My youngest is in Grade 9 and high school kids are way too cool to put on a Christmas production, so my days of sitting through an Yuletide show are over.
I don't mean to sound like a theatrical Scrooge or anything, but I must admit I do not miss the annual event.
Sure it was great to see my kids up there singing a song or doing some acting, and for the five minutes they were on stage they had my complete and full attention.
The other 90 minutes or so dragged on like a visit to a singing dentist.
By the time the show was over, the gymnasium was stifling as a couple hundred parents wearing their finest winter gear sat in hard plastic chairs and gave somewhat forced applause as kids they have never seen before did their act.
But every year we would go, we would cheer and we would clap because to the children, it was a big deal. To them it was their chance to shine on stage, whether they wanted to or not.
Christmas productions have been around as long as there have been schools and Christmas.
I participated in them in elementary school even though I was so shy I had a hard time looking myself in the eye in a mirror.
Being more comfortable in the background, I never sought the leading role, but instead opted for something a little more hidden – like a goat, or a tree, or a rock.
Some years I managed to get off the stage completely and helped with building the set, a much more comfortable role for someone of my shy disposition.
Christmas productions have changed dramatically over the years.
When I was in elementary school we always did the manger scene depicting the birth of Christ. Sure there was some singing of Christmas carols and what not, but the show always ended with Mary, Joseph and the baby JC.
By the time my kids were in elementary school, JC was out and it was all about Santa. Political correctness had once again taken over a holiday tradition and the annual production went from the manger to Santa's workshop and stories of elves making presents and Santa saving Christmas from sort of calamity.
God forbid we should offend anyone with a view or belief they did not share.
Sorry, I mean non-specific supreme deity we should offend anyone with a view or belief they do not share.
Copyright 2014 Darren Handschuh