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Holiday Guide Intro

O Holy Crap

City Paperís Annual Holiday Guide

Dan Van Allen
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Holiday Guide 2005

O Holy Crap City Paperís Annual Holiday Guide

Gobble Gobble Hey The Idyllic But Brief Life of a Domestic Turkey is Nothing If Not Mundane | By Erin Sullivan

The Santa Clause Memories of a Family's Annual Search for a Black Santa | By Vincent Williams

Holiday Boot Camp | By Emily Flake

Makin' Tracks A Local Company Creates Model Train Layouts for Grownups | By Michelle Gienow

A Holiday Fixer-Upper Amateur, Unlicensed Contracting Adds to the Authenticity of Baltimore-Style Gingerbread Row House | By Edward Ericson Jr.

Dear Santa Our Christmas Wish List For the City

Oil We Want for Christmas City Paperís Guide to Spending Money You Donít Have

Members Only A Guide to the Privileges that Come with Membership to Local Cultural Institutions

The Holiday Guide City Paper's 2005 Guide to Seasonal Events and Places.

Posted 11/16/2005

The holiday season tends to make us all a little nuts. The most wonderful time of the year is stressful, what with all the shopping, check bouncing, familial guilt, travel difficulties, and that person who gives you a sneak-attack present when you have nothing for them. But somehow we muddle through it every year with the help of festive alcoholic beverages and way too many candy canes, cookies, and Hanukkah gelt.

Unfortunately, this year an eggnog buzz and a gingerbread man massacre may not cut it. The war in Iraq has killed more than 2,000 U.S. soldiers and who knows how many Iraqis. We had so many hurricanes we ran out of names, not to mention tornadoes, earthquakes, and tsunamis. Gas is so expensive weíre considering using a railroad handcar to get around, and George W. Bush got to nominate a couple of justices to the Supreme Court. And then weíre expected to spend hours at the mall.

Then again, maybe the holidays are here just in time. Sure, itís hectic and expensive, but ideally itís also when people spend time with people they love, cry at Itís a Wonderful Life instead of the state of the world, take comfort in family traditions and private jokes, and generally wallow in the sheer heartwarming cheesiness of it all. And after the year the whole planet has had, feeling safe and cared for is the best gift we can all give each other.

To help you get into the mind-set, this yearís Holiday Guide is filled with good cheer, City Paper-style. Erin Sullivan talks turkey with a man who raises them (page 17), and Vince Williams remembers family trips to see black Santa (page 22). Emily Flake shows us how Christmas ornaments get in shape for the season (page 24), while Michelle Gienow learns that rich people really do have the best toys (page 26). Edward Ericson Jr. builds a gingerbread rowhouse (page 33), and we envision a Christmas list for the city (page 38), assuming it wonít be getting just coal in its stocking. Meanwhile, our gift guide (page 40) features ideas ranging in price from heating-my-house-with-rage to I-have-stock-in-Halliburton, and our crack research staff helps you decide whether memberships really have their privileges (page 70). And then thereís the Holiday Guide itself, a listing of holiday happenings from Thanksgiving to New Yearís so you can really revel in the season (page 73). Happy Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, and New Yearís.

Holiday Guide 2005 was written by Gadi Dechter, Anna Ditkoff, Edward Ericson Jr., Lee Gardner, Jess Harvell, Tim Hill, Bret McCabe, Christina Royster-Hemby, Christopher Skokna, Van Smith, Erin Sullivan, and Wendy Ward. Wendy Ward, Kate Leventhal, and illustrator Daniel Krall filled the holiday calendar with tidings of comfort and joy. Anne Howard and Jennifer Pitzer made our cultural memberships list and checked it twice. Interns Jessica Bottalico, Mike Fila, Samantha Gendler, Ayala Miller, Jessie Reeder, and Nyeema Smalls helped deck our pages. Tom Chalkley illustrated our Christmas list for the city. Michelle Gienow, Uli Loskot, and Jefferson Jackson Steele took the photos, with help from the CP Holiday-Cam. And the lovely paint-by-numbers images on the opposite page and the cover were created by Dan Van Allen.

Related stories

Holiday Guide Intro archives

More Stories

Stuffed (11/18/2009)
The 2009 City Paper Holiday Guide

The Gifts That Count (11/18/2009)
The presents that have stayed in our writers' thoughts

The Wish List (11/18/2009)
Gifts we wish we could afford

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