By: Chris Parker

Having been raised in a church-going family I have heard the Christmas Story more times than I care to admit. But after all these years I still look forward to hearing it and seeing the children’s faces light up as they act out the parts of the shepherds, angels, wise men, and the blessed couple. I love the little blunders and the forgotten lines as the small children try so hard to act it out, the big smiles, twinkling eyes, and little voices; “For unto you is born this day in the city of David…”

So on Thursday night I was quite excited to be invited to attend the annual Lady’s Christmas Tea, hosted by the EV Free Church in McBride. Not only would I be able to see children perform the Christmas Story, but there would be carol singing, and a delightful meal complete with dessert. The women who attended were also were quick to point out that there was no clean up for them because the men came in and did the dishes! A Christmas gift in itself.

The auditorium was all decked out with Christmas finery, wreaths and garlands, twinkling lights, and a giant spruce tree beautifully decorated. The smells of spruce, cinnamon, oranges and spices wafted over you as children ran by smiling and talking about Christmas. There was a feeling of warmth and happiness as we ate our meal and talked with one another.

When the PA system squawked everyone jumped; my favourite part was about to begin. Wait a minute, why were the kids staying in their seats? Where is the nativity scene, the manger? Suddenly a head popped up on the risers, then another, and still one more appeared. For a moment I was confused – then I realized the heads have bodies dressed in white and gold, and they all have wings. Now, this was a different take on the Christmas Story.

In between violinists, duets, carols, and other entertainment the Angels told us all the exciting news of Christ’s birth from their perspectives. We were wrapped up in the story most of us have heard many times before – but somehow this time it was different. This time we were asked to look at it from an angel’s angle. It was a simple telling of an old story, there were no flubbed lines and no little hands waving out to parents. At first I was disappointed, but as I looked around the room at the smiling faces, the sparkling eyes, and the rapt attention the audience was paying to the Angels I let my expectations go, sat back, listened and watched. Their telling of the Christmas Story truly was as beautiful and heartfelt as any I have seen.

I came away from the evening realizing they had reminded me of something I had long since forgotten. I had forgotten the sound of my granddad’s voice as he read the Christmas story. I had forgotten the smell of Grandma’s kitchen. Most importantly I had forgotten what Christmas was truly about – warmth, friends, family, a child’s joy, a memory to last forever.

Thank you ladies, for reminding me and may God bless you all in this Christmas season.