The Best Christmas Ever
By Marty Norman
This year we had our first white Christmas ever in Fort Worth, Texas! Not only was it white and beautiful but it was a blizzard. Who could have anticipated such a day?
I tried to prepare my son as he loaded presents and luggage into his Suburban for the three-hour drive from Austin with his wife, two dogs and three kids.
“It’s going to be cold,” I warned. “Better bring some warm clothes.”
He arrived about two hours before the storm, unprepared of course. I spent the afternoon gathering up every winter hat and glove I could find, but even with hand me downs there were no galoshes to be found. The fact that I was having twenty-five to dinner didn’t daunt the snow goers, so I quickly laid extra towels, sheets, and blankets on the floor to catch water from their soggy tennis shoes. The leftovers were draped over the dog kennels to provide warmth in the frigid temperature. Wet is an understatement!
To add to the mayhem, my own children were less than enthusiastic when I insisted that going to the Christmas pageant on Christmas Eve afternoon was a good idea. I wanted to get them out of the house before it was totally wrecked, but secretly I had been trying to engage them in a church experience for the past few years, but to no avail. This was my opportunity. The grandchildren were great supporters, though I doubt any of them even knew what a pageant was. But I took a stand and go we did.
Looking like a ragamuffin band of “Beverly Hillbillies” we blew threw the door just as the festivities were about to begin. The first words that greeted us were, “Who wants to be in the Christmas pageant?”
To everyone’s surprise, the three youngest immediately raised their hands, tore off their coats, and ran to the corner to join the flock of sheep in various stages of undress. It was clear that picking the perfect sheep costume was their number one priority.
There we were, in the middle of a blizzard, at a small church plant, preparing to act out the beginning of the greatest story ever told. It was a grandmother’s dream come true. Of course there was not one camera in sight, but we aimed our cell phones at the lighted stage in anticipation of capturing the perfect shot. Neither Jim nor I had a clue how we were going to retrieve these pictures, but that was the least of our concerns. An unrehearsed, partially staged pageant was about to begin
From the perspective of the three, five, and eight-year-olds, the pageant might have been a Broadway production for which they had been rehearsing for months. They were professional and played their parts to perfection. Even the ten-year-old, who was not participating, got into the act. With a minimal of coaching, the sheep, dressed as actors, stood their ground, never wavering, losing interest, or causing disruptions. It was a miracle.
Everyone agreed it was a moment to be remembered. Fascinated by the story and experience my grandchildren continued to talk about Jesus long past the conclusion of the pageant. As a grandmother, it was the answer to prayer. Listening to the heart of the Father, I knew it was something that I had wanted to do. Thanks goodness I stood my ground and pressed forward, against all odds.
Not only did I make a statement this Christmas, but my grandkids were exposed to and participated in the true meaning of the season. It was a Christmas to remember and will go down in my memory book as one of the best ever.
And I don’t mean the snow either!
Marty Norman is a wife, mother, and grandmother of five, who lives in Fort Worth, Texas. She is the author of “Generation G – Advice for Savvy Grandmothers Who Will Never Go Gray.” You can learn more about her at: www.martynorman.com, http://martynorman.blogspot.com, http://savvygrandmothers.blogspot.com.