Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without ”“ Confucius.

Holidays are a wonderful, exciting time of year ”“ Christmas comes bringing its gleam of faith, hope and love. As the snow thickly and quietly falls on a winter evening the hush of nature brings a great sense of peace. Folks are squeezed among shoppers carrying packages ”“ all hurrying to go somewhere. Church bells are ringing and the splendor of mass will be filling the church. We enjoy freshly cut, fragrant trees, family parties and soft candle light in the window. We wonder, what secret gift can I give?

Also, this season does have its peculiar discomforts and social torture. This is a frightening time that has come upon a weary, war-torn world. But, we make life courageously calm and cheerful. Goodwill, Christmas mischief and some seasoned romance will enrich and illuminate the festive season.

Many years ago when we were kids we remember things imperfectly in detail but perfectly in emotion ”“ the hug of a grandparent, the laughter and voices of brothers and sisters, anticipating Santa Claus. From the corners of our memory gratitude is warmest when it accompanies the joy of being able to give without expecting anything in return.

Dep-ending on the season, adventurous and ardent nature lover takes a walk, run, bikes, skis or snowshoes over the fresh and natural surface of the Eastern Trail in Southern Maine. The 22 scenic, traffic-free miles of local trails are for public enjoyment and the public is discovering the natural beauty and benefits of the trail.

Most of the trails are on private property and are made accessible through the generosity of individual land owner. Open to public, use the striking pathways have provision for free public access except Ferry Beach State Park where a small fee is charged in the summer.

The title “Saco Bay Trails” seems very American reminding me of the Indians, wild and savage undeveloped land though now beautiful and tame.

Experiencing the trail in an intentional, observant way is a beneficial tonic: We see good people, pleasant communities, fascination of the shore line, the hills and the woods. The Eastern Trail Alliance and dozens of people, named and unnamed have built and maintained the trail.

Something very special happens in December. The whole area begins to take on a holiday appearance as the month moves along. We hear music in everything-in the church, birdsongs in the dooryard, a round of carols. Director Matthew Murray directs the Tri-City Community Chorus, a group of dedicated singers drawn from all walks of life.

The choir echoes the songs of Christmas at their Holiday Concert to be presented on Saturday, Dec. 20, at the First Parish Congregational Church, 12 Beach Street, Saco. The distinctive beauty and power of the performance will fulfill all who listen to and love music. Tickets may be purchased at Community Pharmacy, Main St. Saco, Hannaford, Elm St. Biddeford and Market Basket at Biddeford Crossing.

— Zaffie Hadiaris of Saco is the host of “Zaffie,” a weekly television talk show on Channel 3 Biddeford public access. It can also be seen at biddefordmaine.org. Contact Hadiaris at [email protected]