(It’s guest post Friday! In order to celebrate the holiday season here at SCL, the next few weeks’ guest posts will all be Christmas themed! Today’s is from Amy Green, a blogger and a junior Professional Writing major at a Christian college. We’re grateful she broke her vow about listening to Christmas music before Thanksgiving in order to write this post! If you would like to guest post, here’s how.)
Kids’ Christmas Program Field Guide. -By Amy Green
While visiting relatives’ churches around the holiday season, I’ve noticed something startling: there are certain kinds of kids you will find in every choir. This year, instead of cringing your way through a painfully off-key version of “Silent Night,” play Choir Bingo and try to spot the following kids:
1. The Yeller
Identifying Features: All notes become the same pitch for these kids: a nice, steady, agonized wail. The Yellers can usually be found about three inches away from a microphone. They combine two very important children’s choir principles: projection and “making a joyful noise.” It’s like they’re trying to out-sing the rest of the choir, as well as the original heavenly host of Bethlehem. I wouldn’t bet against them.
2. The Back-row Sloucher
Identifying Features: These are almost always fifth or sixth graders whose parents made them stay in choir. They do not sing. They growl, even at Christmas. The youth pastor already has these kids on a watch list. If you congratulate them on their singing after the program, they will either grunt or pretend not to know what you’re talking about. Or punch you in the face.
3. The Director’s Kid
Identifying Features: The director’s kid can be an adorable, well-adjusted child who is always given solos and will play a lead role in every Christmas pageant after their graduation from the preschool sheep pen. Or, the director’s kid will be an absolute terror, the one who lights things on fire with the Christmas candles, snickers when anyone talks about Mary being “with child,” and claims the need to go to the bathroom about eight times during a one-hour rehearsal.
4. The Shy One
Identifying Features: If forced to go onstage, these kids will fix their eyes directly on the ground and never look up, not even once the torture of public performance is over and people are clapping. Occasionally, the director will have mercy on them and let them hand out jingle bells to the kindergarteners or play a donkey in the nativity scene.
5. The Talker
Identifying Features: The opposite of the Shy One, these kids don’t understand the concept of being onstage. For them, this is social hour…and look, an audience too! A Talker will wave, chat with his neighbors, or loudly announce that his angel costume is itchy while scratching his behind. Usually, this kid has an entire camera crew of extended family recording the performance like they are filming a reality show.
6. The Responsible One
Identifying Features: There is always an older kid, usually a girl, who holds the real power in the choir. She has the most lines to memorize, and she always comes to rehearsals early. You’ll see her corralling the younger kids, making sure everyone is in the right place at the right time, and getting extra-strength Tylenol for the director from the secret stash in the teacher supply room. Because she has the keys to that room, of course.
7. The Kid Who Wears Something Weird
Identifying Features: These kids stand out. Sometimes it’s the five-year-old with juice box stains on his formerly white shirt. Or the girl wearing the frilly bridesmaid dress and light-up purple glitter shoes. Or the kid in the front row who forgot that everyone was supposed to dress in red or green and showed up in an orange polo with blue stripes.
Those are the ones I’ve seen most often. What would you add to the Choir Bingo list for this year’s Christmas program?
(To find more great stuff from Amy, check out her blog “Just the Fiction, Ma’am.”)