To the delight of the audience that was present at the First Presbyterian Church on Sunday evening, a preschool-aged version of the Christmas Story was performed, complete with a number of improvisations that were performed at the very last minute.
The Nativity pageant, which was performed by members of the Cherub and Chapel choirs, had, in general, gone off without a hitch during dress rehearsal. Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, wise men, and other children aged four and five years old who were a part of the ensemble had performed their roles in a manner that was more or less smooth.
Although there were a few small entanglements with flowing robes and headdresses, the background was given by the Chapel Choir and a narrator. Other than that, there were not many complications that occurred.
It was then that the Big Night emerged.
When one of the younger members of the Cherub Choir, a youngster of approximately two years old, took a liking to the doll that represented the infant Jesus laying in the manger, this was the first indication that there might be a problem, even before the formal action came into effect.
As he stumbled onto the stage, he made a beeline for the crib, and the only thing that prevented him from achieving his objective was the intervention of a vigilant parent.
The innkeeper, who shown a strong proprietary interest in the stable, rehearsed leaping around the freshly scattered hay until the arrival of Mary and Joseph, whom he proudly brought to seats by the crib. He did this until the child was born.
Shortly after that, the shepherds and angels dressed in white robes arrived. And it was at that moment that the young cherub, possibly inspired by his role as one of the youngsters who came to worship the Christ child, made the decision to give the object of his love in the manger another chance.
He made his way through the mob, grabbed the doll, and lifted it off the crib. He finally succeeded in doing so.
Mary, acting in the manner of any mother, made a lunge for the swaddling clothes, which resulted in a tug of war within the vicinity of the manger.
Despite the fact that he was momentarily stunned, Joseph bravely came to Mary’s help by swinging at the invader. In addition, the innkeeper, who turned out to be a decent person after all, grabbed a handful of hay and hurled it at the person who was attempting to kidnap the guest.
The appearance of the anxious father, who stood around three feet taller than the other members of the cast, brought about a momentary restoration of serenity.
On the other hand, the absence of the hay during the dress rehearsal was the factor that ultimately led to the failure.
The tiled floor was covered in a thick layer of it, which resulted in a footing that was both uneven and slippery. The rapid descent of one of the shepherds occurred while he was bending his head over the manger.
Following his ascent, he promptly descended back down to the ground.
When he happened to fall for the third time, he grabbed the innkeeper. The innkeeper accidentally bumped an angel, which caused half of the cast to fall over like a line of dominoes.
On the other hand, the hay turned out to be a comfortable cushion, and it was even enjoyable to dive into. The shepherd and the innkeeper soon began to compete against one another by diving into the straw like swans.
During the conflict, a wise man engaged in a struggle with an angel whose golden wings had fallen much below their appropriate position.
In an effort to evade his father once more, the Cherub made a futile attempt to wrest a crook away from one of the shepherds.
Unfazed by the ruckus, the narrator and choir persisted like troupers to the very end; the cast was coaxed offstage, and calm was once again restored to the somewhat disorganized stable situation.
As the individual left the chapel, it was heard that he made the following statement, his voice still shaking with the sound of laughter:
“I am so happy that I read the book because they made a significant change to the story!”