Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Play

The quaint country school I attended was intent on providing a good education.We might be mountain kids, but we always scored high on scholastic tests. But for us students, the highlight of the school year was the Christmas play. Right after Halloween, we would start working on it.
Sometimes it was a traditional story, like Dickens’s Christmas Carol, or maybe a modern story, like Home for Christmas, or the Gift of the Magi.  On the last evening of school before Christmas holiday, folks from all over the valley would come for the program.  The classroom would be crowded with ranchers, and their families, cowhands all slicked up and fine young ladies who that very morning had been cooks and cabin maids. A canvas curtain as wide as the classroom separated the audience from the stage.  Advertisements from Cody Drug, The Irma Hotel and Shoshone Feed and Seed covered the audience side.  On the other side children scurried to get into their costumes and take their places.  As the curtain rolled up everyone watched as the children presented their play, weaving the story of the importance and meaning of Christmas.  
Following a brief intermission, the curtain went up again and the nativity story was presented.  Sometimes, Jesus was a real baby if one of the families had a young baby, otherwise it was a favorite doll. Every boy and girl looked forward to the time when they would be old enough to be Mary and Joseph.
After the final curtain and a rousing round of applause, there was community singing, lead by the school teacher playing a slightly out of tune old upright piano.  The evening always ended with singing Silent Night.  Even though it was just a bunch of mountain folks, the sound was like a heavenly choir.  Many a ranch hand had tears in their eyes as the last note ended.  But then it was time for cookies and punch in the library, visiting, catching up on the latest gossip, and plans for the holidays.  
Finally, everyone, tired and happy piled into their cars and trucks and headed home over the crisp snowy roads. The memory of that night filed away with nostalgia–one of the good things of life on the North Fork.


  1. You have the best and most heart warming stories about your childhood. Don't know if you thought you were lucky back then or not. Wow!
    Sandie - Merry Christmas

  2. I loved reading this post! My memories of childhood and the country school are similar. So much community was lost when the schools were consolidated, the country schools closed down, and everyone bused to town.

  3. I love this. What a great thing you must have had to look forward to each year. Tradition is so important in our lives.

  4. That was such a sweet story! It brought back memories of being in my own school Christmas plays in second and third grade. Thanks for sharing!

  5. That was such an endearing story...brought back alot of memories of Christmas' past. There were the stories my Grandma and Mom told about their school plays when they were young, and mine. Loved your sweet story. Too bad things aren't like they used to be.

  6. Have a wonderful Christmas sweet lady.



  7. My favorite Christmas hymn! Beautiful memory...again!!! Enjoy!

  8. Loved reading this post. Your days at a country school sound similar to mine. The Christmas program was a big event and we all looked forward to it. Lovely memories!