Hi M,

When a grandparent talks or writes to a grandchild there are a thousand (lots and lots) of things to say. Stuff we just want you to know. Things we just want to pass along. Some may not make sense now. Some things will help you in days to come. Some things are unique to who you are and who we are. Some values you will embrace. Some you will shrug. (There’s a word.)

Pretty serious words to set up a simple subject. Your Grandpa Carter enjoys writing. (Have since my college days.) Like to write everyday … in an orderly way … so you can be told about you lots of stuff.

This time of year, thought it would be good to pass along the “Countdown to Christmas” stuff. Birthdays and Christmas. This is day number three. This is a story that used to be told to my kids each December. Wrote this story a few years ago. (Yep … we have some strange things we do each year … let’s save the “shoebox” stuff for another day.) Thought it should be passed along to you. (You may need to save it for a December or two.)

Something’s Missing Mrs. Pajamas!

They would snicker! Some would laugh out loud. Seems like they did ever year, and year number 19 would be not different. They would smile, put their hand over their mouth, and some of them would then laugh out loud. When they read her name in the program, they would point and then just laugh. Was it a misprint? No it wasn’t. Her name really was Helen Pajamas. Mrs. Pajamas. It was spelled like the clothes you wear to sleep. Pajamas. But it was pronounced Pa-Ju-Mus. “Pa” (long a sound) “Ja” (long a sound) “Mus” (just like “must” without the t) pajamas. It’s funny looking name and a funny sounding name.

It was hard to believe she had been the pageant director for 19 years now. Many a pageant had come and gone. How she became the pageant director was a story in itself.

Hazel had been the director for 7 years. She came down with a cold and had to leave rehearsal early one evening. She asked Helen, who had stopped by the church to drop off some cookies for the Pastor and his family, if she would listen to the kids recite their lines until there parents came to pick them up. Helen claims Hazel kept the cold until after Christmas, and then moved to Montana. She told anyone who would listen that is how she got the job.

19 years as the Christmas pageant director at 1st Church. She could tell you some tales!

One year they actually had a live donkey for little Mary to ride into Bethlehem. In the middle of the stage … the donkey did what donkeys do … number two!

One year they decided to fly an Angel over head. They also hung one of the boys above the manger scene dressed as a star. The Angel we have heard on high collided with the star of wonder, star of night, star of royal beauty bright. It took ten minutes to untangle them and get them down.

One year the two boys in the two hump camel costume went north and south as the three wise men came in from the east. It was a sight to behold, a camel head crashing into the cradle used to rock the child and the camel’s backside bowling over a shepherd boy.

This was their final rehearsal. The big night was tomorrow night. Tonight was the night to get it right. Everyone knew their lines. Everyone was in costume. “Lights. Curtain. Action!”

The music faded. The house lights dimmed. The curtain on the stage opened slowly.

(End of part one … to be continued)

Love you little one,

gc

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