It’s become something of a tradition in Westminster Music Library; the staff spend all year looking serious and learned, behaving in a restrained and “librarian like” manner, until sometime in late November somebody utters those immortal words: “Shall we give the Under 5s a Christmas party again this year?” Oh yes we will, and before our house pianist groans loudly and reaches for the diary to book some annual leave, we’re knee deep in Christmas music, party hats, Santa suits and many accompanying bells and whistles.
So it was that last Wednesday morning a large bunch of excited children and their even more excited parents gathered in Westminster Music Library in anticipation of fun, mayhem and general chaos. House pianist suitably installed (bah humbug) we were off to a flying start with a hearty rendition of Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer. Sufficiently warmed up and getting ever louder, the tension built to fever pitch as we awaited a visit from the Big Man himself, none other than Santa Claus. Several verses (and choruses) of Jingle Bells but no sign of him, oh dear… could he have got stuck up a chimney? Or half way round the M25? Or was it something to do with a missing cushion, aka Santa’s stomach? Finally, after yet more Jingle Bells, there he was, booted, bearded and (fat) suited in all his glory, and brandishing a large sack of presents to give to our patient audience. There was something for everyone, presents galore and everyone looked happy, well nearly everyone… pulling Santa’s beard does not a happy Santa make, and removing the fairy from the top of the Christmas tree to check whether she’s edible is really not a good idea.
Presents liberally distributed (amazingly every child had been good); Santa went on his merry way, or more likely off to sit quietly in a darkened room. Despite his departure there was still time for us to belt out Walking in a Winter Wonderland; We Wish You a Merry Christmas, and Frosty the Snowman.