So, I, um, I did this thing.
Last year I helped organize the early Christmas Eve service at church
. It's a short service designed for families with young children who might not be able to make it through the longer 8pm service for big people. It was a lot of fun last year, and at the time I thought, "Next year, how fun would it be to have a Christmas pageant?"
So this year I, um, I wrote one.
I'm sure there are prepackaged UU Christmas pageants out there which are perfectly appropriate for religiously diverse congregations, written by people who know a lot more about what children can be gotten to perform than I do. But I was attacked by a muse. I kept thinking that the 12th century carol "The Friendly Beasts"
would adapt well for children's performance, and then there was the voice of a cranky sheep in my head, and, well, suddenly there was this script, complete with a UU religious message. (Should I post the script? It's four pages.)
The idea of actually putting this thing on terrifies me.
I tried to make it simple. There are three parts with about a dozen lines each and three minimal speaking parts. There's a shared group role for kids who are very little, because I knew Alex would want to be in it and probably some of the other kids from her Sunday School class. The costumes can be very simple. The props are minimal (we need a manger and a baby doll and some fleece, and possibly some straw), and there's no need for much of a set. I made my best guesses about what will be workable for a bunch of upper-elementary kids to master in three or four rehearsals, and I think my expectations are reasonable. But honestly, I'm still terrified.
I'm going to ask one of the teens I taught last year if she'd like to be my Assistant Director. Given that I'm going to be 33 weeks pregnant on Christmas Eve, it seems wise to have a helper who can jump around and be energetic. Plus, she loves theater and she loves little kids.
I met with acceberskoorb
, our Director of Religious Education, yesterday to work out the planning. Can I just say that she's phenomenal at her job? She walked me through all the organizational details: lists of likely and possible participants, how many rehearsals we'll probably need and when we should schedule them, which kids can be counted on to memorize lines, how we'll assign parts, which members of the congregation might be counted on to sew costumes or play the guitar or or help with the singing, which kids in the youth group have talents in the visual arts and might want to paint a backdrop. It was awesome.
I think pageants terrify her too, but she does a good job of hiding it.“Why didn’t you warn me about Christmas pageants?”
Why indeed? What can you say about these pageants? What should you say? Is it fair to warn a fledgling minister? They’re like war, childbirth, and one microsecond of a holy visitation.
- Carl Scovel