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.