Thursday, December 13, 2012

Live Nativity

About a week and a half ago we took the kids (on a school night) to what I hoped would be a wonderful Christmas event for the whole family. A local live nativity event we attended 2 years ago for the first time after moving here, I was hoping to go back and experience that same "reason for the season" feeling together as a family.

Unfortunately, half the the valley had the same idea that night, so after standing in line in a parking lot for over an hour and being loaded into a horse trailer to be transported to the main event where we were met by yet another long line, Brandon took the 2 older kids and headed home! I was sad, but I understood that none of them had 3.5 hours on a school night to spare. (That's what it ended up being.) Kate and Will both had homework to finish, and Brandon had a big surgery the next day he needed to prepare for. (I wrote about over scheduling, overeating, and overspending during the holidays for the Motherhood Matters blog last week, and I used this experience as an example!)

Luckily, the little girls were totally up for seeing things through to the end:
 In the horse trailer before Brandon, Kate, and Will turned back around:
The site that made them turn around (that's a line of people):
Onward and upward! The little girls loved petting and looking at all the animals scattered throughout the line:

And then, miracle of miracles, we ran into the family of Rachael's new neighborhood friend. This proved to be very fortunate since we hitched a ride home with them rather than making Brandon come back for us, and because their antics kept us all entertained and happy while waiting in that long line:
More cute animals. I think Rachael was hoping to ride this little goat:
Roman soldiers inside the barn:
 The Three Wisemen:
Doesn't she look like she's smiling?

Wood carvers:

More furry creatures:

Pottery makers (what are they called? potters?):
Basket weavers:
The star over the other barn holding the main attraction:
Carolers (angels) preparing the way:
Now, I don't if the organizers of the event somehow do this intentionally or if it's just a natural, spontaneous reaction from the people in line, but after 2 plus hours of hootin' and hollerin' with a bunch of spaztic, freezing kids begging to go to the bathroom and get hot chocolate, I was stunned by the sudden silence once inside the barn with the baby Jesus. Everyone (small children especially) became instantaneously silent as a reverent hush filled the air and we got our turn to stand at the manger and symbolically adore the Babe of Bethlehem. But I can tell you, for the little ones, it felt more than symbolic; it felt real:
And THAT'S why all those crazy people like us were standing in line forever on a school night. To experience for just a small moment what it might have been like to have been there on that most sacred of occasions over 2000 years ago:
You simply MUST click here for the most beautiful dose of Christmas spirit. If you're like me, music is a huge part of what makes the Christmas season so special. Kate and I are learning this on the piano right now, and I have Will committed to learn it on the cello before he leaves home. Well, they have to do it together as a duet before either of them can leave home. That's the deal, and I'm sticking to it!

13 more days until Christmas!


  1. We love going! We went on Friday this year and it poured on us after walking out of the stable. Did you go on Monday? we have learned to go NEVER on Monday and either at the beginning or ending are the best times. And I agree with you, the kids just know to be quiet, it's really the best feeling to take your kids there. We had 16 cousins joking around and instantly they were quiet when we walked in (yes, even Porter)
    Love your great pictures as always, I need to take photo lessons from you!!!!! I would love it if you could email me the pictures of Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus :)

  2. We tried to go to one a few weeks ago too, it might have even been this one. After looking at the line, we decided our little ones would not last. Luckily, they got to pet a few animals and we called it good. Good for you guys for sticking it through!


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