We had our Christmas program at our little church tonight. First we had a Candlelight service, one of my favorite services of the year, but I missed half the service because I couldn't leave Mom's until my sister came. But I did get to see the kids act out the first Christmas with a little help from some of the adults. I'm thinking our wise men probably hadn't acted out a part in the Christmas play for many, many years, but as our preacher said Sunday "Wise men still seek Him."
One thing about church Christmas pageants, you never know what might happen next. I took advantage of that when I wrote a scene about a church pageant in my Hollyhill book, Summer of Joy. In the story, twin boys are playing sheep. When their mother worries about the boys wandering off or crawling under the pews, Miss Sally, who is in charge of the play, says there are shepherds to keep the sheep in place. That's where we pick up the action in my book Summer of Joy.
Of course the little shepherds tripping on their bathrobes and stumbling over their wooden staffs toward the pretend campfire weren't much older than the little lambs. Two of the little shepherds made it to the fire and sat down without a glance at the sheep milling around behind them. The other little shepherd, Jeremy, shoved at the towel that had slipped down over his eyes and fell right over top of one of the twins who was doing some kind of spinning sheep moves in the middle of the aisle with a full chorus of baas. Jeremy fell into the campfire. He jumped back as though the construction paper flames were real, and the towel fell off his head. The other two shepherds tried to help him put it back on, because it was a well known fact that nobody could be a shepherd without a towel on his head.
Meanwhile the sheep, seeing their chance, took off crawling up the center aisle. One of the little shepherds looked around at the escaping sheep, put his hands on his hips, and announced, "I told Miss Sally we should've had cows instead of sheep."
Kids and Christmas pageants are always good for a few smiles. Tonight at Goshen was no different with our Mary getting a sudden case of stage fright and retreating to the back room where she stayed the rest of the pageant. So our final manger scene lacked an important person - the mother of Jesus. Then the angel had some problems with her wings and must have decided flying was overrated since she yanked them off and threw them in the manger on top of Baby Jesus. Luckily the little shepherd grabbed them off before any harm was done. A smile a minute.
Many of you who have entered my giveaway have talked about Christmas programs and especially the Christmas Eve candlelight services being one of your favorite ways to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Here are a few of your comments.
Judy B says - I love attending Christmas Eve Candlelight services. With the lights in the sanctuary turned off and candles glowing with lighted Christmas trees in the background, soft music the only sound being made. I feel the spirit of God all around. It is so peaceful and stress free. It is like God is reassuring me that everything will be o.k., if I only put my complete faith and trust in Him. The tears silently flow down my face and I am one with God.
Kelli Jo says - Besides giving, what I love about Christmas time is all the activities that take place at my Church – including Midnight Mass!
Lois says - My favorite thing about Christmas is going to Church on Christmas Eve with my family and then spending time with family on Christmas Day and celebrating Jesus' Birthday.
Sandra says - Memories are another favorite thing that Christmas brings! My grandmother never actually gave us things for Christmas, but she would have all the family together and have a huge feast! And she was a wonderful cook. She would have us read the Christmas story in the Bible. We would take turns with all the different verses.
And, our church used to have a live nativity. When we were old enough, we would brave the cold and stand as still as possible on the church lawn dressed as shepherds, kings or whatever part we got that year. I remember one year when we had a live goat, sheep and donkey. The manger got a little noisy that year!
And, I remember one year I sang a solo of "O, Come All Ye Faithful" in the church choir. My grandmother's friends told my mom that I was an angel. She didn't exactly agree.
My name is Annette and what I like best about Christmas is all the joy and the feeling that everyone knows everyone else, even if you don't and it is only for a short time. It shows that no matter what our differences are, we are still able to get along and be that one big universal family and make sure that all of us have that hope, joy, love and that we have some peace versus none.
Thanks for stopping by during this busy time of the year. Hope you are enjoying the shared stories and feeling that hope and peace Annette talked about. If you haven't already entered my Christmas giveaway, you still can by leaving a comment here or sending me an e-mail from my website. What memories of joy do you have from Christmases past?