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Christmas reality can prove difficult


I HEAR you're grouchier than usual this holiday," my friend noted cheerfully.

L Taking offense, I insisted I was not grouchy; I was harried.

"That's not what I heard. Your son told everyone at school your naked Christmas tree is hanging in your garage from a noose strung over the rafters dangling in a bucket of water. He also told everyone not to expect a holiday greeting card, because you said the people in your life that matter will call on the phone. He then noted you have Caller ID and you elect not to answer the phone when it's someone you haven't spoken with in a while, because there's too much to catch up on and you're busy," she announced.

I noted my son -- the one who is now getting a Dust Buster in his stocking -- is also prone to exaggerate. I like Christmas in the abstract; carols, cookies baking, houses ablaze with decorations. It's the reality that gives me pause.

Reality is opening a Christmas gift from my boss only to find a bar of anti-bacterial, deodorant soap and a tube of shower gel and trying very hard not to be offended. It's mistaking the new Santa display at Marley Station for a Hickory Farms store and being verbally abused by an elf when inquiring about the price of cheese logs. It's my son remarking that a manger scene at a neighbor's home includes, "Mary, Joseph and the Baby Moses."

My friend left shortly thereafter, returning to a home where presents are color coordinated according to the recipient, no one has to calculate the available credit on the Visa bill every time a purchase is made, and the children understand "The Christmas Story" is not about a boy named Ralphie and his wish for a Red Ryder BB gun.

Happy Holidays from our slightly dysfunctional family to yours, Glen Burnie.

Santa plans tour

Continuing a tradition that began 62 years ago, Santa Claus and his company of helpers will make a tour of Glen Burnie before his trip around the world Christmas Eve.

Assisted by members of the Glen Burnie Volunteer Fire Company, Santa -- also known as Glen Burnie resident Chick Schulz the other 364 days of the year -- will take last-minute requests from area children. He will also collect donations of canned food for a local food bank as he and his entourage make their way through communities served by the Glen Burnie

Improvement Association.

The tour, sponsored by the GBIA and the fire company, begins at 5: 30 p.m. and stops first at Georgia Avenue and Maple Lane. Then it's on to Maple Lane and Virginia Avenue, Virginia Avenue and Crain Highway, New Jersey Avenue and Oak Lane, Maple Lane and New Jersey Avenue, Linden Lane and New Jersey Avenue, Linden Lane and Greenway, Greenway and Oak Lane, Greenway and Maple Lane, Central Avenue and D Street.

By 6 p.m., the tour will reach Brown Shade Drive, then go on to stops at Central Avenue and B Street, First Avenue and A Street, First Avenue and B Street, First Avenue and Maple Lane, First Avenue cul-de-sac; Second Avenue and D Street, Second and Glenview avenues, Glenview and Third avenues, Third Avenue and D Street, Oak Lane and Second Avenue, Second Avenue and C Street, Second Avenue and B Street, Second Avenue and A Street, Third Avenue and A Street, Third Avenue and B Street, Third Avenue and C Street, Third Avenue and Oak Lane, Fourth Avenue and D Street, Fourth Avenue and B Street, Fourth Avenue and A Street, Fifth Avenue and A Street, Fifth Avenue and B Street, Fifth and Stewart avenues, Stewart and Baltimore avenues, Baltimore Avenue and Newfield Road, Newfield and Magnolia roads, Stewart Avenue and Elizabeth Lane, Elizabeth Lane and Wilson Boulevard, Wilson Boulevard and Theresa Avenue, Wilson and Bertha avenues; Wilson Boulevard and Crain Highway.

The schedule calls for Santa to reach N Street and Third Avenue at 7: 15 p.m., followed by N Street and Third Avenue, M Street and Second Avenue, Second Avenue and Padfield Boulevard, Padfield Boulevard and Third Avenue, Third Avenue and M Street, Padfield Boulevard and N Street, Griffith Lane and Third Avenue (at the ball field), Delmar and Fourth avenues, Fourth Avenue and Padfield Boulevard.

By 7: 30 p.m., Santa should reach Fifth and Delmar avenues, then continue to stops at Fourth Avenue and N Street, Fifth Avenue and N Street, Delmar and Seventh avenues, Delmar and Ninth avenues, Griffith Lane and Ninth Avenue, Griffith Lane and Seventh Avenue, Griffith Lane and Fifth Avenue, Wimmer Road and Seventh Avenue, Wimmer Road and Eight Avenue, Hamlen Road and Eighth Avenue, Hamlen Road and Seventh Avenue, then to Monroe Circle and return, stopping at Fifth Avenue, Oakwood Road and Blossom Lane, Blossom Lane and Pine Terrace, Pine Terrace and Oakwood Road, Oakwood and Range roads, Range Road and Greenway.

The last series of stops start about 8 p.m. at Harford Road and Delaware Avenue, then on to Delaware Avenue and Kent Road, Delaware Avenue and Kuethe Road, Delaware Avenue and Garrett Road, Delaware and Dorchester roads, Carroll and Washington avenues, Carroll and Glen roads, New Jersey HTC Avenue and Garrett Road, New Jersey and Kent roads, Kent Road and Georgia Avenue, Georgia and Rogers avenues, Furnace Branch Road and Stewart Lane, Stewart Lane and Andrews Road.

Note that all times are approximate.

Information: 410-766-6760.

Pub Date: 12/23/98

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