Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

Today is December first...already!  Seems like it was just last year....
The daily Thankfuls of November put me in mind to do a daily Christmas book for December.  When the kids were growing up I bought a new Christmas book every year and even though they are long gone with families of their own, I still buy something special every year. I'm going to start this daily feature with the one our family loves the most.

I started reading this book to the kids when they were just about 4 and 6 years old. When they were growing up I read to them every day while they ate breakfast.  We started this one on December first every year.  And for all the years I've read it...and I still do...I still laugh at the beginning and cry at the end. Every year.  When the kids went off to college I gave them their own hardcover copies.  My son would take it to the dining hall with him and read aloud to the table.
"The Herdmans were absolutely the worst kids in the history of the world. They lied and stole and smoked cigars (even the girls) and talked dirty and hit little kids and cussed their teachers..."  and so it starts.
   Now, imagine never hearing the story of the nativity in your life and you're hearing it for the first time.   Imagine how it seems to kids who are on welfare and have their needs taken care of by social services trying to understand how a woman who is obviously pregnant is turned away.  And what about Herod, out to kill this little baby!  The indignation these six children feel is the turning point in this story and its innocence is priceless.  They decide to become a part of the annual Christmas pageant.   Of course, if the Herdmans are involved things don't go smoothly.
    For many years we started our Decembers with this Christmas story.  I'll read it again this year.  I hope you do, too.

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