Thursday, December 4, 2008

A Few Christmas-Related Thoughts

Attended the kids’ annual Christmas Extravaganza at the high school last night. Nothing like watching a bunch of first-, second-, and third-graders dance to the Hava Nagaela and the driedl song, followed by Joseph and Mary wandering through the crowd followed by wise men and shepherds walking as if they were miniature grooms: left, together; right, together. And Joseph and Mary had a disco ball in the manger, which cast snowflakes (Snowflakes? In Palestine?) down upon them as the shepherds crowded in and the wise men kept a respectable distance befitting their status as bearers of what looked like ice cream tubs wrapped in shiny paper. A Josh Groban wannabe sang “Mary Did You Know,” a song, I’ve decided, is better sung by someone who takes a more subdued approach to the song. It’s not a song that calls for creschendos and lots of lilt and panache, but one that calls for a more humble approach, said the amateur music critic.

I should not be too negative, simply because I arrived on scene feeling as a negative-vibe merchant. The kids, obviously, worked hard, and our daughter took her role as a sheep very seriously. Our oldest, on the other hand, could have passed the whole evening sitting in the bleachers with Mom and Dad, especially when it came to the barf-inducing stage fright, which I thought was pretty extreme for a kid among a sea of kids who had to go out, beat on a drum with dozens of other drum-beaters, then wave it about as if he were casting some kind of voodoo spell. Not that I blame him. I remember that exact same feeling when I had to participate in similar programs in elementary school. Especially square dancing exhibitions. Same feeling I had today when I had to participate in a safety drill at work. Urghh.

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