“‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.”
Hubby would recite this poem from memory during many Christmases and I learned that when they were small, he was always tasked to recite this poem by his aunts during their Christmas program. No wonder!
Well, I did not know that this poem had so many more stanzas to it than the often-recited intro. Turns out, it has about 56 lines to the poem.
My BIL Gerard decided to revive their old family tradition with a twist. He divided up the lines into about 27, made us all draw lots to see who gets which lines, and we had to deliver them in the most creative way possible during our Christmas program.
I drew #22 and my lines went this way: “He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work, And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk. And laying his finger aside of his nose,…”
Just 3 lines. Yet as soon as I said the 3rd line, I promptly forgot the 1st line. So tell me, when was the last time I had to memorize anything? What with my handy PDA and computer and cellphone to keep track for me? I had no need to commit these things to memory!!!
But we all tried our best (the family spirit of healthy competition kicked in!). It was a real contest, after all. Gerard set up a mock stage complete with drawn curtains. My MIL was a judge and so was another family friend. And there were prizes to be won too!
Greg, one of my 5 BILs, opened the show with an introduction about the poem’s history in the family.
Then one by one, we came out of the curtains, delivered our lines, complete with whatever props we could rustle up at the last minute, and were cheerfully applauded by everyone else.
* Goko (Aunt Luding) and Gilbert were dressed in actual PJs for their part;
* The throw pillows in the den were nowhere to be found because each one of us playing Santa had stashed 1 under our shirts;
* A niece, Steffy, cut out red circles for her face;
* The part with Santa and the reindeer were aptly played by Gabby’s kids. They used a chair on wheels as sled, had 2 kids as reindeer (using the cardboard antlers they made earlier) tied to the chair with straw. Eugene played Santa;
* Marisa caught everyone’s attention because during her part, she ended by throwing chips into the audience. Of course all the kids had loads of fun catching them as they were thrown;
* Gabby came all dressed up in a nightcap and borrowed nightwear, with a woolen scarf to boot;
* For my part, I got a blanket from our room and put in some gifts to make it look like Santa’s knapsack. And borrowed one son’s black socks for the “stockings” part.
The judges chose the top 10 performers. Since some were tied, 7 awards were given out all in all though prizes were awarded only to the top 3 places.
M2 took 3rd place, Marisa placed 2nd, and guess who tied for 1st place…
My dad in-law and I!
After the show, we played “Pin the Tail on the Donkey”. I tell you, it was a retro afternoon with parlor games dating back to the 70s!!
Greg played Santa later, announcing the names of the gift recipients. Each kid had a trash bag handy to store all his/her gifts in it (we learned from past Christmases when gifts would get all mixed up!).
What an afternoon!