01/25/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

The $36,000 Christmas Pageant

Ever wonder to lengths to which churches will go to put on the perfect Christmas pageant? When I decided to write a piece on it for Slate magazine, I had no idea just how insane it could get. Hopefully this piece will do some bedraggled pageant leaders and parents some good - or bring a little Schadenfreude to the rest of you.

Merry Christmas!