12/03/2014 03:26 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

My Turn As Mary


When I was in elementary school, every December 24th there was a children's Christmas pageant at our church. As a cast member, I did my time for a year or two as a shepherd. Then, without warning, I skipped the angel years and at the tender age of ten, I was tapped for the coveted role of a lifetime, The Virgin Mary Holy Mother of the Baby Jesus. Score.

For my part, I wore a white robe costume, sewn by my mom, a blue towel head scarf and a snazzy fringed belt that had been previously employed as a drapery tie back. We had one rehearsal before the big night. We were given our blocking by the director/someone's mom. The shepherds were instructed to bring sheep stuffed animals if they had any left from Easter.

On the big night, a nine-year-old angel heralded the glad tidings to the wandering (ADD) shepherds. Three fifth grade wise men traversed afar. After the long and weary trip around the altar to Bethlehem, there was no room at the inn. Then I, The Virgin Mary Holy Mother of the Baby Jesus, wrapped the babe in swaddling clothes and laid him gently in the manger. Moments later, I picked him up and cradled him in my arms. And then, I held Jesus up to my shoulder and burped him. I wasn't going for the laugh, but I got plenty. I was in the moment.

It's called method acting, people.