One of the great things about Christmas at St James is all the traditions. I’m not talking here about the ‘traditional’ Christmas, it’s the fact that every year we do much the same thing.
One of the traditions, is the annual struggle to get the Youth Group through their contribution to the Christmas Concert, that is held in the village hall a few days before Christmas. As usual there is an initial lack of enthusiasm from the teenagers, balanced against the fact that usually everybody else in the Church actually quite enjoys their contribution when it is all done.
Having said that, it is usually a pretty high stress exercise from the point of view of us Youth Leaders, plus the fact that in quite a few cases we – from the young peoples point of view are asking them to do what they regard as slightly bizarre things. It’s only on the night when it gets a laugh from the audience that the realise why.
We’ve had it all over the years, including cast members learning their lines in the wings, a scene with Mary and Joseph crossing the border into Egypt – having forgotten to pick up the baby Jesus prop, wardrobe malfunctions everything.
This year we have rapping angels, who are having great difficulty dropping out of their well spoken Berkshire accents. We also have a possible line modification that we came up with tonight – that the youth group young people won’t get, but we think will probably get a good laugh. The scene is three shepherds grumbling about life, and one of them says: “You know, I never wanted to be a shepherd…” – now we really think that what would get a good laugh will be adding “I wanted to be a lumberjack” after that, before carrying on…
Anyway, only two more rehearsals to go – and do they know their lines? Of course not – they’ll be learning them on the day as usual! Just another Finchampstead Christmas tradition.