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Monday, December 13, 2010

2nd Monday Discussion: Near Misses and Minor Disasters

Everyone seems to have a story about something that went wrong, or almost did, at a Christmas Pageant or a Christmas Eve service. Maybe there was some tradition we didn't learn about until it was (almost) too late, or perhaps a child did something unpredictable.

Sometimes those moments become holy. Other times they are simply hilarious. And occasionally they leave us chagrined or thankfully, thoroughly relieved.

For this 2nd Monday discussion, I invite you to share a story, or a link to a story on your own blog, in the comments.

(That handsome, grey-bearded Joseph on the right? My 15-year-old daughter, in a bit of last-minute casting. She is a really good sport.)


  1. Very minor, but I remember as a Jr. Choir member (10 or 12?) being horrified to hear the littler children rhyme the word "womb" ("Lo, he abhors not the virgin's womb" in "O Come Let Us Adore Him") with "bomb." Loudly.

    Lucy gets 107 points for that. Yay her!

  2. My favorite pageant moment happened last year. A group of angels had gathered around the microphone on the platform that usually held the pulpit. They finished and were supposed to exit down the stairs, but the littlest angel jumped off the front instead, which brought a charmed chuckle from the large congregation. When she realized she had done something unexpected, she looked right out at the congregation and clapped her hand over her mouth, which of course everyone loved even more.
    Personally, I liked seeing an angel fly. It made Christmas for me. :-)

  3. Our Bethlehem tower watchman apparently thought he should mime a machine gun, but that happened at the rehearsal during church earlier, so I did not witness it. Once up on the ladder (with a spotter), he was more nervous and less inventive.

  4. A few years ago my oldest niece Christy and her family were invited to participate in the Christmas Eve service at Church. Her husband was a shepherd and she and her three little girls were part of the angelic host at the manger.

    Christy's youngest daughter started to scoot away from the group of angels as the congregation sang "Hark the Herald Angels Sing". At the same time the oldest daughter scooted in the other direction with a "I'm not related to her" look on her face as our little angel pulled her heavenly robe up over her head and flashed the congregation over several hundred people!

    We were actually relieved that she had kept her Christmas panties on, because she was known to "go commando".

    I'm keeping this story to tell someday at her wedding rehearsal dinner!

  5. Two years ago we had a young sheep strip off one of the tube socks she had on her hands and toss it over her shoulder, looking for all the world like a seasoned stripper. Then she dumped the baby out of the manger and made herself at home.

    My favorite pageant story, though, involves my sister, who always got to be the Virgin Mary because she had blonde hair and looked precious in the blue robe. One year Joseph picked up the Christ Child, and she grabbed the doll away from him and hissed, very loudly, "That's not YOUR baby!"

  6. Suzy, LOL.
    Good stories all. One year I made last minute copies for the readers before everyone went on. It was one of those plays that was all narration and silent acting. Without my knowing it, the copier skipped a couple pages. The narrators just kept reading and the actors fast-forwarded thru the play's missing parts. All the parents congratulated me for the 'best' and shortest play ever.

  7. Sunday night, a 2 year old Wise Man had a wardrobe malfunction. His "crown" kept slipping over his eyes and the arms of his robe were too long and he kept pushing them up (after he had set his 'gift' on the floor, so he could have both hands free!) When he got to the front of the sanctuary, he turned around and started waving at the congregation. (You can tell he's a regular at church!)

  8. Suzy!!! That story is not only awesome, but it will go oh so perfectly with the sermon I am working on for this Sunday, about Joseph. Thank you for sharing it!!

  9. Mine isn't nearly as funny or sweet as any of yours, but it's my most vivid memory of a pageant snafu. My home church had a very large music ministry with choirs of all types for all ages. Every Christmas we put on a "Living Christmas Tree" - I'm sure some of you know what I'm talking about, where the choir members all climb up in a very tall (up to the sanctuary ceiling) wooden Christmas tree and then sing Christmas carols and anthems from that place. It was a Big Deal.

    Our children's choirs, youth choir, college ensemble, handbell choirs, and orchestra all played in the service as well, though only the adult choir sang from the tree. Anyway, when I was a senior in high school, I sang in all three of the main groups - youth choir, college ensemble, and adult choir. It was fantastically fun (and took a kind of energy I wish I had now!).

    Anyway, before I got in the tree, I sang off to the side with the college ensemble. We were all dressed up in old-fashioned outfits, to be singing from within and around a carriage. I had on this beautiful velvet brocade blouse, a long velvet skirt, and some black gloves. We sang coming up the aisle with our hands clasped at our chests, and when we arrived at the front, we were to unclasp them (everything was highly choreographed - I was to link arms with the guy to my left). Only when I got to the front and tried to unclasp my hands, I discovered that one of my gloves was snagged in one of the hooks that held my blouse closed - the one right in the middle of my chest. So as I tried to move my hands apart - under the spotlight - the movement actually unhooked my blouse and began to expose my bra, which, of course, was horrifying. So I sang the next several pieces with my hands frozen in place, clasped in front of my chest, my arm not linked with my partner. He couldn't figure out why I wouldn't let him take my arm, but we both just kept singing and smiling till the end of our set, when I rushed off the stage - with my hands still clasped in front of my chest!


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