Christmas Music Program = Parental Shame

December always includes a Christmas Music Program for one or both of my kids.  It’s been that way for years, so you think I’d be used to it.

Last night, I sat there crocheting for a full 90 minutes for a K-12 program filled with Christmas cheer.

It was kind of disappointing.  There were no moments of parental shame.   There was not a single moment worthy of a funny video clip show.   It was just an endless stream of well dressed, well behaved school kids performing Christmas songs.  They were even (mostly) on key.

That’s a huge contrast.

I’m used to wishing the floor would open up and swallow me, right there in the audience.

I’m used to parental shame.

Christmas Music Program Shame.

When Watty was in kindergarten, they had their program in the school gymnasium.

Christmas Music ProgramsIt was the classic old school program that took place during the middle of the school day.   They placed risers on the gym floor for the kids to stand on and set out uncomfortable metal folding chairs for the parents to sit on.

As instructed, I sent my child to school in his “Christmas best” and told him I’d be there for his big performance.

His Christmas best consisted of khaki pants, a white dress shirt,  a red snowman tie, and a green sweater vest.

At my son’s insistence, it was a “real” tie like grown ups wear.  It was NOT a clip on model.

(the school has a “santa ban” – trying to find a holiday themed tie for a kindergartener that met all the criteria had not been easy.  i was feeling like i deserved some kind of mom award.)

Much to my dismay, my child was on the top row of the risers.

Partway through the first of three songs, he fell off.  He was fine, but his insistence on crawling up the risers from the front was a wee bit distracting.

He sat on the riser for much of the second song.  He told me later he was “recovering from the big fall.”   It was their big dance number, and I was relieved that he didn’t get stepped on by the surrounding kids.

(why anyone thought it was a good idea to put a bunch of sugared up kindergarteners on risers and then have them dance is an entirely different discussion.)

Watty’s teacher managed to get him to stand up before the second song ended.

That’s when he loosened his tie and really started to get into the music.

By the third song,  he had pulled off the sweater vest.   He said later it was because he was hot from all that dancing.

He then proceeds to pull the tie up and over his head.

In perfect time to the music, he starts swinging the tie around his head like a tiny red lasso.

Other parents are staring at me, watching me turn Christmas red from embarrassment.  They are trying hard NOT to laugh.   I am shrinking down in my chair, hoping the song ends before anything else happens.

Mercifully, they ended the song.

When the kids clomped off stage, Watty left his tie and sweater vest behind.


I did the walk of shame up to the front of the gym to retrieve my child’s abandoned clothing.  I kept right on walking straight out of the building and did not look back.

Last night, I did NOT allow Watty to wear a tie.

It could have been worse.

GoGo’s very first Christmas program was when he was three.  It was an all-out preschool extravaganza.

They asked all the kids to wear animal costumes because they were going to be the animals in the stable.  There were special “big kids” that dressed as Mary, Joseph, shepherds, and wise men.   Baby Jesus was played by a plastic doll.

GoGo wore a terry cloth tiger costume left from halloween.  It had an attached hood to provide ears, and a big soft squishy black tail.

Much to my delight, GoGo was on the very front row where it was easy to see him.  I was a proud mommy as I waived to him and blew kisses.

Then the music started.  And the dance routines.  One of the kids behind my son started playing with that big black tail.  So GoGo tried to solve the problem.

He took the tail and pulled it in front, where the other child couldn’t reach it.

Unfortunately, he did this by pulling the tail BETWEEN HIS LEGS.

For the rest of the program, my darling child is standing still, legs together, with approximately six inches of stuffed black tail protruding from his crotch.

(i’ll pause for a moment to let the visual image sink in.  yes, that IS what it looked like.)

For the rest of the program, I sat there in horror, staring at my son’s tail.  I kept thinking over and over again “please don’t play with it… please don’t play with it… please…”

Thankfully, GoGo kept his hands off the tail.  The program finished without any further incidents.

sure, there was the little girl who fell asleep on stage, but that wasn’t my problem, i barely remember it.

So what about you?  Any Christmas Music Program stories you’d like to share?

Susan Baker
I have a passion for encouraging weary worn out mothers to find joy in everyday motherhood and peace in unlikely places. I have two elementary school boys, one nerdy husband, and two cats. I have a strange fascination for bad puns, the color pink, socks, and books. I worry about running out of toilet paper, wine, and chocolate.. I serve an amazing God. I live an ordinary life filled with wonder.
Susan Baker
Susan Baker

Latest posts by Susan Baker (see all)


  1. Oh my!!! I love your stories!! If you need to re-live the preschool program, it will be next Tuesday. No animal costumes this year 🙂

  2. Oh, boy! Those were good stories. I could picture both! I could, in fact, picture my son doing both of those things.

    We homeschooled so the only Christmas programs were the ones at church. Danny’s children’s choir sang at a nursing home. I was sitting in the audience when all of a sudden I noticed his shirt was on wrong side out. It was really obvious. I know that’s not that bad, but I thought it was embarrassing.

    Another time the adult choir was performing at the local high school auditorium. There was a moment of silence between songs and Danny yelled in his loudest voice: “I have to POOP!” I clamped my hand over his mouth and got him out of there as fast as I could.

    When you had kids, did you have any idea how often they would embarrass you and how often they would make you laugh?!
    Patty recently posted..Tried and True – Bare MineralsMy Profile

    • Patty, I don’t think it matters if the program is school based or church based, the potential for mishap is there. I can imagine both of yours happening to me – very embarrassing.

      At the performance Thursday the little girl behind me did yell out “I’M BORED AAAAAND HUNGRY!!!!” during a moment of silence.

  3. {Melinda} Those moments are so horrifying at the time, but, I swear, they make the best memories! Who remembers boring, right? 🙂
    Mothering From Scratch recently posted..waiting out the teenage stormMy Profile

    • I totally agree! It’s the crazy stuff that makes life fun and memorable. I enjoy knowing that I’ll find something funny later, even if it isn’t funny at that exact moment.

  4. I have stories as the choir director– I’ve had kids pass out and fall off the stage.. one kid vomit after the competition, right in front of the judges… and one of my favorites, at our first-day-back teacher convocation, our “Sonny and CHer” did a silhouette and Sonny held the mic at just the same position as your son’s tail… nervous titters from the WHOLE DISTRICT’s staff became roars before very long! Lots of funny stuff happens when somebody gets onstage! I enjoyed your post!
    Melinda (Auntie Em) recently posted..TAKE YOUR MEDICINEMy Profile

    • I can only imagine what stories the choir directors tell when they get together. I just have to hope our directors had a good sense of humor.

Speak Your Mind


CommentLuv badge
Social Share Buttons and Icons powered by Ultimatelysocial
Copy Protected by Chetan's WP-Copyprotect.
%d bloggers like this: