With only seven days left before Christmas, it's time for my annual "Glen Burnie Women's Guide To Avoiding Holiday Stress" soon to be outin paperback. A wonderful gift idea, if I do say so myself.
Now we all know someone who may be organized enough to make her own Christmas gifts from the dried herbs in her garden, decorate her home like 18th-century England for the Garden Club Tour and still remember to put mascara on both eyes.
But do we need that kind of pressure?
Christmas should be a time to enjoy one another's company. To celebrate a promise.
So hereare a few suggestions to help you find time to have a little fun.
* Cookie Making: Go to Mom's Bakery on Baltimore-Annapolis Boulevard, and buy boxes of cookies. Go home, put a baking sheet on the dish drainer, boil some water laced with a touch of cinnamon and hide the cookie boxes in the laundry room -- after all, no one ever goes in there but you.
* Gift Wrapping: Use aluminum foil. It's sparkly, you don't need tape and it can be recycled for 38 cents a pound at the Reynold's truck in the parking lot at Sears.
* Holiday Parties: Go to someone else's party. Let them clean the bathroom, vacuum the carpet and organize their sock drawer. (My husband's contribution to preparing for a party is to straighten his sock drawer, as if that's the first place guests are expected to visit.) However, make sure you bring a gift of holiday cookies wrapped in foil.
* Decorating the House: Try sprinkling the dust bunnies under the bed with red and green glitter. What a surprise when your mother-in-law does her obligatory cleaning check.
Ho, ho, ho.
A very special group of children will have a chance to enjoy a party sponsored by the Northern Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce and the students and faculty at Archbishop Spalding High School.
About 150 needy children have been invited to spend Saturday afternoon celebrating the holidays with clowns, face painting, games and a visit from Santa Claus.
Mark Baumgardner is chairman of the party committee, which includes Lisa Pitt and Pamela Kaizer of the chamber development office.
Baumgardner has a great deal of praise for the efforts of those involved in this partnership between the business community and the school.
"We have various businesses in the community buying toys and donating money," he said. "The response from the people in the chamber has been very good, especially considering the economic times. But the number of children invited to the party has tripled, and we still could use some more gifts. We're looking to the area businesses to help."
Baumgardner lauded Joe and Linda Mrockowski, of the custodial staff at Spalding, who play an important part in the event.
"Joe and Linda are just wonderful," said Baumgardner. "They set up the school cafeteria with decorations, coordinate the gift wrapping, fill the stockings. They've helped to get the students involved."
The students at Spalding pitch in by helping to serve lunch and taking care of the children.The Student Council and the band also contributed new toys for the children.
"It makes me feel good to see how the kids help, how Joe and Linda get them together. And it's not the same group every year,"said Baumgardner. "It just shows you that if you get the right person motivating them, it can make a difference with kids."
Lt. Bill Stinchcomb of the county fire department will conduct a cardiopulmonary resuscitation clinic from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Church of the Crucifixion, 100 Scott Ave. He will be assisted by Keith Hammond, an emergency medical technician at the Marley Fire Company.
Stinchcomb says the course would help someone provide CPR or aid a choking victim. A special program for pediatric CPR will be offered at 4 p.m.
The course has been sanctioned by the American Heart Association and includes information on heart disease and prevention of heart problems. A course-review booklet is available for prestudy purposes.
Stinchcomb has been teaching the CPR courses for more than 10 years. He also is an instructor-trainer for the heart association.
There is no charge for the clinic, but donations to the church's general fund are welcome.
For information or reservations call the church office, 768-4880.
Face it, you either love fruitcake or youthink it is the embodiment of all that is socially unacceptable about candied fruit.
I love it. It's sort of chewy and sweet . . . andchewy.
Fruitcake appreciators may want to purchase a fruitcake ortwo from the Civitan Club of Glen Burnie. This annual fund-raiser helps the club with its projects to benefit disabled children.
The cakes are $2.75 a pound and are being sold at most branches of the Bank of Glen Burnie, First American Bank at East Park, the Ruth Eason School, The Little Frame Shop in Glen Burnie, the Sunset Lounge and theSouthgate Barber Shop.
Students at Arthur Slade Regional Catholic School have been trying to make Christmas special for others less fortunate with several community service projects.