I have only one set this year at this Christmas shopping village event at the nearby Arts Quest campus. I usually put together my holiday material, which is a lot of fun and getting easier to do each year. In fact the tunes have grown over the years and the arrangements are getting stronger as well. Classic carols, Santa songs and a solid repertoire of obscure blues, swing and gospel-esque tunes that are hard driving, crowd-pleasing songs( and fun to play, too).

I always bring my bag of instruments supplemented with Santa hats and red foam noses. They came in hand for this set. I also seed in kids’ tunes if the children are in the house, so I don’t feel entirely restricted to just holiday songs.

Today’s first set featured the standards geared towards the older crowd sitting and eating and listening. I made a point to do the chatter and patter as well. Still, it was a hard slog, partly because of my lay-off from the hip operation, and the rather large space and situation.

The second show was nice since there was a collection of kids and families who were engaged with the instruments, hats and noses. I someone to react with. As I worked the kids, the adults in the outer region of the area were engaged watching the kids play and sing. The last set went well and saved me from having to reach too far into my holiday songbag, songs I’m less comfortable with.

I packed up after two hours in time to head over to Symphony Hall for the main event, the Lehigh Valley Christmas show.