Friday, December 10, 2010

Journey to Bethlehem

We did something last night that is sure to become a family tradition.  A local church puts on something called "Journey to Bethlehem" each year.  It takes a long time, but it's worth it.  First, you register and each family member is given a "shekel."  Your family gets a number and then you hang out while waiting for your number to be called.  Once it's called you move to the fellowship hall where you have 30 minutes to buy concessions.  We ate dogs and popcorn for dinner.  They make a little money on this, but not a lot.  Then you finally get called to begin your journey.

Our shepherd was named Jacob and he was in full costume.  Our tour started with a walk through the marketplace where we got to spend our shekels.  Noah bought juice.  Amanda bought bread.  Lily bought "leeches" (gummy worms).  I bought "fish" (goldfish crackers).  After we enjoyed our 2 oz servings we then moved to Herod's Palace.  There the story began to unfold.  Our goal was to find the Messiah who we heard had been born that night somewhere in Bethlehem.  The narrative at each station got us closer and closer.

Eventually we got outside and met the shepherds.  We got to see the vision of the angels with them.  Fortunately for the shepherds, they had a campfire going as it was legitimately cold last night, particularly in costume.  We made it to the inn and Lily got to be one of the kids to knock on the door.  Finally we made it to the stable with Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.  They had a real baby and he was eating from a bottle when we got there.

It was a great production and something worth repeating each year.  Noah had such a good time that he was talking about it at preschool today.  When I asked him last night he said his favorite part was "eating."  Lily said her favorite part was "Harold's palace."  She liked Herod's palace because there were dancing girls.  Their dance was very simple and very family-friendly.  I doubt it was the same for Herod, but I like the tame way better.