Saturday, December 6, 2014

Not So Silent This Time

Our church puts on an annual Christmas pageant, as many churches do.  It's always the same weekend that the downtown area turns on the Christmas lights for the season and has a big celebration.  This year the celebration was even bigger, but i'm getting ahead of the story.

We always have some animals.

Bubbles the Camel is getting big!
The requisite donkey, with friends.

Donkey was busy eating while friends were glaring at us.

As i went through the gym to see if i could help with something, i found the wise men, taking a selfie.

Looking good, guys!

Then there was the 9-month-old who was going to play baby Jesus.  His dad was holding him while Mary and Joseph, a couple who are actually married to each other, were trying to straighten out their costumes.  Mary asked him, as she tied on his headpiece, "What, is this the first century equivalent of a do-rag?" as we all laughed.

Baby, with Mary in the back trying to get Joseph to hold still.

Eventually i walked outside and met two shepherds, each with a sheep on a leash.  At that moment, the director called for a meeting of all the cast.  As the shepherds looked uncertainly at their charges and then at the building, i offered to hold the sheep while they went in.  So i was sheep-sitting for a while.  The sheep were not happy that our terraced area is Astro-turf.

Sheep-sitting, as they glance after their shepherds inside.
After i handed the sheep back, i went toward our seats, but ended up instead handing out electric candles.  Eventually i made it, and the program began with the band striking up and the children's choir processing in.

Children's choir, and Gracie is in there somewhere.
Yes, Gracie is part of the choir.  She doesn't sing yet, just stands there and looks at everyone, but she loves to be there, and as her speech gets better, she will sing, i know it.

The program went along in very untypical fashion after that.  The couple heading to Bethlehem had to come in from a different side of the stage because the donkey wouldn't cooperate.  Baby Jesus wept and wailed the whole time.  Then came the real fun.

It was time to turn on our electric candles and sing Silent Night.  That's when the Downtown Christmas Celebration started shooting off their fireworks!

We hysterically sang about silence to the crashing and booming coming from the sky, and they reached their finale just as we did, too.  It couldn't have gone better if it had been planned.

The show always ends with a lovely dance and angels saluting.

One Angel dances, the rest stand above.

It was one of the best Christmas pageants i'd ever seen.  We didn't stay for the second showing, but i did help pick up the candles before we left and they were looking for the doll to use during the second program.

With the fireworks and crying baby and balking donkey, i figured we got the best showing this time anyway.

Today is:

Akibasan Gongen Hibuse Matsuri -- Odawara, Japan (ritual giving thanks for fire and water)

Caldwell Country Christmas Parade & Fireworks -- Colombia, LA, US

Cape May Christmas Candlelight House Tours -- Cape May, NJ, US (tours of homes, b&bs, guesthouses, hotels, and churches for 3 consecutive Saturdays)

Chester Greenwood Day Parade and Celebration/Ear Muff Day -- Farmington, ME, US (celebration of Farmington's most famous resident, the inventor of the ear muff!)

Christmas Candlelightings -- Coshocton, OH, US (Roscoe Village opens for Christmas fun for 3 consecutive Saturdays)

Day of Quito -- Ecuador (founding of the city in 1534)

Days of Reckoning Begin -- Fairy Calendar (no, they will not tell us what they reckon)

Dia de la Constitucion Espanola -- Spain (Constitution Day)

Full Cold Moon or Full Long Nights Moon (also Black Moon or Death Crone Moon)
     Mangshir Dhanya Purnima -- Nepal (special harvest/farming festival that starts off the month of Mangshir)
     Nattaw Full Moon -- Myanmar
     Unduwap Full Moon Poya Day -- Sri Lanka (began sunset yesterday)

Give a Secret Gift Day -- obviously in honor of the original St. Nicholas

Holiday Happiness -- Upper Arlington, OH, US (Christmas fun for the family at the local public library)

Hollywood Beach Candy Cane Parade -- Hollywood, FL, US

Independence Day -- Aland Islands(1917); Finland(1917)

Microwave Oven Day -- patented this day in 1945

Mitten Tree Day -- remembering when mittens, along with maybe a knit cap or scarf, were the big gift to find hanging from the Christmas tree

Natchitoches Christmas Festival -- Natchitoches, LA, US (the biggest day in the Festival of Lights in Natchitoches, parade day and the first fireworks of the season)

National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women -- Canada

National Gazpacho Day

National Miner's Day -- US

Norskedalen's Old-Fashioned Christmas -- Coon Valley, WI, US (log home Christmas and fun for all; through tomorrow)

Pawnbrokers' Day -- on St. Nicholas' Day, in his role as Patron Saint of pawnbrokers

Shaker Christmas Fair -- Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village, New Gloucester, ME, US (traditional holiday church fair)

Shalako Festival -- Hopi and Zuni Native Americans (dates of main festivals and dance ceremonies vary by area, but usually the weekend nearest the 49th day after the 10th full moon)

Sindhi Topi and Ajrak Day -- Sindh, Pakistan

SKYWARN Recognition Day -- National Weather Service, NOAA, and Amateur Radio Operators, working together to report dangerous weather conditions

St. Nicholas of Myra's Day (Patron of apothecaries/druggists/pharmacists, archers, bakers, barrel makers, boatmen, bootblacks/shoe shiners, boys, brewers, brides, captives, children, coopers, dock workers/longshoremen, fishermen, grooms, judges, lawsuits lost unjustly, maidens, mariners/sailors, merchants, penitent murderers, newlyweds, old maids, parish clerks, paupers/poor people, pawnbrokers, perfumers, pilgrims, prisoners, scholars, schoolchildren, spinsters, students, penitent thieves, travelers, unmarried girls; Greek Catholic Church in America; Greek Catholic Union; University of Paris; Varangian Guard; Greece; Russia; also dozens of cities around the world; against imprisonment, robberies, robbers)
      Christkind -- Central and Southern Europe (the traditional gift giving day, instead of Christmas)

Tamale Festival -- El Centro, CA, US (tamales and arts and crafts, a fun way to holiday shop; through tomorrow)

Birthdays Today:

Andrew J. Howard, 1969
Macy Gray, 1969
Janine Turner, 1962
Andrew Cuomo, 1957
Peter Buck, 1956
Randy Rhoads, 1956
Steven Wright, 1955
Tom Hulce, 1953
JoBeth Williams, 1953
Craig Newmark, 1952
James Naughton, 1945
David Ossman, 1936
Wally Cox, 1924
Dave Brubeck, 1920
Agnes Moorehead, 1906
Alfred Eisenstaedt, 1898
Ira Gershwin, 1896
Lynn Fontanne, 1887
Joyce Kilmer, 1886
William S. Hard, 1870
John Singleton Mosby, 1833

Debuting/Premiering Today:

Star Trek VI- The Undiscovered Country(Film), 1991
"Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer"(TV special), 1964
"Talent Scouts"(TV), 1948
"Du Barry Was a Lady"(Porter musical), 1939
"La damnation de Faust"(Berlioz opera, Op, 24), 1846

Today in History:

The Mongols under Batu Khan occupy and destroy Kiev, 1240
Don Alfonso V of Aragon grants Barcelona the right to exclude Jews, 1424
The first edition of the Encyclopedia Brittanica is published, in Scotland, 1768
Harriet Tubman escapes slavery, 1849
The 13th Amendment to the US Constitution is ratified, abolishing slavery, 1865
The first crematorium in the Us begins operation, in Washington, Pennsylvania, 1876
London becomes the first city to license taxicabs, 1897
One year to the day after the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty, the Irish Free State comes into existence, 1922
U.S. federal judge John M. Woolsey rules that the James Joyce's novel Ulysses is not obscene, 1933
The Vanguard rocket, the first US attempt to launch a satellite, fails, 1957
The Canadian province of Newfoundland is renamed Newfoundland and Labrador, 2001
NASA reveals photographs taken by Mars Global Surveyor suggesting the presence of liquid water on Mars, 2006
Belgium's new federal government is sworn in after 541 days of negotiations, 2011


  1. Love this. A perfect small town Christmas program. This is what Christmas is all about and it brought me back to the days of my youth when everything was less difficult.

  2. i bet there was a lot of laughter and joy from that program. :)

  3. Sounds like a wonderful way to spend the evening. I'm glad you enjoyed yourself.

    Have a fabulous day. :)

  4. Sounds like festive fun was had by all. Take care.

  5. If you enjoyed yourself half as much as I did reading about it, you had a great time. That's exactly how these occasions should be, who wants rehearsed mechanical perfection? Reminds me of the time we enjoyed a Christmas concert and the consternation at supper time when it was discovered one of the pageant goats had got loose and had its own party in the supper room. What wasn't eaten was on the floor. Very rarely have I seen so many people laughing. My kids and I remember that occasion every Christmas, the story is part of our family history.

  6. Sounds like a real celebration and lots of fun. Wish i could have experienced it in person, though i do love the story here! :)

  7. I can't believe someone owns a camel. Not exactly regular farm stock... The pics were beautiful! Thanks!