Saturday, December 10, 2016

Christmas Festivals marking a 4th year

     I have some faith. Even in humanity. Maybe only that some of you have enjoyed the Questions and the Answers to the History Contest of the last few posts. Hope and faith can hold much more than that, of course.

     So...I enjoyed it and trust others did too.

      For this upload I admit to of been just that close to providing another thorough installment that might be a tad overdue. A deeper layer of regional historical significance toward a larger, more in depth study. The very type which have hopefully made their mark on this here blog.

     Then, with the whip of a snow flurry,  a touch of frosty cold, I rather suddenly took a turn and thought about the holiday. As in previous years. Here and Here.

     A precious time it is.

     As we approach further into the holiday season, of hustle and bustle, I also enter farther into the fourth year of my own brand of blogging. This was enough to make my mind up to throw out something else. A simple tribute to a revered and wonderful season, just on the sentimental side.

    Right now, probably like many others, I'm facing a BUNCH of gift wrapping, ribbons, tags; (not to mention the baking), although I did much of my Christmas shopping online. But, not all of it! It's time to get out the vintage holiday sounds of Bing Crosby and Andy Williams. Or, download music to your taste with corresponding streaming video from the internet by phone, i pad, memory stick, etc., and honor the spirit of it all. While we ready ourselves for a partly, or completely traditional holiday, (those from other countries with no interest, atheists, party poopers and whatnot, all we can say is, ignore this or better yet, get on board the Christmas train!), finish placing the beautiful decorations in their proper niches.

   Before moving on, I pray let's not overlook the obvious:

   the real and holy meaning of Christ's birth and purposes on earth behind all the hype and glamour of our preparations.

       Below, are a only a handful of winter options to choose from.

      A sample located in Westmoreland County certainly could include the following:

      They call it "An Old Fashioned Christmas Tradition", and the Overly's Family Christmas has been at it for a long time. The prices begin at $15.00, Sunday thru Thursday, 5:30 p. m.- 9:00 p. m, 10:00 o'clock on weekends.  A lot has been added on over time. With train rides, carol singing and photos with Santa, the whole evening experience will be available until the New Year of 2017. Their operating schedule is here. You can also contribute to the Care and Comfort Campaign for destitue animals at the Admission Gate. They're at the Westmoreland Fairgrounds on 115 Blue Ribbon Lane, Greensburg.

    The Laurel Ballet Performing Company is presenting "The Nutcracker" at the Palace Theater, also in Greeensburg.  The phone number for tickets is 724-836-8000.

    If it's a bit late to make that one, check out "A Christmas Carol" at The Geyer Performing Arts Center at 111 Pittsburgh Street in good ol' Scottdale. The dates are Dec. 15-18. Tickets are available.

   The Westmoreland Heritage site has an events calendar where the whole month of events can be looked into for more ideas.

   Next, let's take a gander at a couple of items from Fayette County:

   Santa will be at the Uniontown Public Library on by 1:30 p. m. on Dec. 17! SO, let the kids check him out. I hear the Nativity in the Pennsylvania Room is really a special sight. Many libraries contribute in various ways to the season, so allow some attention for your local ones as well.
    For those wishing for a more classic experience, the Bessontown Singers will be performing Handel's MESSIAH. Yep, with choir and orchestra, at the St. Peter's Church on Dec. 11, at 5:00 sharp.This promises to be an inspiring evening.


      One little request, please don't forget to donate to your favorite charity. If someone isn't sure which one, then I suggest something like The Salvation Army, whether it's in Fayette County, or Westmoreland, whatever is most convenient. Even a quick handout at a bell ringing person at a storefront where you shop for the holidays. A pretty no nonsense bunch, they really try their best to help those in need, so give them a little something, OK? Merely do what you can manage, that is enough. Giving has a way of making one feel, well, sort of, fulfilled. No preaching here. A little charity at this time of the year goes a long distance, and (whispered) such things are said to be good for the soul!

     Mt. Macrina Manor has its Drive Through Live Nativity scene on Dec. 11th in North Union Township, between 5-7 p. m. That's quite a beautiful site for those with a deeper religious persuasion. Ah, the Holy Family, the wise men, and...the angels.


       I could go on and on. But, you know what? We should all take a brief walk around our neighborhoods, let's ask about and look around. The local churches, many of them, sponsor terrific Christmas shows. Not a member? Step into one nearby and they will most likely make you very welcome, indeed. Along with the higher, subtle manifestations of the occasion,  these pageants can be a fun, yet meaningful time to put aside an hour or two, at least once in a while. Much peace and love-filled emotion abounds.

      In other manners, perhaps be a little adventurous; a nice quiet evening ride through town or countryside will give most anyone a charming glimpse of brightly colored lights: red and greens, silver and gold, brilliant homes and softly glowing window candles, flashing sleighs, happy snowmen and glittering, incandescent sights to warm a chilled body or a cold heart.

     If these possibilities aren't your cup of tea, then simply make your home a brighter place, whether with fiber optic villages, or the unique feel of a favorite evergreen Christmas tree. The old days may be gone, yet we can bring back a true feeling of the magic as we still indulge in holiday treats, some cocoa, a box of chewy candy, pondering for a moment or two indulging ourselves while sitting with the kids reading "A Night Before Christmas."

    Have you been to a fort lately? I want to share such experiences soon.

    F/WFH will be back before you know it with a NEW substance-filled post of local historical interest. We just might be in the mood for a tidbit of Pennsylvania trivia and involvement in the election process at the time of the Inaugural in January as well. Do stay tuned.

     Bless you all,
     young and old, boy and girl, guys and gals. However you decide to celebrate the Yuletide as this year rolls to a close, remember a touch of Victorian tradition.

                        A HAPPY NEW YEAR !

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