December is a season of joy and a season of gifts.
There are plenty of presents to be found at Penn State.
There are the kind of presents you unwrap, like seats for the upcoming Jason Aldean concert at Bryce Jordan Center or tickets to a Nittany Lions hockey game.
There are the kind that you savor, like a tub of peppermint stick ice cream from Berkey Creamery or dinner with a friend at the Nittany Lion Inn.
And then there are the kind that wrap you up, the ones that flavor your world.
The ones like Essence of Joy.
The heavenly university choir will be presenting its holiday concert at 8 p.m. Friday at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church on East College Avenue. Admission is $4.99 for general public and $2 for students.
The singers, and director Anthony Leach, will offer up a gift of song.
It might seem simple. Christmas music, after all, is played from every speaker during the holidays, and carolers spout melodies all the time.
But an Essence of Joy performance is like a Christmas stocking, exciting and beautiful and brimming with delightful surprises. The choice of music is thoughtful. The execution sparkles like tinsel.
And when it is over? There is the kind of warm glow you feel after spending a holiday with friends.
Angels may be heard on high, but Essence of Joy is well within reach, and that’s a gift of Christmas presence.