Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Getting in the Spirit

When I was a kid, I guess I believed in this guy although I don't remember going to a store to see him in person. I snapped this at the Four Seasons hotel in Austin on Sunday. These kids were having a fancy little tea party and Santa visited.

We were Christians so, growing up, there were carols and sometimes little home-done nativity scenes with cousins.

The anticipation of presents, the time off from school, the fun gatherings of relatives, my grandmother's giblet gravy and dressing and homemade rolls and cinnamon rolls: there were lots of things to get excited about. Maybe my heart would swell about the birth of Christ during a rousing "Joy to the World," too.

Things are different now. I understand my tribe's myths in the context of other myths. But I still get a little cultural push from the songs, traditions, pagan trees, etc. Usually.

Last night we heard a 'holiday' choral concert at the Butler School of Music at UT. It was festive. Portions of the Messiah. (During the Hallelujah chorus a certain professor I thought was firmly in the atheist camp stood with his wife and the rest of the crowd then did, too.) There was a reading with orchestra of The Night Before Christmas and a God Bless Us Everyone with a tenor solo and the whole huge choir and orchestra. Very festive. For a moment I was in the season.

We've also wandered the downtown hotels and looked at trees and decorations, noticed the decorated shop windows on Second. We'll check out the Capitol Tree soon.

Friday we will make our annual trek to see "The Nutcracker." We are heavily invested in Ballet Austin. (We are donors, FFP is on the board for 15 years, we financed a new costume for the mechanical doll in the party scene, etc.) I usually come away feeling like it's Christmas. And glad that many performances will be sold out and help finance the ballet's more daring work.

But this year seems different. The Christmas spirit is hard to come by. And I guess I don't really miss it.

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