One December 5th, our ward had its annual Christmas party. This year, we had a "Back to Bethlehem" theme and our family was asked to play the nativity family. The Activities Committee did a fabulous job of making the gym look like a market place in Bethlehem. Everyone had to bring a can of food as our "taxes." In exchange for the food we were given a bag of coins that we could spend at the different stands in the marketplace. The stands were mostly dedicated to food and included a fruit stand, a pita and humus stand, a lamb and rice stand, and a dessert stand with toasted nuts and candied orange peels. The food was outstanding!
After everyone mingled in the market place for a while, Chad and I came into the gym dressed as Mary and Joseph. The had me ride this great handmade donkey that Chad pulled with a rope. (I wish I had a picture of it!!) We wondered around the marketplace looking for someplace that would "Let Us In." When we first entered the gym, I was a little embarrassed to be the center of so much attention. However, after a few minutes of meandering our way through people while trying to be in character, I was really touched with how difficult Mary and Joseph's situation was. Soon I was crying and Chad had to stop several times to wipe away my tears. Many people told us how "authentic" we look, but our tears were real. The spirit really touched us.
After wandering through the marketplace, we entered the stage with Jaxon as a narrator read the Christmas story from Luke 2. I was terrified that Jaxon would not be a "meek and mild" baby Jesus, but he did great. The only time he fussed was during the song "Silent Night." The irony of hearing the words, "Silent Night" followed by a crying a baby was actually pretty cute and he was able to settle down quickly.
After the production was over, we had many people come up and ask to have their picture with us. We felt like Santa Clause as the ward's children stood on stage to have a photo with us. Several little children asked if they could see Baby Jesus, and then proceeded to just stand there and stare at Jaxon. When they left the stage, they would say, "Goodbye Jesus. Goodbye Mary. Goodbye Joseph." So cute! We know these kids well, but when we were in costume, they treated us like we were some Disney character. It ended up being a wonderful night.