Yep, another Christmas come and gone already. Like everything in life it seems..."already??" Though things change so quickly, I'm glad that the smiles and memories remain. It doesn't seem like all THAT long ago that this picture was taken. But the baby has two babies of his own already. His nickname was "Froggy", then next, his sister, "Sookie", then "Hoonie", then "Gruntsy" , and the older one, half out of the picture, pretty much escaped a terrible nickname, was Bobb. (Ignore the posts that might be at the bottom of this blog entry...they will probably be added when each of the kids 'gets a load' of this story and adds their complaint, I'm sure. LOL)
I really missed them this year for Christmas. I don't miss all the hectic other stuff that always seemed to be a part of the holidays, not counting the usual deadlines of shopping, sewing, baking, and hiding gifts.
I guess I brought a lot of it on myself. Since I taught Sunday School, I wanted to have the children participate in the traditional plays and singing at church. For some darned reason, I was always 're-inventing the wheel', so to speak. I took it upon myself to write my own plays instead of using ones already written, make costumes, decorations and scenery, instead of asking for help or delegating others to help. Then I micro-managed every detail. Then after Christmas I would collapse in relief that I had pulled it off again, resolving not to EVER do all that again.
The above picture reminds me of the Christmas I arranged a manger scene near the pulpit at our church, made a life-sized cardboard donkey, that stood next to it, had the little shephard boys in their bathrobes and towels over their heads to complete their outfits. I had Sookie, dressed in white like a little angel, with gold tinsel over her head for a halo, standing on a secure table to 'hover' above the piano(...believe me, she was safe there). Naomi, our "Mary", who was about 8 years old, was very good at her flute lessons, and she had practiced playing, "Silent Night" to perfection.
I had borrowed one of Sookie's bald-headed baby dolls to play the part of Baby Jesus, to lie in the 'manger'. To make the effects even more dramatic, we put a light bulb attached to a dimmer switch, under the 'Baby Jesus' head, so that when 'Mary's' "Silent Night" got to a most poignent part of the song, the church lights would dim, and the 'Baby Jesus' head would glow steadily brighter! What an awesome sight in the hush of the dark church it would be.
It was a most wonderful Christmas Eve service leading up to our little play. Our little troupe was well-rehearsed and ready to go. Smaller children can be hard to deal with sometimes in these situations, but not these...they quietly and reverently went right to their positions. First they sweetly sang the little carols we had practiced, then to close, 'Mary' played her hauntingly beautiful flute to the 'Baby Jesus', while the other children; 'Joseph', the 'three wise kings', the 'shephards', and the 'angel' above them, all looked adoringly down on the 'Babe in the Manger'. As the lights in the church began to dim, the individual notes of the flute wafted through the darkness, our emotions were building with Joy and the the head of the "Baby" began to grow brighter and brighter, when 'Mary', between notes, grabbed the head of 'Baby Jesus' and flung him across the room, under the first row of pews, then just as serenely put her flute back to her mouth, and resumed her song til the end. While she was finishing, the church lights came back on to find 'Joseph' and the rest of the manger scene standing frozen staring at the 'Baby' laying on the floor under somebody's feet. After the song, all the children walked quietly back to their seats as though it was all a part of the play. (What in the heck??? Had they planned this without my knowing it?? Why???) Nobody said a word about it, and the service ended as it usually did. Had my eyes deceived me? I did see her fling 'Our Lord' under the pews, hadn't I? I caught up with Naomi aka 'Crazy Mary', and asked, "Why did you DO that???" She said nonchalantly, "His head got hot and was smoking". (Oh?)
I noticed Sookie was holding her little bald-headed doll close to her, having rescued it from where it had been thrown. She reluctanly let me examine the head, and indeed there was a little black dot about the size of a pencil eraser. The poor thing. Sookie insisted we put a bandaid on it for a week or so.
That may not have been the last little play the kids had performed in, but for her,that's the last time any of her baby-dolls or any toy ever volunteered to participate in them.