They each had a "part" to say at the microphone, our Kate welcomed us. They sang songs from Sweden, Germany, Hawaii, Mexico, and the United States of America. They had simple costume changes, and once had lighted candles--battery operated. The lights in the room were turned off. As soon as that happened one little girl got the giggles. Kate led the group and walked into the microphone. BONK! Then they all followed her in a line around the audience with their candles, they were singing all the way.
The songs were sweet. One little girl didn't as much sing as yell. One started off the evening with the sulks and slumped in her chair, her head pulled into her sweater like a turtle. Some were distracted and looked around as if they had never seen a room with walls and a ceiling before. One decided she had an itch and proceeded to scratch all over her tummy, which she bared so she could attend to it better. They told us their names and ages, most were four with one six-year-old and one announced she was "free."
We mainly watched Kate, who did an interesting interpretation of the hula to one of the Hawaiian songs. She didn't so much as use her hands in expressive movements as pat her body from side to side. When one of the songs had the line, "you better not pout," she had an expressive, "and if you do pout you are going to be in big trouble" face. She was practicing to be a mom, I'm pretty sure. She has beautiful large eyes, an engaging smile and confidence that the rest of us would do well to have at any age.
As soon as the program was over we hugged everyone--well, the family members anyway, and dashed to our church house as we were late for our Ward Christmas party. We shouldn't have worried. Our Ward was operating on Mormon Standard Time, which is "always a few minutes late." We missed the caroling but were in time for dinner. I took a salad, a variation of my Poppy Seed one (I'll post it on my cookbook site). I guess it turned out okay as I got a request for the recipe from yet another one of the beautiful women in our ward. I tell you, our neighborhood is full of beautiful woman. This one looks like a Russian princess and she might be. Her ancestors are indeed Russian.
The Primary children were all dressed up as members of the nativity. They sat in rows on the stage and sang song after song about the birth of the Savior. There were boys with towels draped over their heads, tied with cord or twine . One boy had a turban on his head that was unbelievable in its magnificence, one had a crown. There were angels, at least two Mary's (one whose real name is Mary) with baby Jesus dolls wrapped in baby blankets. The Primary presidency had supplied halo's made of tinsel to all who wanted them. The girls held their heads high so not to disturb the perfection. The boys took their halos off and twirled them on fingers.
After the Primary kids the Young Men and Young Women did several numbers with bells. It was reverent and beautiful.
After the youth, a couple, who sing like professionals--actually they almost are professionals, sang some carols that I had not heard before. They are happy and in love and made us feel like they were in love with us too.
He played the accordion, which I think was my Dad's. It belongs to my son but he Lent it to Eric--my son is Eric's wife's niece's husband. How's that for confusing? We're all just one happy family here. One day I will tell you how Trent got to become Eric's wife's niece's husband. A real love story and I was the matchmaker. The best success I ever had and the luckiest day of Trent's life.
The whole evening was delightful. Family, all watching the littlest member sing and walk into a microphone and conduct herself with regal confidence. Good food with friends all around. Wonderful innocent children and the youth, so clean and happy and anxious to read the music and ring their bells at the right time. Beautiful carols, sung about Mary and Joseph and the baby, born in the stable.
I looked around the cultural hall, filled with tables full of people, most of which I know pretty well. I had an overwhelming feeling that I was good friends with each of them in Heaven. Good friends with the children who I don't know very well since I don't work in the Primary any more. I felt like we laughed and learned and shared our lives and we should love each other here. It was a tender gift, given to me for just a few moments. An exquisite feeling of joy. I am content.