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A Christmas Story

christmas, manger scene

Ah, the beauty of the nativity. The lights are low, creating a heavenly glow around the stable. Tonight, we celebrate the birth of Christ with our Christmas pageant. It will be perfect, or so I hope.

Mary and Joseph hover over the Baby Jesus, snug in his swaddling clothes. The director gives the cue to begin. Somebody’s not watching, so he cues again. In the corner, the shepherds appear in the “field.” The spotlight comes on. After one false sweep, it finds the angels as their sweet “glory to God” wafts through the air. The shepherds quake convincingly. An angel’s wing wobbles, but another angel steadies it. Oops, there’s a “fallen” angel. She trips on her robe withdrawing back to heaven. The others reach out to help. I smile. Others giggle.

“With great joy,” the shepherds travel around the room on their way to Bethlehem. The smallest one straggles, bestowing huge smiles on the audience as he goes. The biggest one comes back for him. They arrive at the manger and strike their poses. A shepherd drops his staff at the Holy Family’s feet. Joseph hands it back to him without looking up. More smiles and giggles.

The wise men begin their procession, singing “We Are Wise Men Traveling from the East.” They kneel before the manger, presenting their gifts (without incident). When it’s time to return by another route, they instead go back the way they came. Smiles all around.

It wasn’t perfect, not by any stretch. But, we’ll remember it—for the things that went wrong. We smile or giggle at mistakes, but we immediately forgive the actors for making them. We smile because we know God forgives us our mistakes, too. That’s why Jesus came to earth as a baby—so that we can all be forgiven.

Merry Christmas to all Blog4Writers subscribers—and to those who happen to visit during this holy season.

This Christmas story first appeared in Hometown Magazine of the KenTenn Area, December/January 2013-14.

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6 Responses to A Christmas Story

  1. Diana Derringer December 17, 2013 at 10:10 am #

    Love this!

  2. Emily Akin December 17, 2013 at 10:21 am #

    I’m sure a lot of people are wondering how their Christmas plays will turn out. I think it doesn’t matter so much how it goes. You just have to do it every year for the children.

  3. Cecelia Lester December 17, 2013 at 4:02 pm #

    Our drama ministry gave its Christmas play last weekend. The dress rehearsal was so bad that I, the director, didn’t have to say a word, Everyone knew we weren’t ready. I came home and sent some email prayer requests. Two of the people I sent to reminded me of the adage; “A horrible dress rehearsal means a good opening.” I even doubted the adage. But, we went ahead with it. Ours wasn’t perfect but the message was clear. People enjoyed the acting and people who couldn’t be there have heard about it,

  4. Emily Akin December 17, 2013 at 6:31 pm #

    It’s true, a bad rehearsal is motivator. A friend of mine says, “You don’t want to peak to soon.”

  5. Ann Knowles December 19, 2013 at 11:09 am #

    Loved this Emily! You made me feel like I was there, but also took me back to the times when these things have happened at my church.

    I went to your HOMETOWN paper and loved it. We used to have a couple of this type of newspapers in our area, but they were bought up by the New York Times. We don’t care to read the news slanted from their viewpoint so we don’t even subscribe any more. I wish there were a paper here like your paper. Do they take articles from out-of-town folks? I have a client who wrote an article “All I Ever Needed to Know I Learned from “Leave it to Beaver.” She’s never published it and I thought of her when I looked through your paper.

  6. Emily Akin December 19, 2013 at 11:41 am #

    Thanks for the good words, Ann. Maybe you should start your own local magazine! It’s a big job, though.

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