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More notes from a country kitchen - 12/12/11

Fri, Dec 9th, 2011
Posted in Columnists

The time for Sunday School programs is just around the corner! Since the Sunday School at my church (Big Springs of Harmony) has gotten smaller and smaller, we have our program during regular church time. The kids and teachers take over the entire service. They have a skit or two and we do a lot of singing of all the old Christmas carols. Those programs were such a big deal in my day! It was always at night and you invited your grandparents, aunts and uncles, and anyone who would come! My sister and I always got a new dress for the event (more than likely mom made it) and usually a new pair of tights! My brothers got new white shirts to go with their new dress pants (a once a year event) and maybe even a new clip-on tie (or at least the younger brother got the older brother's tie and then he got a new one). Mom would shine up our patent leather shoes the day before and then polish my brothers shoes. She even took the time to curl our hair, or at least make sure the "rooster" tails were laying down. All of us kids would meet in the church basement and then we marched up the stairs and down the aisle to front row pews.

Every child had memorized a verse or two to say, and the older kids usually got to dress up in outfits that their moms had made, or at least had repaired from the previous year's use! The outfits for Mary and Joseph would stay in good shape, but the wings for the angels tended to fall apart each year. Hopefully, someone remembered to bring a doll for the manger, or we would have to use a messed up blanket and pretend that baby Jesus was actually in the blanket in the manger.

We even had a couple of farmers bring in straw bales to make the nativity scene as real as possible. We drew the line with live animals though! If you had a stuffed barn animal at home you could bring that.

It was always interesting to see which child would recite their verse and which child would "freeze" up when they walked up to the microphone. The shy ones usually just stood there waving their dress around and waiting for help from the teacher, while the brave ones marched up to the microphone and blasted the audience with their verse. When it came to singing, things usually went much smoother. The shy ones could blend right in with the loud ones. There was always at least one child who liked to sing loud enough so that the people next door who didn't come could hear too!! He wasn't always in key, but he knew all the words and he liked to sing! We always drew names within our grades and you usually had a limit of $1.00 to spend. We always got the teacher something, and she usually gave us crayons or pencils in return. The last song of the night was "Silent Night, Holy Night" and we got to sing that while holding lit candles. We were supposed to stand perfectly still when holding that lit candle, but there was always some child who liked to look around and would come close to burning the hair of the child next to him! I'm sure the teachers really dreaded that part of the program! When all was done, the ushers would come down the aisle and pass out bags of candy/fruit/nuts to every child in the program and also to any child in the audience. We thought that was a great treat!

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