The Christmas season, while anticipated and prepared for, for what seems like months, is over so soon.
Shopping, festive meals, get together with old and new friends alike, Carol services, present giving and community events are all part of the month of December.
The Wetherby and District U3A has developed its own unique way of celebrating the end of the year. December saw the members get together to put on a Showcase for its own members.
Preparations were made well in advance of the event, programmes planned, equipment sourced, brains picked, handiwork completed, dance routines honed, plays written and practised, costumes dug out of wardrobes, songs and music learned.
On the day, helpers helped, putting out tables and chairs, mince pies appeared, tea was made, electrics checked, and music played to welcome everyone to the Engine Shed in Wetherby, which was decorated to within an inch of its Christmas life. A real sense of community pervaded the air.
The Showcase opened with a display of tap dancing, with Lisa their teacher, cleverly showing us how she taught the group different steps, and put them all together to make up a complete dance routine.
The Play Reading Group entertained with not one but two home-grown plays exactly right for Christmas and in costume. Singing for Fun gave an energetic performance of songs from the shows. Lastly the Ukulele Group played and sang, finally bringing the house down with a rendition of Barry and Freda by Victoria Wood……….words provided to enable the audience to singalong which they did with gusto.
Everyone was invited to visit the various display stands upstairs exhibiting a number of U3A activities, including photography, racketball, knitting, craft and painting. Refreshments were provided by the U3A Catering Team. It was a true Christmas Showcase of wonderful entertainment, not unlike the days when everyone stood up to do a turn at a family Christmas party.
January has found me in reflective mood, affording me the opportunity to look back at the Showcase, and try and make sense of what has happened during 2016 not only in my own family, but in the community and the wider world. Many of us will have found the past year a tricky sort of year: difficult to comprehend exactly what happened and where it leaves us all. It’s a natural part of our psychology and an important part of our own mental health that we look back at the past year and try to gain an understanding of it before we can move on into the New Year. I have found being part of the community of the U3A validates my life in a way I hadn’t expected. Generally the bigger events are outside our sphere of influence, however, the smaller community happenings are well within our grasp if we choose to be a full member of our own community.
In the Wetherby & District U3A there are many activities and events to interest us as we embark on this New Year, starting with a series of Winter Talks with the Historic Houses Group, the first on Friday January 20 by Maria Glot on Titus Salt, at St James Church Room in Wetherby, 2pm. Why not come along, bring your entry fee of £3, which includes refreshment? If you miss that, come along to the Open meeting on January 25 at the Methodist Church in Wetherby, 2pm.
For more on our activities visit: www.wetherbyu3a.org.uk.