Candy Canes, Parades, and Scheherazade

Derek and I had a wonderful time this past weekend! I had been feeling pretty down, because it's already the middle of December and I didn't feel like we had been able to do anything for Christmas. I hadn't got to enjoy the Christmas season at all! So Derek and I decided to do some Christmas-y stuff to get in the spirit.

On Saturday we went to a parade in the small town where I work.

We got there early and walked along the street to where the parade would be - then Derek spotted a candy and ice cream shop. Of course we had to go in. We both have impossibly sweet teeth.

I decided on getting an old-fashioned candy cane, and Derek got two Irish creme truffles. We took our treats to the edge of the street and waited for the parade to start.

It was just a little home-town parade. The local fire department was in it, the dog shelter, the Cub Scouts and Brownies. An old Jeep sported a sign that said "Support Our Troops" and Santa rode around on a motorcycle with one of those little passenger carts on the side - filled with toys, of course.

My favorite part was probably the high-bike riders. You know those old-fashioned bicycles with the large front wheels? There were three of them in the parade, and Derek and I were pretty impressed. How do they even get up on those things?

After the parade we walked around the streets and looked in a few little shops. Then we sat down and watched a cute puppet show in a traveling puppet cart that was on the corner of the street where I work. Little kids were enthralled (and I admit it - I was too) and babies were laughing at the show.

We had a wonderful time.

We spent the rest of the day shopping, having lunch at Arby's, then driving home, wrapping presents, and watching The Nativity Story with Christmas lights twinkling in the background - doesn't get much better than that.

At the last minute on Saturday night, we decided we were going to go to hear a symphony orchestra Christmas concert the next day. I have always wanted to hear a symphony orchestra! You'll remember my random, excitement-generated post on Saturday night.

Well, after an unsuccessful attempt at going to church the next morning (our church is in park that often gets hit with bad weather - it was snowing and once we got to church we decided not to stay because we were afraid they'd close the pass), we headed down that afternoon to the orchestra.

I tried to get someone else to take a picture of us there, but of course my camera battery chose that moment to die. So all I have are those self-photos where you hold the camera out and hope it's aiming the right way. Oh well.

One thing we noticed was that the older generation far outnumbered us younger people. It's kind of sad, because it seems like that type of music is a dying art form. So many young people these days have no appreciation for real musical composition and talent.

And I don't know why, because the symphony was wonderful!

They started with a piece called Scheherezade, Op. 35 by Nikolai Rimski-Korsakov, then after intermission they played Christmas carols. I was glad that they did both - the first piece gave me the real symphony experience, and the Christmas selections during the second half were so enjoyable because I knew them.

Their version of "Sleigh Ride" was perfect! It sounded just like it does on the radio - only better because it was live.

During the Christmas portion of the concert they also had two guest singers, both of whom have performed in operas. My, their voices were amazing! So not only did we get to hear the symphony orchestra, but we also recieved a taste of the opera!

It was a wonderful evening, and it helped to assure me that I wasn't missing out on Christmas this year. This weekend was just what I needed to help me forget about all the work stress and busy-ness, and just refocus on Christmas and why we celebrate it.

Christmas time is wonderful not because of parades and concerts and shopping and lights! Those are part of the celebration, but the only thing we really need to celebrate Christmas is the correct state of our hearts.

I didn't need to do all of that stuff to get in the Christmas spirit - I just needed the time to de-stress, get away from the normal routine, and think about the Christmas season and everything it means - the parade and orchestra just came along with that re-focusing process this time.

Christmas is wonderful because it's the season we celebrate Christ's birth - His sacrifice in coming to live in our fallen world, His love that led Him to die on the cross for us, and the hope of His resurrection and swift return!

I just needed to slow down and enjoy the season to refocus my attention on Him this December - He's why we celebrate in the first place, after all!

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chloƫ. said...

i LOVE classical music. LOVE LOVE LOVE IT. I hope one of my kid's had the musical knack that I lacked myself.

Of course, it probably would've helped if I practiced more.. ;)

And it is sad how a lot of people have no appreciation for it. But I was a dance major and you'd be surprised at the little cluster of "artistic" students who still have an enormous passion for all things art - including classical music. so have no fear, it still is alive somewhere!

So glad you had a great weekend! Sounds like fun to me! :)

Brittney Galloway said...

I'm so glad you had some time to unwind and enjoy the season! I love symphonic music, it is just so enthralling!

Unknown said...

One of the reasons why I love the theatre is the symphony orchestra they use. The music is really the essence of it and I wish I could see them more. So pleased you had a good time and fee all festive now! :)

Jessica said...

What a fun weekend!! I bet the orchestra was amazing! I love that kind of music. Reminds me of high school and being in concert band. I miss that time and being a part of that kind of music!

Lidiya Lastur said...

Glad you had a great weekend. Seems like a lot of fun-i wish i could go to a symphony orchestra concert-love music.

Kara @ Just1Step said...

Yay, so glad you got to have some Christmas festivities. :)

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