J is for…

For a music teacher at a church-run preschool, Christmas is the most important time of the year. There’s a lot of pressure to put on a good Christmas show, but still create something that’s fun for the kids.

I know all this because my wife is the music teacher at N’s Pre-K.

Last night was the night of the big show, held in the church attached to the school. As with last year, the place was packed to the gills – standing room only, with parents and siblings filling the pews.

The kids paraded in and the show took off. There was singing, readings, laughing, loads of cuteness – everything you could want in a Pre-K Christmas show.

As the paster closed the show, he surprised everyone by holding up a basket of candy canes. I saw my wife tense. Clearly the pastor was going off-script. He was, however, the pastor, and there wasn’t a darn thing she could do about it.

He used the candy canes to emphasize the religious message of Christmas, pointing out that even candy canes are religious symbols. Then he started asking questions to the crowd of kids on the stage. I don’t remember all of the questions, so we’ll just pick it up towards the fun part…

“And when you turn it upside down,” he said, holding an upside down candy cane. “It looks like a – what?”

“J!” the kids all shouted.

Scattered applause sounded from the audience.

“And what does J stand for?” the pastor shouted.

A heartbeat of silence answered him, followed rapidly by a clear joyful shout from one little girl: “Jellybeans!”

The audience erupted with applause and laughter.

A great ending to a great show.

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