Singing, storytelling, sweet treats and Santa

First Posted: 12/23/2009

For the 15th consecutive year the day before Christmas Eve event at the Gertrude-Smith house was a success. More than 50 people came out to enjoy the event Wednesday night which has become a Mount Airy tradition.
Brack and Angela Llewellyn have been working with Ann Vaughn, executive director of the Gilmer-Smith Foundation, for the past 15 years, putting on show after show that keeps regulars coming back.
This year they offered a Christmas Sing-Along, which was lead by Tina Smith. The Llewellyns took turns reading from books like, The Longest Christmas List Ever, A Perfect Snowman, and Winters Gift.
We finally got to practice our snowman making skills. But I see some of my neighbors need more practice, Brack said with a laugh.
Visitors sang along with Smith as she sang What Child is This and Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer.
The Llewellyns reenacted a Charlie Browns Christmas with friends. They also told the story of Silent Night, Holy Night, which happened during World War I, when a Christmas truce was called between German and British troops for two days. She said they exchanged gifts, food and supplies.
One German soldier started singing Silent Night in German and then a British soldier starting sing with him in English. When it was all over, they didnt want to shoot at each other any more, because they knew each other, Angela said.
Vaughn said four years ago she asked the Gilmer-Smith board if she could move the event because it had always been held on Christmas Eve.
We just found that it was happening at the same time as several of the church services and the Lovefeast. So it has really turned out to be a good move, Vaughn said.
Cindy Puckett, horticulturist with the Gilmer-Smith Foundation, said that some had made the event a yearly tradition, but there were a lot of newcomers this year.
Everybody has really enjoyed singing along, that was a new twist this year, Puckett said.
Smith played Here Comes Santa Claus when Santa made his grand entrance.
The kids just went bonkers. We really enjoyed our visit with Santa this year, Vaughn said.
One of the other biggest hits of the night were the refreshments that were served. There was punch and chicken salad in phillo cups and homemade fruitcake cookies made by Sue Cook.
They were the highlight of the treats, Puckett said. They are better than fruitcake.
Contact Mondee Tilley at [email protected] or at 719-1930.

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