Everyone looks forward to their days off. Whether you like your job or not, you still need a break and I don’t know anyone that doesn’t want to “relax” for a day or two. When the really big holidays come around, it’s all about the time spent on that special day with people you love. I realize this descriptions does not depict reality for all people, but for many it does.
What do “holidays” mean in a family of a member of the clergy?
It means work. First off, the Reverend needs to prepare his usual sermon, but with the specific holiday flair. Coming up with something special for a holiday that happens every year is, I’m sure, a task that leaves The Reverend searching for new ideas. Even though the message of the Holy Day remains the same, it is up to the Reverend to come up with a way to communicate it in such a way that it’s not the same ol’ tale time after time, but that the holiday takes on new and fresh meaning in the lives of the believers he is delivering his message to.
Then, with some holidays, comes an expectation of a children’s program. This means that many within the church are working to get this ready. In our case, it’s a small church. We all work together to make it happen.
For us, holidays means an extra chance to embarrass ourselves in public. In the past, if our children were going on stage, it was sure to be a show.
I would think to myself, “Aw, look at my precious little darlings up there, all spiffy…except for the brown smudge of chocolate across his cheek…who gave him chocolate?” I would sit in front row and encourage them to sing with hand gestures and a smile…
Inevitably this would be interrupted, about now, to a wrestling match over which one of my kids would hold the mike. It was especially entertaining to hear their grunts, groans and screeches magnified on the sound system. One year it was an all out brawl. That was our first Christmas in the church. Quite a site to see the Pastor’s Kids fighting like it was a death match. Anyhow, I have pretty much learned to sit back and enjoy.
There was on Christmas Eve when my toddler fell off the stage, popped back up and said “ow” and then went back up. Then, someone gave my kids candy canes (to keep them quiet) and they got all gooey and red and sticky. Then, when I tried to wipe it off with paper towel, they had chunks of that all over themselves. Our turn was up and so they went on stage with fuzzy, red, gooey stuff on them. Looking like tarnished angels, they stood silent….while I sang the song, they should have sung, from the front row.
Ah, it’s all good. I wonder each year, with some trepidation, how we will humiliate ourselves this time. Apparently, it makes us look like real people. Not sure if we’re supposed to look or act like fake people, but it doesn’t get any more real than us, I can tell you! In fact, if I could choose to look more perfect and put together as the Pastor’s family, I would. But frankly, I am not able to convince the little people that it’s a good plan. They insist on being the real deal. I never really liked perfection anyways…
And so, “holidays” are work, and are not days off for us, and sometimes we act really real in public, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love what we do. I love who we are. I adore that our church lets us be us.
They applaud when we fall off the stage. Not really, but inside I know they do.