Holidays in JP: ‘A Carol Christmas’ ushers in holiday season

some people, putting up the Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving marks the start of the holiday season. Other people find the kick-off to be the rabid shopping spree known as Black Friday.

But for some Jamaica Plain residents, the musical “A Carol Christmas,” which is always performed on the first weekend of December, is what ushers in the season.

“It’s the way to start the holidays,” Charlotte Dietz, the show’s producer, said she is told by the high percentage of returning audience members.

She said she is also told by the audience members that the show makes them feel part of the community.

“A Carol Christmas” will be held Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 at Eliot Hall, located at 7A Eliot St. The show raises money for Eliot Hall, which was built in 1833. Since the “A Carol Christmas” began in 2000, it has brought in $200,000.

Brian Crete, chair of Eliot Hall Trustees, said that the roof was recently replaced and that future projects include repairs to the foundation and making the hall more handicapped-accessible and energy-efficient.

The show is written by Carol Gallagher and it centers around people arriving at her house to celebrate Christmas. Dietz said it is a kind of variety show with funny characters, sweet moments and a sing-along compartment where the audience can join in.

“It hits a lot of marks,” said Dietz. “It’s very Jamaica Plain and family-friendly.”

One character is an elf, played by Rodney Raftery. Dietz said Raftery is a comedian by nature and comes up with a “funny sctick” every year that usually surrounds world events.

Dietz said Gallagher has spent months and months preparing the show, finding not only traditional holiday music, but also new and interesting pieces.

“She works really hard to put it together,” said Dietz.

When the Gazette spoke with Dietz on Nov. 14, there were still tickets available. For more information, visit

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