Over the past couple of years a handful of committed community members have been giving the old city park a make-over, installing a small pond and building a covered bridge over it. They decided our small village needed a tree in the city park and to have a proper Christmas tree lighting ceremony. The Scotts Mills Friends church was asked to lead in the singing and music.
Ed and I walked over about 20 minutes early so I’d have time to tune with the others and get our music in order. Even though it was early with the evening rapidly growing dark and the temperature falling quickly through the 30’s people were noisily making their way to the park in happy anticipation.
We set up to the side, encouraged our fingers to be warm and nimble while papers with the words were passed around to the gathering crowd. With little advanced notice and no time to practice together we were an odd assortment: 2 accordions, 2 guitars, 1 fiddle and 2 singers. What fun we had making merry music, the people singing along with the well known songs and carols while waiting for the tree to light up and Santa to arrive. (ahem, why yes, with an ever expanding schedule he does need to make early appearances!)
A small speech was made by the mayor who handed the switch to the town’s informal matriarch, a woman who has volunteered her whole life to making this town a better place and seeing to it that people’s needs are met even when her own health has been poor. She’s a humble person and only smiled before lighting up the tree. “O Christmas Tree”
Two large, black horses jingled forth with a waving Santa.
While the faithful steeds steamed in the cold night air,
Santa handed out bags of goodies and listened to children whisper their wishes.People sang, visited with friends and neighbors, ate chili and cookies, and drank hot chocolate.
The songs were sung but music thrummed through the veins of Hairfeather, an accordion player who is a retired music teacher, and she kicked up an impromptu lively piece which soon had us jamming along with her in high spirits as she yodeled and sang la-la in her fine voice. Such fun!
Santa needed to continue on his rounds, and families were dispersing to put little ones to bed. Those who were still there assembled for pictures and goodbyes.
Such a wonderful start to this wonderful season when we look forward to the Advent of the Christ Child, and pray for peace on earth.
PS, this small park is next to the home lots that are for sale shown in the previous posting. 🙂