HEY! Unto Us A Child is Born!*

Today was the children’s Christmas pageant at Memorial Baptist Church. The Gong girls made their debut as sheep.

The pageant was really for children aged 3 and older, but since Campbell is 2 and has an older sister, she was offered the chance to participate. As of dinner the night before, she wasn’t very enthusiastic. “I’m going to be in the audience,” she kept saying, in response to Fiona’s urging. But once she got to church and saw all the sheep hoods, she apparently couldn’t resist.

And a star was born. Those of you who know Fiona, with her penchant for drama and her love of musical theater, might think she’d be the most likely candidate for the stage.

So did we, until Campbell put on that sheep’s hood. To say she embraced the role would be an understatement. “BAAA!” she kept shouting at regular intervals at the poor man sitting in the pew behind us. (That’s until she grasped church etiquette, after which she would say, “SHHH! THERE’S NO TALKING IN CHURCH,” whenever somebody who was supposed to be talking at the lectern would begin. Those moments until the pageant started were perhaps the longest of my life).

All of a sudden it was time. Mary and Joseph were at the manger. Campbell and Fiona, holding hands, made their way sweetly to the platform with the other livestock. (Sorry for the poor quality of pictures — challenging conditions!)

While Fiona sat demurely (turned away from the congregation for most of the pageant), Campbell was having a great time joking with the other sheep and her friend Wyatt, who played the lone cow. And then, at exactly the moment we all started singing “Away in a Manger,” she noticed that the baby doll that was standing in for the Baby Jesus was just inches away.  At that point, she reached out and, depending on who you ask, began either giving the Baby Jesus a head massage or attempting to pick him up by his head.

As you can see, Joseph himself felt the need to intervene.

When we asked Campbell later about why she was giving the Baby Jesus a head rub, she said, “Because I love him!” So I guess that’s the right idea. Anyway, it was great fun, and even Georgia gave it a positive review.

*Reference from “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever,” a hilarious children’s book that I’d highly recommend if you haven’t read it yet!

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