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Thanks to those of you who attended the Club’s Holiday Celebration and Pageant!


























I have been delighted to receive so many enthusiastic comments from those who joined us on Sunday the 6th!  These comments really made me smile:

“Thank you for a lovely delightful evening; all was done with class.”   “Fabulous!  Great program, wonderful music and musicians, delicious food. The warmth and good feeling was so palpable.”


We shared in some timeless December traditions of recognizing the darkness and celebrating bringing light into our lives and hearts. It was a pleasure to put together an event that included aspects of our Club’s long tradition of a holiday pageant, which we blended with inspiration from the modern Christmas Revels productions, in our own ecumenical version. It was a pleasure to bring out items from our costume shop: we channeled our “inner monks” to sing Dona Nobis Pacem while wearing some of the vintage robes, from times when all Hillside Club members wore those robes for our holiday events. Thanks to those who offered the Presidents’ Prayer for Peace! You heard the voices of Past President Mari Litsky and her husband Paul, Immediate Past President Jan Robitscher and our current President Jim Fisher. 


“The theme was perfect and the food and music great...”


I enjoyed bringing out our vintage papier-mâché boar’s head, and bedecking him “with bay and rosemary” to sing The Boar’s Head Carol! That traditional piece is part of every Christmas Revels, and we were incredibly fortunate to have the wonderful and multi-talented Shira Kammen as our primary musician and arranger. Shira was joined by my husband and Club Historian David Mostardi, who played guitar and accordion as well as joining in song. Especially now, being able to make music in person with special friends provides exceptional joy!


Normally Shira would be busy in Revels rehearsals, and if you enjoyed this small taste of pageantry, I encourage you to support one of the Christmas Revels productions that will be available online:


  • The local California Christmas Revels will be on the theme “Unruly Magic” and will be presented for seven different performance times, starting this weekend, Dec. 12- 13.  This will include a choral piece directed by Shira. Live pre-show, intermission, and post-show caroling via Zoom included with high-definition streaming options. Pre-show starts 30 minutes before curtain. Buy tickets here.


  • You can also watch the Washington DC Solstice Revels, which will include sing-alongs: Watch & Participate LIVE on Sunday, December 20 at 4 PM PST! Your ticket purchase also includes on-demand access to the Winter Solstice Revels recording from December 23rd through January 6th (Twelfth Night).



Shira’s harp accompaniment was perfect for our dramatic reading of To Drive the Cold Winter Away, and it clearly worked! Thanks to our Club member readers: John and Christine Hollis, Rick Rodgers, Barbara Rydlander, and Past President Kirk McKusick. Thanks also to Kirk for the use of his video camera!


Of course none of this could have happened without lots of behind-the-scenes work, both before and during the event! Many thanks to Jim Fisher who helped in so many ways, from singing, editing, and broadcasting from the Green Room! And to Araceli: where to begin or stop?! For the lovely recording from her new home in Ajijic, foe the detailed and beautiful website, and for welcoming guests into the event. Muchas gracias! Thanks also to our new custodian Claudio Nalerio for making the meal distribution go so smoothly, for serving as cameraman, and so much more! And to Bruce Koball, we are continually grateful for his technical assistance and generosity!


I am so pleased that the dinner itself was very well-received:

“The food was splendid.” ...“Such luscious comfort food.” ... “The food was awesome and plentiful.”


If you would like to support our local businesses, consider ordering take-away from Rick and Ann’s Restaurant who provided our main meal. The flank steak is on their nightly menu, and Fridays they have gluten-free pizzas to order in advance: Call to preorder at 510-649-0869.


Several of you commented about the desserts: 

 “...the dessert was over the top” and “I am still enjoying the dessert and will let the taste of dark chocolate and raspberries linger as long as possible.”


You can support our local Lavender Bakery at 1820 Solano Avenue, 510.529.4433. Those gorgeous and delicious desserts are available with variations all year long, and they are now taking orders for beautiful Bûches de Noel should you be interested!

It was fun to include some contemporary pieces in our pageant, including the parody of We Three Kings. We include the music so that you can share that bit of fun with your closest friends! “No more travel on a camel, ‘til there’s a good vaccine!”


 “You brought some light during these dark times to all of us participants!”


I know Zoom fatigue is occurring, and it was my goal to have this be a lively event, where you could briefly feel once again part of our special Club community. Thanks again to all of you who were part of the revelry!


Arlene Baxter

1st Vice President

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