Note: I started this one back in December of 2012...better late than never...
As a child I loved the ward* Christmas party. Buck Bennett, the gruffest, grumpiest farmer in the neighborhood, always dressed up as Santa Clause and the children took turns sitting on his lap, telling him what we hoped would be sitting under the Christmas tree on Christmas morning. He'd grumble something in his deep farmer's voice, then hand you a small bag of unshelled peanuts and hard candy and send you on your way, full of hope and excitement.
As a teenager I thought the ward Christmas party was lame. Especially the year the Primary President asked me to play Satan in the Christmas play...you can read that account here.
As an adult I've avoided the ward Christmas party like the plague. I'm not a fan of the potluck food, the noisy kids, the socializing, the ambiance...not. a. fan. But this year (2012) I was up to my eye brows in finals, socially deprived, and really hungry when my roommate asked me to go with her to the ward party. So I caved and went, laptop in tow. My plan was to snag some of the pot luck spoils and then settle myself in a corner and continue working on school work. That would have happened had I not gotten distracted by THE MOST AMAZING display of Mormon talent to ever grace a stake center* stage.
Typical Mormon talent shows are a hodgepodge of piano pieces intermingled with vocals, a flutist, a clarinet or two, and that one kid who does a jazz routine in a questionable costume. Snore...but not this Mormon ward*...this Mormon ward had me glued to the edge of my seat, mouthing the most holiest of "shits" and vacillating between prudish horror and sheer delight.
There was only one way for this to go...and that was down a path strewn with urine jokes and a lot of hula-hooping...and that's exactly where it went. It continued down the path of destruction, decking the halls with bows of folly until it culminated in what can only be described as an abomination to all that is pure and holy.
The python sailed towards the audience and for a brief moment we forgot about the shorts. We all watched in amazement as the snake flew right into the nativity scene, tangling itself around the manger, and the baby that lay snuggled inside.
"NOT A SNAKE!" he continued.
"JESUS!!! SOMEONE SAVE JESUS!!!"
The child burst into horror driven sobs, "JESUS!!! JESUS!!!"
I slow clapped and mouthed the words "bravo! bravo!" as a kind ward member ran towards the snake and the smothering baby Jesus.
I don't remember much happened after that...but I left that night full of holiday cheer. If ever a X-mas party deserved an "amen" it was that one.
I can only hope 2013 has something even better in store.