I vowed to make Christmas a calm and
peaceful experience. I had cut back on nonessential
obligations, extensive card writing, endless baking,
decoration, and even overspending. Yet still I found myself
exhausted, unable to appreciate the precious family
moments, and of course the true meaning of Christmas.
My son, Nicholas, was in kindergarten that year. It was an
exciting season for a six-year-old. For weeks, he’d been
memorizing songs for his school’s “Winter Pageant.”
I didn’t have the heart to tell him I’d be working the night of
the production. Unwilling to miss his shining moment, I spoke
with his teacher. She assured me there’d be a dress rehearsal
the morning of the presentation. All parents unable to attend
that evening were welcome to come then. Fortunately,
Nicholas seemed happy with the compromise.
So, the morning of the dress rehearsal, I filed in ten minutes
early, found a spot on the cafeteria floor and sat down.
Around the room, I saw several other parents quietly
scampering to their seats. As I waited, the students were led
into the room. Each class, accompanied by their teacher, sat
cross-legged on the floor. Then, each group, one by one, rose
to perform their song.
Because the public-school system had long stopped referring
to the holiday as “Christmas” I didn’t expect anything other
than fun, commercial entertainment- songs of reindeer,
Santa Claus, snowflakes and good cheer. So, when my son’s
class rose to sing, “Christmas Love,” I was slightly taken aback
by its bold title. Nicholas was aglow, as were all of his
classmates, adorned in fuzzy mittens, red sweaters, and
bright snowcaps upon their heads. Those in the front row,
center stage, held up large letters, one by one, to spell out the title of the song. As the
class would sing “C is for Christmas,” a child would hold up the letter “C”. Then, “H is
for Happy,” and so on, until each child holding up his portion had presented the
complete message, “Christmas Love.”
The performance was going smoothly, until suddenly, we noticed her; a small, quiet
girl in the front row holding the letter “M” upside down – totally unaware her letter
“M” appeared as a “W”.
The audience of 1st through 6th graders snickered at the little one’s mistake. But she
had no idea they were laughing at her, so she stood tall, proudly holding her “W”.
Although many teachers tried to shush the children, the laughter continued until the
last letter was raised, and we all saw it together. A hush came over the audience and
eyes began to widen. In that instant, we understood the reason we were there, why
we celebrated the holiday in the first place, why even in the chaos, there was purpose
for our festivities. For when the last letter was held high, the message read loud and
And I believe He still is