Most mornings in December, I wake with a moment of panic as I think about the impending holidays. I worry about finding the perfect gifts, missing a deal, not leaving enough time for items to arrive… I’m sure many of you can relate. All of that stress melted away last weekend when members of the Newport County Youth Chorus, the free after-school chorus program founded in fall 2017, gathered with their families and members of the community for a couple of hours… to sing. In caroling Christmas cheer throughout Newport, I was reminded how easy it can be to access the spirit of the season in any moment.
Second Annual Crafting and Caroling Christmas Cheer event
On the lawn of Emmanuel Church, visitors to the Second Annual Caroling and Crafting Event were serenaded and invited to join in the caroling fun. From there, carolers strolled around the church, crafting cards and creating cotton ball snow people and popsicle stick ornaments. The smells of popcorn and hot chocolate wafted from the kitchen—a well-deserved treat for our fearless singers and crafters! Students of the Newport String Project played awesome renditions of holiday favorites like Jingle Bells, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Silent Night.
Feeling joyful and giddy with holiday cheer properly “warmed up” the carolers. Our group was 50 strong and was comprised of singers ages five to 65! Together, we made our way down Spring Street to the St. Clare Assisted Living Home. We were so excited to sing for the residents for a second year. When we arrived, it was very quiet in the hallways, but as we started to sing, people poked their heads out of their rooms to see what was going on. Some residents joined in the singing, swaying and clapping. Some even conducted us!
Connecting with the spirit of the season
As we sang, I took a moment to scan the room. I saw young people enthusiastically ringing their bells and suggesting what song to sing next. I saw residents smiling and singing—some had a tear in their eye as we sang “Silent Night.”
In that moment I was overcome with the power of music: It brings comfort and joy in ways no package can. And you don’t need to worry about ordering it in time for it to arrive by Christmas. That joy will stay with all of us for a long time.