Thursday, December 6, 2012

Ever Find Yourself in the Park Wearing a Sheet & Sneakers?

Family Christian Center- Dixon
Have you ever hung around a local park in sneakers and a sheet? One of my favorite perks of being a pastor's wife for our small church was organizing the annual nativity in the park every December during our town's Christmas Tree Lighting Celebration. The first few years we did it, we only used little kids to be Mary, Joseph, angels, wise men & shepherds. I would assign them one hour each to stay in place and we filled about 4 or 5 shifts this way with different kids trading off so no one had to do it for too long out in the cold. 

In later years we got the grown-ups involved and built a spare frame, scattered some hay, donned our sheets and sneakers, rigged up the lighting, played Christmas music and recreated the most important moment in the Christmas story.

I loved that our nativity scene was not a play with lines or songs or any agenda at all beyond a gentle reminder about Jesus and how He came to change the world one night. We also included a visual of Jesus and His cross in the background with His mother Mary at His feet.

The mood was light and we talked, prayed and enjoyed being out there in the community as families walked by and pointed with smiles and whispers. More than once each year I would hold my breath with the beauty of watching a mom or dad pull their child close into the scene and hear them tell their little son or daughter the story of Jesus. It was magical and brought tears to more than one passer by. 

Doing my best to shepherd the shepherds. (Rocker Son in the brown headscarf)

The only thing even more fun and crazy than the park nativity was the children's Christmas program for the church! So much work for so many, but we brought it together year after year and I still get teary eyed and goose bumpy when I see a kid's program. Love it! The wiggles, giggles and wrestling shepherds all are important ingredients that add up to the perfect kid's Christmas program!

I do not worry about the "world" ruining Christmas. It can't happen as long as you know why you celebrate. Everything else can be tuned out...or better yet, embrace it all. Why not sing along with the carols in the store, why not say "Happy Holiday" back to the store clerk because she is not allowed to say "Merry Christmas". So what? The original meaning of "Holiday" is "Holy day" so you still win! 

Let's be the "yes" people, not the grumpy bah humbugs who love pointing out how much "our" holiday has been ruined by businesses and people who celebrate differently. They cannot ruin what you already know in your heart. Not unless you allow them to by using up the entire season to complain, grumble and write mean posts about "those people" out there. 

Get. Over. it.

(End of my annual Christmas rant.)  :)

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Season's Greetings to all of you! 

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  1. Our sons are all grown now, and my nest is empty, but this post brought back such precious memories (as well as a few tears) of the Christmas programs they were in.

    Thanks for the memories! :-) And Happy Holydays to you!

    1. I know exactly what you mean Marsha. It can be a bittersweet time of year can't it?

  2. YOu are so cool. Loved this...and your ranting was reverberating in my head again. I got the message. Love you! Yes, we did this too...such a wonderful time in our lives....


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