Christmas Program Memories

chloe-programI have a lot of very specific childhood memories, but for some reason, few of them are of Christmas programs. And I was in a lot of them, both at school and at church. This year, Chloe has started that tradition and hearing about her taking a dramatic bow on behalf of her class totally cracked me up. My mom said it was a total flashback for her. What can I say? The girl comes from a long line of hams.

The best part of the story of Chloe’s church program is regarding sound issues. First of all, please explain to me how she is the last in line of 5 kids to say a line and when it gets to her for some reason her mic isn’t on. Before I am accused of being a stage auntie, please know that would irritate me regardless of whose kid it is. Seriously? You didn’t know that was coming? Anyway, her church has 2 services, and in the first service, her microphone wasn’t on for the first part of her line. In the second service she gets up and when it’s her turn to say her line, she says, into the microphone, ” In the first service, my microphone wasn’t loud enough.” Apparently the whole crowd burst out laughing. The sound guy gave her a thumbs up and then she said her line and everyone applauded. She’s gonna go far.

The two programs that I can vividly remember are first grade and fifth grade. In the first grade I was one of two narrators for the entire program. The other one was a 6th grader. I have no idea who. I was asked because I could read and was relatively poised and comfortable on stage. I sat on a stool on one side of the stage and read my lines from a black notebook on a stand and then the different classes and small groups performed. I remember sitting with  my mom in a “sun square” on the carpet in their bedroom one Sunday afternoon reading through my part and coming to the word “insignificant.” I didn’t know what it meant so I asked my mom and she explained it to me and it became part of my vocabulary. I always loved how smart my mom is.

The second one I remember was 5th grade. I was in a girls’ ensemble and we did some pretty good 3-part stuff for 10 & 11 year olds. In this particular program, our ensemble sang a really fun rendition of Rudolph (which I totally still remember) and I think we also did Do You Hear What I Hear. In the second act of the show, I was transformed into Ahmed a camel driver for the magi who had recently been promoted to chief camel driver, and who tried to tell his wife but couldn’t get a word in. I had to stand and mime brushing a camel while some girl (don’t remember) played my shrew of a wife who ran around singing about how much better her life would be if she were married to the chief camel drive. I was spirit gummed to death with a huge beard that took hours to get off and I had goo on my face for days. It was worth it though, because no one knew it was me under there and I loved seeing the looks on people’s faces when I revealed myself.

Chloe and Ian have many years of Christmas programs ahead of them and I look forward to seeing pictures, watching videos and creating program memories with them.

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