It’s 10 days before Christmas. Seems impossible to believe that the most wonderful time of year will soon be here and then over. During this time, I often reflect on some of my favorite Christmas music, specifically carols and find it interesting where they come from, who authored them, when they were written.
As a church musician, there are some that are very old and sometimes not the most popular secular carols that we hear on the radio. One in particular that I played last Sunday goes like this — “There’s a song in the air! There’s a star in the sky! There’s a mother’s deep prayer and a baby’s low cry! And the star rains its fire while the beautiful sing, For the manger of Bethlehem cradles a King!”
Josiah Holland was the founder of Scribner’s magazine and he wrote the poem “There’s a Song in the Air” for an 1874 Sunday School Journal and was reprinted that year in Complete Poetry Writings. In 1904, Karl Harrington was editing a new hymnal that was to be printed for The United Methodist Church. Harrington was flipping a poetry book that contained Holland’s poem, and when he came across this Christmas poem he decided it should be set to music, so he went over and sat down at an organ and began playing a tune while studying the words the poem. In 1905 that new carol was first published in the new hymnal and is now one of the carols we cherish.
The Winter Lights are on in Ivestor Park! The park is lit up every night in December for everyone’s enjoyment. The season is upon us and all the lights and decorations make the town look so festive. Thank you to the Arcanum Garden Club for decorating the flower pots on each corner uptown and the new decorations in Generation Park in front of the Fieldhouse; everything looks great!
This year has been very different, plans continue to change to stay safe and healthy. Has this been a hindrance to your family plans? As the old song goes, “there’s no place like home for the holidays.” This year, those heartfelt lyrics have added significance. Amid the Coronavirus pandemic, many families have decided to celebrate individually, instead of in large groups. Some folks might even find themselves celebrating alone. If that’s the case for you or your family, have no fear — there are so many fun quarantine Christmas ideas you can do while social distancing.
“For the holidays, you can’t beat home sweet home.” And for even more ideas to keep you busy, don’t miss the best Christmas activities to make your day even merrier. You might want to try a few of these new ideas. Instead of Santa coming to your home, why not hop on a video call with Santa? Getting to meet Santa is a magical experience for many youngsters during the holiday season. Unfortunately, they might not get to see Saint Nick in person this year — but that doesn’t mean they can’t chat with him on the phone. Use Santa Club to book a video conversation with Kris Kringle. The $50 experience includes up to three children and even allows you to keep a recording of the video.
You’re going to spend a lot of time at home this holiday season, so you might as well make your space the winter wonderland of your dreams. Set a budget and pick up some new decorations or open your craft bin and make some new ones. You might want to either make or purchase some holiday masks. Reading a book on the sofa is a cozy way to get in the Christmas spirit. Let the kids pick out a book and read it to them while eating some holiday snacks. How about hosting a virtual party? Just because you can’t get together in person doesn’t mean you can’t see your friends and family on Christmas. Why not set up a Zoom or Google meets link and host your party online?
How about you watch a Christmas movie? Watching a movie is the perfect way to spend the time between presents and dinner, or to unwind after the festivities end. Don’t forget to nosh on treats or sip cocktails while you watch. I would be remiss to not suggest “It’s A Wonderful Life,” this was my husband’s favorite Christmas movie and every year we always watched it. I always enjoy seeing Clarence get his wings at the end of the movie, how about you?
How about attending an outdoor event? This year my family and I have taken the time to view some of the most wonderful light shows in the area. The look on my grandson’s face when he saw the combine light up at the Lost Creek Reserve outside of Troy was priceless! While the wait to get in the place was lengthy, the expression and excitement he exuberated was worth the whole trip.
Last but not least, if you are able, spend Christmas Eve with your loved ones or socially distanced at a Christmas Eve service if you wish to go out and attend one. Again this year, I would like to announce your church’s Christmas Eve services in my column; please contact me via email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 937-423-3763 to have your information included next week. Season’s Greetings everyone!
Vickie Rhodehamel is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with her Arcanum community column. She can be reached by calling 937-692-6188, by e-mail at email@example.com. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.