December 7, 2013 7:40:10 PM
This time of year, we often hear two common complaints: "Christmas is too commercial" and "I just can't get into the Christmas spirit." In some cases, we suspect the latter is caused by the former, although there are some competitive shoppers for whom the hustle and bustle of the malls and stores is a highlight of the season.
For the rest of us, there is tonic that soothes the pain of commercialism and revives the spirit of the season.
It is often said home remedies are the best remedies of all. In this case, it is particularly true.
Christmas need not be reduced to a shopping list and one need not go through the motions of a Merry Christmas.
If you want a good dose of Christmas Cheer, you will find them all around you. Churches, civic clubs and organizations will soon be putting on their Christmas programs, events that are bound to guide you, body and soul, to a more festive and deeper appreciation for the holiday.
Beginning this week, the opportunities to drink from the cup of Christmas Cheer are available on almost a daily basis.
It starts Tuesday with a true classic Christmas offering, an event that even the most unrepentant Scrooge could not resist: Columbus Sings' production of Handel's "Messiah." This much-anticipated annual event combines regional voices and instrumentalists during performances at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. at Annunciation Catholic Church. Free tickets to ensure seating are available at First United Methodist Church, the Tennessee Williams Welcome Center, Columbus-Lowndes Convention and Visitors Bureau and Party and Paper.
Also beginning Tuesday is the Starkville Community Theatre production of "A Christmas Cabaret," with 7:30 p.m. performances through Thursday. For ticket info, call the SCT box office at 662-323-6855.
On Thursday, Columbus-Lowndes Public Library hosts an Open House from 4-6 p.m. featuring a "forest" of trees decorated for the holidays. For more information, contact the library, 662-329-5300.
First Baptist Church of Columbus will hold its "First Christmas" nativity display Dec. 13-15. FBC recreates an interactive Bethlehem marketplace, complete with merchants, soldiers and the humble stable. The event is open to the public from 6-8 p.m. on the grounds of The Shops at Brickerton on Military Road. There is no charge to attend. For more information, contact FBC, 662-328-3915.
Friday, downtown Columbus merchants host their annual Wassail Fest from 5-8 p.m. This event (rescheduled because of bad weather this past Friday) includes wassail tasting, music, activities and prizes.
If parades put you in the Christmas mood, you have plenty to choose from. Artesia and Caledonia both had their Christmas Saturday, but the Columbus parade, featuring the Anheuser Busch Clydesdales and Santa as the grand marshal, will begin downtown at 5:30 p.m. Saturday.
Also on Saturday, the Mississippi University for Women music department will present a choral concert at 8 p.m. in Poindexter Hall. Admission is free. At the same venue on Dec. 15, the Columbus Girlchoir is in concert at 3 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.
Finally, on Dec. 21, Christian recording artist David Phelps joins an area-wide mass choir at Rent Auditorium on the Mississippi University for Women campus at 7 p.m., hosted by United Methodist Men of First United Methodist Church. Artist Circle tickets are $30; general admission $20, available at FUMC, First Baptist, Fairview Baptist, First Presbyterian and Pleasant Hill Baptist churches. Proceeds benefit Loaves & Fishes, Last House on the Block and the Good Samaritan Medical Clinic. For information, visit columbusfumc.org or contact Andy Tentoni, 662-352-1844.
And these are just some of the events planned around the Golden Triangle.
So if you are inclined to complain that Christmas is just too commercial or that the Spirit of Christmas has somehow evaded you, we encourage you to take advantage of these home remedies for the Christmas Blues.
2. Voice of the people: Dave Hood LETTERS TO THE EDITOR (VOICE@CDISPATCH.COM)
3. Wyatt Emmerich: Non-profit journalism LOCAL COLUMNS
4. Our View: Apathy is the enemy in our school-funding crisis DISPATCH EDITORIALS
5. Editorial cartoon for 6-30-16 NATIONAL COLUMNS