This is the time of year when a lot of people suffer from something I like to call “holiday anxiety.” It seems to be brought on by the hustle and bustle of the folks around us, as well as by the agony of trying to find the right gifts for the special people in our lives.
Holiday anxiety starts with the so-called “Black Friday” sales right after Thanksgiving, when many people have to rush from the table after a wonderful meal and hurry off to work at local department stores, where people are already lined up for the so-called sales. Some people don’t even have the time to spend with family at all, because to many merchants, instead of a day to be set aside to give thanks, it is just one more day to make money selling stuff.
What happened to the warm times when families would lean back after enjoying the meal and just be peacefully happy? Is getting the best buy on material things now more important than quality time with family?
It is ironic that we have allowed holiday anxiety to take over our lives at a season of the year when peace and goodwill should be the prevailing factors for each of us. Many of us even send out Christmas cards that proclaim “Peace on Earth,” while in reality we are letting the chaos of the times choke out the peace that was really meant to be, thereby stressing us to the max.
Never miss a local story.
Maybe it has something to do with my age. The older I get, the less material things mean to me and the more I value family, friends, peace and goodwill. I savor the moments I have with my family and dear friends. And I usually can’t wait to share with them some nugget of wisdom that spills out of the mouths of my great-grandchildren. I won’t be around always. So for me, now is the time to bask in their love, and the delightful things my great-grandchildren say and do. It’s time, also, to savor the friendships — the new ones and the ones that have grown old along with us.
There are many ways to enjoy this time of the year. Churches and organizations throughout the county offer great concerts and events. Many are free. Take the time to attend some of the events with your family. They promise to help you find the peace that seems to be elusive to so many at this time of the year.
WONDER OF CHRISTMAS LIGHT DISPLAY
Christ the King Lutheran Church in Pinecrest invites the community to its Wonder of Christmas light display and other events Friday, Dec. 18, through Dec. 20.
According to the Rev. Kathryn H. Carroll (lovingly called Pastor Kate), the church campus will be “aglow with lights and special events” that will add to the wonder of Christmas.
At 7 p.m. Dec. 18, the church will present a children’s performance of music and dance, along with arts and crafts. At 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 19, there will be a live bluegrass/gospel music performance and a time for families to decorate their own gingerbread house. On Sunday, Dec. 20, at 7 p.m., there will be an old-fashioned carol sing with arts and crafts for children.
On Christmas Eve, the church will have a candlelight service at 6 p.m. for families, and again at 8 and 10 p.m. The service will feature musicians playing brass instruments with the theme Seeking Peace.
Christ the King Lutheran Church is at 11295 SW 57th Ave., Pincrest. Everyone is invited. For more information, visit www.ctkmiami.org or call 305-665-5063.
HOLIDAY POPS CONCERT IN PINECREST GARDENS
Orchestra Miami will present its first Holiday Pops concert at 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 19, at Pinecrest Gardens, 11000 SW 57th Ave. The event promises to be an evening of Christmas classics, Hanukkah songs, holiday surprises and an old-fashioned sing-along.
Orchestra Miami is comprised of 47 musicians performing under the baton of artistic director Elaine Rinaldi. The program will also feature baritone Enrique Estrada as special guest artist.
The program will feature such favorites as Sleigh Ride and selections from A Charlie Brown Christmas.
The program will also include A Classical Christmas Suite arranged by Bob Wendel; Hanukkah Festival Overture arranged by Lucas Richman and Overture to Hansel and Gretel by Engelbert Humperdinck
Tickets are $25, general admission; $20 for seniors; and $10 for children ages 17 and under, and are available at www.OrchestraMiami.org or by calling 305-274-2103. Tickets will also be available on the day of the concert at the venue starting at 7 p.m.
Orchestra Miami was founded in 2006 by Rinaldi, and, according to a press release, “exists to fill the unique cultural needs of our community” and is successfully fulling its mission of bringing affordable concerts of quality symphonic music to the people in Miami-Dade County.
SURVIVING BLACK MUSICIANS FROM ’30S AND ’40S SOUGHT
It’s been a long time coming, but on June 16-18, the Mutual Musicians Foundation International (MMFI) will honor surviving black musicians and performers from the 1930s and 1940s at an awards gala in Kansas City. The musicians were members of the old “colored” unions that were started by the American Federation of Musicians (AFofM).
The foundation is requesting all who may have belonged to a segregated musicians union, or were represented by a black organizer of the American Federation of Musicians, to contact them with their information so arrangements can be made for their travel to Kansas City to attend the gala.
The deadline to get information to the foundation is April 30.
According to a press release, the Mutual Musicians Foundation, once known as Local 627, or the “colored” musicians union, was founded March 2, 1917, as a charter of the AFofM. The national historic landmark, located at 1823 Highland in Kansas City since 1930, is considered to be ground zero for what is known as one of the four pillars of the entire creation of jazz in American history.
Anita J. Dixon, executive director of the foundation said, “We recognize that few people in the world know of the contributions of these segregated unions to art and culture in America. Since the desegregation era, many of these great musicians and performers, now in their late 70s, 80s and 90s are dying daily. We want to bring as many as we can to Kansas City to do oral and video histories and preserve the memory of their talents for generations to come.”
If you are a “colored” union musician from the 1930s and 1940s, send your information to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 816-612-0864 and travel arrangements will be sent to you.
WOMEN’S CONFERENCE PLANNED IN TAMPA
The Women’s Conference of Florida is accepting registrations for the inaugural professional women’s conference May 19-20 in Tampa.
The conference will feature widely respected thought leaders, exhibits, networking events and panel discussions designed to empower women of all ages and backgrounds to positively influence the world around them.
The two-day conference is expected to draw more than 1,200 and will kick off with a reception on May 19 at Port Tampa Bay, Terminal Two. Speakers will include Jean Chatzky, financial editor for NBC’s Today show; Jill Abramson, former executive editor of The New York Times and the first woman to hold the most senior editorial positions at the publication; and Lori Greiner American inventor, investor, entrepreneur, author and cast member of reality TV show Shark Tank.
Send all items at least two weeks in advance to Friends and Neighbors, c/o Neighbors, 3511 NW 91st Ave., Doral, FL 33172 or email email@example.com. Pictures are accepted but cannot be returned.