...there was an angel with dangly earrings and a halo made of tinsel. You would also find a Mary who had a headwrap conveniently pinned to her blue frock, undoubtedly hiding bad hair and funky footwear.
Every year, my mom brought us to church the Saturday before Christmas for the pagent rehearsal. I had been an angel for six straight Christmases, and I was thrilled to do it again. Apparently, I was the only seventh grader who still wanted to sit on the altar and smile in their halo made of tinsel. I may have felt too cool for Girl Scouts, but I was not too cool for a good Christmas pagent.
The church lady approached me and asked if I was interested in playing the role of Mary. I had been waiting patiently every year and had no idea this would be my big break. Christmas Eve 1995, I sat in front of a couple thousand parishoners and consoled the Cabbage Patch Baby wrapped in swaddling clothes. My friend Dan played Joseph and my cousin Sean wore a towel on his head as one of the dozens of shepherd boys.
Of course, the big disappointment of playing the part meant it was time for me to retire from the pagent. You wouldn't know it from the other Mary's big grin, but she was glad this would be her last year too. She knew that no self-respecting fourth grader would want to spend her Saturday morning trying on halos.