During the year the Thoroughbroads would break up into couples groups to enjoy events outside of the monthly luncheons hosted by one of the gang. At holiday time, Robyn and Scarlett along with another friend and their husbands would get together to see the Living Christmas Tree at Walnut Street Baptist Church in downtown Louisville. It was a free event, but you had to request tickets early as it was always a sold out crowd each year. The men would put on their best jacket or sports coat with a mock turtleneck underneath while the women were decked out in red, green or black velvet or taffeta skirts. A sweater with BIG shoulder pads ( remember this was the 80’s) made the outfit. They would top that off with a pair of Carlton Ridge earrings or broach. Or they might choose a big white collared prairie style printed dress and stylish flats with a buckle or bow on top. After all it was holiday time.
The tree was amazing! Made up of at least 100 choir singers stacked like firewood on a big stage with greenery and Christmas lights all around them. It was beautiful and they were marvelous singers. The holiday music put everyone in the spirit for the season. We would get back to one of our homes and laugh because there was always something that happened at the event. A crazy festive outfit worn by an attendee would be pointed out, an unruly kid crying or standing up in the audience singing along, dancing in an aisle or the one night one of the singers fainted down into the tree from the crowded space they had to stand in. The greenery was set up to their necks and the heat was intense from those old Christmas lighting that could burn your house down. The funny part of that event is that the tree kept singing and most of the audience never knew it had happened. The show must go on.
One special night back at Robyn’s we were handed champagne flutes with red and green plaid ribbon tied to the stems and filled with a fabulous pouring of Asti to toast to the holiday. A beautiful display of various round wheels of Brie cheese with various toppings to spread on specialty crackers or sourdough bread squares was preset on the dining table. We enjoyed all of it. Brie is not something you can save for another night. There were 4 wheels on a large serving tray, one topped with mincemeat, another with Kahlua softened walnuts, a honey and golden raisin topping and a Grand Marnier inspired topping with dates and orange zest. All delicious and not a bite was left.
This annual event is something we all enjoy remembering at this time of year. The three couples moved away from Louisville and the church no longer has this event. However, while we lived in Louisville we never missed an opportunity to repeat this tradition of bringing in Christmastime enjoying the tree, the music, drinks, great conversation, and our friendship.