Friday, December 16, 2011
If you are anywhere near downtown tonight (Friday) let me suggest that you begin your weekend singing Christmas carols and other holiday songs with strangers beneath the twinkling lights of the Music Center Plaza. Sounds good to you? Awesome, here's what you need to know; 6pm, FREE but tickets are required. Tickets are available first come first served to those waiting in line. Ticket distribution begins at 6pm. Live musical accompaniment, lyric sheets will be provided and, if you must know ahead of time, click here for the complete song list.
If this idea, singing Christmas songs, doesn't sound good to you - and it sure didn't sound good to me when I first heard about it earlier this week - well, you might really need to be there. Holy @#** isn't everyone crabby!!!??? Me included, I'll shamefacedly admit. I have been in a horrible, stressed out, sad, bitter, resentful oh so Christmasy kind of mood! But two things happened - well a few things happened, including a lot of meditation and gratitude work and vitamin b and natural anti-depressants, but two charming things happened-
1) I am in Ralph's, cart over flowing with a bunch of stuff including the giant pointsettia I am forcing myself to buy to try to induce Holiday good will, and I'm going to check out and I can't really see over the plant but I can tell that the people who work there are trying to force me ( I am sure they would say encouraging and standing by to help if needed) but it felt like they were trying to force me to use the self serve checkout which never works all the way (am I right?) and which usually starts beeping and calling attention to you and wanting you to start all over again at item 13, which is of course tampons or something. But I won't use those so I was refusing and the friendly Ralph's workers are going "come on, come on" and I'm shaking my head and they are thinking "what a crazy person" I'm sure and I am feeling stupid and difficult and even more stressed out. I finally go through the line, I'm almost get out the door, just so pissed off about everything that has been going on lately and hating the chicken smell that is in every grocery store which I'm sure smells good to some people but makes me gag, and the security guard - actually it was an angel but he was dressed as a security guard - tipped his hat to me. He actually tipped his hat. And he smiled, the most beautiful, beautiful smile, and said " No stress for the queen." And, I don't know, it was just such a ridiculous and wonderful thing to say. And it totally turned me around. Not even the line really, though I did go home and write it in pink marker and put it on the fridge, but the fact that he took the time to say that, to tip his hat and smile and say something like that. It was just such a loving thing to do and it just totally turned me around and I am so grateful to you Mr Ralph's security guard whose name I will ask next time I'm in there.
2) And now you are thinking, if you are still here, what am I reading? But there is a point to this next one so hang in and and I'll try to make it shorter ...... It's earlier the same day. Kid singing in his holiday program, middle of the day, presents to buy, things to bake ( yeah, right) for the other kid's holiday show that night etc. etc. I'm sporting dirty hair and a scowl and I sit alone almost at the back because I absolutely cannot deal with anyone. The kid sings, clap, clap, smile, give a big hug to him and his friend I even actually felt a little better but I'm still in a rush and I have to get to Ralph's (see above). Then they - the teachers? The PTA? say "Okay parents, on stage and sing for the kids!" Honest to God I wanted to say "Fuck you." And I almost ran out. But my kid was there and I allowed myself to be swept down the aisle with the good mommies, up onto the stage and we started singing White Christmas. And it was wonderful. I cried a little and looked odd but you know, what are you going to do? The singing was wonderful. WONDERFUL! It primed the pump - it opened my heart - for the meditation I did in the car, right before I was ready for the angel who works at Ralph's.
In short, my cherished readers, if you feel like singing, sing. And if you don't feel like singing, sing louder. Music Center Plaza 6pm. It's here for details.
Also downtown tonight, over on Olvera Street, join in the first night of Las Posados, the traditional Mexican procession depicting Mary and Joseph and their search for shelter ( Posados means inns or shelters.) Many Olvera St. merchants participate in the tradition and you will find lights, music and the breaking of a pinata. The festivities begin at 5:30 at the Avila Adobe, 10 Olvera Street. Tonight and every night through December 24th.
Saturday night you can join costumed elves and santas - and you know they'll be cute - at the 3rd annual Santa Monica Pub Crawl to benefit the Westside Food Bank. You have to go over to the site to get all the details- it's not complicated but there are things to know and choices to make - so click on over and designate a driver. The fun starts at 5pm. Thank you reader Michelle for this great tip!
Also on Saturday night it's the second annual Silver Lake Holiday Night Out -
Around Sunset junction and along Silverlake Blvd you will find stores offering cookies and music, family activities and fun. 3 - 8 pm
You know, there really is nothing like helping someone else to take your mind off yourself and any troubles, and, dare I say it, remind you what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown. One Voice is a wonderful organization that provides help for poor families all year long and they really shine during the holidays when they facilitate the creation of Christmas baskets for 12,500 people living in poverty in Los Angeles. They need your help. Beginning Thursday night and bustling all weekend at the Barker Hanger in Santa Monica you can join volunteers filling baskets and boxes and loading them into trucks for delivery. If you are able to give a few hours to help I promise you will feel great. Here's everything you need to know and a way for you to donate online to help this great organization.
Alvan and the Chipmunks "Chipwrecked," and something called Ghost Protocal opens this weekend OR you can bring the kids to see Up and the real, live Ed Asner at Santa Monica's Aero theater Sunday afternoon at 2pm. It's a good one.
And finally -
Pacific Standard Time celebrates Downtown / Expo Park weekend this weekend - it's here for details.
I wish you a blessed, happy weekend filled with love and friendship.
Posted by Amy Goddard Smith at 1:27 PM