“You’ve been given a great gift, George, a chance to see what the world would be like without you.”
Clarence the Angel to George Bailey in “It’s a Wonderful Life”
It wouldn’t be the Christmas Season without watching “It’s a Wonderful Life”. It’s one of my favorites. What a great reminder of how even though our lives may seem mundane and unimportant, how we’re all part of something bigger. George Bailey gets the unexpected gift of seeing how, if he hadn’t been born his whole town would be different. We may not make a huge difference like that, but it always makes me wonder and want to do better.
Living in a small town is a gift. Friday night, Jay and I went to his annual (which didn’t happen last year due to Covid) Bar Association Holiday Party. It’s such a nice event and Robin Hagins, does such a nice job putting it together with her committee each year. She meets everyone at the door with a smile and makes even spouses of the lawyers feel welcome. Her own son, Connor, is the founder of “Cuddles for Kids” which distributes stuffed toys to kids in hospitals and now works for the Pittsburgh Penguins. He’s a year or two younger than Jack, and started CFK when just a middle schooler. Talk about making a difference. Robin is a huge supporter of H. Wonder Coffee and Records and I can almost be sure I’ll run into her there too.
At the Bar Association event, I heard such good things about the shop. One judge said ” I never thought I’d live to see the day where a quirky little coffee shop would open in Johnstown where the barista really knew how to make coffee and helped you take a breath and not worry about time. It’s my kids favorite place to go when they come home for a visit and mine too.” We heard things like that again and again. It IS quirky and Madison knows her way around coffee and they are experts at curating their merch. Right now they have vintage records bundled with coffee and tied with raffia as gifts. I took a photo but I can’t find it. I’ll take one today.
While I was in town, I walked around the Christmas Market. The tree isn’t lit that early in the day but it is still playing music and the little Christmas Village is up and ready. It was fun to walk around and I bought a few gifts from local vendors. I’ll tell you from whom later.
Another wonderful part of living in a small town is the ability to get up close to things. These houses in the park are provided by local businesses each year and it’s so wonderful to see the kids running from one to the other to look inside and hear their laughter and excitement as they do. And the tree brings such joy. Santa’s sleigh was there since I heard a rumor that he and Cindy Lou Who were to make an appearance later in the day.
Back home I went to do a few things in “The Factory” and get dinner ready. I wanted to make a spicy carrot soup and needed to roast the vegetables first. It sounded so good, but since I can’t taste or smell and it has no real texture, I can’t really tell you if it was anything I’d make again. Jay said it was good. With a nice salad, we were full.
Then back to town we went to see the “Festival of the Nativity” at the First Presbyterian Church. Over 100 Nativity Sets on loan from local folks are on display. Along with concerts by local groups, it’s a wonderful event. We wanted to hear our “Piano for Pleasure” teacher Laura Williamson perform and she was fantastic. Today is the last day and I think the choirs start at 6:30 and end with a combined choir that is something to hear. You can see the schedule on the church’s FB page.
Now to our Nativity. Today we see the shepherd. I think he and the sheep were my favorites. Mom clothed him on burlap and velvet and of course hair, and the sheep got fluffy cotton coats to keep them warm. He’s beautiful.
And our fabric calendar. Another Angel appears.
And the church’s.
In the meantime, do something you’ve never done before. Find your passion and explore it. Contribute your time and talent to your community..Every single day is a gift. It’s a Wonderful Life. I’m off to tend my passion.
Have a blessed day!