Barbara Lawlor, Nederland. For 36 years, Pat Gibney, the minister’s wife at Calvary Chapel, has been organizing the annual Kids’ Christmas Program, which takes place on Sunday, before the Christmas service.
The presentation has evolved over the years, often taking a modern, humorous look at how children might look at Christmas.
This year’s show featured a group of children gathered around a school table discussing what they wanted for Christmas. As they expressed their desires, a picture of what they wanted appeared on the screen at the front of the church.
The list included: A mermaid, a wooly mammoth, lots of presents, a real red panda the size of a cat, a puppy, cheese, cheese, give me cheese; “I want it, I need it, I gotta have it.”
The children begged, pleaded, whined, jumped up and down until the teacher interrupted and said, “Gifts are good and I am sure most of you will receive what you ask for, but I think you have missed the reason for the season.”
Anthony Rumer moved to the nativity scene next to the piano and said, “Look at the child in the manger.”
Noah said, “He came so that we may have life and have it to the fullest.”
Lauren Dirr said, “Jesus is here and I will be secure because there is hope I will look around and take rest in safety. I will lie down and no one will make me afraid.”
Anthony agreed that, “I do love cheese, but I am in need of grace; from the fullness of His grace I have received one blessing after another.”
One by one the children realized that their Christmas wishes had been selfish and materialistic. Jesse Martin said, “I get it. Now I want faith. Because you have so little faith, I tell you the truth: if you have faith as small as a mustard seed. I can say to the mountain and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for me.”
The rest of the children added to the list:
I will ask for clothes to keep me warm.
I will ask for food to be strong.
I will ask not to worry about what we will eat or wear.
Lauren Dirr said, “Maybe with all these gifts we’ve asked for and he has given, we will remember who the real gift giver is.”
Lauren’s brother Jacob added, “And maybe we’ll get all that other stuff we asked for.”
The children sang, “He is Glorious,” and then it was time for Pat and her assistant Dee to start working on next year’s show.