Friday, November 21, 2014

Gettin' the spirit

Okay, I'm a sentimental slob all year round.  I snivel at puppies playing, homecomings at airports, chick-flick movies, departures, romantic book endings and...I'm sure you get the picture.

This time of year I normally spend December ankle deep in tears.  Yep, Frankie and I can't control ourselves.  And Christmas music, oh brother, we openly weep.  I  get so choked up I can't even sing along anymore.  When I hear my favorite, I heard the bells on Christmas Day, tears frequently run down my cheeks.

The city has a tradition here, it's called the Singing Christmas Tree.  It is breathtaking to attend this magnificent program.  When the curtain opens and you see that tree for the first time you will be amazed.  It encompasses most of the stage; is eleven rows high, and although I don't know how many singers make up the tree (well over a hundred) they are all bedecked in white robes with red collars. Most of the singers are not professional, but trust me, they all could be, the singing is phenomenal .

Every year the program differs, although each year the first half of the program constitutes the fable of Christmas, with Santa, and sleigh bells, and good will to men. While the second half of the program tells the story of the birth of baby Jesus, and starts with pomp and circumstance as the Three Wise Men, enter and slowly walk down the aisle of the theater and up onto the stage.  (Shoot, I'm getting choked up just writing this.)  Eventually, an angel swings into view and hovers over the scene.  I tell you, it takes one's breath away.

Some years, things go awry.  The first time I went to the Singing Christmas Tree, while it was in the process of got stuck.  The audience in unison audibly gasped.  There was no panic, but you could tell the stage crew momentarily had no clue what to do.  They closed the curtains, and somebody came on stage and said if anyone wanted to leave they would happily reschedule them for another performance, or if we wanted to stay, asked for our patience while they resolved the problem.  This was obviously not an 'everyday' occurrence.  By the way...I didn't see anybody leave.

Anyway, this particular year a young, local, professional quartet was part of the program, and they came out onto the stage and held an impromptu audience 'Christmas Carol sing along' I was amazed at how many I knew word for word and was actually able to sing along. Eventually the tree hydraulics were fixed and the show progressed.  However,  I have to say...the stuck tree and caroling made the show as far as I was concerned.

I have seen the show several times since (without mishap).  It is an amazing event. None, of course, can compare to the one where something went wrong.  I would encourage anyone living locally, to take a year and attend the Singing Christmas Tree, especially if you have children. You should see their faces, not only do they light up at the sight of Santa, but when that angel swings into view their faces are filled with awe, wonder and delight.

Oooh, I'm getting that squishy, ooey, gooey, mushy must be time to get out all my Christmas music, it's time Frankie and I start to make teary puddles around the house.

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