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School Christmas Programs, Love or Hate Them

It’s that time of year again – school Christmas programs. I always dreaded those when my step-kids were little. They were so stressful, and the kids wanted to be there even less than I did. I could hardly hear anyone during their elaborate program that involved Bible verses written by people whose names most of the kids couldn’t even pronounce. The programs seemed to last forever. The only part I enjoyed was the singing.

I attended my grandson’s Christmas pre-school program last night. Rye’s program was different. The children each brought a gift for Jesus, which each little one announced before they put it beneath the Christmas tree. Then they sang a few songs and shook their jingle bells. I loved it! I could attend an event like that every night. I don’t know if the difference was the school, my more advanced years, or the fact I was watching my grandson.

Rye seemed to be having fun. He did all of the motions and sang most of the time. He even smiled a time or two. I love that kid’s smile. Seeing him stand up with his friends and perform so sweetly made my heart sing.

The fact I had such a great time at Rye’s program started me thinking. Were my kids’ programs really so awful? Did I have the wrong mindset? Was my distaste based upon my feelings for the snooty teachers in their school? Could it have been the stress of seeing my husband’s ex-wife and former in-laws? (It turns out they are pretty nice people.) Was it the programs themselves? Was it the fact they always passed around the offering plate between songs?

Perhaps the other audience members made the difference. My one-year-old grandson was with us and making a little noise. Don’t get me wrong – he was good as gold, but he is a toddler. Several of the parents waved at him, smiled his way, and one man even gave him an indulgent chuckle. I don’t remember that ever happening when my step-son was a toddler.

One of the things I enjoyed was visiting with one of Rye’s other grandmothers. He calls her Nanny, and he thinks the world of her. She’s always friendly and kind to me. We have a great deal in common. I wish I could have talked to her for a while longer, but she had all of her grandchildren there and they needed hugs.

I arrived home still feeling warm and full of love and Christmas magic. No matter your religion, I wish you that wonderful feeling of peace and love.

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