Saturday, December 5, 2015

Ward Christmas Party

I know I'm dooming myself by saying this, but I don't want to ever be in charge of a ward Christmas party in this ward.  I don't think I could do it.
Two years ago, the ward did a Polar Express Party.
Every family in the ward was given a ticket which we brought and different families were put in different dining cars or rooms in the church building to eat dinner.
As we ate, the conductor (guess who) came around and punched our tickets.
Then we all disembarked and gathered together in the train depot (overflow between the chapel and the cultural hall, a.k.a. gym).
At a signal from the conductor, the curtains were opened and we entered "The North Pole" where it was snowing.  That's right.  It was snowing.  It was soap bubbles or something.
There was a giant Christmas tree built by Jeremy of course and Santa's village was painted all around.
Santa himself came to share with us a message of Christmas.  He took ornaments from a Christmas tree and shared how they represented Christ and the message of His birth.
There were narrations and musical numbers to go along with what he shared and it was awesome.

This year was "A Night in Bethlehem."  The Young Men, the Young Women, the Relief Society, and the Primary were each in charge of setting up a food tent.  Thanks to our wonderful Primary President, we had so many supplies to use to decorate our Primary tent.  Also, thanks to the two other Primary leaders who helped decorate the tent, and to the toddlers and preschool age boys who helped set up the tent by grabbing the fourth leg of it since we only had three adults there at the time.  They were great.  We were asked to make a sign showing what was being served in Hebrew.  Jeremy helped me make the sign.  Thanks, Jeremy.
We were encouraged to dress up if we wanted, so I raided the Primary closet for costumes to put on my kids so I wouldn't have to dig through things at home.
When we got to "Bethlehem" we were given a sack of "money" to pay our taxes and buy food and exchange for a wooden ornament we could take home for our families.  We gave money to the tax collector and went over to get a family picture which was printed by the end of the night.
We got our ornament and went over to each of the food tents to get our food.
There were cookies for dessert, which was appropriate since the activity was on December 4 which is National Cookie Day.
Jeremy built palm trees for decoration and balloon sheep.  There was a ward member making pottery in one corner of the gym.  That was cool.  We have a really talented ward- and so many different talents.
As we were eating, Mary and Joseph (friends of ours who moved out of the ward a while ago, but come back often for ward activities- we love them) showed up and started going around asking people where they could find shelter for the one night.  They went to the inn but were turned away.
Finally someone directed them to the stable (pavilion with cushions and a manger/cradle) in the middle of the room.  Joseph helped Mary lie down and pulled out a baby.  Yes, a real live baby.  She must have been bundled up as they were walking around and they brought her out for her scene.  She's only a couple months old so she's small enough to be used as the baby Jesus.
Then we saw shepherds tending their sheep and the curtain on the stage opened to show an angel.
When people were not walking around interacting with ward members, the gestures and movements were done to music.  The angel is a dancer and dance instructor so it was beautiful to watch her movements as she brought the message of great joy to the shepherds and directed them to the city of David- all without words.
Then the shepherds walked around spreading the news and ended up in the stable with Mary and Joseph and the baby Jesus.
Then the wise men were on the stage along with King Herod (played by Jeremy) and Herod looked conniving.  The wise men showed up among the ward members and eventually reached Mary and Joseph.  Now of course we know that the wise men weren't actually there when Jesus was born and came later after they had left Bethehem, but for the purposes of the nativity, they joined the group in the stable.
Then we all sang "Silent Night" and had a closing prayer.

And that's why I don't want to be in charge of a ward Christmas party.

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