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  #1  
Old 12-14-2013, 01:47 AM
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A Christmas Trip Report

As most of you know I usually have the opportunity to attend the annual Christmas Concert of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir each year. It's a big deal, more than 80,000 attend these things and they end up on PBS each year. They usually invite a guest artist and a guest narrator.

I didn't get tickets this year, which kind of bummed me out. The event has become so popular and because it is presented free the tickets go almost immediately. I shouldn't complain because I've been so many times but I was really freaking out on not being able to attend because it is such a tradition to go downtown, walk through all the lights, eat something nice, drink hot cocoa and enjoy the great diversity of Christmas entertainment we get there.

My parents, however, did get tickets this year and I was thrilled for them because they haven't been for several years. Not because they couldn't score the tickets but because my Mom's health has just made it impossible. I just about lost it tonight sitting the restaurant with my Mom after spending so much time with her in hospitals the past couple of months -- it was that big of a deal. I went solely to make sure my parents go in the door. With so many people descending on downtown parking is a pain, it's frigid and I wanted to do what ever I could to get my folks in the building without having to spend time in the cold or to get hurt just walking the distance it would take to get them there.

So I took my girls and my wife and we had dinner with my parents and then decided to take in the lights and get in the stand-by line. Every event usually has people who don't show and they give up those seats to those in the standby line.

We got in! They were lousy seats but it hardly matters.

What I learned tonight from this event is the real reason why I want to go to these things every year. I didn't know this year's guest singer, who is an Opera star (what do I know about Opera) but the guest narrator was John Rhys-Davies, who most folks would recognize an Gimli from Lord of the Rings.

He was FABULOUS. He and a company of actors did a dramatic telling of the creation of A Christmas Carol and the life of Charles Dickens, which, of course, is a story I'm well familiar with and have written about a few times for the podcast and here on the website. But this was a dramatic telling and it had quite a bit of showmanship -- at one point they had Rhys-Davies portraying the Ghost-of-Christmas-Present trying to teach Dickens what ultimately inspired him to the restored values of true Christmas so necessary in the creation of the story. Just like they do in the movies they had the Ghost of Christmas Present float out over the audience with Dickens in tow. I know they did it with wires and such but the effect was stunning and the audience absorption in the story was fabulous -- everyone breathed together as the story was told and it was wildly fabulous.

Between that, and Rhys-Davies' storytelling out of the 2nd Chapter of Luke I came away inspired -- just filled with Christmas light and spirit -- just what the doctor ordered for me right now.

That's what these events do to me. Thank God we have the gift of music and the thrill of inspiring history. I've got a very busy ten days ahead of me and I am charged to go after it big time thanks to tonight.
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  #2  
Old 12-15-2013, 06:53 AM
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Great story! I felt exited for you. I'd do anything for my folks and feel the same joy when they get to do something special. Glad they were well and could enjoy it.

That show is something I've always wanted to see. I did get to see the 1 hour PBS special a few days ago.
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Old 12-15-2013, 07:39 AM
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so wonderfull!!! I am very happy for You and the entire family!!!
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Old 12-15-2013, 08:58 AM
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It sounds like a very exciting, inspiring, uplifting evening! I wish I could have seen it for myself, but your description has taken me there.
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Old 12-15-2013, 11:00 AM
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Way to go Westovers!

If I had a bucket list, the Christmas Concert of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir would definitely be on it!

And it's all because of your vivid descriptions and excitement each year, Jeff! Thanks for these reports that allow us a glimpse of the event live!
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Old 12-15-2013, 11:48 AM
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"Pink Christmas" CD as a Breast Cancer gift!

Originally Posted by Jeff Westover View Post
As most of you know I usually have the opportunity to attend the annual Christmas Concert of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir each year. It's a big deal, more than 80,000 attend these things and they end up on PBS each year. They usually invite a guest artist and a guest narrator.

I didn't get tickets this year, which kind of bummed me out. The event has become so popular and because it is presented free the tickets go almost immediately. I shouldn't complain because I've been so many times but I was really freaking out on not being able to attend because it is such a tradition to go downtown, walk through all the lights, eat something nice, drink hot cocoa and enjoy the great diversity of Christmas entertainment we get there.

My parents, however, did get tickets this year and I was thrilled for them because they haven't been for several years. Not because they couldn't score the tickets but because my Mom's health has just made it impossible. I just about lost it tonight sitting the restaurant with my Mom after spending so much time with her in hospitals the past couple of months -- it was that big of a deal. I went solely to make sure my parents go in the door. With so many people descending on downtown parking is a pain, it's frigid and I wanted to do what ever I could to get my folks in the building without having to spend time in the cold or to get hurt just walking the distance it would take to get them there.

So I took my girls and my wife and we had dinner with my parents and then decided to take in the lights and get in the stand-by line. Every event usually has people who don't show and they give up those seats to those in the standby line.

We got in! They were lousy seats but it hardly matters.

What I learned tonight from this event is the real reason why I want to go to these things every year. I didn't know this year's guest singer, who is an Opera star (what do I know about Opera) but the guest narrator was John Rhys-Davies, who most folks would recognize an Gimli from Lord of the Rings.

He was FABULOUS. He and a company of actors did a dramatic telling of the creation of A Christmas Carol and the life of Charles Dickens, which, of course, is a story I'm well familiar with and have written about a few times for the podcast and here on the website. But this was a dramatic telling and it had quite a bit of showmanship -- at one point they had Rhys-Davies portraying the Ghost-of-Christmas-Present trying to teach Dickens what ultimately inspired him to the restored values of true Christmas so necessary in the creation of the story. Just like they do in the movies they had the Ghost of Christmas Present float out over the audience with Dickens in tow. I know they did it with wires and such but the effect was stunning and the audience absorption in the story was fabulous -- everyone breathed together as the story was told and it was wildly fabulous.

Between that, and Rhys-Davies' storytelling out of the 2nd Chapter of Luke I came away inspired -- just filled with Christmas light and spirit -- just what the doctor ordered for me right now.

That's what these events do to me. Thank God we have the gift of music and the thrill of inspiring history. I've got a very busy ten days ahead of me and I am charged to go after it big time thanks to tonight.

Excellent post Jeff! I have seen those fabulous Christmas lights at the corner of Temple & Temple. At first glance the location made chuckle, (kind of like the intersection of Main St. & Main St. anywhere else), but then it made perfect sense to me. Thanks for the inspired post.

Geoff
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Old 12-16-2013, 08:21 AM
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I'm so glad you got in! I'd love to see them sometime, I have several of their CDs. I'm also glad your folks were able to enjoy it again. My parents are getting up there in years (84 & 88), I know my siblings and I did quite a bit to see that they got to do things while they still could, which I am glad we did, I know there's no way they could go to a concert of any kind now, they can't even make it to our church concerts, thankfully our local cable station airs them, or our pastor gives them the DVDs.

I also saw an awesome concert this weekend, Trans-Siberian Orchestra! It was my first time seeing them, and it was phenominal! I've never seen so many lazers and flames in my life!
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