That’s a phrase we hear often. And while Christmas can feel and seem magical to most anyone, wonder makes me think of a child’s excitement, their bright eyes, the element of surprise.
And even though we have a ‘man child’ and sometimes my expectations are that Jacob will exhibit that wonder, often Christmas comes with disappointment because it doesn’t feel like anything special for him. LINK: https://problemfreephilosophy.blog/2018/12/27/preconceived-christmas/
The church we have attended for years, just celebrated 50 years of their Christmas production. FIFTY! It is one of those ‘can’t miss’ events for our area. It became so popular early on, that they have 5 presentations over 3 days to accommodate the crowds, even though the Sanctuary seats over 2000 people.
As I’ve mentioned in the past, crowds and Jacob don’t mix. But after seeing the Christmas program in the early 80s, we felt sure he would enjoy it. It is a mixture of secular songs, garland and twinkling lights, enormous Christmas trees, time tested Carols, and always a nativity scene depicting the birth of Jesus.
At some point, a choir member friend suggested we bring Jacob to dress rehearsal. While it might not be as smooth as the first ticketed performance, he’d be able to experience a beautiful program catering to all the things he loves. And for several years, we did just that. And it never bothered him, or us, even once if they had to stop for a do-over of a certain piece. Jacob could squeal with delight or self stem and no one would notice or care.
Not surprising when anything good helps others, word of mouth spreads to the ease of attending dress rehearsal. The church became intentional about making that night easier for those that would have trouble standing in a line for an hour and sitting on a crowded pew. Senior adults and special needs folks were some of the main people a dress rehearsal’s atmosphere would welcome.
However, dress rehearsal started to get crowded and we started asking ourselves if it was still a good option. This year, Mike had the idea to take Jacob but sit up in the balcony. Obviously, it might not be ideal seating for some folks. I was even skeptical that Jacob could enjoy and feel all the excitement. But was open minded enough for us to give it a try. And I am so glad I did!! It was PERFECT! In all the years we have taken Jacob, he enjoyed it the most and so did we. There were a few times in the past, that we’d have to leave early. Not this night. It felt like this 270 voice choir was singing to an audience of ONE—my one and only Jacob.
Christmas with Jacob can be hard. Sad. Frustrating. Different. But that evening made it one of the best ever. It was happy and magical and filled with wonder.
He was mesmerized. I can’t explain the feeling of joy in my heart as I watched him watch the program. And what a program it was!! Toy soldiers, candles, ballerinas, trumpets, a bagpipe, shepherds, a manger, baby Jesus. Over 60 in the orchestra with that many on the drama team as well. It was spectacular in it’s presentation and simple in it’s message. Jesus came to earth, our greatest Christmas gift.
I was so proud of Jacob. I do believe I was the most relaxed I’ve ever been in a public place because he had his own space. The only moment he even started to fidget was when the pastor spoke briefly about the Christmas story. Jacob caught my eye and was waving toward the platform as if to say, “enough of that, get on with the show. MORE MUSIC!”
The show ended with a powerful rendition of Amazing Grace! Jesus came to offer us HIS amazing grace. May your heart embrace the greatest gift ever given this Christmas.