Tuesday, December 22, 2009
The Topsy-Turvy Christmas Story
Sometimes a home reaches a creative boiling point. Ours reached that point one morning last week as the kids acted out their Christmas play. This was an impromptu event which took the place of our normally scheduled Bible Time. I was purposely excluded from the preparation of this pageant and given the role of narrator, so my anticipation grew as the starting time approached.
Everything began beautifully. As I arrived, the director, my nine-year-old son handed me the Bible and told me where to sit. Shortly thereafter Mary, played by my seven-year-old daughter, entered with a blanket wrapped around her head and waited for Gabriel to appear. Gabriel flew in with brilliant, white, feathery wings to inform Mary that she was going to be the mother of Jesus.
After some stops and starts I discovered that a few scenes had been deleted due to artistic differences between my nine and five-year-old. Well, I guess that’s showbiz. About the time the shepherds were watching their flocks by night the five-year-old rejoined the cast and insisted her role be that of the star the wise men followed from the East – an interesting and inanimate choice. Since the star had to be directly above the manger, my darling diva stood on the couch and leaned her star wand precariously over the place where baby Jesus lay.
It was at this point we all learned the three-year-old was losing interest for he slumped to the ground and complained that he did not want to be a shepherd or a wise man any longer. My nine-year-old struggled to maintain his composure as he sensed he was losing control of his young cast. “But we haven’t even sung any songs yet,” he pleaded. “I thought this was going to go perfectly as I planned, but things have just gone...topsy-turvy,” he concluded. A good assessment, however my seven-year-old daughter took all of these things and pondered them in her heart.
I massaged the situation by promising cinnamon rolls for everyone who calmed down and agreed to participate. Now that we had everyone back on track, our Christmas train threatened to derail once again when the kids realized that the wise men never actually made it to the manger scene, but only found Jesus when he was around age two! Impressively, they compensated for the difference by having the narrator turn to the book of Matthew and helping “Mary” find some clothes for baby Jesus. The rest of the story was peppered with songs that the recovering director had decided to play on the piano.
After a rousing rendition of “Joy to the World” the maestro wrapped it up informing everyone that we should practice a little more this week, so we could do a better job in presenting the play to the grandparents on Christmas. It seems this show isn’t over. Although practice may make perfect, I’m not sure I could have enjoyed this little performance any more than I did today. It is, in fact, the imperfections that define our home and remind me of our need (even in the little things) for a Savior.