Here's my son, John, in 1994, when he got to play "Joseph" in the pageant. I remember being frantic because of the need to come up with a costume on such short notice. But my neighbor's mother came to the rescue by sewing this costume in one day!
The sandals were a lucky find in December, unearthed at the local shoe store where we bought the kids' shoes. Whew! Disaster averted!
The shepherd's crook was actually a walking cane that once belonged to my mother. My husband and I remember vividly that cane waving wildly on stage, since this kindergartner couldn't sit still. We kept waiting for "the accident." Thankfully, it never came, but we all breathed a sigh of relief when it was all over.
I lovingly saved the costume thinking that my younger son, David, would be able to use it, as either a Joseph costume, or a shepherd, when his turn came. But in the perverse way of hand-me-downs, David was selected to play the Angel Gabriel in 1996, the pivotal role that required him to stand still above Mary for the entire length of the pageant.
Again, my neighbor rescued me with her own son's angel smock. This angel now only needed wings and a halo.
David didn't like the halo, and we experimented with different ways of wearing it, even buying a glow-in-the-dark circle. That did the trick. Although we can't see it here, it was a smash during the pageant when the lights were off and David's head was glowing in the dark.
Now the boys are men, but we usually still get them a little present on Three Kings Day - except for this year, when both, my husband and I totally forgot! Instead, this morning, they found taped to their bedroom doors the following letters:
On David's door:
I.O.U. Melchior was here. Sorry, David, but the camel ate your gift. I will backtrack on our way home.
P.S. I borrowed your GPS. It works better than the star.
On John's door:
Balthazar was here! Loved your beard, dude, looks better than mine.
Melchior's camel ate the gifts, so I'm making Melchior buy you a present, but he needs to go to the bank and trade in some myrrh for American money. Raincheck, buddy.
Today, on the way home from work, Melchior stopped at the local grocery store and bought them a treat. They both told us that, although the handwriting on the letters looked suspiciously like Dad's, the words sounded like they came out of Mom's blog. Go figure.