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Sincerely, Susan: New year offers plenty of options

Susan E. Kendrick • Dec 28, 2016 at 4:30 PM

* This column appeared in print on Sunday, Dec. 25.

Dear Readers ~

Merry Christmas! Have you just returned from church or are you about to head that way ~ where all seems more glorious and spectacular because Christmas fell on a Sunday and you could worship again the birthday of our Savior? Was Santa good to you? Are you surrounded by the evidence of unwrapped gifts under the tree? Are you sipping that warm second cup of coffee with the special seasonal creamer? Is Uncle “George” already on his third cup of spiked eggnog? Are fresh aromas coming from the kitchen where all the women of the family have gathered to prepare the perfect holiday spread that would feed a small country? Are Christmas songs caroling throughout the house (or in my case ~ Elk Lodge) as the fireplace exudes glowing warmth now that we have finally detected a welcomed chill in the air? Are small children squealing with delight as they play with their new toys? Are at least two men sound asleep with one on the sofa and the other in a recliner? Are the dogs curled up in their beds dreaming of sugar plums as they wait for the inevitable crumb drops from the table? Hopefully, you are not alone unless you have chosen to be. Hopefully, you will share today with loved ones ... both those you adore and those you tolerate.

Being in the college town of Athens, Ga., there are a plethora of choices for entertainment. One that I attended recently with several other sorority house directors (I still prefer the term ‘house mom’) was the Athens Symphony’s Annual Christmas concert. We always have a fun time together with this festive occasion fulfilling every expectation of grand crescendos reaching every corner of the music hall … especially with Handel’s “Messiah” as the choir reached great heights of notes pounding into my core. I rise every time I hear it and am always reminded that, at 14, it was the first album that I ever bought with money that I had earned from babysitting. I still have it because it is that special to me!

As always, the Tri-Cities area has a few opportunities to enjoy as we ease into another new year. Now that all the holiday frenzy is behind us, perhaps you may find time to relax and appreciate our local talent who work so hard to provide excellent productions.

Through December: The classic Christmas ghost story, “A Christmas Carol” originally by Charles Dickens, will sparkle at The Barter. Don’t be a Scrooge ~ attend the Richard Rose adaptation during the last shows of the season this week! Tickets may be purchased by calling 276-628-3991 or visiting bartertheatre.com.

Dec. 31: LampLight Theatre will once again host a non-alcohol dinner/comedy evening with the Foggy Valley Gang ringing in the new year performing its spirited show. For information and tickets, contact 423-343-1766 or www.lamplighttheatre.com.

Dec. 31: A New Years Eve Street Party, to ring in the new year and celebrate Kingsport’s 100th birthday, will begin at 8 p.m. in Downtown Kingsport. There’ll be live music, a YMCA kids’ station, a ball drop, giveaways and more.

Jan. 19-21: The Kingsport Theatre Guild will present “Driving Miss Daisy” in the Renaissance on Center Street in Kingsport. For show times and ticket information, contact 423-392-8427 or email them at [email protected]

February: The YWCA in Bristol is looking for donations of gently-used prom dresses in all sizes as well as accessories including purses, shoes and jewelry. “Go Green” and share what you are no longer using. Donations may be made to the YWCA in Bristol at 106 State Street. Contact Tammy Henkel at 423-968-9444 or email [email protected] for more information.

Feb. 3: Party on the Moon will again perform for the 70th Annual Chamber of Commerce Dinner. Prepare to party as this popular event continues to grow larger each year. Contact the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce to information and tickets at 423-392-8800 or visit their website atkingsportchamber.org.

Regardless of your circumstances, today is set aside for celebration. And though your sweet potato soufflé and cranberry spread may be much better than your sister’s, does it really matter? I’ve gotten so spoiled having chefs prepare all my weekly meals, that I have learned that it is perfectly OK if someone else insist on making a dish that I thought was “my annual holiday contribution.” This deference gives me a chance to make a recipe from those that I have collected over the years with intentions of cooking but seemed to never include in the menu. Change can be good and I am looking forward to experimenting.

A few days are left in this year. Days for refection. Days for thinking about the new possibilities for 2017. Days to organize the calendar for those dates that carry through with “school year schedule” commitments. Isn’t God wonderful to give us this time to ensue His will with the dawn of a new year using the special talents that He has given each of us for His purpose?!

Love on those loved ones and, again, Merry Christmas!



Susan E. Kendrick is a Sunday Stories columnist who highlights some of the area's many events and happenings, as well as upcoming events, twice a month in Sincerely, Susan. To share information about your event or to request Susan attend, email her at [email protected]

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