Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Never a Dull Moment

That's what it's like here in Greenwich at Christmastime. OK, maybe I should say holidaytime to be politically correct, but to do so would not be culturally correct. For the events I am sharing with you, dear reader, are all Christmas-related, and that's simply the way it is. (I exclude the mammoth traffic jams on Greenwich Avenue, which are probably 60-40 Christmas/non-Christmas related, if you include the many worshippers of Mammon who have settled here in town in recent years.)

Herewith a recap of some recent events worth mention: Saturday saw the Cos Cob Library Christmas party, at which Santa Claus made a cameo, and the performance of Billy Balsam: The Musical at First United Methodist Church. Billy Balsam: the book was written by a neighbor of mine about ten years ago, and has become a popular seasonal favorite. A local musician set it to music about six years ago, and accompanied "The Balsamettes" in their clever dramatic representation of the story, complete with numerous ten-second costume changes and the distribution of tiny bells to the children present for their help in one of the numbers.

Ken Kieffer, who could have played a lumberjack in his plaid shirt and bluejeans, welcomed us all, and invited us for hot chocolate and a tree-lighting afterwards. Author Bill Schneider distributed free copies of his book to the children (your scribe somehow managed to qualify) and signed them on request. Pretty nice way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Sunday saw the return of the faithful (and a few lost sheep) to the sanctuary at the First Presbyterian Church on Lafayette Place. It's been sixteen long months of holding services in a middle school auditorium, and it sure felt good to hear an organ again. We re-consecrated the space (our organist, Kevin Estes, has been distressed to hear some construction workers speaking in construction-worker language, which apparently relies heavily on the the word motherf**ker for description and emphasis), and aside from one candle that refused to light (still too traumatized, perhaps?), it was a wonderful service. Even when the electric company produced one of its frequent outages on the grid, thereby truncating Kevin's postlude, spirits remained high. As our church administrator and chief clerk of the works, Don Hibbard, said, "At least we know the emergency lights work fine." So fine, in fact, that 90% of the congregation never even realized the power had gone out.

Don is the one who stumbled over (literally) the church's 1922 cornerstore as the demolition was taking place last year. Talk about the inscrutable ways of Providence: it had been hidden by new (now gone) construction from the 1950s, and nobody had a clue as to its existence. Don tripped over it, and noticed some Roman numberals on the offending rubble. Inside were documents about the church leaders of the time and their leap of faith in expanding the physical plant, as well as some pristine coins and other memorabilia. Don told the story as part of the children's sermon, and Bill Evertsberg asked them to be thinking about what we could put in the new cornerstone for people in the distant future to find.

Later that afternoon there was "Carols by Candlelight" at Christ Church. Your scribe would love to give a full review of the proceedings, which began with Benjamin Britten's "Ceremony of Carols" as a prelude, followed, of course, by lessons and carols and candles, but is somewhat constrained by the fact that he was running late and didn't get to the service. Next year, perhaps.

Long story short, there is so much to do and see in Town at present that life is anything but dull. If you need additional ideas, surf on over to AuthorWhiz Diana Peterfreund's Favorite Holiday Films listing at her ueber-fabulous website, Diana's Diversions. If I were consigned to a desert island with a laptop that could only access one website, it would be hers.


Blogger saraclaradara said...

What, am I chopped liver? :>(

December 24, 2006 4:54 PM  
Blogger Bill Clark said...

Sweetheart, to the best of my knowledge you haven't posted a list of top 10 Christmas films yet...that's why Diana got the shout-out. If you catch up on your blog reading (I know you've been busy with Marty, but don't you have to come up for air at some point?), you'll see that you get at least as many, if not more.

P.S. Can you help me to figure out how to post links to your sites in my template, underneath the counter? I tried, and failed. Help, AuthorBabe!

P.P.S. Isn't that my line you stole when you said you didn't have a date to accompany you into NYC and I asked you the same thing? Of course, then Marty came along, and my chances went right out the window.... ;>)

December 26, 2006 11:08 AM  

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