Just like most families, the Knechts start the Christmas season off with a trip to the Richard Nixon Presidential Library.
(Note - it's been a few years since I've been through the place but I remember loving how they simply glossed over the whole Watergate business. "Well, there was this thing with some tapes, but LOOK OVER THERE! Is that the White House china??!)
We actually go for the Messiah Sing-along that is held there every year. It is magical in many ways.
1.) It's a sing along. This blog is riddled with examples of my deep love for them. People who like to sing along to things are just more fun. We all know it's true.
2.) People dress up in period clothing. What period, you ask? Oh, any period. There were people in mid 18th century dresses - which is the period Messiah was written - with lots of bustles and ruffles and powdered wigs and tri-cornered hats, and then there were people dressed like Jane Austen. And a few more dressed like they were from ye olde Dickens novel. Basically any kind of Days of Yore attire is permitted. Which makes me want to dress like a hippie next year.
3.) The music is divine. And I mean that in the literal sense of the word. Every year the conductor tells the same story of how Handel was destitute and he came home one night and found several verses of scripture a friend left on his doorstep to give him comfort and within six weeks the entire thing was written and Handel tells everyone that all of Heaven was revealed to him as he wrote. Then the conductor always says, "I wonder what he saw," and then we sing, "Behold the Lamb of God". And then I weep like a baby.
4.) The clarinetist had the BEST toupee. I mean, it was epic. He was clear across the room from us when we first spotted him and even from that distance we all were like, "niiiice."
5.) The orchestra and choir are all volunteers so there's always a few squeaky and out of tune violins. Which I love because it just reminds me that people do this sort of thing because they love it. My voice is also squeaky and out of tune most of the time. There is no judging here.
6.) We sang the Hallelujah Chorus twice because it was so much fun.