Christmas inspiration from Erwilian | Living with Gleigh

We have many family Christmas traditions. When people ask my kids what their favorite Christmas tradition is, they’ll say seeing the Nutcracker on Whidbey Island with their grandparents, making Almond Roca for family, friends and teachers and making (and destroying) gingerbread houses the weekend after Thanksgiving to kick off the Christmas traditions.

My personal favorite tradition is actually only about five years old, but it’s seeing my neighbors in their band Erwilian. Listening to their instrumental band makes me want to be a better person. And coming into the Christmas holiday, when we are all rushing through just to make it to Christmas, their music offers me a welcome respite.

As the years go on they play at more and more venues during the Christmas season. They occasionally play during the summer, but they are passionate about their Christmas music. It’s hard to describe the kind of music they play; some say it’s Celtic, I describe it as minstrel/folk type music. The instruments they play range from the hammer dulcimer to the mountain dulcimer, guitars,a  violin, and various percussion including the Bodhran (an Irish frame drum beat with a brush type stick), and one of their members rocks the recorder. That’s right, the recorder; the 4th grade instrument many of us and our children struggled over in a required 4th grade music class can be rocked in the right hands. It seems every year they add a new, unusual instrument.

They have a unique take on Christmas music, taking traditional, well-known songs and arranging them with Christmas songs pulled from the dusty dregs of days gone by. It makes for a compelling and inspirational concert.

This year my family and I have followed Erwilian to Coulon Beach Park for Renton’s Clam Lights opening festival and to Warm Beach Christian Camp’s Lights of Christmas in Stanwood, Washington.

But you don’t have to go that far, spend money or stand out in the cold to see their inspirational Christmas music. They have a long tradition of playing at the local libraries. They were at the Kent Library a couple weeks ago and they’ll be at the Covington Library on Tuesday, December 20th at 7:00pm.

It could be just the thing to beat the Christmas rush and bring peace to a season meant to be peaceful. Or like me, it could make you want to be a better person.

Gretchen Leigh is a stay-at-home mom who lives in Covington. She is committed to writing about the humor amidst the chaos of a family. You can read more of her writing and her daily blog on her website


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