Kathy Wadell, well-known local storyteller, entertained us by telling tales for the Season of Giving, with musical interludes by our own Dale Sherrod, on piano.  Before beginning, Kathy reminded us that oral storytelling requires only the voice of the teller, plus the active imagination of the listeners.  She encouraged us all to picture the characters and scenes however our individual brains perceived them. 
First, we heard a  Hannukkah poem, “Hannukkah Miracles,” which focused on how one little candle can be seen through the dark.  This set the mood for a season of LIGHTS, during the darkest part of the year.
Next, we heard the Italian folktale, “La Befana,” from the 14th Century.  Due to Kathy’s talent, we could all visualize the humpbacked old woman with her long nose, sweeping and baking, keeping to herself while others reveled in the holiday parade. Eventually, La Befana packed up her pies and cookies and flew off on her broom, leaving a little package of goodies for each child in the community.  Many in Italy still believe La Befana comes to deliver treats to good little children on Epiphany Eve, just as the three Kings or Magi delivered gifts to the Christ child.
Kathy finished with O’Henry’s well-known story of simple love, “The Gift of the Magi.”  In this story, a poor young couple sacrifice their most prized possessions to give to each other a Christmas gift.  Della, the wife, sold her beautiful long hair to buy a platinum watch chain for her husband, Jim, to put on his gold watch.  Meanwhile, Jim had bought a set of combs for Della’s long hair, but of course, he had to sell the watch in order to buy them!  The story reminds us all of the true spirit of the season.
Merry Christmas,  Happy Holidays,  Blessings for the New Year!