Maybe I am just getting old, but in my mind something was missing at the Opry this year, and missing for the past several years, and that is the special Christmas shows that the Opry used to have. If all of you remember, the Opry stage would be decorated with a big tree and garland and tinsel would be hanging from the barn. I haven't seen the Opry stage this year, but I know last year the decorations were pretty sparce.
I also remember that the televised portion of the Opry would have almost all Christmas music in December and that the show that was on the Saturday before Christmas would have nothing but Christmas music. You would have Grandpa Jones singing his great song, "The Christmas Guest", Bill Monore doing, "Christmas Times' a Coming", and then after he passed on you would have Ricky Skaggs or The Osborne Brothers doing it. You would have Jim Ed Brown doing "Winter Wonderland", and changing the words to add his name as the snowman. There was Mike Snider doing his version of "A Night Before Christmas." Then there was Bill Anderson singing "A Poor Folks' Christmas", and Porter Wagoner doing, "Happy Birthday Jesus." I remember a few years back that Garth Brooks made a suprise appearance on the Opry before Christmas dressed as Santa. And, I am sure all of you remember Jimmy Dickens and Jeannie Seely dressing up as Mr. and Mrs. Clause, to invite Brad Paisley to become an Opry member.
But that all seems to be missing now. I heard Jeannie Seely doing Christmas music and George Hamilton IV did the "Christmas Guest" a few weeks back in honor of Grandpa Jones. I heard Jim Ed Brown do a Christmas song, but not much else. And looking at this week's line-up, the last Saturday before Christmas, I do not see much opportunity for Christmas songs. I just don't picture Emmylou Harris doing anything or Amber Digby. Maybe some of it is that the Opry is not on TV any longer. And speaking of TV, the show that they are going to have on GAC tomorrow night, was taped last month and there is no holiday music on it.
Like I said, maybe I am getting old, but I miss the special feeling that the Opry had this time of year.