Date:         Tue, 31 Dec 1996 00:57:21 -0500
From: Alyce Cresap 
Subject:      the pageant
To: Multiple recipients of list WORDS-L 

The camel mask that my brother-in-law was to wear in our Christmas
pageant went missing from the costume shop where my son works, so we had
no camel. However, we realized that Mary needed to ride in on an ass
(er, donkey), so we switched his role. Fitted out in burlap ears and
tail, he was ridden by one of my nieces as a beautiful Virgin Mary in a
blue hospital gown, with a scarf on her head. The baby, who was to be
the baby Jesus, learned to walk the day before Christmas and could no
longer be held down, so we settled for an old doll who was wrapped in
swaddling clothes (gauze). My brother-in-law doubled as Gabriel to
announce to Mary that she would soon be with child. A celestial robe for
him was sewn from a couple of sheets, and he had a blonde curly wig with
a paper plate stapled upright on the back for a halo.
Two nieces (in choir robes) and their little girl-children (in long
christening dresses which are now ankle length) were angels. Instead of
halos they had silver circlets of twisted tinsel. My sister and my
great-nephew were shepherds watching over their flocks by night. I was
the flock, wearing a sheepskin from New Zealand that had been purchased
in Wales (without knowing that it was from New Zealand). My son was
Joseph, in a striped terry cloth robe. The three husbands of my nieces
were the wise guys, arrayed in velvet draperies, a la Scarlett O'Hara, a
small Oriental rug for one as a cape, and my grandmother's opera cape
from the '20s for another. They had cardboard crowns. They carried,
variously, containers of gold, frankincense and myrrh. The latter two
were dish soap bottles covered with aluminum foil. Four neighbors came
as an audience, and one of them videotaped the entire thing. We had
official computer-made illustrated programs with Dramatis Personae and
production credits. There were two scenes. Scene I--Circa 1 BC. Scene
II--Like, Later. One of my niece's husbands did a little Bible
adaptation and was the narrator (when he wasn't being a wise man). We
sang carols at the appropriate places, i.e., "Hark, the Herald Angels
Sing," when the angels came to the shepherds, "Away in the Manger," "We
Three Kings," etc., etc. It lasted about 15 minutes and was deemed a
success, although probably we won't be taking it on the road. But we may
have a repeat performance next year.

P.S. Btw, the cleaning instructions on the sheepskin said to wash it in
gentle cycle and line dry, then fluff it in the dryer (no heat).