Thursday, December 13, 2007

Year of the Mismatched Angels

Well, it's not quite the Herdmans, but there is a special memory that the teachers at my school reminisce about every year. About 10 years ago we had this flower-child airhead music teacher that, bless her heart, meant well but had no clue about doing a Christmas program. She taught the kids the songs, selected the date, and secured the high school auditorium for the performance.

Instead of asking the children to just wear red or green shirts like all the other music teachers in the area or even asking for nice Sunday clothes, FlowerChild tells all the girls without a starring role to dress up as angels so they can be the heavenly choir singing blessings over the babe of Bethlehem. There were not less than 40 angels - some with glitter wings, one with butterflyish pink wings, wings made of posterboard and spraypaint, and tinfoil wings. Some of the cherubs had halos. Some wore sheets. There was even one little seraphim in a poncho/toga made from what I surmised to be an old white shower curtain. Or maybe it was a trash bag with the neck and sleeves cut out. We sat off to the side and snickered as they tumbled up the steps to the stage singing of all things Christmas. Our principal was in the row behind us, and he began to slide down in his seat as they pushed and shoved to their spots on the risers in a most unangelic manner. At this point we were desperately trying to stifle ourselves - many of the angels' wings were crooked and halos were falling off.

For Mary, the blessed mother, FlowerChild chose the most well-endowed 5th grade girl in the school. Onstage, there were props set up for the nativity scene - a bale of hay and one of those wood-slat fruit crate boxes for the manger. So, Mary-with-a-towel-on-her-head comes onstage with the baby (naked Cabbage Patch doll) tucked football-style under one arm like she's posing for a Heisman. She fumbles Jesus into the fruit crate and announces "I'm a virgin!" At this point our principal is practically in the floor behind our seats, and we can no longer contain ourselves because this is a small town and we all know Mary's kinfolk, thus we are predicting that her bold statement won't be true for too many more years.

I think it was the next year that FlowerChild got fired. Alas, I've not been able to laugh so hard at a Christmas program since then.

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