Christmas Eve in our home is usually a silent night. After a special dinner and sampling of Christmas goodies, we head into the family room and gather around the tree to read our favorite Christmas stories.
When the children were young, my husband and I did all the reading. But now we all take turns. It is our tradition, however, to leave the last two books for Dad – A Visit from St.Nicholas (the poem by Clement Clarke Moore) and the story of Christ’s birth from the gospel accounts of Matthew, Mark and Luke in the Bible.
Truly my favorite Christmas classic and a story chosen every Christmas by the kids is The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson. The story is about a church pageant rehearsal invaded by a family of ruffians – the Herdmans – who come for free food, but end up commandeering the main roles in the Christmas pageant. They succeed in putting their spin on the traditional version of Christ’s birth, much to the congregation’s chagrin. Nevertheless, their perspective and performance make it the best Christmas pageant ever!
Even though my kids are familiar with Barbara Robinson’s story, it still has the power to elicit both belly laughs and tears.
I hope you will make The Best Christmas Pageant Ever a part of your Christmas celebration this year.
Robinson, Barbara. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. HarperCollins, 1972.