The Christmas pageant. The Christmas play. The Christmas concert. Whatever your house of worship calls it, it's a familiar and treasured part of celebrating Christmas. Music and spectacle combine, but they ultimately give way to the message of the season: the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem so long ago.
A bit of lingering family lore says 5-year-old me climbed the shelves of our bathroom closet to grab a bottle of shoe polish in a desperate bid to dye my strawberry-blonde hair Virgin Mary-appropriate black for the children's pageant at First Presbyterian Church in Brookhaven. I already was tired of being an angel; stardom was tantalizingly just out of reach. I don't remember this failed attempt, but for the rest of her life, my mother insisted it happened.
Today, I sing in the choir at my church, Cedar Lake Christian Assembly in Biloxi. We have been rehearsing since October for "Celebrate the Wonder of Christmas," our multimedia celebration tonight through Sunday night (expanded to three nights this year). A CD of the soprano parts for each song has been in my car's CD player for two months, and every other choir member has a similar story.
Across the Coast, in fact, you're likely to see people at stop lights hitting high or low notes and getting pleased grins on their faces. They're ready. They're pumped. Their programs are coming up. It's Christmas; let's bring on the music. Joy to the world, and deck the halls!
Want to find a celebration on the Coast? Check the Religion Briefs on the YourLife page of Saturday's Sun Herald or in the daily What's Happening calendar.