Monday, December 10, 2012

Kicking Off My Christmas Spirit - Literally

Every year there is one event that moves me from a distanced, Oh yeah, Christmas is coming to actually being in the Christmas spirit. It's not putting up the tree, or buying gifts, or watching Charlie Brown, or baking cookies. No, for me, it's going to the children's Christmas program at church. Watching the preschoolers and Kindergartners tickles me every year, and kick starts my Christmas mood.

You never know what they'll do. And that's the beauty of it.

They may remember to put on their paper antlers. They may jingle their bells (and many will throughout the entire program). They may even do a few hand motions to the songs, though you can be sure that each child is watching the others to see what they're supposed to do, so it's never quite in unison.

One or two children will know most of the words to the song. You can usually count on one responsible girl to memorize them all, stand up straight, and either belt them out, or barely whisper. She's the one to watch if you want to see what's supposed to happen. And many of the children will be watching her, too, with a look on their faces like they've never seen any of this before.

If there's a gimmick, or any vaguely naughty sound effect, the boys will shout it out nice and loud. Laugh, and they'll repeat the performance over and over.

But these are all the things you come to expect with young kids. What's most wonderful about the Christmas program is the element of surprise; the things you just can't see coming.

This year was no exception.

The class sang a song and then stood up. They turned the gold blocks that had seemed to be nothing more than gift boxes around and spelled out the word J-E-S-U-S. But they were too far apart; scattered wherever the box holders had (uncarefully) placed them. So one little boy took it upon himself to straighten them up -- and kicked all the Jesus boxes into place.

And suddenly, I was consumed with Christmas spirit.

You probably had to be there, but it was just so wrong that we were all stifling giggles. It kicked off my holiday, all right. I can't wait for next year's show!

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