Although I love all the designing and crafts I do, nothing is more rewarding to me than our annual Christmas Pageant. I have been involved in working with the Children's Masses for 18 years. The culmination of our work leads to the Christmas Eve Pageant. I started when my children were very small, and attended our Parish School, Sacred Heart in Hartsdale, NY. Now several years later, although I am still involved, it is rewarding to see my daughter as the Director of the Pageant for the past few years (she somehow has a special gift with children!)
We usually begin the planning in early October. Of course, every parent wants their child to be the star of the show! So that is our main obstacle to overcome. Once all the main characters are chosen (Mary, Joseph, Wisemen, angels, etc.), without any hurt feelings or comments from some parents; the practices begin. Besides helping my daughter with the staging of the children and doing costumes, she begins her directing. The children range in age from 3 (which are the little angels) to age 12. The older children get the main parts, which gives the other children an incentive to work up to each year. Oh sorry, I should mention, our youngest participant is only 3 months old, playing the "Infant Jesus." We have a wonderful Children's Choir who do all the singing throughout the play. As with any play, once the children put on their various costumes, their whole demeanor changes. They suddenly assume the role they are portraying. A lot of credit goes not just to the Director, but to the small group of parents who dedicated themselves each year working on the Pageant. They each automatically assume the positions they have had each year. One assembling the little angels, another for the shepherds, and still another for the Wisemen, and drummer boy and girl. It is team work that makes this so successful. The success is well noted as the Narrators (children grades 5-7) begin to tell the story of the Nativity, and you look at the smiles on the faces of each parent. Although our little angels, who I said are mostly 3-4 year old's, completely steal the show; the other children are so professional, and kneel so reverently as they portray, Mary and Jesus from the time they are approached by the Angel Gabriel, to the birth of Jesus, and the arrival of the Wisemen. The final scene is the little Drummer Girl (this year we had 2 Drummer girls, not to hurt anyone’s feelings, and the Drummer Boy who walk so very slowly down the center aisle playing their drums while the choir sings 'The Little Drummer Boy,". The most adorable thing is not only watching them, but watching the little angels singing their hearts out - pa rum pum pum pum, I could continue talking about the beauty of the children in the Pageant, but the pictures tell it all.