After the long, long haul to Wall and back, I drove a block from home to play my annual Christmas set with my neighborhood school, Holy Infancy. It’s a benefit for the school and for me; I play for free and get paid back in karma.


I first played at the school during PASELA, now eight years ago with the pre-K kids (now in 7th grade!). I’ve developed nice relationships with the teachers, the two sisters/principals now moved on, and the kids. I’ve spent time on the playground with them, and even recorded that playground sound which is included in the new album.


I set on the stage and the various classes come and sit in chairs at tables. A trademark way not to set up for one of my active shows. But, the kids were simply wonderful as I mixed in my standards that they are familiar with, Christmas songs including Mary Had a Baby with holiday songs. We all got up and danced to All Around the Kitchen near the end, a nice exercise of a new song in progress.


The highlight of this year, and every year, is my Christmas present to me, and I tell them so. We sing Silent Night, all three verses and then I let them sing the first verse back to me with the barest of guitar. The space fills up with the sound of cherubs and I come close to tears. In fact, some of the teachers do tear up.


I’m sure the new principal, Mr. Ogando wonders what I’m doing to these young kids, but has come to trust me to be careful and respectful. Which I try to do to the best of my heathen soul.


Anyway, a delightful afternoon in the neighborhood, though I traveled 5 hours to play a block away from home.