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Sunday, December 28, 2014

Old Fashioned Christmas

A Christmas program at the Number 8 School in Hickson, North Dakota, in 1952.  

Daily Yonder

Speak Your Piece: Schoolhouse Christmas


No holiday celebration -- no matter how large and well produced -- ever matched the jubilation of the "Christmas tree program" in northeast Oklahoma. Rudy Taylor shares the Christmas-pageant spectacular of a three-room school.
By Rudy Taylor

... A tiny stage at the front of the room turned into our performing arts center as we sang carols. One special little girl was given the honor of carrying a China doll, gazing into its eyes all the while. There was no doubt in that schoolhouse on a hilltop in the country who we adored that night. It was the baby Jesus who was the center of attention as we sang, “Silent Night, Holy Night,” and “Oh Little Town of Bethlehem.”

The characters in the Christmas play were tattered. Halos bounced on angels’ heads like springy loops. Our teacher gave us pats on the back for sounding like the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

Over my 69 years of living, I have participated in many Christmas pageants and sat in the audience to hear wonderful holiday performances. But I don’t think I ever experienced the jubilation that I felt in that old schoolhouse, with common folks packed wall to wall and everyone united in thought for one evening.

While that hilltop was far from being a mountain, I can’t keep from hearing the George Huff carol that has become a Christmas season standard.

Go, tell it on the mountain.
Over the hills and everywhere.
Go, tell it on the mountain,
That Jesus Christ is born.


Photo by Cal Olson

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