World's largest wreath NORTHWEST--Taneytown * Union Bridge * New Windsor * Uniontown

NEIGHBORS

December 17, 1992|By JUDY REILLY

'Tis the season to experience the unexpected. Finding Santa and his reindeer on your roof. Finding just the right gift. Well-behaved children. And the world's largest Christmas wreath, on Clemsonville Road near Union Bridge.

The decoration weighs 9,060 pounds, has an 116-foot diameter and is made with 8-foot evergreen trees attached to an oak frame.

Clemsonville Tree Farm owner Michael Ryan and his sons build it afresh every year. It takes 200 trees and a football field-length of ribbon. No wonder it's in the "Guinness Book of World Records" (page 125 of the 1992 paperback edition).

After scanning the "Guinness Book" about existing record-holding wreaths, Mr. Ryan decided to construct the world's largest. Guinness sent the specifications, and the Ryans built the wreath.

The first wreath from the Clemsonville Tree Farm that broke the world record was a 72-foot diameter wreath constructed seven years ago. The current 116-foot wreath has held the record for the past three years.

To get to the tree farm, and the wreath, follow Route 75 out of Union Bridge toward Frederick County. Turn left onto Clemsonville Road and follow the signs.

Information: 848-6083.

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Nearly everyone's out in the crowds these days, and the long checkout lines at the big stores threaten to transform the cheeriest person into Ebenezer Scrooge.

If you find your spirits waning, but your lists still keep growing, consider shopping at the gift shop at the New Windsor Service Center. Friendly personal service, a serene setting, and more clothing, gift and furniture items than you can imagine, are hallmarks of the shop.

The store's non-profit status not only keeps prices down, but you'll know the money you spend will be turned back to the families who produce the goods in developing countries.

On a recent December morning, some 20 visitors from Frederick came by bus to the shop to wind up their holiday shopping. The shoppers, handicapped adults from the Scott Key Center, were assisted by shop manager Helen Crouse's staff, and then had lunch in the center's cafeteria.

Ms. Crouse's crew enjoyed the visit as much as their guests did.

"Shopping on their own is a big challenge in their lives," said Ms. Crouse. "The one-on-one contact with them was great -- you feel as if you're helping another individual, just like we do when we sell the shop's products."

Gift store hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.

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While you're filling up the remaining days on the calendar with school plays, cookie exchanges, and last-minute shopping and decorating, try to squeeze in one more vital activity -- giving blood.

The Blood Drive is Dec. 30 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Taneytown from 1:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. Baby-sitting will be provided.

Information: 751-1356.

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If you're one of the people running around in circles this time of year, and you find yourself not enjoying the season, maybe even complaining about it, the following ideas, shared by the Rev. Scott Morgan of the Frizzellburg Bible Church, might help.

Have a deliberate act of will, suggests Mr. Morgan. There's so much going on this time of year -- the school parties, office parties, church events, scout celebrations, concerts -- that you might have to give up some good things in order to say "yes" to the best things -- the things that hold special meaning for you this season.

Consider not going to every party. Try to scale down the presents. Enjoy simple family activities, like setting up the nativity set, decorating the tree, and singing Christmas carols to the shut-ins in your neighborhood.

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