lessons and cookies
The year has circled around again. Last night was the Service of Lessons and Carols at church, with Rachel singing a solo (which went beautifully despite a massive attack of nerves) and Adam joining the choir for the first time. I will admit to great nervousness but he did fabulously, singing some and also refraining from poking, chatting, or otherwise provoking either child next to him. This service is followed by the Advent Tea, called “a gracious event” at church but known as “The Mile of Cookies” at our home. We suspect Adam may have been chanting that to himself during the quiet moments of the service…. “sing, sing…. wait… mile of cookies, mile of cookies…. stay on target…. stay on target….”
We try very hard to have a calm and contemplative Advent season with the kids but this is always such a challenge. Because calm and contemplative is by itself a challenge, without throwing in some of the crazier parts of this time of the year. This year I’d planned to do a Jesse tree and had in fact located a beautiful set of downloadable ornaments, but we’re already a bit behind. I feel okay with that, though. The days are short, Sam is on a sleep-strike, and I am trying to adopt the same zen attitude that I tell people I have about the Epiphany pageant that I am directing this year. I don’t really, although I aspire to, I really do. Currently I am amusing myself by imagining what a rewrite of the pageant would be like without Joseph, since Joseph has quit and I am (thus far! I’ll remain optimistic.) striking out on replacement Josephs.
Every pageant I’ve ever directed/helped direct and half the ones I’ve just been involved with have had Joseph problems. He’s on stage a lot. He usually gets at least one line. His costume: about the same as a shepherd. You might be supposed to hold Mary’s arm but usually a director will let you right out of that if you are overly concerned about girl cooties, because, really? She just wants you not to quit. Joseph, can I get you a cookie to eat while you walk down the aisle? Would you prefer chocolate or plain? Or maybe a donut would be better?
Poor Joseph. There is always a great longing to be Mary (it helps to have a very clear Mary Policy prior to casting. Oldest girl with no prior Mary experience is first priority; if there is more than one in the category, drawing names is mine). It is never hard to find a Mary– at least one girl has her heart set on Mary every year. Joseph, not so much.
Actually, I wonder if Adam would be Joseph in exchange for donuts at pageant practices? That would definitely be easier than rewriting the pageant to exclude Joseph…. “Joseph has gone ahead to try to find an inn for us…. thankfully he left me the donkey. ” “The donkey has escaped! Joseph is chasing her throughout the streets of Bethlehem!”
So, yeah, calm and contemplative. Perhaps I should just settle for “mild snark with regular doses of wine and chocolate” combined with lighting advent candles most nights, trying to read some Evelyn Underhill (a chapter a week is the goal. I’ve wanted to read her ever since Lent Madness….) and some quiet time for me whenever I can grab it. And telling people how zen I am (or rather, aspire to be) about the Epiphany pageant.