it’s that time of year.
as the song goes . . .
” when the world falls in love “
churches and schools everywhere
celebrate the season
CHRISTMAS PAGEANT !!!
one of my own.
” away with the manger “
ALWAYS worth RE-VISITING!!!
guaranteed to make you smile . . .
laugh right out loud !!!
i know it still does me.
AND I WAS THERE!
it just never gets old.
it was later decided that when it all went to h . . .
i mean when it went “south” in a handbasket
was when the first wise man slipped in the hay.
but then . . .
i’ll let you be the judge . . .
the year is 1964.
it’s early december. time for the first presbyterian christmas pageant.
the nice lady who is directing the pagegant this year is said to be
a REAL budding artistic director from a prestigious school back east.
she is very excited.
this is her first christmas pageant and she has high hopes it will go off
without a glitch.
of course she does.
someone get the poor girl a stiff drink. maybe that will revive her.
i’m getting ahead of my story.
my little stepdaughter robin is three years old in 1964.
she has blonde curls and china blue eyes. she is selected to be one of
seven little angels. you know . . . to bring the good tidings of joy.
then the really little ones sit down in front on tiny chairs. they are the
“chorus.” they sing something unintelligible. but that doesn’t matter.
it’s mom and dad and grandmas and grandpas who are to be impressed.
then there are four shepherds with crooks. you know . . . those
ahem – sticks with bent hooks on the ends. BIG clue. there.
then there are the three wise men carrying their gifts.
oh. here’s one of the culprits . . . (i mean kings) . . . now.
and finally . . .
there is mary. and there is joseph.
and there is also the star of the show . . .
a beautiful life-like baby doll that is jesus in the manger.
we parents have all entered and taken our seats. there are the usual
sounds of people settling. some mild coughing. quiet visiting. you know.
it is a PACKED house. almost standing room only.
i bet the minister is jealous of the size of this audience!!!
it’s a beautiful scene. the ‘stage’ is covered with straw. real straw.
and even a few bales of hay.
the beautiful wooden floor shines and the rustic manger is set upon the
thankfully the manger and the straw and the bales of hay
are the only stationary props in this play.
no walls to come crashing down.
that’s a good thing in view of the fact that everything else
is about to
ahem . . .
come crashing down.
the organist starts playing softly. christmas carols.
… ‘angels we have heard on high’ . . .
there are beautiful red and white poinsettia plants all around the sanctuary.
i am sitting there wondering if it is because oklahoma university colors are
red and white . . . you know . . . the OU sooner football team . . .
when a tiny little person gets up and marches to the manger.
he quietly picks up baby jesus and takes him back to the tiny choir seats.
the director goes to the little tyke and takes the doll from him.
amazingly enough he lets her. she puts the doll back in the manger.
mary and joseph look at each other.
the tiny tyke walks dutifully to the manger again and steals baby jesus.
suddenly mary swings into action. she jerks the doll from the toddler.
the toddler begins to cry. joseph then thinks he is the man of the family
after all and he should step in. he jerks baby jesus from mary.
you should never do that to a new mother.
the pageant hasn’t officially even started yet.
but i think it has.
first people are a little awed at what they’re seeing. then they snicker.
a parent comes and rescues the tiny tyke. half of the rest of the ‘choir’ now
leave their chairs. some are crying in strange agony.
the organist plays her carols more loudly over the din.
the ‘choir’ is empty now. let the show go on.
the visions of an ’emmy award’ are fleeing from the mind of the director.
the angels walk upon the scene. the music swells. robin stands there with
her mouth open like a little fish.
can’t say as i blame her. for we are now watching the three kings
thrashing around in front of the manger in the hay.
it seems when one knelt down to give his gift . . . he truly really did
accidentally slip in the hay.
that of course looked like A LOT OF FUN!!! so now the three wise men are
thrashing about gleefully in the hay. throwing the hay. practicing swimming
in the hay. what fun stuff hay is. who knew?
mary and joseph are playing tug of war with the baby jesus.
it seems the tiny toddler started a family dispute of whom should be able to
hold the baby jesus. he is jerked back and forth. back and forth.
i see a divorce in the future of mary and joseph.
in the meantime the shepherds have decided that their shepherd crooks
look more like really neat swords.
they proceed to have a sword fight behind all the manic shenanigans going
on in the front of the peaceful manger.
the little angels are ducking and dodging as some of the sword fighting is
getting rather close.
our little angel throws her hands over her head and screams “daddy!!!”
by now the audience is not snickering.
they are roaring with laughter. people are passing around kleenexes
to blot the tears streaming down their faces.
this is the best christmas pageant anyone has ever seen!!!!
the little would-be director home for her school holidays learned two
. . . no . . .
make that three very important lessons.
1. never volunteer your services as a professional director when your
stars are ages 2 to 9.
2. never rehearse with no hay and then surprise them with hay at the night
of the performance.
3. there is a certain grand notoriety to having your very first christmas
pageant go national on the ap wires and written up in major newspapers.
maybe it wasn’t a total washout after all!
how many of your pageants have been picked up
the LA Times?
from tammy j