Gather 'Round the Tree

“Even the poorest cottage welcomed the festive season with green decorations of bay and holly — the cheerful fire glanced its rays through the lattice, inviting the passenger to raise the latch, and join the gossip knot huddled around the hearth, beguiling the long evening with legendary jokes and oft-told Christmas tales.” So wrote Washington Irving back in the introduction to a five-chapter 1886 holiday memoir as warm as a jolly hearth hung with bulging stockings and anticipatory cheer. Irving’s nostalgic words will come to life in Washington Irving’s Old Christmas, a reader’s theater presentation with interludes of carols taking place this weekend around the decorated tree in the festive music room of the Byers-Evans House Museum. “It’s a nostalgic reverie of an old-fashioned English Christmas holiday,” says mu-seum spokesman Kevin Gramer. But it’s also so much more, adrift in its vivid descriptions of winter landscapes and holiday foods.

Come raise a nog, munch a cookie and join in the singing, tonight and tomorrow at 7 p.m. at the museum, 1310 Bannock Street; for information or to reserve tickets, $15 each, visit or call 303-620-4933.
Fri., Dec. 19, 7 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 20, 7 p.m., 2008

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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd

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