holiday · Random Life

Hark the Herald Angels Sing! And shepherds, and sheep, and kings…

Voila!! We had a successful variety show and Christmas pageant tonight! As usual, Babs used her amazing patience and general joy to herd a bunch of preschool to elementary age children into behaving and playing their parts to present a rather lovely telling of the Nativity story. Sorry for the bad pictures–I only had my phone and about five minutes after I got the star and the wise men moving up the aisle to get pictures. (I usually wind up supervising “backstage” and giving cues to the various groups to make their entrances.) The star is a talented young teenager who is also dancing in The Nutcracker later this month. She put on one of her sparkly tutus and her pointe shoes and danced down the aisle ahead of the three wise men. It was a graceful, beautiful moment.

A couple more pictures of the group. We had one more wrinkle today. I asked Babs at this morning’s service if there was anything else I needed to do before tonight’s show. Well, of course there was. Apparently, a wise man’s mother called this morning–he was throwing up. So we were down a wise man, and she hatched a plan to move a shepherd to wise man duty.

So that tall young man in the purple headdress and robe? He was good enough to swap outfits at the last minute and fortunately the Jelly King outfit was the right size. What, you never heard of the Jelly King? He’s right there in the purple, standing next to the Mustard King. I don’t know where the Ketchup King has gone off too. Our church does not have the three kings, or the magi. We have the Mustard King, and now apparently the Ketchup King and the Jelly King. Who needs boring names like Melchior or Balthazar? LOL.

I knew about the Mustard King, but had not realized the others had been named until a young man informed me after the show he wishes to play the Jelly King next year. And conversations like this are why I love doing the costumes for the pageant. The kids are awesomely original. (The Mustard King tale is below the pictures and is my all-time favorite pageant story. I’ve been doing costumes for about 12 years now.)


Several years back, I had a lively young third-grader (now in middle school) playing a wise man. We try to hand out costumes a few days before. So I had the three wise men in the setup area to be fitted into the robes. FYI, I did not make these robes. Someone years before I took over did a fabulous job making these outfits. So I pull out the yellow one, which is just about as bright as the sun and usually hated by the boys. But this young man shouted “I want it!” Great! So I helped him pull it on. He promptly thrust both fists straight up in the air and shouted “I AM THE MUSTARD KING!” in the deepest, most dramatic voice he could manage. He looked like he was activating his super power. LOL.

And the name stuck. At least four years later, I was again outfitting the kings, which included a boy whose family was brand new to our church. I pulled out the yellow and he promptly shouted “Hey, it’s the Mustard King!” Unbelievably, the name had spread from those first three boys to the entire church.

And we now have the Ketchup King and the Jelly King.

So Merry Christmas to everyone, from me and the food kings.

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