For those of us doing the HGP, it is Holiday Decorating Week, and that is well begun at my house. I put away all the autumn decorations and the boys and I put up the Christmas tree. We found a string of lights that play little tinny electronic Christmas carols. None of us has any idea where it came from, but it is kind of cool in a “what will they think of next?” way.
I’ve been married and decorating for Christmas for about a quarter of a century, so I have a lot of decorations. I change the regular dishes for Christmas dishes, the regular pillowcases for Christmas ones, the table linens, the cushions and throws in the living room, the things on the tables and dressers, all that. I will finish that up this afternoon.
In the process I also hope to do some housekeeping. My house is a mess, and I have gained weight with all the partying which hasn’t obediently disappeared again once I returned to oats and gym visits.
The high proportion of partying to normalcy may explain it.
But it doesn’t seem fair. Before each party and visit, I have the house clean and tidy, and that melts away like spring snow. After each party and visit, I have two extra pounds, and they just hang around waiting for the next party.
My main quandary today, though, is a musical one. At the last choir rehearsal, a week and a half ago, someone asked what we would be singing for an anthem this morning. “A solo,” the director responded. “Fibermom?” (Well, he used my name, but that’s a secret, isn’t it?) I agreed, though I also suggested that it would be nice to have a quartet, and there was a bit of agreement on that, though no one actually stepped up to the plate and committed to sing.
A day or two after that I emailed the director with a suggestion for a song, and he responded that he didn’t know that one, and then had quite a bit to say about Christmas music.
So I have not only not practiced anything, I don’t know whether I am singing a solo or just helping out in a quartet.
I dreamed that a large symphony with a chorus came to visit and did the anthem. In the dream, I also had left the house with my dress unbuttoned, so it was clearly just a dream and not a heavenly vision or anything, so I don’t think I can count on that.
The trouble is that it is not Advent yet. Normally the Sunday after Thanksgiving is Advent, and you can jump right into Advent hymns, of which there are lots in my repertoire, and for which I have plenty of sheet music. If it were Advent, I could just walk in, hand the music to the accompanist, and sing.
But the oddity of this year’s calendar means that we have to come up with a Thanksgiving hymn. There aren’t that many. There are really just enough for the November Sundays before Thanksgiving. We’ve sung “We Gather Together,” and “Come, Ye Thankful People, Come,” and “Sing to the Lord of Harvest.”
I thought of “Gift of Finest Wheat.” Hear the tune here, and see the words here. It is really a communion hymn, but there is all that wheat in it, giving it a harvest air. It is in the Presbyterian Hymnal, which I can sneak over to the organist.
Another hymn sometimes associated with Thanksgiving is “Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah.” It has the word “pilgrim” in it. The tune is the wonderful “Cwm Rhonda,” one of the great Welsh hymn tunes which sounds like nothing as a solo but comes to life with harmonies. If there is in fact a willing quartet, I will propose that.
Or maybe that symphony and chorus will show up.