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Garden Club holiday party warms hearts

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By Alex Oliveira
Hometown Weekly Reporter

Smiles as Spanish carols are attempted.

Smiles as Spanish carols are attempted.

The event room at the Westwood Senior center was a wintry field of red, green and soft white on Thursday afternoon as the Westwood Garden Club hosted their annual holiday party. Choirs and clubs sang, new members were welcomed, and fruit salad, cider and smiles were passed merrily about the room.

In their green and red sweaters, the white-haired Garden Club ladies were a wintery sight to behold. Opening the afternoon was the Next Chapter Chorus, whose vibrating harmonies made beautiful work of “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?”, what seemed to be a Christmas version of the Irish lullaby “Too-Ra-Loo-Ra-Loo-Ral”, and finally “Go with a Song in Your Heart.”

In the audience, the ladies’ smiling mouths and hands moved along with the melodies of the familiar songs.

“This has become something of our theme song,” Carol, the fittingly-named chorus director, told the crowd of their closing number. “We mean it. We’re so happy to be able to sing for you today, and we hope that you’ll keep a song in your heart.”

When the chorus finished and bowed, the club welcomed and applauded their newest member, Pam Murray, with a bouquet of red poinsettias wrapped in gold foil.

Made up of about forty-five members, the Garden Club meets monthly, hosting horticultural speakers, discussions about nature and the environment, and providing a space for likeminded ladies in the community to spend time together.

“We’re just a group of people who love gardening!” said club director Anna Jean Venable. “Though some of us are getting old and mostly just talk about it now,” she confided with a laugh.

The Westwood High School Spanish club then filed up front, and with a laptop speaker accompaniment, they launched into a series of familiar Christmas carols sung in Spanish.

Westwood Spanish Teacher Eileen Flanagan directs the choruses in Spanish.

Westwood Spanish Teacher Eileen Flanagan directs the choruses in Spanish.

“When we hold up the cards, sing the chorus with us!” Spanish teacher Eileen Flanagan directed. Up went the lyric card for practice, “Can everybody say ‘Santa Claus llegó a la ciudad’?”

The club sang Spanish renditions of “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town,” “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer” (“Toda Burla Se Acabó”), and “Feliz Navidad.” Flanagan led the singing with a rallying energy that the Garden Club ladies couldn’t resist.

The fruit salad followed, along with a holiday feast of sandwiches, coffee and deviled eggs.

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