Being sick in bed with a nasty ear infection or strep throat when you’re a kid stinks, but if your big sister is Hannah Fons, she’ll be at your bedside, reading The House at Pooh Corner, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle’s Magic, or The Twits. What makes being read to by Hannah so special is how she “does the voices” in all the dialogue sections. She’s got a special knack.
When the kids got older, at Christmas time we all got into the act. We read “A Christmas Carol” aloud, passing the book around and all of us “doing the voices,” speaking in British accents that would probably make true Brits cringe.
For at least the past five Christmases, we have traveled to Chicago—where Mary and Rebecca live. Mark and I drive over from Iowa, and Hannah flies in from New York. A special treat each year is attending a performance of “A Christmas Carol” at The Goodman Theater. No matter how we experience the story, whether on television, in the movie theater, at The Goodman Theater, or in our own living room, Scrooge’s redemption moves us to collective family tears every time.
Alas, there is no Christmas in Chicago this year. The Goodman Theater is dark. Hannah is staying put in New York.
BUT HARK! Hannah has arranged to read “A Christmas Carol” to us, via Instagram Live, from her apartment in the East Village of New York, at 7 p.m. EST (6 p.m. here in the Midwest) on Christmas Eve. She’s practiced, she’s got it down to an hour and a half, she’s working on the lighting, and she’s tweaking her fake British accent.
I know there is a lot going on today, most of it virtual, but if you’d like to join the Fons family circle, and have an Instagram account, here’s how to do it: follow Hannah’s account @amazonesque, and look for her profile picture at the top of your feed tonight at 7pm EST/6pm CST. (It’ll have a colorful ring around it and the word “LIVE”.) Tap or click her picture to view the live stream!
If you don’t have an account, or would rather watch from your lap- or desktop, here’s a link with instructions: https://later.