Cherokee’s Assemblies of God and Peggy Albury, one of its faithful members, produced another outstanding play on Friday, December 20 , entitled “Christmas on Main Street”. The story revolved around the commercialization of Christmas and how people are forgetting what Christmas is all about: the birth of Jesus.
In the small community of only around 160 persons, more than thirty cast members told a very moving story of how people of today have forgotten what Christmas is all about (with all the remaining residents of Cherokee seated in the audience that night). The merchants are always trying to entice customers with lots of sales and the razzle-dazzle of endless commercials and it seems as if the people can’t remember the real reason we celebrate Christmas. Their message admonished the problem with only think about the lights, the gifts and the parties.
The mayor of the imaginary town in the play cancelled the annual Christmas Program which the people had been performing in the Town Square every year. He said it would cause a disruption, and besides, he was running for another term in office and would be too busy to deal with it. The program organizers were devastated and disappointed to think he could be so uncaring of their town tradition.
Members of the play decided to go door to door on Main Street in their com-munity to see if they could rally some support to continue this tradition and get the Mayor to change his mind.
In one house they were met with indifference by a couple who were only interested in appearances and what their neighbours thought about the elaborate decorations they had put up. The next house they visited was occupied by young people, who even though they had been brought up in the church thought the whole idea of celebrating Christmas was “old-fashioned,” “out-of-date” and “not-with-it.”
The players finally arrived at a young lady’s house, she was a Christian and believed in Christmas. She was very upset that the Mayor would cancel this long standing tradition and said she would canvas all her friends and get them to call the Mayor’s office and insist that the play must go on. After all, a majority of the town’s folks looked forward to beginning their Christmas season each year gathering in the Town Square to see the annual program and hear the story of Christ’s birth.
The Mayor’s office was bombarded with calls requesting that he allow the Christmas Play to continue.
When the Mayor came to tell the organizers that he would again allow the play to continue, they asked him what made him change his mind. He replied that he had received a call from his own daughter who had reminded him of the joy they had both experienced by attending the play when she was a very small girl. His daughter was the same lady who had started the petition to re-instate the play and who lived in the last house the Caroling group had visited.
The littlest angel (who knew all the words to the songs), Taylor Carroll (3 years old) was the great-great granddaughter of the oldest member in the choir, Clarrey Lowe (84 years old) and a member of the Church who was continuing to keep up one of the local traditions in Cheerokee that night.
The pianist, Glenn Newbold, played beautifully (as always) and there was a fine harmonica solo by Rev. Bateman Sands (80 years old) as well as a presentation by Thomas Rietsom, another local young man playing a bugle solo, and the drummer, Thomas’s father, just set the mood for an outstanding rendition of “The Little Drummer Boy.”
Charmane Saunders helped in the selection of musical pieces and choir’s performance was so impressive that it left a lump in many throats. But, the players were the ones who told the story, and they all played their parts well with the final scene showing Joseph, Mary and the baby Jesus in the manger, with wise men and shepherds, angels and animals.
All the costumes and scenery were devised by Peggy, including a donkey and a sheep (this lady has many hidden talents). The whole evening moved along smoothly from the beginning without any apparent glitches and the audience held their applause until the end when they exploded with enthusiasm and appreciation.
Many people were involved in the production, which will only be seen once since next year they will come up with a completely new play with another theme of how to tell the old, old story. Refreshments were served on the sidewalk in front of the church afterwards. Even though no collection was taken up, many people were very generous in supplying the vast amount of food that was served.