Holiday nears, and the pressure is on SOUTHEAST -- Sykesville * Eldersburg * Gamber

NEIGHBORS

December 08, 1992|By MAUREEN RICE

The pressure is on. . . . There are only 17 (counting today) shopping days left. I can tell people are worried: The state of the shopping has replaced the weather as the No. 1 topic of conversation.

You can't even meet someone at church without a discussion of what's next on the agenda -- it may be the shopping (shudder!), the kid's cold that just will not disappear, the sale that means you've got to run in to get $2 back on the present you bought with great relief last week, or even the dog who needs a flea bath and seems to have bitten off half his fur now that everyone is about to descend from all over to enjoy the holidays at your place.

Or perhaps you simply have all you can do to be Santa for the young ones in the house. Just try to ignore those who don't have that particular lifestyle -- and simply cannot understand why the light fixture in the bathroom has not been polished and decorated for the holidays.

There are those -- yea, they really do exist -- who are all ready. They start shopping in January, of course, untroubled by the credit-card dump that plagues us plebeians. While we hit the pre-Christmas sales with the force of an atomic bomb, they polish those light fixtures and make canapes to astound their New Year's Eve guests.

They have the memories like elephants (or at least better than a politician's) and somehow recall exactly what they bought last January for Cousin Freddie's boy, even though it has been wrapped for months in the paper they purchased on sale the day after last Christmas.

From what I've heard, those who are all ready for the holidays will be a lot better off not telling the rest of us -- they just might find a burning wreath on the lawn.

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Looking for a nice tree? Perhaps some greenery to decorate the windows? You can make your shopping truly one-stop at the Carrolltowne Mall in Eldersburg, where the Boy Scouts are selling trees and other greenery in the parking lot.

Troop 719 is out, from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekends, selling fresh greens from local sources to raise money to send the boys to Scout camp.

"The boys . . . range in age from 11 to 16," said Herb Zeigler, scoutmaster, "and there's always an adult present to help out."

In keeping with the Scout goal of doing good deeds, they will assist you in strapping the tree to your car and even, in a pinch, may arrange to deliver the tree to your door. If you're going to buy a fresh tree, why not help send a Scout to camp, too?

*

Give a gift that will help freshen the air. On Saturday you can purchase a live 24-inch white pine for $9.99 at Carrolltowne Mall. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the National Arbor Day Foundation.

"The nursery [Rolling Hill Farm and Nursery] is working with us to help promote environmental awareness," said Steffany Strand, assistant marketing director for Rappaport Management Co., the firm that manages the mall.

"One of our themes this year is 'Celebrate an Evergreen Christmas.' It's part of our goal this year to promote the environment to shoppers in the mall."

The nursery will also donate a large live tree to the mall, to be planted by the Eldersburg Library in a ceremony to take place at noon Saturday, Jan. 2. Everyone is welcome.

*

Residents of Sykesville can take their children to a Christmas party given by the Sykesville Police and the Knights of Columbus Council 7612 Dec.12 from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Sykesville.

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