The first episode of Home for the Holidays, a Christmas radio variety program produced by the Marshall County Arts Cooperative and KNDY radio, hit the airwaves last Thursday night. Locals shared their talents by reading stories, explaining yuletide traditions, and performing Christmas carols during the hour-long broadcast.
Gayla Hogan listened to the program from her home in downtown Marysville while she finished decorating for the holidays.
“The radio program put me in the mood for Christmas,” Hogan said. “It’s a warm-and-real presentation by local talent of all ages. It brought back memories of simpler times and the real joy of the season.”
Some 950 miles south in Atlanta, Ga., Mike and Anita Welch were able to listen to the broadcast from KNDY’s website.
“How wonderful to listen to the fabulous entertainment from our hometown,” Anita said. The Welchs grew up in Marysville and now split their time between Atlanta and Marysville.
Shannon Borgman, Blue Rapids, was able to connect with her parents who live in Tehachapi, Calif., to listen to the program as a family. They held a video conference through Zoom so they could create a Christmas memory together since they are not able to gather this year.
“Home for the Holidays really brings me home this year,” Borgman said. “As a pastor this season is always busy and I don’t often see my family unless they visit me. What a special thing to sit down with my parents and share this with them.”
Borgman is the pastor for the Oregon Trail Presbyterian Ministry; she serves the Presbyterian churches in Blue Rapids, Frankfort, Marysville, and Washington. She is also a board member for the arts cooperative.
“I love showing off the talent in our small town community,” she added. “Even more, I love being able to sit with my parents in real life. So much of this digital world has been jarring, but it’s also a bridge connecting families across the country. It’s not perfect, but it’s special.”
Borgman sings “The Christmas Song,” made famous by Nat King Cole, in the next episode Thursday, December 17, at 6 p.m. on AM 1570/FM 94.1; it will stream on KNDY’s website kndyradio.com.
Sally Oliver, Marysville, also performs.
“When MCAC decided to partner with KNDY on Home For the Holidays, I knew I wanted to be a part of it,” Oliver said. “I pulled out my Ideals’ ‘Hymns of Faith and Inspiration’ book and decided to read the account of how ‘O Little Town of Bethlehem’ came to be written. Then I started thinking about who I could ask to sing this beautiful song. I am thankful that long-time family friend, Cindy Voet, said ‘yes.’”
Voet sings the song after Oliver’s reading.
One of Beatrix Potter’s stories set during the Christmas season, “The Tailor of Gloucester,” will be read by Susan Hickey, Frankfort.
“I enjoy stories by Beatris Potter and I especially enjoy ‘The Tailor of Gloucester,’” she said. “I wanted to share this story with others. I found out this story was based on a true story of a tailor who left the unsewn pieces of a coat in his shop. It turned out the tailor’s assistants were his apprentices.”
A schedule of performers is on the arts cooperative’s Facebook page or on their website, marshallcountyarts.org.
Another episode will be December 24 at 6 p.m.; there will be a special broadcast Christmas Day.