Venues around Old Town, and no doubt the entire Baltimore/Washington corridor, were filled to capacity this past Sunday, Dec. 9, as two local favorites, Ravens and Redskins, took to the gridiron. Bragging rights among the area fan base, and hopes of improving their stature as they both make a run for the playoffs, were at stake. This round, it was the Redskins who came out on top, but at a hefty price, when their quarterback suffered a knee injury.

As an avid Ravens fan, I've certainly had better Sundays. However, the loss was tempered by the knowledge that the much-maligned Steelers had gone down in defeat, leaving those who love the birds of Baltimore with the knowledge that their place atop the American Football Conference North Division was safe.

As I was trekking to my favorite Sunday dinner spot, and still in my trademark Ravens jersey, I had a lively exchange with a couple, both wearing burgundy and gold. As we agreed to disagree, we shook hands, and went on our way. I was left wishing that things had turned out differently, and they had satisfied smirks on their faces.

A number of local restaurants, normally closed on Mondays, will open on both Christmas and New Year's Eve, which happen on a Monday this year. Included among them are Salute Italian Restaurant on Main Street, and Red Sky on Baltimore Avenue. Longtime local favorite Pasta Plus will be open on both days, but only on the Market side. However, the person I spoke with at Pasta Plus recommended that diners call back for more information as the holidays draw near, in the event that they "decide to open." If you have a favorite spot, you may want to call ahead to make sure they are indeed open.


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New Life Church in Christ, which meets at the Phelps Center, 701 Montgomery St., is holding an event, "100 Men in Black" Sunday, Dec. 16, at 10:15 a.m. Congregant Robert Hawkins said the event's purpose is to "get more men from the surrounding community involved in the church and its mission." Laurel native Devan Hebron Sr. is the pastor. If you need more information on the event, call 301-262-7123. The church has purchased property and hopes to build a church on Brooklyn Bridge Road.

Laurel Lions Club Christmas tree sales are in full swing at a new location this year, in the parking lot of the Laurel Shopping Center. You can make your purchase Monday through Friday, 5 to 9 p.m., and on Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. All proceeds are used to fund community needs in the area.

Best wishes for a safe and happy holiday season!