Christmas Party 2019!

On Sunday December 1st, the Southport Quakers held their annual Christmas event.

We started with a half hour Meeting, followed by cups of tea and coffee all round while we were entertained by Elainer (aged 9) on the violin, playing a variety of Christmas carols. The violin is not an easy instrument to play and Eleaner played with ease and enjoyment. She also gave us a couple of renditions on the piano. A musical talent to nurture.

Everyone joined in Pass the Parcel next. The children each won a prize and a couple of the adults too!

Then it was the turn of the adults to entertain. Brian played the beautiful Schubert’s Impromptu in Gb after which Richard and Sheila sang two songs we all remember and love:- “Streets of London” and “When I’m 64”; the accompaniment being by Richard on guitar.

Sue read out two poems using Christmas and EU themes. Janet read 3 poems on Winter and the Solstice. Marcia read one on The Vanity of Earthly Greatness. The poem text can be seen at the end of the post.

After that it was time for food and we were well supplied with all sorts of goodies. There was a Gluten Free Table and one for “Normal Food” and a temptation to sample both.

Tony took a number of photos throughout the event, which can be seen below.

A lot of effort went into this occasion and we would like to thank everyone involved.

Marcia Thompson


Readings

On the Vanity of Earthly Greatness, by Arthur Guiterman

The tusks that clashed in mighty brawls
Of mastodons, are billiard balls.

The sword of Charlemagne, the Just
Is ferric oxide, known as rust.

The grizzly bear, whose potent hug
Was feared by all, is now a rug.

Great Caesar's bust is on the shelf
And I don't feel so well myself.

O Little town of Bethlehem – Edit by Unknown Author

O Little town of Bethlehem
How still we see thee lie.
For on thy by-pass newly built
The cars pass swiftly by.
And you can have a by-pass too
If you apply to us
Just stating population, size
And if you need a bus.

In the bleak mid-winter
No one ever freezes
Not the shepherd in the field
Not the baby Jesus.
Earth stands hard as iron
But everyone is warm
Assuming that they have filled in
The necessary form.

Solstice Poem, by Margaret Atwood

This is the solstice, the still point
of the sun, its cusp and midnight,
the year’s threshold
and unlocking, where the past
lets go of and becomes the future;
the place of caught breath, the door
of a vanished house left ajar.

Toward the Winter Solstice, by Timothy Steele

Although the roof is just a storey high,
It dizzies me a little to look down.
I lariat-twirl the cord of Christmas lights
And cast it to the weeping birch’s crown;
A dowel into which I’ve screwed a hook
Enables me to reach, lift, drape, and twine
The cord among the boughs so that the bulbs
Will accent the tree’s elegant design.

Friends, passing home from work or shopping, pause
And call up commendations or critiques.
I make adjustments. Though a potpourri
Of Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Jews, and Sikhs,
We all are conscious of the time of year;
We all enjoy its colorful displays
And keep some festival that mitigates
The dwindling warmth and compass of the days.

Some say that L.A. doesn’t suit the Yule,
But UPS vans now like magi make
Their present-laden rounds, while fallen leaves
Are gaily resurrected in their wake;
The desert lifts a full moon from the east
And issues a dry Santa Ana breeze,
And valets at chic restaurants will soon
Be tending flocks of cars and SUVs.

And as the neighborhoods sink into dusk
The fan palms scattered all across town stand
More calmly prominent, and this place seems
A vast oasis in the Holy Land.
This house might be a caravansary,
The tree a kind of cordial fountainhead
Of welcome, looped and decked with necklaces
And ceintures of green, yellow, blue, and red.

Some wonder if the star of Bethlehem
Occurred when Jupiter and Saturn crossed;
It’s comforting to look up from this roof
And feel that, while all changes, nothing’s lost,
To recollect that in antiquity
The winter solstice fell in Capricorn
And that, in the Orion Nebula,
From swirling gas, new stars are being born.

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