Lessons in Parenting from a Christmas Pageant


I love live theater! I have been longing for the day that I could finally direct my kids in a Christmas pageant. That day finally arrived with Julia and Justin at the respectable ages of 2 and 4. This show has been nothing like I pictured it to be. I left the dress rehearsal wondering how a cast that included crying angels, distraught Wise Men, stage fright shepherds and a slightly destructive cow could pull off a show. However, they ended up putting on a great, slightly chaotic, performance. I learned some unexpected and valuable lessons in parenting along the way.

  1. Kids change their minds…A LOT!

We rehearsed for 2 months. These kids changed their minds on which role they wanted to play every other minute. I tried to be flexible, but eventually I had to settle them on one role. It’s good to let kids make their own choices, but there is a limit. I think everyone’s limit is different but as parents there is a time to make a final decision.

  1. Go with the flow

This could also be referred to as “Pick your battles”. Sometimes it is better to have a wandering cow instead of a destructive one. Julia, my 2-year-old, played a cow. She spent most of the dress rehearsal trying to knock over the set and got very stern directions not to do that again. She spent the actual pageant wandering around the stage. The cast just went with it and did not let the cow bother them. I learned my lesson – at least she wasn’t being destructive.

  1. Parenting is all about choices

The Christmas pageant story is all about choices. Mary, Joseph, the Wise Men, and shepherds all made choices to do what was asked of them. As parents, we must make those choices over and over every single day. We must choose our battles. We must choose when to be flexible, or when to be firm. We are constantly second guessing those choices. My take-away is that this is nothing new. Parents have been making tough choices since Biblical times. If we choose with love for our kids, we may not be right every time, but at least we’ll know we are doing it with the right mind set.


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