I am sitting here tonight on the eve of one of my favorite events of the Christmas season, the annual Christmas Pageant put on by the students at our small catholic school. Every child in the school participates, from pre-k up to 8th grade. It is a classic telling of the Nativity, beautiful in its simplicity. We have beautiful costumes generously sewn by the mother of one of our students many years ago. Our music teacher does a wonderful job with the choir and the pageant songs are some of my favorite of the advent season. The pageant is directed by our 8th grade teacher and she, too, does a wonderful job.
This year N is a magi attendant and A makes her pageant debut as a star. She is excited but also a bit nervous. For the first time ever, J will be sitting in the audience. He's looking forward to seeing the pageant from the perspective of an audience member. After tomorrow's morning and evening performances I will have seen the pageant a total of 22 times and counting. By the time A graduates the 8th grade that number will rise to 40. And that doesn't count the various rehearsals I've assisted with. Yet I love it more every year. For me, it is the true beginning of our Christmas celebration.