Putting on an act
If you floated the idea of a Christmas concert and it was received well, it’s worth doing some preliminary scoping to make sure it really is viable. So take your Christmas guest list and divide it into three groups:
- Those who love the idea and are keen to perform
- Those who will not get up on stage no matter what
- Those who might be persuaded
Your only task with the first group will be to coordinate the program so that they don’t all sing the same aria and your only task with the second group will be to ensure that they understand what is expected of them as an audience, so it is the third group that will take your time because you may need to coerce them and they may need ideas from you for their acts.
Here are some suggestions that don’t need huge quantities of talent, provided the performer is willing to do a little practice in December:
- Magic tricks (obviously some of these do need huge qualities of talent but there are plenty that don’t)
- Recitation of poetry (of which more later)
- Carols (Rustle up a harmony if you’re up to it. If not, consider “Good King Wenceslas” with a king, a page and a chorus or “The Twelve Days of Christmas” alternated between two groups (and getting faster if you want to add excitement).)
- Skits (ideal for those who like to dress up)
My friend Carol has a mother who is a certified hoarder and this has given Carol a horror of clutter. She visited me today and could not stop herself from telling me that I had too many pictures on my walls and too many books on my shelves. I like the pictures and I like the books so I changed the subject. (To her kids: I knew she wouldn’t be able to resist).
 Attention, and enthusiastic applause.
 When they were in primary school, Hannah, Jeremy and Ben did “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” with Ben as the narrator, Hannah as the angel and Jeremy as a sheep who interrupted the singing with random bleating. It wasn’t musical and it wasn’t even very clever but they thought it was hilarious.