Last night the children's choirs at our church staged their Christmas musical and if you were there, you had to go home and put on another pair of socks because yours had been charmed off. This yearly event, which I have attended for 38 years now, marks the start of the season of the Christmas Spirit for me. The church sanctuary was packed, as it always is, with family, friends and unrelated people from the church and community. Scrooge would have had his heart melted without the benefit of visits from the three Ghosts of Christmas had he been present (and had he not been a fictional character!). We all watched the playing out of the oldest of stories by the youngest among us. There were the shepherds, who usually end up smacking each other with their stuffed sheep at some point; the beautiful angels who sometimes forget their lines; Mary and Joseph, who manage to look like miniature adults but who are not above squabbling like an old married couple off-stage; the three Wise Men, boy who look dignified and serious in their kingly robes; and Baby Jesus, played by a doll from the church nursery. It's classic. I hope you'll come and see it next year.
My wife Becky has directed this enterprise most of the time she has been on staff at the church, and it involved sixteen choir leaders with a combined experience working with children and music of about 279 years. Some of the children in the production last night are children themselves of people who were in past shows. And some of the children in past productions are choir leaders: our adult children Amy and Alyssa direct and lead the Celebration Choir for grades one and two (along with Stan "Mr. Stan" Wallace and Diana "Amish" Hodgson), and Bridget Rose and Liz Yeun who also help with the choirs.
Thank you, children, leaders, families, friends and everyone else for a ray of light in a world that is still shrouded in darkness. It was once the oldest and newest of all stories.