Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A wonderful dichotomy . . . old and new story

We celebrate Christmas with six grandsons and two granddaughters. The coveted role of Mary—for the granddaughters—is easy to cast. Every other year we trade roles. This year it was Morgan’s turn to be Mary.

You would think with six grandsons that casting Joseph would be easy as well. Theoretically, each grandson should only need to be Joseph every six years. Initial inquiry responses are a choir of “Not me!” Perhaps our grandsons find the idea of marriage to a sister or cousin disgusting but probably that is not the real reason. The boys just prefer to be a magi or the more coveted role of Caesar Augustus. A role as lowly as a shepherd is also acceptable because of the camaraderie and the stuffed animals. This year, Kent, our eldest and most mature, offered to play any role that the others did not want. I breathed a sigh of relief. Whew! We had a Joseph.

No longer do I need to pin and tape and talk though costumes. My only responsibility is to spread the clothing, costumes and props out on the basement tables. The kids ruffle through the paraphernalia and figure out their own costumes and gather their own props. The adults are told what characters are needed to fill out the roles. They figure out their own costumes from the leftovers on the tables.

And so the story begins . . . “A long time ago, a young woman named Mary . . .”

Gabrielle enters telling Mary that she would have a baby, the Son of God.

Joseph, a high school freshman, made us all smile. When the angel appeared to him in a dream, Joseph sat up apparently confused, “She’s pregnant? Mary’s pregnant?”

Mary went to visit her old cousin, Elizabeth, who was also "with child."

Caesar Augustus, sounding quite profound, issued a decree.

So Mary and Joseph traveled to Bethlehem to register for the census.

There was no room at the inn.

Baby Jesus was born and they wrapped Him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger.

The shepherds and their Chihuahua sheepdog were appropriately frightened by the appearance of the angel.

The heavenly host sang, “Angels We Have Heard On High.”

The little shepherd offered a lamb as a gift to the baby.

The magi saw a star in the east and followed it.

They gave gifts.

Being the head angel is an intense role to play especially because Jessica also doubled as the star.

The magi were warned to return to their country by a different route.

Joseph was warned in a dream to flee to Egypt.

And thus concludes the story of the birth of Jesus narrated by Aunt Susan and acted by the other family members.

We did close the program with a few special numbers and singing some Christmas carols and thanking God for His wonderful gift.

Here is Seamus playing and singing an original Chinese Christmas song.



Earlier in the week, friend Tim shared some favorite Christmas carols in a devotional at our Adult Community. We were privileged to share his calligraphy with our family.

Tim reminded us of the dichotomy of this line from "Hark the Herald Angels Sing," God and sinners reconciled.

His favorite line from all Christmas carols is from "O Little Town of Bethlehem," The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.

We delight in telling and recounting the Christmas story. We are thankful that this is more than just a story; it is a true record of a holy event with incredible significance. We are reminded that we celebrate Jesus birth because it is the free gift given to us by God, the birth of His Son who came to be our be our King of kings, to be our High Priest, and, to die in our place, that we might have forgiveness of sin and spend eternity with Jesus.

It is an amazing old/new story—current and wonderful and true.


Bernie said...

And a wonderful time was had by all, thank you for sharing Brenda. Your grandchildren are lovely and how nice that you were all together for Christmas.....:-) Hugs

Donna's Book Nook said...

Good to see you back on your blog. Always nice to see the McDonell rendition of the Christmas story; You are right--old but always new.

Wanda said...

Beautiful family tradition Brenda! Your grandchildren filled the parts well.
Enjoyed your post!

Dee said...

A wonderful tradition. I love that you even have a donkey.

Rebecca said...

I'm embarrassed to have mentioned our little Christmas story drama at the later post! This is incredible! I thought I was doing good to have a prop for each character - cane, trumpet for angel, flash light (lantern stand-in) for inn-keeper, etc.)

Brenda said...

Oh Rebecca, You did great! We have been acting out the Christmas story for ten years. When the kids were younger we started with props. Now each year before Christmas, I try to add at least one or two new items to our Christmas costume boxes. The kids are old enough now to completely choose and dress themselves in whatever costume they want to wear. Some costumes are just cloth draped and tied. It works and is fun. I am sure that you enjoyed it as well.

I see that your grandsons outnumber your granddaughters as well. How is it that none want to be Joseph? All the other roles are quickly filled.

Jacquelyn said...

Well you have given me a great idea for the coming years of something to do with my family. This is absolutely fantastic...memories in the making that will never be forgotten! Where did you get all the beautiful costumes? Oh how I love Christmas, and looking at your awesome pictures, I felt like I was right there with your family. You get the prize, lady!