Sunday, December 6, 2009


The Reason for the Season

I cannot remember how long it has been since I have spent a whole week with my sister. I am sure it was before her marriage more that 47 years ago. In any case, my wife Delois and I spent last week in Branson with my sister Glenna and Jesse, her husband of these years. It was a joy to be able to discuss old times and enjoy just being together.

The desire started a few weeks ago when I told her we had an extra bedroom in Branson and wanted them to join us. They accepted and we began to make plans for the visit by picking out the shows we both wanted to see.

My wife and I had reserved this week because the Christmas lights and shows would reflect the season.

We had a conference call with a Branson travel agent and began to discuss the shows we wanted to see. After a period of time we had ordered tickets for five shows during the week and became excited about seeing each.

My sister and husband live on the Louisiana-Arkansas state line so it took them about twice as long as it did us, but the meeting was exciting on their arrival. Both of our families were very tired so the first night was spent visiting and relaxing.

The next day started with our first show. The musicians were good, but the show was not to our expectation.

The next day we took in two performances. The afternoon show, a well known Christian comedian, was flat and didn’t reach his ability as seen on Television.

That night we attended the Christmas presentation, my wife and I had planned to see before deciding to go to Branson. My sister and brother-in-law did not know this famous pianist to my knowledge, but we all went away totally elated by the performance by Dino Kartsonas.

Dino's Christmas Extravaganza was an amazing, joy-filled celebration of Christmas. America’s Piano Showman brings the sights and sounds of Christmas to life and proves to be one of the biggest production shows in Branson. The centerpiece of this show is Dino’s spectacular piano artistry, but is backed up by the lovely voice of his wife Cheryl Kartsonakis and the lively children’s dance troupe - making this show one you’ll never forget! Dino is one of the premiere performers of our time. "America's Piano Showman" – is a title given to him by more than 80 million who have heard him play.

Not only was he outstanding, but he spared no expense in making the show gowns and props extremely beautiful. He also introduced a new young violinist from Portland, Oregon who played a number of times alone or with Dino.

The end of the show they did something none of the other shows we saw before or after that night. They concluded with all the performers bowing toward the scene of Joseph, Mary and the Christ child. Dino ended his show by saying “remember Jesus Christ is why we did this show!”

The DVD I purchased of the presentation has been watched a number of times now and each time reminds me of the purpose of Christmas.

Dino was raised in a Greek family in New York City to a father and mother who owned a bakery. They shared with him their secret recipe for what he now calls his 24Karet cake.

We visited Dino’s 24Karet Cake company near the landing and had coffee and cake. The performer and wife were both there and joined us for conversation and photos.

No matter how famous or rich one becomes, he owes it all to the Savior of the world,

Jesus Christ--the Reason for the Season.

“And now, Lord, What wait I for? My hope is in thee.” Psalm 39:7

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