By Madeline Marcelia Garvin
Special to Frost Illustrated
I know most of you scurried around on Black Friday trying to find those bargain gifts, and if you did not find that which you wanted that Friday after Thanksgiving, some of you returned to the stores on slick salespeople shopping Saturday. Why do I refer to the Saturday after Black Friday as “slick salespeople shopping Saturday”? It is because the salespeople who know you missed the bargains on Friday know you have the ads that should be still honored try to pull a bait and switch because they know you want the item. That happened to me Saturday afternoon at a store that shall remain nameless. But, it really didn’t matter because I got what I wanted online for $20 less than the $79 special, which incidentally was red in the store, and the ad pictured it as black; thus, they wouldn’t sale that item to me, but brought out another for $99, and told me the ad was the wrong color. I wanted to respond with: “Don’t you mean that I am the wrong color?’ However, I held my tongue. Wow! Can you imagine that? See you have to watch these folks. Check your ads and the online specials, or you will fall prey to their slick schemes.
Anyway, since there is only a short time left ‘til Christmas, you may wish to consider some books for gifts. No, you do not have to be a voracious reader; but, face it folks reading is fundamental! Books stretch and bend the mind like nothing else; as Emily Dickinson wrote, “There is no frigate like a book to take us miles away.” So, you might wish to check out the books on President Barack Obama’s Christmas book list, or you purchase some of the ones I have enjoyed that are listed below for tweens and adults.
“Blonde Faith” by Walter Mosley
“The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak
“Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger
“Copper Sun” by Sharon Draper
“The Hitchhike” by Mark Paul Smith, Esq.
“Home” by Toni Morrison
“The House of Silk: A Sherlock Holmes Novel” by Anthony Horowitz
“Hush” by Jacqueline Woodson
“Kindred” by Octavia Butler
“My Summer on the Moon” by Adrian Fogelin
“Parable of the Sower” by Octavia Butler
“A Scandal and Other Things” by M. Francis Patterson
“The Sonderberg Case” by Elie Wiesel
“The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien
And, if your family is not into books, you still have time to load everyone into the sleigh (I mean car) and take them to the First Presbyterian Theatre to enjoy FPT Christmas Revue. Yes, indeed, it will be enjoyed by all from nine to ninety. I attended the matinee production Sunday, Dec. 8, and there were parts that were simply hilarious, especially the literary allusions to Dr. Faustus and several of Shakespeare’s plays. The actress (Nancy Kartholl) playing Shakespeare was simply a hoot, and that scene, in particular, stole the show in my book. Then again, Billy Hoffman playing a pompous Balthasar in Act One wasn’t too bad either. I appreciate any acting that has some biting humor, and can stir some raucous laughter, which incidentally was carried out by Miranda Wheeler in her portrayal of Debbie, the Grim Reaper in “The Visit to the Therapist” and the messenger in “The Grinch Who Stole Hamlet.”
Nevertheless, the musical selections were, of course, Christmas music, and they ranged from “It’s The Most Wonderful Time,” Eartha Kitt’s famous “Santa Baby” to “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus,” “I’ll Be Home for Christmas, “and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.” The harmony and the singing were excellent, so hats off to you Musical Director Jim Mergenthal. The two young children, Miles Fedders and Brianna Schauer in their Santa at the Mall scenes and “The Mistletoe Dance” also did a fantastic job with their performances. Last, but not least, there were Duke Roth and Jacob Slone, the dancing Santas, whose dance techniques were literally on pointe. Though I hate to say it, but, the heavier of the two Santas, Jacob Slone’s pirouettes had it going on, and I bet his toes twinkled, just like his eyes, for his moves were not only phenomenal, but he was also light on his feet.
So, get in your sleigh and hurry to see the fast paced FPT Christmas Revue that will have you smiling and jingling your bells all the way home. Jack Cantey’s sketches are definitely more fun than a barrel of monkeys. The final revue performances will be December 20-22; so get your act together and scurry on down to First Presbyterian Church for some enjoyable Christmas theatre.
But, if the crew is still not happy, there’s the Holiday Houses for Habitat, which are on display at Glenbrook in the old Marshall Field’s Building until December 24th, the Fantasy of Lights display at Franke Park until Dec. 31, and the Botanical Conservatory’s Night Before Christmas, which is on display until Jan. 8, 2014. Though it may not be a golden pond, there is always The Headwaters Park, Ice Rink, especially if you like fresh air. Don’t tell me there’s nothing to do in the Fort! There’s a lot to do all winter long, and you don’t have to spend lots of money! Finally, if push comes to shove, things are always happening at the Allen County Public Library, the Embassy, the friendly YMCA’s and the various churches in town.