Quilting, Farming, Variety

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

...The Christmas Program

...The program began, and for a while Charlotte forgot that she would be singing by herself. One by one the other little boys and girls went to the front of the room and recited the poems they had learned. Dane walked to the edge of the stage; he put his hands behind his back and began:

"Christmas is bright, Christmas is gay; all of us..." He looked at his mother. "All of us love..." she said quietly. "Oh yeah! All of us love Christmas Day!" Everyone clapped and he ran back to the bench and sat down.

"And now, Charlotte is going to sing 'Up on the Housetop' for us," said Mr. Sears.
Charlotte swallowed hard and walked to the stage. She clasped her hands together tightly behind her back and opened her mouth. Only a faint "Up on the housetop, reindeer pause" came out. She cleared her throat and started again:

"Up on the housetop reindeer pause,
Out jumps good old Santa Claus;
Down thro' the chimney with lots of toys,
All for the little ones' Christmas joys.
Ho, ho, ho! Who wouldn't go!
Ho, ho, ho! Who wouldn't go!
Up on the housetop, click, click, click,
Down thro' the chimney with good Saint Nick."

She paused and swallowed. She looked at Mama, who gave her a smile and a nod to sing more, so she continued with the second verse. Again she paused; no one was laughing at her, but rather the people seemed to be enjoying her song, so she started the last verse with her clear little voice more confident now:

"Next comes the stocking of little Will;
Oh, just see what a glorious fill;
Here is a hammer and lots of tacks,
Also a ball and a whip that cracks!"

She brought her hands around in front and slapped them together to make a sound for the "whip that cracks!" The audience clapped loudly! She had done it! Now she could sit back and enjoy the rest of the program.

After the older children presented their play, some of them passed out the gifts. Charlotte got a present wrapped in red tissue paper and tied with a white ribbon. She opened it carefully so Mama could save the paper. Inside was a box of eight crayons and a coloring book. "Look, Mama," she said. "Real colors that aren't broken!"

Next, bags of candy and fruit were passed out to the children. There was a big red apple, an orange, English walnuts and hard candy with designs swirling through the middle, inside each bag. Humidity had made the candy sticky and smudges of sweet color were on the peelings of the apple and the orange.

Charlotte was tired when she got home. Wanda reminded her to hang her stocking, so she put it on the doorknob near the Christmas tree. After they snuggled down into the feather bed, she listened for reindeer paws on the housetop. And then she thought about the switches the boy had told Santa to bring to her.

"Wanda," she whispered, "does Santa really bring switches to little girls?"
"I don't think so; I never got any," she said.....


  1. Isn't is amazing how we used to be satisfied with small gifts like crayons and coloring books, paper dolls ect. Now it has to be big electronics and expensive gifts! We used to get one present when I was small and be happy to get it - plus a socking with an apple, orange, nuts and candy.

  2. Such a sweet story, Charlotte! I remember when I was little I used to get a case of the nerves before every Christmas play at church... oh, how I did not like being in front of everyone!

  3. Love the story, wish Christmas could be like it used to be.. Merry Christmas..Susie

  4. Always so sweet. And such talent.

  5. Love your memories Charlotte..I haven't slept in a feather bed since I was a little girl, a very long time ago. Merry Christmas!

  6. Such a sweet story Charlotte. I can just picture you as that dear little girl singing her heart out. How brave you were!
    You reminded me that when I was a little girl we got boxes of hard candy after our Sunday School Program.
    Have a Merry Christmas dear friend.

  7. Oh, Charlotte, what a sweet story - so reminiscent of Christmases past. I'm glad I'm of the generation who remembers those simpler times. It's sad that younger folks today don't.

  8. Sweet story, and, as always, so well told. I can just see and feel all that you describe!

  9. OH Charlotte how sweetly you tell your memories. I miss the days when an orange and an apple and candies were a treat. Thank you for reminding me of simpler times.

  10. Love this story. I can remember our little Christmas play when I was so scared my voice wouldn't come out like I wanted it to!!! Looks like we all went through that. Thanks for sharing!