Let’s Talk Books

“The Best (Worst) Christmas Pageant Ever”

I’ve been looking for a particular Christmas book for years, not in the ‘hell bent for leather’ way I ride a horse (long story, another post, ok?), but in the “Gee, it’s Christmas and I heard that book is good so why can’t I find it’” way. Can you figure out how many years I’ve been idly looking for this particular Christmas book? I’ll give you some hints: The type size in the book is about 14 point and it’s 108 pages long. Give up? I’ve had this particular book listed in my “Books to Buy, Rent or Borrow” book for ten years – since my teenagers were little!

I'd Be Sunk Without My Lists

 Author Barbara Robinson tells us about the Herdman kids, six untamed and unsupervised ruffians, who roll into their local church one December because they heard if you participate in church you get free cake (coffee hour). The kids end up in all the major roles (by threatening every other kids there) in the annual Christmas pageant, even though they know absolutely nothing about the Christmas story. With the usual director laid up with a broken leg, the stand-in Mom director takes on the kids with surprising results while the rest of the parish children and adults watch and wait for the “inevitable” trouble to ensue.

 Once they learn that Mary and Joseph had to sleep in a barn (no room at the inn) and Baby Jesus was tied up (swaddling clothes) and put in a feedbox (manager) the Herdmans went wild with fury at the treatment of the Holy Family.

No Room at the Inn

And after learning that the three kings were sent by King Herod to locate the Christ child so he could be killed. . .well, all I can say is that it’s a good thing Herod wasn’t depicted in the play because the kid playing him wouldn’t have made it out alive.

The Three Kings

 It’s a doozy of a story. I laughed, I shook my head, and ultimately I thought about the Herdmans and how much they had missed in their lives without a church connection. That said, they gave everyone in the congregation a new appreciation for the Christmas Story. I plan to read the slim volume out loud with my teens because I know they’ll enjoy it. What about you? Read the story. Let me know what you think.

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1 Comment

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One response to “Let’s Talk Books

  1. Lita

    Hmmmm…I’ve a long list, too. I have been looking for “The Christmas Cookbook” for 7 years. Since I celebrate Hanukah, some might consider that strange. But there are recipes in that book that I used to love to make through out the year, but especially during the holidays when celebrating Xmas with friends and family. It was put in storage during one of our attempts to move and then “lost.” I don’t remember the author’s name. But I do remember that the book jacket was green and that it was published in the 1940’s or so. I look every year. No luck so far.

    I did better with a copy of the “Maggie B,” which I wanted to read to my grandchildren (Typical story. I used to read it to my own children.) When I started looking for it, I was told it was out of print. But I finally did buy it from an online used bookstore. (It is amazing what you can find online.) I ordered it through a used bookstore that was linked to Amazon. For a while I even corresponded with the owner–à la “84 Charing Cross Road.” (Ever see that move?) Your book is on Amazon, too. Happiness is at hand!

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