My stake has this nativity festival every December with over 1000 nativity scenes and lots of community choirs singing and it's one of those things that simultaneously makes me love Christmas but also makes me want to check out the Catholics. Because my soul fights against giant church productions like this. I get exhausted just thinking about all the work that goes into it (of which I do practically none of). And I whine and whinge about how many times I have to drive the whole 2 minutes to the church to help with this or that (4 times so far). And why can't I just stay at home in my jim-jams and also, wah! Until I get there and see how lovely it is and how so many people enjoy it and every time I go I see people I love and end up chatting for hours and then I change my scroogey attitude and let the Christmas Blue Bird of Happiness nestle in my heart again.
Last night the primary kids were singing so I headed down and when I got there I walked into the room where they were waiting to go on to see if I could help and ended up playing hall-monitor/circus clown while they were lined up. I have every good intention of teaching children the importance of reverence in church but kids are just so entertaining. For example: they do funny things on demand. I had them pretend that they were spies lined up against the wall. I made them practice singing with feeling and we flailed our arms about like we were opera stars. I high-fived them all as they walked into the chapel - and then told them to fold their arms. I am no good at being an example of saintly reverence. But I certainly know how to have fun with them.
And now for a note on nativity scenes: There are A LOT of them at this thing. Over 1000. Some are beautiful. And some are made of teddy bears. Or moose. Or cats. Or puppy dogs. One had dinosaurs in it and a halo made of a gold candy wrapper. I realize that some of you out there may have a creche that fits into this whimsical category. It is well documented how much I love the whimsy. And I certainly don't want to get all judge-y about the myriad and, I'm sure, very personal ways people bring about the Christmas Spirit. And I love you and we're friends. But really, a moose?
On an entirely unrelated note: we had a special occasion this morning (which included so much laughing that Laura barely managed to say, "I'm about to pee my pants!!!"). It called for Special Occasion Orange French Toast. Folks, you need to make this. And then you need to get a good cardiologist.