Rubber Chicken Scratchings: ‘Holiday music’ just isn’t the same as ‘Christmas music’Brian Matuszak delights in his editor getting in trouble with, among other local celebrities, Barbara Reyelts of Northland's NewsCenter.
By: Brian Matuszak, Budgeteer News
So Sue, Kaylee and I attended the recent Mannheim Steamroller Christmas concert at the DECC (thank you, David Drew and the good folks at KOOL 101.7!) and it really helped put us in the mood for the holidays. I know I’m not Barbara Reyelts here and flashing any news …
EDITOR’S NOTE: That last phrase sounds slightly inappropriate. Change the wording a bit to make it less offensive — so Barbara doesn’t come down to the Budgeteer’s office and punch me in the arm.
I know I’m not Barbara Reyelts here and dropping any bombshells …
EDITOR’S NOTE: Mmm … not sure about that one, either. Readers could interpret that to mean Barbara has whacked Laura Langemo on the side of the head (or the arm) and caused her to lose consciousness. Less violence, more funny!
I know I’m not Barbara Reyelts here and blowing smoke up your skirt …
EDITOR’S NOTE: Seriously? How do you think Barbara’s going to react to THAT?! [OFFICE DOOR OPENS] “Oh, hi, Barbara! Heh, heh, what can I do for—” [SMACK!] “Oww, my arm!”
Anyway, the upbeat, fun Mannheim music, coupled with the good cheer from the appreciative audience, made us smile and — at least temporarily — helped us forget the stress we had been starting to feel with the tree still not being up, the cards not out, the cookies not baked and the Grinch and Charlie Brown TV specials sitting next to the DVD player, unwatched.
Yes, that “Christmas countdown collar” was tightening, and we were definitely feeling it.
Musical concerts have a way of making the season more enjoyable. Last week, Kaylee had her holiday concert and those seventh and eighth graders were tearing up “Jingle Bells” and “Winter Wonderland” like nobody’s business. It warmed my heart to watch Kaylee as she silently concentrated on her music, brows furrowed and toes tapping in time to the beat. I was transported back to my holiday-concert days, where John and Pat Hussey showed us Alborn Elementary School kids the magic of a good Christmas concert.
Yes, we did call it a “Christmas concert” back then. Not a “holiday concert” or, worse yet, a “winter concert.” Heck, I can even remember some Nativity scenes played out complete with shepherds, sheep and the baby Jesus. I know that’s frowned upon now, but, man, I really miss that. Not because I have a burning desire to return Jesus to public schools, and I’m certainly not on the whole Fox News There’s-A-War-On-Christmas Sputtering Tour — I just think the world seemed to be a nicer and, dare I say, more tolerant place back then. Probably because folks who didn’t necessarily believe in the religious aspects of Christmas at least believed in the pretty-cool ideas behind Christmas: goodwill, helping each other out and all that. Plus, they had better things to do than feel offended at the sight of an ass in a manger.
So embrace those Christmas concerts, wherever you find them! From the high polish of Mannheim Steamroller to the wonderful enthusiasm of school kids, it all makes the season bright, as they say, and reminds you why you love Christmas in the first place — especially if you can be surrounded by family and friends as you silently, but dramatically, sing along to “O Holy Night.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: Brian, you can keep “ass” but drop “Christmas,” “manger” and all mention of Barbara Reyelts from this column. You have to. I can’t hold my pen anymore. [OFFICE DOOR OPENS AGAIN] “Oh no….”
Brian Matuszak has been difficult and demanding since February 2008. He is the co-founder of Renegade Comedy Theatre and founder of Rubber Chicken Theater and would like to wish everyone a wonderful Christmas season! If you like these weekly columns, please let Budgeteer editor Matt Perrine know so he can take solace in that and not focus on his throbbing, bruised upper arm.