Contributed by Nan Potts
Celebrating the Joys of Christmas
12/11/2016 – 4PM
Mat-Su Community Chorus
St. John's Lutheran Church, Palmer
Tickets: $5 General, FREE Seniors/Students
With the tricks and treats of Halloween behind us and the festive gatherings of Thanksgiving and Christmas looming, someone asked me, "What's your greatest joy of Christmas?" My mind went blank for lack of an answer.
Many times, November and December have broadsided me with cannonades of self-imposed tasks and expectations which The Season demands. Joy? I thought, who has time? With shopping, preparing for festivities, coordinating schedules, crafting personal gifts, etc., is there time revel in true joy?
Of course, Christmas activities are fun and it is the season of celebrating Christ's birth. However, I asked myself, where does the joy in Christmas lay for me?
I got the notion to look up the definition of the word, joy. I came across a variety of meanings, depending on the dictionary I referenced. All basically agreed upon the noun - the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying, keen pleasure, elation, a source of keen pleasure or delight, the expression or display of gladness, or the state of happiness. The latter two definitions caught my attention: an expression or display of gladness and the state of happiness.
Several days later, my routine took me to rehearsal for the Mat-Su Community Chorus. Having sung with many choirs over the years, the music of Christmas has always been my favorite and caroling is especially enjoyable. Then it struck me, singing is a joy of mine! Yes, but it didn't answer the question of the "greatest joy of Christmas".
As practice continued, we sang of good tidings, a winter wonderland, believing, families gathered by the fireside, the hope for peace and prosperity for mankind, the heralding of angles announcing the arrival of the Christ Child and many other holiday accessories. Then I recalled teaching Christmas carols to my children, the excitement of the anticipation of Santa, the gleeful squeals of young voices, the smiles, kindness and kindred of heart and mind of friends and family, the camaraderie of my fellow singers, and the presence of love, hope and peace. There was my answer. The spirit of Christmas was my greatest joy of the holidays and the music, its inspiration. The message is very audible in the librettos and experienced through the enduring melodies.
As I confront the turn of the calendar page to December, Christmas day is circled and so is another: Sunday, December 11th. St. John's Lutheran Church in Palmer, will host the Mat-Su Community Chorus' winter concert, Celebrating the Joys of Christmas at 4:00pm. Anna Crowther, Conductor. Tickets will be $5.00 at the door and admission is free to seniors and students.
The chorus is familiar to many, especially living in the Valley. Having its origin in the 1960's and extant today, the chorus represents The Valley's Musical Ambassadors, performing throughout the borough. You'll even find them caroling around Downtown Palmer during Colony Christmas. If your calendar is similar to mine, it has a multitude of circles adorning it. You might wonder, how to fit in one more thing? Well, that's where you ask yourself, “What is the greatest joy of the holiday season?”
Whether you feel Scrooge-ish or not, you must admit Christmas is a special time. Why not make the time to experience one of the many joys this season holds? As for me, the joy that Christmas delivers is a gift I will graciously accept. Please come and join the chorus in this celebration and enjoy the warmth within winter's tenure.