Time to gather together again and resume old Christmas family traditions. Maybe this year you can start a new one, and if you have a piano or keyboard, this is even better. It's a joy to sing (and listen) to traditional Christmas songs that you've come to know and love this time of year, but an Iowa man's personal tradition is soon to become one for families and music lovers all across the state, with a hope that it will benefit a cause special to him and many others.

Dr. Michael Patterson is a longtime Simpson College professor in Indianola who the Des Moines Metropolitan Opera calls a friend. Dr. Patterson has a love for music and the opera and has released a new collection of ORIGINAL Christmas carols.

These are all original compositions that were compiled and collected by Dr. Patterson from 1986 up until this year, originally sent out as Christmas greetings to family and friends. You can purchase this collection, with proceeds from each going to the Des Moines Metropolitan Opera, at their website.

The fundraising from this collection is going towards a campaign to restore its administrative headquarters – the historic 1904 Indianola Carnegie (Public) Library.  With the book comes a CD of all the songs as performed by Dr. Patterson so you can listen and memorize them before you gather to sing them together!

To order, call (515) 961-6221 or send an email to dmmo@dmmo.org.

According to KCCI, Dr. Patterson has worked with the Des Moines Opera for nearly 50 years and was encouraged to put together this collection by his students and Simpson.

Here's hoping his cherished work will become a beloved collection for Iowa families at the holidays this year and beyond.