Over the weekend I was once again part of From Everywhere To Bethlehem, an annual interactive nativity tour in the park. Our church spearheads it. Dressed as a Roman soldier, I walked groups of people through different stations telling the (highly condensed, somewhat chronologically altered) story of the birth of Christ. In return they bring us “taxes”, which are non-perishable food items for our city’s Food Cupboard, or just freewill cash donations which go toward MCC’s Christmas Giving initiatives.
I’ve been involved as either a soldier or the gatekeeper for many years now, and it’s always anxiety-making and exhausting, but ultimately fun and rewarding. The anxiety I think comes from having to be “on” all the time and entertaining, and also that socially I’m walking into a lot of situations I can’t prepare for. What will the other actors be like? What will the groups be like? Can’t say ’till I’m in it.
We collect a lot of food and donations each year, which feels lovely to be a part of. We’ve also heard lots of comments over the years that our event is how some folks “kick off” their Advent season, which is humbling. To think that our funny little event, held together by baler twine and hot chocolate, has taken a little place in people’s hearts.
Thing I Saw Over The Weekend: Some good dogs! People do occasionally bring their puppers through the event, though my best interaction was randomly meeting a friend and his dad, out walking their good boys.
Thing I Learned Over The Weekend: Apparently the gestation period of a pregnant donkey is really unpredictable and can last up to 14 months.
I’m Grateful For: Opportunities to help good causes.