Thursday, December 13, 2018

Ye Olde Annual Christmas EpistleFrom Me

 I’d have to say that this year has been far from uneventful – maybe one event too many when it comes to health and such but two stints in my heart later and I’m still functioning. doing my musical routines, etc. Now I’m not back to 100% but thanks to 36 weeks of rehab, I’m on the mend.
    Still writing songs, playing piano, guitar, banjo (and a little bit of tenor sax – very little), working with some great Dallas musicians and volunteering three times a week at Presby Hospital (now known as Texas Health Resources Hospital). I liked Presby better, it was shorter to say. Wonder-filled times in that place -- happy to be able to play piano for the folks there.
 As for as Big News, let’s see … apart from health issues, I mean. Did a lot of traveling in the Fall – Grand Rapids to see Art Prize then in November a trip to Indianapolis to see my long time pal, Ashli Cartwright-Peak; later than month I was in Denver to have my annual Thanksgiving visit with Janice’ Moore and this month I’m off to New England to celebrate Christmas with The Duckett clan. And of course there’s my work with Kiddz on Stage I did in Winnsboro back in July and my work with Spotlight Players (formerly Jesters) here in Dallas. So I have plenty to keep me out of trouble – not that it does – but I have a truly rich, full life with tons of blessings to be thankful for – including you my dear friends. Now let’s move onward to this year’s musing.

Merry Christmas, World
  All right everybody who wants to emphasize death and destruction, heartache and heartbreak plus misery and general unhappiness at Christmas time raise your hand. … Me neither. Oh there might be some out there but not too many of you, those who read my meanderings year after year, would qualify for that group. Fact is most of us don’t want to “go there”--  as  people are inclined to say these days. Of course we don’t have to “go there”, mainly because that sort of news is here, it’s all around us, everyday.  We have had our fair share of Bad News for the year. Enough already.
   Well I’ve got Good News for you – it’s called Christmas. And it’s all about Good News. Now I will hasten to add that I intentionally look forward to being reminded of the promise and possibility of the season. Hence the following bit of rhythm and rhyme.

Where did Hollywood get the idea
That Christmas time is a perfect time
For celebrating goodness?
What made them decide that happy endings
Would be prime ingredients for a hit flick?
That people getting together and loving each other
Like an idealized family
Would sell tickets and melt hearts and
Make us warm and fuzzy down deep
They’ve learned to package magic and miracles
Whether in Bedford Falls or on 34th Street
While some can’t abide such so called treacle
Indeed there’s a whole lot of people
Like me, who think peddling hope
And the idea that dreams can come true
Is one of the nicer notions to present to the world
But where on earth did they get that idea?
Where on earth?  How about Bethlehem?
Isn’t there something touching, you might even say “feel good” about that story
When you truly stop and ignore all the nay-sayers
All the folks who say,”Man, that sort of make believe is way out of style”
When you get past all that, doesn’t the story still bring an almost childlike smile to our face …

A baby, a manger, Angels singing Gloria
Shepherds in the fields, Wise men with treasures
Even Hollywood can’t top that for an epic event
And don’t forget the bright shining star overhead
The one that led the seekers to find the Christ child
That’s the stuff of miracles and if I may permitted so say so
Magical moments to hold close on a cold winter night
When darkness is far too real
And there seems to be very little light
But at least enough to light our way
To take a step and then another
Believing as best we can
Trying to understand who we are
Remembering once more
That once upon time
There was a birth and it was no fairy tale
It was a night of magic and miracles
So big, so fantastic even Cecil B.
Couldn’t have captured it
Yet so unassuming, so fraught with something as simple and tender
As a young couple’s love for their newborn
And the most miraculous of all
Here was God’s way of saying to all of us --

“I Give you the most precious gift
Anyone has ever given
Here is my beloved son, Jesus …
Merry Christmas, World”

Merry Christmas and all the best to you
George Gagliardi, December, 2018