When the Lord changed Zion’s circumstances for the better, it was like we had been dreaming. Our mouths were suddenly filled with laughter; our tongues were filled with joyful shouts. Yes, the Lord has done great things for us, and we are overjoyed.     —Psalm 126:1-2a, 3

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December is a joyous time at Trinity’s Preschool. Excitement abounds. Mornings may be filled with painting Christmas trees, molding mangers from clay, constructing Advent calendars, and singing holiday songs. Laughter resonates throughout the classrooms and hallways. The annual Preschool Christmas Program is the culminating event celebrating Christ’s birth.

Classes zealously prepare for each year’s performance. Songs, readings, and a living Nativity make up the program. Though approached with equal enthusiasm, rehearsals and performance days differ drastically. On practice days, one might witness angels excitedly chatting and forgetting to ring their bells, children tripping on steps, serious discussions between students on the proper portrayal of Mary and Joseph, and understandably, numerous bathroom breaks. At one practice, as children gleefully were singing the lyrics “Hurry, hurry to Bethlehem,” one very beautiful and very powerful voice sang out, “Hurry, hurry to pet the hen.”

On performance day, the excitement reaches a new level. Students in the Nativity are dressed in their costumes for the first time. Prior to one year’s program, a conversation between two costumed shepherds was overheard. “You look like a pirate,” commented one little shepherd boy. An aide quickly lifted the other shepherd’s silken headdress, which had drooped, covering one of his eyes. The two boys were reminded of the excitement that the shepherds must have felt as they saw the newborn baby.

Every year the Christmas Program is magical, like a wonderful dream. Yes, there may be a few cockeyed angel halos from happy, rigorous bell ringing. And no, fortunately, there has never been a pirate “Aargh.” The one constant year after year is friends sharing joyful shouts (singing), overjoyed expressions, and a caring quiet group huddled around a precious baby, our Savior.

Laura Schmitt