This was 1946 and the whole elementary school participated in this Christmas pageant. First and second graders that I recognize are front center, identified as small angels with tinsel trimmed halos and wings plus children who came to worship in black skirts and white blouses. I’m third from the manger on the left, the one in a white blouse, black skirt, and glasses.
Other cast members included the shepherds, three kings, a modern-day choir to accompany the Heavenly hosts on the risers, center back. As a six-year-old, I don’t remember much about the pageant. I think it was mostly singing Christmas carols and not much reenactment. The rhythm band performed first. I played the triangle before hurrying backstage to take my place near the manger before the curtain opened.
This Christmas program was tradition. I think my mom and dad probably had a role in a similar performance twenty years earlier. No one ever heard of any such notion that schools couldn’t celebrate Christmas. Back then in our small town, if you knew someone who worshiped differently than you, that meant you were Baptist and your friend was Methodist. “Happy Holidays” included Thanksgiving through New Years. As December 25th neared, everyone said Merry Christmas.
But times have changed… maybe not so much in my hometown… but definitely in bigger cities. If someone worships differently than you, they may celebrate a completely different winter holiday. I guess schools can’t spend the whole month of December celebrating different holidays… so maybe it is best not to celebrate any. And, I think I’ve just gotten way over my head trying to explain this in a way that is acceptable to everyone who might read this. So, I’ll just say, I’ll be celebrating Christmas and I hope you have a wonderful holiday season no matter which holidays you choose to celebrate.
Here are some gift suggestions that works for everyone!
If you’re in the countdown to your shopping deadline, maybe this will help. It’s the season of chaos and joy. Choose the one you like best!