Thursday, December 21, 2006

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas...

Well, not if you count the super mild weather we've been having in DC and the spotting of some pasty white untoned legs on some shorts wearers the other day, but certainly if you try to venture into Tysons Corner, Georgetown, or a Target parking lot at any time during the morning, afternoon, or evening. And forget about getting in to eat anywhere. ‘Tis the week for boisterous holiday office parties! You, who just want to eat with a friend after a full day of shopping, head to the bar or a fast food place. You may be waiting in line for a week for a table.

(*Pictured - me, Victoria Michael, Cindy Jones - photograph by Sarah Rosenwinkle)

Last week I tried to forget about the repeating ads for everything "½ off" in every store, the crowded malls, restaurants and roads that reminded me that the commercialized Christmas season was already here. Instead, I concentrated on looking at the gorgeous lights and decorations (I pretend I don’t see any plastic lit up Santa’s on people's yards) up and down the neighborhoods, M Street and in beautiful office buildings. But I was still missing that one kicker of a moment that really sets me into “Christmas Mode” (when terror strikes me that I have done no shopping, basically.) And that came upon a midnight (well almost by the time we left the gala) clear – at the Kennedy Center for the Choral Arts Society’s Annual Christmas Music Concert and Gala.

First, friends and I met up at the Four Seasons for their annual holiday party, where the theme was “Roaring ‘20’s / Depressionesque”. It was a fun theme, with boas, and hats, and tons of food and drinks, and they had obviously spent a lot of time creating a very festive atmosphere. Tiffani Cailor, who runs public relations for the hotel, was our hostess, looking beautiful as usual. We then had our group sprint over to the Kennedy Center, where we met up with the rest of the crew. Cindy and Evan Jones had graciously invited us. It was Victoria Michael, Lacey Kirstein, Lynly Boor, Paola Domenge (Tiny Jewel Box), Paige Bishop (Capitol File), Sarah Rosenwinkle, Jason Binn (CEO of Niche Media) and me.

The concert was held in the Concert Hall. It was filled to the brim with attendees. The choir sang absolutely gorgeous, lovely Austrian Christmas music which fully placed us in the holiday spirit. The orchestra was the American Youth Philharmonic, their Maestro Conductor, Luis Haza, and they were outstanding (I played the clarinet when I was younger in the band, so I had total appreciation for these kids). Norman Scribner, Artistic Director, did a fantastic job of putting the concert together, and was able to get the audience involved by not only turning around from the conductor stand and conversing in a jovial way, but by asking us to join the choir and sing along. Now, I don’t sing (I could make a dog cry) and out of respect for those around me, I kept my mouth shut. However, I did enjoy listening to those in the audience, whose life long desire was to stand in the Kennedy Center and sing their lungs out, do just that.

The nicest thing about this event, was that it was very elegant. There were stunning gowns, men in white tie with their tails, men in black tie with festive bow ties, and every jeweled color represented in dresses. There were furs galore, diamonds, rubies, emeralds. It was a gorgeous painting of people. After the concert ended we went to the Silent Auction and cocktail party held on the Rooftop Terrace. There we mixed and mingled with the rest of Washington DC society and after that, we headed to the sit down dinner. The table was fun and of course, everything was beautifully decorated. The most hilarious thing was, the main course plate was AUSTRIAN. Basically, it was cabbage, beef, and potatoes. It fit the entire night’s theme really well, however, it just didn’t go with my appetite. I was starting to feel like I was part of the Von Trapp family by the end of the night.

Monday night’s concert was exactly what I needed to kick start me into “OMG, it is REALLY HERE!” It IS here, but then it will be over before it even started. I can’t wait to go back up to Deep Creek to see my parents, hopefully there will be a few flakes falling (as it is so much colder up there) while I am in the country.

I wish everyone who reads this, a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, and Safe Holiday! And NO, I still haven’t decided what to do for NYE – HOWEVER, Aspen may be in the picture … Apsen Peak Magazine’s NYE party with Seal and Heidi Klum - hmmm… more to come - but first I have to find rummage through the closet - FUR BALL IS TONIGHT!

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