quarter-mile walk dazzles all ages

My daughter was little when I first took her to Annmarie Gardens for their Holiday Light Show. There are few sweeter memories than her bundled up in a puffy winter coat, fluffy hat and scarf and rainbow-striped gloves. Her eyes lit up as she got her first peek at the magical forest. In the art center, we were wowed by the colorful and artsy holiday trimmings both on exhibit and for sale.

The Messiah can’t be sung just once

Competing voices sing Handel’s Messiah to the heavens in Annapolis, at sites only a few blocks from each other.     This weekend will be the 70th anniversary of the Naval Academy’s presentation of the Messiah, which includes 120 Midshipmen in the chorus, the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra and soloists from the roster of the Metropolitan Opera.

Celebrate the season with festive illuminations

Christmas may be our most well-lit holiday, and rightly so. Our ancestors celebrated light and fires this time of year as the days grew shorter and darker.

Like a snowball, it keeps growing

“It got so big so fast,” says Leslie Schwartz of the Artisan Boutique known for some of the best holiday shopping in Chesapeake Country.     From an artsy at-home fundraiser for a woman debilitated by Lou Gehrig’s disease, the ALS Artisan Boutique has gotten out of hand.     It quickly outgrew Schwartz’s house, finally landing at the Crowne Plaza hotel adjacent to Westfield Mall.

They’re the decorations on Riverdale Baptist Church’s Living Christmas Tree

You may see 75 singing Christmas balls, but I see 75 angels dressed in white, making a joyful noise on the branches of a 30-foot-high, illuminated, pre-engineered Christmas tree.     Riverdale Baptist Church in Largo is celebrating 30 years of the two-hour holiday production The Living Christmas Tree, which includes a full orchestra, light show and heartwarming play that can turn most any Grinch into a mellow fellow just in time for the holidays.

Like the song, it alls adds up

Is there no end to the electrical creativity of Carmela, Alan and Eddy Hangsleben of Lothian? Like The Twelve Days of Christmas, their celebration of the holidays continues to expand. Drive by or wander through their display of over 1,500 strands of lights to see: 12 snowflakes sparkling … 11 reindeer romping through this … 10-letter name: Hangsleben … 9 trees tied with red bows …

Create your holiday kingdom for the Greater Annapolis Lego Open

The holiday kingdom is a world built from imagination. How do you imagine it?     Is the holiday kingdom your church on Christmas Eve? Or your home on Christmas morning?     Or is Chanukah your holiday, and your menorah an eight-branched tree with every branch tipped with flame?     Or Kwanza, with dancing and drums?     Add LEGOS to your imagination and build the holiday kingdom as you see it.