Holiday Spirit and the Christmas Revels

Beautiful star over streets in Boston

Beautiful star over streets in Boston

By Ramona Flightner/@ramonaflightner

I have needed something to help me enter into the holiday spirit this year. I thought I was starting to catch the spirit when I walked through Boston last week and saw the Christmas tree in the Commons and the stars hanging over the streets. I felt it continue to grow as I put up my little tree and took out the few decorations I have at my home. They never fail to make me smile. The ornaments of a Red Jammer Glacier Bus or a fishing reel remind me of home.

Christmas Tree in Boston Commons, a gift from Halifax given to Boston every year

Christmas Tree in Boston Commons, a gift from Halifax given to Boston every year

This week, I went to Revels (I am sure there is a more formal name for it , but that is what I have called it for the past 4-5 years), with my neighbor. She introduced me to it several years ago and I look forward to going every year. It is a show where the audience sings along in certain parts, and there is singing, dancing and acting on stage. I had never heard of it before I settled in Boston, but I believe it has spread to other communities around the U.S.

Anyway, this year’s Revels was an Irish Christmas Revels. It followed a group of Irish on a ship as they traveled from Ireland to New York City. On the journey, there was singing, dancing and storytelling. I loved the step dancers and the traditional Irish band that played songs each half of the program. However, what I loved the most was that it put me in the Christmas spirit and made me laugh and forget the rest of the world for a bit.

During one scene, where they were telling a very drawn out story about visiting the king of the sea in his palace under the water, I laughed out loud to see dancers dressed as lobsters and crabs set dancing. Someone sitting next to my friend muttered, “Hmm, I guess that’s what you start to see when you drink too much Guinness.”

There are certain parts of Revels that are a constant. One is the Lord of the Dance. The song is sung and then the audience is invited to jump up and dance in the hallway. I wasn’t able to make it into the hall last year due to our seats, but this year I leapt out and danced the entire time. It was fantastic and wonderful to see a hall full of people laughing, dancing and singing.

My other favorite part was when we sang Dona Nobis Pacem. I often lose my place, but this year I was surrounded by extraordinary singers and had no trouble. I left Revels feeling lighter of spirit and for that I am very grateful.

Lights on Commonwealth Avenue

Lights on Commonwealth Avenue

Beautiful Lights at Faneuil Hall

Beautiful Lights at Faneuil Hall

Beautiful Christmas Tree at Faneuil Hall

Beautiful Christmas Tree at Faneuil Hall

© Ramona Flightner

  • Bridget

    That sounds splendid Ramona. I never heard of it before, but it sure sounds like a good time.

    Merry Christmas!

  • bill

    sounds like a fun time mona… I never heard of it either… Let the guinness flow… and why not kick up your heels. Merry ho ho… coach bill

    ps: say hi to barry and nat too ! wish them a merry xmas from me.

  • Marj

    Thanks for passing this on….sounds like fun!!

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