Around here, December means Christmas Pageant time. J.'s mother wrote and directed our church's Christmas pageant for years, and when she died, J. helped to take over the writer/director role. It has always been a family affair, with nepotism for roles running high. I kind of married into this little family tradition. I had never even seen the pageant the first year I spent Christmas away from Arizona and my future mother-in-law convinced me to be one of the narrators along with J.
This year, the level of family involvement is no different. J. is the writer/director again, I'm directing the children's choir (again), M. and B. are narrators, A. is running sound, P. is working a spot light, H., TM, D., and K. are in the actual pageant part and in the choir, and G., L., and HG3 are the little angels who arrive with baby Jesus and help to entertain him. Some of this is just because it's easy to tap family members who are used to being assigned roles and some of it is that there just isn't a huge crowd of people knocking down the door wanting to be in the pageant. (I don't know why... it's fun and gives you unlimited dinner conversation afterwards.) I will admit that it does make for some slightly crazy Saturdays right before Christmas. More than anything, though, it's an act of love to help put on the story of Jesus' birth for our church and surrounding community.
So, if you are looking for something to do with your family on Christmas Eve and are in the Evanston/Chicago/North Shore area, please consider yourselves invited to our pageant. We have a Holy Family complete with baby, a children's choir, some cute children acting out a Christmas story, carol singing, candle lighting, and singing kings. It begins at 4pm (though I always suggest people get there a bit early to get seats) at First Presbyterian Church, 1427 Chicago Ave., in Evanston. Attendees are invited to bring love gifts (wrapped in white paper) to be given to Good News Partners, a local ministry whose mission is to help end homelessness. It is very family-friendly and a wonderful way to tangibly demonstrate the meaning of Christmas to your children. Please come.
And I'm assuming everyone was busy playing my Christmas carol quiz at home and you are now dying to see if you were correct. Here are the answers:
1. "Mild He lays His glory by, Born that man no more may die, Born to raise the sons of earth, Born to give them second birth." Hark the Herald Angels Sing
2. "And ye, beneath life's crushing load, Whose forms are bending low, Who toil along the climbing way With Painful steps and slow, Look now! for glad and golden hours Come swiftly on the wing:" It Came Upon the Midnight Clear
3. "Jesus to thee be all glory given; Word of the Father, Now in flesh appearing!" O Come All Ye Faithful
4. "No more let sins and sorrows grow, Nor thorns infest the ground; He comes to make His blessings flow Far as the curse is found," Joy to the World
5. "O holy Child of Bethlehem, Descend to us, we pray; Cast out our sin and enter in, Be born in us today. We hear the Christmas angels The great glad tidings tell; O come to us, abide with us, Our Lord Emmanuel!" O Little Town of Bethlehem
6 "Therefore Christian men be sure, Wealth or rank possessing, Ye who now will bless the poor Shall yourselves find blessing." Good King Wenceslas
Since my sole commentor (MamaPPod... who is actually one of my closest friends and no I didn't give her the answers) got them all correct, I'll have to come up with a really good prize for her. Maybe fabric...