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Santa's handy helpersTangled wires, rickety ladders, missing...


Santa's handy helpers

Tangled wires, rickety ladders, missing fasteners, burned-out bulbs - let's face it, getting those holiday decorations on the house is no picnic. But help is at hand: R.A.R. Landscaping of Baltimore has launched Christmas Decor, a franchise company that does the work for you. Christmas Decor will design a display, buy the materials and put everything in place. After the holidays, they'll come and take everything down, creating a careful map of the display so it's easy to replace the next year.

Allan Davis, R.A.R. general manager, says the firm has done jobs as small as one tree in a residential yard and as large as an entire shopping center. Typical residential jobs run about $600 to $800, Davis said. Besides making decisions about what they want, he said, "There's very little the customer has to do." For more information, call 410-764-0600.


* Find that perfect holiday gift for a child or an ardent collector at the Eastern National Doll & Toy Show & Sale from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. today at the Gaithersburg Fairgrounds, 16 Chestnut St. in ++ pTC Gaithersburg. There will be rag dolls, character dolls (such as Santa Claus), antique dolls and Barbie dolls, among others, as well as teddy bears and other toys. Admission is $5. For more information, call 410-329-2188.

* Human lifestyles, global weather patterns and exotic birds all figure in the story of spices, as told by Hank Kaestner, director of spice procurement for McCormick and Co. of Baltimore. He will present a talk at 8 p.m. Tuesday for the Horticultural Society of Maryland at the Church of the Redeemer, 5603 N. Charles St. The talk is free. For more information, call 410-785-6059.

* The Columbia Art Center, 6100 Foreland Garth, will hold a holiday ceramics sale from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday on the main level of the center, which is in Long Reach Village. There will be a variety of functional and decorative items. Admission is free. For more information, call 410-730-0075.

At home in Ireland

There's been a minor Irish cultural invasion recently, from the tunes and dancing of Riverdance to the bittersweet memoirs of the McCourt brothers. "The Irish Home," by Ianthe Ruthven (Rizzoli, 1998, $45), takes readers on a tour of domestic Ireland. From the grandeur of Palladian rowhouses of 18th-century Dublin to the quirky charm of a 19th-century former schoolhouse in County Kildare, some of the homes are elegant and some are humble. They are united only in their determined individualism. Recent prosperity in Ireland has also led to a renewed interest in restoration of old properties, and some of the restorations depicted in the book are of properties whose past is quite present. You needn't have Irish blood to be touched by these images of faded elegance and preserved loveliness. At booksellers.

Good cause warms you all over

You can wrap yourself in a toasty Indian trade blanket on a nippy night and benefit a good cause by buying one of four limited-edition Pendleton blankets commemorating Native American tribes of the Northwest coast. Native American artists designed the blankets, which cost $425 each, plus $15 shipping and handling. Seventy percent of the proceeds benefit the American Indian College Fund, a nonprofit group that helps with the education of more than 26,000 students from more than 240 tribes. To order a blanket, or for more information, call 800-987-FUND, or write the American Indian College Fund, 150 U.S. Highway 158 East, Camden, N.C. 27921.

Pub Date: 12/06/98


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