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Christmas Joy

The featured speaker refuted his own billing.

"My friends know me as a rather sardonic person," said Ben Smolder, Miami University music professor, before a program on holiday music entitled The Joy of Christmas. "I would like to say, if you do feel any Christmas joy during my presentation, it was purely unintentional."

Smolder, speaking to a packed Fitton Center ballroom audience during the December 6 Celebrating Self luncheon, went on to discuss the plague, the Feast of the Ass, decapitated wild boars and other such pleasantries.

No, really.

He did. Turns out, it actually was a joyful experience to learn how all of those things - and more - shaped and influenced the music we associate with the day, season and celebration of what we now call Christmas.

Also quite joyful, the incredible Christmas feast of slow-roasted sliced beef, ham, scalloped potatoes and candied carrots with pistachios - plus salad, bread and desserts - served up by Two Women In a Kitchen.

Guests also perused and purchased from the Bake Sale before and after the feast.

Smolder himself provided another gift for audience members - some his favorite Christmas music on a disc called A Swingin' Holiday: Live from Miami University in Oxford, OH. Tracks included "Carol of the Bells," "Boogie Woogie Santa Claus" and "White Christmas."

If you missed the event, check it out via TvHamilton's live stream right here.

And please enjoy a few photos in the gallery below.

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