Christmas Eve is about children, costumes and choirs and carols and candles and candy canes. And, it can be high pressure time. Christmas Eve is that one time during the year when those who have wandered from the life of the church or those with some warming interest often show up. Their family members are hoping and praying that they hear the gospel this time. Christmas Eve is the time when certain Scriptures must be heard, certain songs must be sung, a certain ‘moment’ must be experienced. Smaller congregations may feel their inadequacies as the mega church up the road features live animals and angels that actually descend from the heavens. At the same time those very large churches may feel the pressure of needing to host something that draws the guests back in January.
One more ‘c’ word. Coordinators. Behind the scenes of our Christmas Eve pageants or dramas are volunteers or staff people who have their own families and personal events to plan on top of the pressure of the main event. They may have been practicing since September, only to hear that the flu is taking out Mary and three of the key shepherds. Some of those in charge were only asked to ‘put something together for the kids’ at the beginning of advent and they’ve been out of town for two weekends because of hockey tournaments. The church has done the ‘traditional drama’, the ‘contemporary drama’, the ‘emphasis on the prophets drama.’ ‘Something fresh would be nice.’ It should be meaningful, but not ponderous, sweet, but not trite, funny, but not too ‘jokey’, and, something that ‘won’t take a lot of practice because we don’t have much time.’
Does any of this sound familiar? Of course, it does. Here at the beginning of November, perhaps we could help each other out a bit by sharing with each other what has worked well, or what we are excited about or even afraid of. Christmas Eve will be good this year, because, in spite of all the stuff I’ve named here, Christmas Eve is about Christ Jesus, God the Son, who loves us, who came to be with us, and for us, and who, mystery of mysteries, was born as one of us.
Blessed Christmas and Christmas Eve to you all, and thank you, coordinators!
What does this post trigger in you? Any stories you’d like to share? Any resources you’ve come across that would be helpful to the rest of us? Any good advice for fellow Christmas drama coordinators?