Ahhh Chrit-mah time. It truly is the MOST wonderful time of the year. Now that I have children who are in elementary school, part of that wonder is getting to watch them perform on stage.
-Enter- The Church Christmas Play/Extravaganza
Ever since Nadjah was a 2 year old toddler, she has been itching to be a part of the Christmas play at church. In fact, the year she turned 2 she ran up on stage in her black and gray 1940’s inspired dress and overcoat while the praise team was singing Leap for Joy. I watched helplessly from the audience, clutching a then 6 month old Aya, trying to decide if I should leap on the stage and grab her or just wait for the song to end so she could come down herself.
This year, she legitimately got to be a part of the show.
I love when little children are cast for holiday performances. In every church it’s a repeated scenario that never gets old: Little boys in black slacks, shiny black shoes and bow ties; prim first graders proudly sporting newly pressed hair, neatly arranged in a mass of carefully placed ringlets and spiral curls, their little pink lips shellacked with Vaseline to give them a glossy shine; and finally that new ruffley dress that many a little has been dying to wear since mom got it on sale the Christmas before.
Nadjah, being appropriately attired in the requisite holiday garb was more than ready for her sophomore performance, having already given a short Christmas speech and sung We Wish You a Merry Christmas the year before. This year she was in the big leagues, and was delivering a short monologue by K.R. Messer, complete with hand gestures that she had developed herself. After charming the congregation with her recitation of Baby, she gleefully took her place in the children’s choir and sang (shouted) our church’s signature song: Children Go Where I Send Thee, a 20 verse melody reminiscent of the 12 days of Christmas, just faster. The adult choir joined the children on stage and sung Emmanuel, celebrating the birth of Jesus. Nadjah had requested that her hair do include side bangs and cascading curls. As she sang to hearts content, she shook her left leg so vigorously that Elvis himself might be undone. Her right hand brushed stray hairs from her face as she flicked her hair, shut her eyes and craned her neck forward belting Emmanuel!!! again and again.
It was an absolutely riveting performance. All the children did exceptionally well, but my bias is of course towards my baby, who in my view stole the show. I should be ashamed that my focus was so divided though, shouldn’t I? Nah. I’m pretty sure the first time her baby turned water into wine, Mary was just as proud to brag about it too.