Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas on Maui

If you have ever spent Christmas in the tropics then you will understand that it is hard to get into the spirit of things, because conjuring up a White
Christmas is like imagining how things are on another planet. That is of course if you are not a local and have never known anything else but surfing, fishing and walking the beach on Christmas day.We did however, discover that the the glue that holds this nostalgic season together, no matter where in the world you are you are, is Christmas music. A few strains of "Silent Night" and a choir singing the Hallelujah chorus puts you right into the Christmas spirit big time and Maui is blessed with a wonderful collection of performing arts groups which treated us to Christmas on this beautiful island. Home for the Holidays by the Maui Concert Chorus and Maui Community College chorus conducted by Celia Canty was a wonderful concert that reminded us so much of our beloved Naramata Community Choir back in Penticton, BC, Canada. In our imaginations we really were going "Home for Christmas", if only for a minute.

The Maui Pops Orchestra put on a wonderful "Holiday Pops Concert" topped off by two outstanding soloists, Bob Wills and Leighanna Locke.We also attended the Sing it Yourself Messiah at the Hyatt Hotel in Kaanapali, and enjoyed the same two soloists once again. Singing the Hallelujah chorus with such a large group was a thrilling experience to say the least.

One of the most lovely concerts we attended was in the historic Keawala'i Church over in Makena. The church has a spectacular oceanfront setting, and we drank in more beautiful Christmas music as we listened to the polished sounds of Sarah Oppenheim Beggs' Olinda Chorale and a Maui Madrigal group decked out in full Renaissance costume.

Sarah invited us to sing with a small choir on Christmas Eve upcountry at the Makawao Union Church. We went to rehearsals but as fate would have it my husband came down with a bad sore throat and we weren't able to attend. I'm sure it was another magical Maui Christmas evening.

I must also mention the Maui Onstage production of the musical Annie which was one of the best Maui productions we have ever had the pleasure to attend.

I can't leave this blog without mentioning another glue known as the internet which brings families together at Christmas no matter how far away they are. Imagine being able to watch as your grandson shows you the things he got from Santa. Not as good as being there in person, but the next best thing, especially when we blew a few kisses back and forth over the web cam. My daughter even gave me a guided tour of their house and holiday decorations. My other daughter sent photos and slide shows of their Christmas morning with Ellie their dog, and our son in Spain also communicates via skype. So don't think I am complaining about being in the tropics for Christmas. I only have to see photos of snowstorms in the newspapers to remind me how fortunate we are to escape the cold of winter. Music and the internet will keep us all in touch and in the Christmas spirit!

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