Fielder’s Choice

Catching the holiday spirit

There’s nothing like an evening of music to get you in the holiday spirit.

December 11, Pam, Erin and I attended the 19th annual Christmas Concert at Rust College featuring the World Renowned A’Cappella Choir.

We missed it last year. And a couple of weeks before the concert this time around, I told Pam to please help me remember it.

The concert is a part of the Rust College Lyceum Series. And this year was the first concert for new choir director George-Patrick Johnson.

Special guests this year were the ensembles from Holly Springs Junior High and Holly Springs High School. Those choirs were led by director Charles Terry Jr.

Musical selections included “Just A Single Voice,” “No Room, No Room,” “Weep, O Mine Eyes,” “Elijah Rock,” “O Little Town of Bethlehem” and  more. The combined choirs, to conclude the concert, sang “A Carol of Bells.”

The talent of the young singers at Rust College and in the Holly Springs School District over the years never ceases to amaze me.

Put the concert on your calendar for next year. You won’t be disappointed.

And my getting in the Christmas spirit continued as I attended both the Holly Springs and Byhalia Christ­mas parades. Due to bad weather the week before postponing the one in Holly Springs, they were held back-to-back on Saturday, Dec. 10, at 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

I remember going to holiday parades as a child in my hometown of Hamilton, Ala. The floats were nice, the bands were good, but most of all, I anxiously awaited the end of the parades so I could get a glimpse of Santa Claus and maybe he would even throw me some candy.

The holiday activities continued this past Thursday evening when Pam and I attended a Holly Springs Main Street Chamber reception at Airliewood, hosted by David and Gemma Beckley. It was a fun evening filled with friends, fellowship, laughter and food, plus tours of the historic mansion.

A day or two earlier Sue Watson had visited Airlie­wood to take photos of the beautiful Christmas decorations. Those will be published soon in your South Reporter.

According to a history of  Airliewood, provided to Rust College by Hubert McAlexander, the house has known days of fabulous extravagance, war, plague, poverty, revival and economic depression. It has been the scene of lavish entertainments, an historic Christmas dinner for General Ulysses Grant and his staff, the awkward accommodations of genteel poverty, and sparkling social occasions in the late 20th century.

Since its construction as a town house for wealthy planter William Henry Coxe in 1858, the mansion has been called a variety of names – the Coxe place, the Topp place, the Coxe-Dean place, and finally Airliewood.

And the getting in the holiday spirit continued this past weekend as we put a few more ornaments on our two Christmas trees at home.

Pam and I have collected a lot of ornaments during our 27 years of marriage. Each one has a special meaning. Our latest was purchased on our recent trip to Houston, Texas, for the Thanksgiving parade. All ornaments carry with them many wonderful memories.

From the Burleson family to your family, have a Merry Christmas!

Holly Springs South Reporter

P.O. Box 278
Holly Springs, MS 38635
PH: (662) 252-4261
FAX: (662) 252-3388
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