One benefit of doing a Christmas program: having your picture taken with Santa!
This past weekend my friend Jeff and I presented three programs about Christmas carols and the stories behind their creation. We had a great time with good audiences at three libraries and got lots of good feedback and ideas for future programs. Everyone was willing to sing along--who can resist when it's Christmas songs, after all?
There are so many carols! Which ones to choose? And when is a song a carol and not a hymn or, well, just a song? I learned that "carol" came from a French word that meant dancing in a circle; its meaning expanded to include singing in a circle and gradually to songs sung by a group.
The songs we chose were both well-known and not so familiar--Silent Night, The Holly Has a Berry, a song about the Christmas Truce of World War I, Jingle Bells, The Cherry Tree Carol, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman (for children in the audience, and also because the stories behind these are so interesting), and Deck the Halls.
It was a fun program and I am sad we're already finished with performances for this year.
Next year, we plan to add more songs and stories to the list, and to develop one program specifically for children and one for adults so that we can delve more deeply into the history and stories for the adults, and add stories that might not have a song connected to them to the children's program (like The Night Before Christmas, The Christmas Spider, Baboushka, etc).
Now, maybe I can focus on getting my decorations up at home!