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Baby Jesus: The Reason for the Season

Children's Christmas Pageant 2022

I must confess: When I asked my daughter if she wanted to be part of this year’s Children’s Christmas Pageant, part of me was secretly hoping she’d say “No”.

After all, it would require us attending 7 weeks of hour-long rehearsals in the lead-up to the performance on Christmas Eve. So it is with great delight that I now write this — some days after the pageant — to say it was a wonderful experience.

From the very first rehearsal, we knew we were right to have signed up. Not only was our 3-year-old daughter enthralled by the songs and actions being taught, but our 16-month-old son was also keen to join in too.

The people in charge (shout-out to Uncle Marc and Daniel) were patient and kind — frankly, they were veritable saints in the face of over 30 excitable children.

Kate, dressed as an Angel and Evan, the little pageant crasher

Deciding on the character my daughter wanted to play was also a fun exercise. When it became clear that a dinosaur or elephant wasn’t an option. “Please encourage your children to be an angel, shepherd, or animal found in a 1st-century Israeli stable,” Daniel rightly implored. She chose to be an angel.

Refusing to pay good money for a costume she’d never wear again, I fashioned wings out of cardboard from an old diaper box, on which I stuck squares of toilet paper for a feathery look.

I’m so grateful our daughter brought us on this journey. It was my first time ever attending the pageant, despite growing up at St Ignatius myself. My parents, too, eschewed their usual Midnight Mass routine, in order to watch their grandchildren with pride. (I say “grandchildren” because even though my son was too young to officially join, he ended up being a little pageant-crasher — inserting himself among the angels and performing along in his own way, much to the hilarity of onlookers.)

Thanks to the pageant, this Christmas ended up being one of the most meaningful Christmases we’ve had. Learning the songs together as a family gave rise to lovely opportunities to talk about the birth of baby Jesus — who really is the reason for the season.

I guess God does work in mysterious ways — 7 weeks of pageant rehearsals weren’t what I thought I wanted, but it was exactly what I needed.

KELLY TAY Mother of Kate and Evan

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