The Best Christmas Pageant Ever Review
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There are a ton of Christmas-oriented stories, movies, and shows forming part of our Christmas traditions each year. Of course, I have my favorites among these classic stories—and I try to read and/or watch a few each Christmas.

I’m particularly intrigued by stories involving Christmas pageants—those church Sunday school plays rendering the birth of Christ. I probably appreciate these types of stories more because I was in all the church Christmas programs growing up. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever is truly one of the best of these stories, in my opinion. In this book, the typical church pageant gets turned upside-down by the unlikeliest cast members.

It’s a fairly typical plot, but it’s the characters that make th
is book so worthwhile. The bad kids in town—the Herdmans—have never gone to church, but when they hear there’s food there, they show up—and bully the other kids into letting them be the only ones to volunteer for the major roles in the pageant. After it’s been explained to them what a pageant is, of course. Since they’re not familiar with the traditional interpretations of the roles, they ask all sorts of questions, like why the Wise Men didn’t try to beat up Herod. And their performances provide entirely new meaning to the pageant.

It’s a great story, and since it’s only 80 pages of largish type it doesn’t even take as long to read as it does to watch It’s a Wonderful Life. So I read it every year or two around Christmas—and I laugh just as hard every time. Since it was published in the ‘70s, some of the delinquent behavior is a bit outdated (calling Mary pregnant was bad, for instance), but it’s still in print for some good reasons. The Herdmans are truly wonderful, well-drawn characters, and the story’s a lot of fun.

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