Mack Williams: Christmas singing season 2022

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 24, 2022

In the middle of my “Christmas singing Season 2022,” I became laid up with gout, “the gout,” as it is often called. I had started my enjoyable Seasonal singing regimen at a local senior center, utilizing, as I often do, hats from my extensive hat collection.  In this, I usually give memorial homage by way of a Swedish hat and the song “Yingle Bells” to the late Yogi Yorgensen, of the 1950s.
But before performing that song, I always beg forgiveness of any offense to anyone of Swedish extraction (oh well, at least it’s not as bad as the Swedish Chef of the old “Muppet Show”).
A few days later, I was supposed to sing at the Yanceyville Library, but had to cancel. I was sad, because the seated children and their parents always seem eagerly waiting to sing along with me. The librarian always pulls up a chair and reads to the children about the Nativity. Last year, the town planner even joined in by reading “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” To me, it’s no little thing that he makes room for “Twas the Night Before Christmas” in his plan!
A couple days afterwards, I was supposed to sing with the Danville Choral Society in conjunction with the Danville Symphony Orchestra ,and the following day “go on the road” with the Danville Symphony to a performance in South Boston, Va. I was to portray Santa Claus there, leading the audience in Christmas Carols ( of course, this would have been a completely different costume and music from my Rafe Hollister portrayal in the “Mayberry Day’s Parade back in September, and minus a faux moonshine jug).
Just a couple of days before the following Sunday, things improved: I had progressed from the bed, to the walker, to the cane, (like a narrowing-down of “appendages”).
My plan to sing “Lo How a Rose” and “Sleepers Awake” at Yanceyville’s Prospect United Methodist Church was going to work out! The gout had not achieved complete victory!
I arrived somewhat early (which is always preferable to being somewhat late). Before entering, I felt an urge to feel the rich-red ribbons of the welcoming Christmas wreaths on the church’s entrance doors, and did so.
The interior assemblage of equally red-rich potted poinsettias seemed to add to the warmth of the HVAC and friendly congregation.
My solos were warmly received; and afterwards, I chatted with old friends in the fellowship hall while partaking of some Christmas goodies (gout-safe ones) prepared by the ladies of the church.
Later, on the way back home, I thought back to when I had ascended the church’s steps and had felt the urge to touch those deep red ribbons of its Christmas door wreaths.
In the chill air, the “fur-like” feel of the wide, red felt ribbons was one of warmth; their rich red turning up warmth’s impression. In fact, they seemed a little too warm for the sun to have warmed them up that much on that cold morning.

No, the source of the ribbons’ warmth came not only from within the church, physical, but from within the church, spiritual; where the “thermostat” is ever properly set.

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