Today we had a Christmas program. When I arrived 3 years ago, we had 3 children, all from one family. Now we have 7 children who regularly attend. This is the second year we've done a program/play as part of the first Sunday in Advent, which is traditionally hanging of the greens. I decided that we had enough children this year to have them form the nativity. I had 3 boys and 3 girls who seemed old enough to do it, so we had Mary, Joseph, 2 angels and 2 shepherds.
We were supposed to practice last week, but there was miscommunication, and when I went to get them to do their part, they'd finished practicing for children's choir and gone home. More emails went out, and we went forward.
The angels and Joseph arrived first. One angel carried the manger, one a blanket, and Joseph carried baby Jesus. All went well. Mary arrived, and I explained what she was to do, and escorted them to the office, where Administrative Assistant was waiting with costumes. The shepherds arrived, one of whom announced at the very beginning he wasn't participating. Joseph was refusing to put on a costume. The other shepherd decided not to participate. I went back to the sanctuary, where the angels had shed their costumes. One of the angels has sensory issues, and the costume was bugging her.
The grandmother of Mary came and asked if they could substitute a different doll for baby Jesus, because that was the only way Mary would agree to participate. In the end, one nervous Mary and two costumed, scowling angels participated. I suggested to the lay leader that she keep everyone away from a very grumpy, coughing pastor. The congregation, of course, was delighted to once again have a children's pageant. I was reminded of why it is I find Christmas pageants involving children to be exceedingly stressful.