Friday, December 19, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

A Christmas pageant story

By
From page A2 | December 22, 2012 |

Once, when I was very young — with lots more energy and less experience than I have now — I volunteered to direct the Christmas pageant at church.

“What?” said my husband, as if I’d just announced I was moonlighting for the Pentagon splitting atoms in the blender.

“It’s a kids’ play,” I shrugged. “How hard can it be? All you need is a manger, a few tacky costumes and a bunch of kids.”

“Including our three?”

“OK,” I said, “I see your point. It may take work. But you won’t have to do anything. The kids promised to help.”

“Sure,” he cackled, dumping Alpo in the dog’s dish, “like they promised to feed the dog.”

Here’s a little tip: It’s best to avoid, whenever possible, taking charge of any public activity — be it teaching or coaching or Christmas pageant directing — that requires one to take charge of ones’ own offspring.

“Why can’t I be Mary?” said my daughter said.

“You’re only 5,” I told her. “One of the big girls can be Mary. I need you to be an angel so you can watch over me.”

“OK,” she said, “but can J.J. be Baby Jesus?”

J.J. was her Cabbage Patch doll. He would make Baby Jesus look like the Pillsbury Doughboy. I would probably burn in hell. But what’s a mother to do? “OK,” I said. “We can bundle him up in, like, lots of swaddling clothes.”

“I’ll be Joseph,” said my oldest, who would grow up to be an actor and play bad guys on TV. “I’ll carry a big gun and shoot King Herod.”

“You’ll be a shepherd,” I said, giving him the same look I used to get from my mother, “and carry a big stick to keep the sheep together.”

“Can Nate be my sheep?” he said, falling down laughing.

His brother, my wooly-headed 3-year-old, was not amused.

“I no sheep!” Nate hissed.

“Of course, you aren’t a sheep,” I said, combing my fingers through his wool. “You can be my Star of Bethlehem.”

“Where will we get a manger for J.J.?” asked my daughter.

“That’s easy,” I said. “We’ll make your dad build it.”

And so it began, my well-intentioned effort to depict the glory of Christmas with several dozen sweet, innocent young souls — as easy to direct as a flock of penguins on speed.

We never got through a whole practice. Started lots, but never finished. I couldn’t believe how long it took to get to Bethlehem.

But on the night of the pageant, like the miracle of Christmas, the performances were flawless — pretty much. J.J. lay swaddled head to toe in his manger; like Baby Jesus, “no crying he made.”

The shepherd, a true ham, did a fine job with the sheep (when one of the flock wandered off in search of a cookie, he pulled it back with the hook of his crook and got a standing ovation).

The angel, as always, kept close watch over her mother.

And the Star of Bethlehem (with his curls springing out of a tin-foil costume and looking more like the Happy Star from Carl’s Jr. hamburger joints) shined brighter than the sun on a California Christmas.

Some called it the best pageant ever, but they were grandparents mostly, and you know how grandparents are. I assure you it was the best Christmas pageant I ever saw — and the only one I ever directed. My husband said it certainly had the best manger.

That was more than 20 years ago. The cast, except for J.J., is all grown up now. The Shepherd is still a ham, still keeping our flock together. The angel is still an angel, still watching over her mother

And the Star of Bethlehem cut off his curls, but he still shines brighter than the sun on a California Christmas.

Some things change, and some stay the same. That is as it should be, especially at Christmas. Here’s wishing you and yours a little of both.

(Contact Sharon Randall at P.O. Box 777394 Henderson, NV, or at www.sharonrandall.com.)

Sharon Randall

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

 
Sondheim’s ‘Woods’ holiday showcase for Missouri Street Theatre

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Groundbreakings, ribbon-cuttings play role in civic life

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

Frankye Kelly ready to spread holiday cheer

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Celebrate the magic of Christmas

By Tony Wade | From Page: A2, 2 Comments

 
Santas have busy week at schools

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3, 1 Comment

 
Safe streets task force work nets 3

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3, 2 Comments

 
 
Solano College approves officers, meeting schedule

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A4

Longtime Suisun harbor master to retire

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A4

 
 
Fairfield police log: Dec. 17, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: Dec. 17, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12, 1 Comment

Police arrest 2nd suspect in Fairfield credit union robbery

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A12 | Gallery

 
.

US / World

Spy’s parents search for son after Cuba-US deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Hope and some fear in Cuba amid thaw with US

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Next steps on Cuba: Normalizing could take awhile

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Sony hacking fallout puts all companies on alert

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Sony film took aim at North Korea’s biggest taboo

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 3 Comments

 
Timeline of the Sony Pictures Entertainment hack

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Digital dilemma: How will US respond to Sony hack?

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
 
Local emergencies in Northern California counties after rain

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

California’s top utility regulator defends record

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
‘Pretty horrible’ scene; car slams into crowd

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Police: Drunk man shot while entering wrong house

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 4 Comments

Tsarnaev appears in court for 1st time since 2013

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
President signs legislation ending Nazi benefit checks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

2 states challenge Colorado marijuana legalization

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8, 3 Comments

 
‘Prison Houdini’ set to make his 1st legal escape

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

Top Islamic militants killed; more US troops going to Iraq

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

 
Feds sue NYC over Rikers Island jail violence

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

Russian sailors leaving France without warship

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9, 1 Comment

 
Putin: West wants to defang, declaw Russian bear

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

European court rules obesity can be a disability

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

 
Suspected Islamic extremists kidnap 185 in Nigeria

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13, 2 Comments

.

Opinion

Another look at school bonds

By George Guynn Jr. | From Page: A11, 2 Comments

 
Editorial Cartoon: Dec. 19, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

News of the day strikes a chord

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: A11, 10 Comments

 
 
.

Living

Today in History: Dec. 19, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2, 1 Comment

 
Community Calendar: Dec. 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: Dec. 19, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: D8

 
Should I use Child Protective Services threat to get back rent?

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: D8

.

Entertainment

Week in preview Dec. 19-25, 2014

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Sweet ‘Night at the Museum’ bids farewell to Robin Williams

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Craig Ferguson to end 10 years as host of ‘Late Late Show’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Eric Idle brings ‘Not the Messiah’ to Carnegie Hall

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Entertainment calendar Dec. 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: B4

.

Sports

A’s trade All-Star catcher Derek Norris to Padres

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Warriors beat Thunder 114-109 after Durant injury

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
A’s acquire lefty De La Rosa from Arizona for cash

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Raiders defense depleted by injuries

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
49ers’ Harbaugh mum on reported offer from Michigan

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

49ers’ Aldon Smith hopes to build off tough year

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Column: Thaw in US-Cuba relations warms up MLB

By Jim Litke | From Page: B8

Rivera: Newton ‘probably’ will start vs. Browns

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Bears bench QB Jay Cutler for Clausen

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

‘Hands Up’ players to attend Ferguson Christmas party

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Celtics trade Rondo to Mavericks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Rodriguez boys open Les Curry Tournament with victory

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B8

 
39 bowl games and a reason to watch every one

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Signups for Friday, Dec. 19, 2014

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B9

 
This date in sports history for Friday, Dec. 19, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

Sports on TV/Local sports for Friday, Dec. 19, 2014

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B11

 
.

Business

Roomiest Subaru Legacy debuts for 2015

By Ann M. Job | From Page: C1

 
Dow industrials have their best day in three years

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Ford expands drivers air bag recall nationwide

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Constantly changing online prices stump shoppers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

.

Obituaries

Lisa Dee McHughes

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Dominic C. Scolaro

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Ernest “Ernie” Moretti

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Travis Curt Price

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

Jennie Ponce Reyes

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Patricia “Pat” Anne Stringfield-Pierre

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics