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Today in My History

2000:  Santa Needs a New Elf
Christmas Tree Letter
2002:  Christmas Time, Around the World
2003:  15 Minutes at a Time
2004:  The Prancing and Pawing of Each Little Hoof
And They Lived Happily Ever After
2007:  Christmas Cookies
2008:  Visions of Sugarplums
2009:  The Christmas Miracle

2010:  Season of Miracles
Thanks, Bill
2012: Comes the Deluge
It's All Greek to Me
2015  Oranges and Pay Phones
2016: Today at Logos
2017: Saturday 9
2018: Sunday stealing

Theater Reviews
Updated 12/17
The Wizard of Oz

Books Read in 2019
 Updated 11/9
"The Elephant in my Kitchen"

Our Christmas Letter

Personal Home Page

My family

Books Read in 2019
Books Read in 2018

Books Read in 2017
Books Read in 2016
Books Read in 2015
Books Read in 2014
Books Read in 2013

Books Read in 2012
Books Read in 2011
Books Read in 2010

updated 7/16

(you know how to fix it)

Some Background Links:
The Philosophy of Juice & Crackers
The story of Delicate Pooh
The story of the Piñata Group
Pumpkin pies
Who IS this Gilbert person anyway?

mail to Walt / mail to Bev  


December 23, 2019

I found video of an "Egg Nog Gala" performed in 1987, perhaps one of the last to be given, after many years of delighting Christmas audiences.

More than 30 years ago, The Lamplighters needed money. They decided to throw themselves a marvelous party. At the time they wondered if it might not be their last gasp.

They called it a "champagne gala" and it was a potpourri of musical numbers, followed by an all-the-champagne-you-can-drink reception. The thing was wildly successful and became one of the most anticipated fund raisers of The Lamplighters year. It closed out the calendar year, and started our holiday season, as it was usually scheduled for the first week in December.

The kids came to connect the Champagne Gala to our Christmas festivities.

In 1977, the year the city of Davis first presented "The Davis Children’s Nutcracker," which may have been our kids' first theatrical experience.  The kids decided to bring their new theatrical expertise to the living room by putting on a show for the family on Christmas night. Since they were too young to drink champagne, it was called "the Egg Nog Gala," and at the end of the show, everyone was served a glass of (virgin) egg nog.

In my scrapbooks, I came across the program for The First Annual Egg Nog Gala:


1. Piano Solo
Parade of the Puppets
We Wish you a Merry Christmas


2. Drum Solo


3. Piano Solo
Nadja's Theme
The Tin Soldier
Spinning Song


4. Little Drummer Boy
Piano - Jeri / Drums - Ned
/ Singing - Paul, Tom, David

5. "Do You Hear What I Hear?"

Drum - Ned

6. "The Night Before Christmas:
re-written by Paul
narrator - Jeri      Papa - Paul
Children - Tom , David
Stirring Mouse - David
7. "A Christmas Carol"
Puppeteer - Jeri   |  Curtain - Ned
"Jingle Bells"

Charlie McCarthy

(Nothing says "Christmas" like a good drum solo, don't you think?)

Egg Nog Galas continued for at least ten years and most of my happiest Christmas memories revolve around these shows.

There were frequently funny skits. One of my favorites was a re-enactment of the Nativity, with Mary (Jeri) going into a very graphic labor and delivery of a stuffed animal at the end. God did not smite us for that skit, but it certainly was one of the more hilarious nativities anyone has ever seen.

As the kids grew older and their musical abilities improved, music played a major part in the Egg Nog Gala (in the waning days, such as this video, music was the entire Egg Nog Gala because they were too old to do funny skits any more).   With Jeri being able to play piano, clarinet, flute or saxophone, there were lots of possibilities, with Ned and Paul both playing the guitar and Ned the drum--plus anybody could play some rhythm instrument or a kazoo.

When we had foreign students staying with us (as we did for about 10 years worth of Christmases), they were roped into performing as well, sometimes reluctantly, sometimes eagerly — usually with some embarrassment, because they had never "performed" before.

One of the highlights of any show was David's famous rendition of "Deck the Halls."  David never took formal music lessons for any length of time but he managed to pick out a one-fingered version of "Deck the Halls" on the piano and, especially as he got older, it became funnier and funnier.  In this particular video, the song expands into something unexpected.

I do miss those Egg Nog Galas.  They were definitely some of the best times of the kids' "growing-up Christmases."


Gala 1986

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