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Holiday Guide Intro

He Knows.

Logan Hicks

Holiday Guide 2000

He Knows. As City Paper's Holiday Guide2K goes to bed, visions of sugarplums dancing in its head, it is Day Se...

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Train Spotting Tracking Down a Seasonal Baltimore Phenomenon | By Michelle Gienow

Holiday Shift Wanted: White-Bearded Man With Nice Lap and Good Kidneys | By Michael Anft

Rich Pageant Bringing the Real Christmas Story to Dramatic Life | By Adele Marley

Posted 11/15/2000

As City Paper's Holiday Guide2K goes to bed, visions of sugarplums dancing in its head, it is Day Seven of Election 2000: America Held Hostage. If we were a local TV station rather than Baltimore's Most Democratic Free Alternative Weekly, we would have a snazzy high-tech ELECTION 2000: AMERICA HELD HOSTAGE logo to throw at you, but we aren't, so we don't. All we have is this special Christkwanzikah issue, thrown together in those spare moments when we could unglue our eyes from the teevee, where various Persons of Importance were laboring 24/7 to figure out if our next president would be the guy who won't accept that he probably lost or the guy who's already defensive about the fact that everybody knows he didn't really win.

So, like you, we stumble into the holidays in an advanced state of not knowing. We've often used this space to complain about how far back into the depths of the year the holiday season has extended; we never dreamed we would have to worry about Election Day slithering in the opposite direction. Thus, as the nation puzzles over the thin line separating the glorious expression of the popular will that is the foundation of our republic from, say, accidentally voting for Pat Buchanan, we celebrate those things we do know.

The winking fat man to the right, of course, knows when we've been sleeping, he knows when we're awake, he knows if we've been bad or good. He probably knows for whom we meant to vote, for goodness' sake. And he knows this: On Dec. 21, or 22, or 25, or 26, or maybe even some other day, depending on your cosmological view of things, people will express to you what you mean to them, and you will reciprocate. We know (or at least we like to think we know) that this is what the winking fat man is all about, and it is the certainty of these things--of exchanging gifts both tangible and intangible--that sustains us through the long days and cold nights of Web surfing, mall parking, and gift wrapping to come. Not to mention the unspeakable tragedy of not knowing whom the next president will be, which, considering the choice we have, maybe isn't so bad after all.

Here's some other stuff we know. You'll find a smorgasbord of gift ideas both naughty and nice. Afterward, Michelle Gienow plumbs the mystery of the Baltimore holiday train garden, Michael Anft consults a master of the Santa-for-hire trade, and Adele Marley explores the majesty of the living Nativity. And from this page unspools our annual calendar of things to do with yourself right up to New Year's Day. In case you don't know.

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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