To ease that holiday stress, check out a few Christmas sights

NEIGHBORS

December 17, 1993|By PEG ADAMARCZYK

The last-minute panic of the Christmas season has arrived again.

A week left to knock out that ever-expanding list of Christmas chores. Our house is decorated, well almost. The artificial tree is still nestled in its attic hideaway, next to a pile of boxes stuffed with old ornaments and twisted strings of lights.

A cache of baking supplies has been sitting in the kitchen for weeks now, waiting to be transformed into sugary Christmas goodies. Not to mention the list of last-minute presents that must be bought and wrapped. The stress to get it done by next week is mounting by the second.

If the mad rush has gotten to you the way it has gotten to me, then maybe a little infusion of the real reason for the season will help us all get through.

Several local churches and community organizations have planned special family celebrations and displays to perk up those sagging spirits.

Tuesday through Thursday:Pasadena United Methodist Church will present a live Nativity scene from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at the church, 61 Ritchie Highway.

Stop by to view church members, young and old, participating in this annual event.

* In the Riviera Beach area, the youth of Emmanuel Lutheran Church will present a live Nativity scene from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday in front of the church, 8615 Fort Smallwood Road.

Visitors are welcome.

* Lake Shore Baptist Church concert choir, under the direction of Linda Kay Funk, will present the musical "Heaven's Throne" at 7 p.m. tomorrow and again at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Christmas Eve at the church, 4613 Mountain Road.

The community is welcome to attend.

* Community United Methodist Church, 8680 Fort Smallwood, will be the site of the Christmas cantata, "The King, the Long-awaited Promise" at 7 o'clock tonight.

Admission is free, but those attending are asked to bring a nonperishable food item.

*

Visiting train gardens is another of those long-standing Christmas traditions that children enjoy.

In addition to the granddaddy of them all -- the Riviera Beach Volunteer Fire Company display featured elsewhere on this page -- the NCEON Train Garden, a ministry of Emmanuel Lutheran Church, has returned to the Glen Burnie Mall for the second year.

The 8- by 12-foot display features O-gauge trains with villages, bridges and a snow scene. A 4- by 8-foot section of this display -- trains included -- is being raffled off to benefit needy residents served by the North County Emergency Outreach Network (NCEON).

Visitors are welcome from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily through Wednesday and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday. Tickets are just $1 and all proceeds will benefit NCEON.

Church members built the display.

"Last year, the garden raised $5,000 for NCEON," said the Rev. John Douglas, Emmanuel's pastor. "Ticket sales are a little slow so far this year, but we hope to raise at least that much this year."

Cash donations will also be accepted.

*

Cub Scout Pack 478 will play host to Breakfast with Santa from 9 a.m. to noon tomorrow at Community United Methodist Church, 8680 Fort Smallwood Road.

Admission is $3.50 for adults and $1.50 for children 12 and younger. The menu will feature pancakes, sausage, coffee, milk and orange juice.

Santa will arrive at 10 a.m. Pictures taken with the jolly elf are $3.50.

Proceeds will benefit pack activities. Information: 437-5514.

*

The George Fox Middle School PTA will have a brief general meeting at 6:45 p.m. Tuesday, before the school's annual winter concert program in the Northeast High School auditorium.

Information: 437-5514.

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