Holiday Spirit and the Christmas Revels
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.
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.
© Ramona Flightner