Why we tolerate Christmas concerts

The spotlights shone brightly, giving the holiday décor a magical twinkle upon the stage. I could see the excitement in my son Lars’s eyes as he silently went over his rehearsed songs of yuletide merriment. And similar to every Christmas concert in the history of mankind, the crowd was abuzz with anticipation.

The spotlights shone brightly, giving the holiday décor a magical twinkle upon the stage. I could see the excitement in my son Lars’s eyes as he silently went over his rehearsed songs of yuletide merriment.

And similar to every Christmas concert in the history of mankind, the crowd was abuzz with anticipation.

Now I’m not going to come right out and say that I loathe these types of childlike concerts. I’m sure if I did I’d find an angry mob of Christmas do-gooders busting down my door at any given moment.

And really they do have an odd sort of appeal to them.

I get to dress my kid up in a super awesome Christmas suit.

His excitement leading up to the event is irrefutably charming.

And not to mention I can secretly judge all of the other kids and come to the obvious conclusion that mine is probably the only one destined for stardom.

So yes, there are a few positives when it comes to the school Christmas concert.

However, something else happens each year this recital comes to pass. Something evil and wicked. Something that turns innocent parents against one another. Something that transforms them.

There I am 40 minutes early to the matinee showing (because that’s how big of a deal this thing is — it needs a matinee showing as well as an evening one). I walk into the gymnasium and to my utter surprise more than half of the chairs are already occupied. There goes my bright idea of arriving early to get a good seat.

I move towards the nearest set of open seats. Back and back … and back some more.

By the time I find a spot, I begin to wish I had brought my fancy theatre binoculars because where I sit I can’t see hide nor hair of my son. But ‘thems the ropes’ in the Christmas concert game, I guess. After waiting an excruciatingly long time — for no reason whatsoever since I didn’t get a good seat anyways — the play had begun.

The only way I could determine this was by the horde of parents getting up out of their seats and into the aisle to engage in an impromptu photo shoot with their kid.

Sophie had been sat in that very aisle as she couldn’t see her brother’s performance anywhere else. I nearly lost her in the stampede of manic parents. Good thing I’m quick like a cat and nabbed the back of her coat to pull her out of the mob just in the nick of time. It was close, though.

Don’t get me wrong, I would have loved to get a picture of Lars singing his little heart out — but when I saw the grown adults literally shoving/climbing/all-out pushing past each other down the three-foot-wide aisle, I decided to pass.

I couldn’t risk a shanking now; they were just starting in on Jingle Bell Rock.

It was almost as though the pandemonium of the kindergarten/Grade 1 concert turned some of my fellow parents into raving lunatics.

At one point, a kid made a (let’s face it) mediocre joke on stage. As an adult you do what’s right and give them a chuckle and a clap — that is all that is required. It’s cute; I’d even go as far to say endearing.

What it is not, is hilarious. Especially not so hilarious that you should feel the need to reach over and grasp the shoulder of a complete stranger (this being my husband’s said shoulder) and while red faced begin laughing hysterically and slapping your knee. It is inappropriate to touch an unfamiliar person in the best of circumstances, so this was just plain weird.

I’m not really even sure what everyone was getting so excited about anyways — I couldn’t understand a damn word coming out of the kids’ mouths. Maybe they needed some more microphone training or maybe it was a poor sound system.

Or even more plausibly, I just couldn’t understand them due to my horrible location. In any case, even if the jokes were knee slappin’ funny, I wouldn’t have heard them anyhow.

But still throughout the chaos and blatant confusion, I managed to catch a few glimpses of Lars and from what I did see, he was fantastic.

It was something I wouldn’t have missed for the world.

However, it was also something I would never, ever, in a million fiery years of hell volunteer to do if I absolutely didn’t have to.

Which brings me to my ending statement. Now that I have warned you, please do not get offended when I respectfully decline the next invite to your kids’ Christmas concert.

Because … well, simply because I’m not going to endure that again unless it’s for my own blood brood.

Sorry, not sorry.

Lindsay Brown is a Sylvan Lake mother of two and freelance columnist.

Just Posted

Alberta has made a more detailed framework for those looking to acquire an exemption to the mandatory indoor mask bylaw. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)
Alberta changes requirements for mask exemptions

Masks wearing has been recommended for almost a year and provincially mandated… Continue reading

Alberta’a chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said Thursday that there are more than 328,000 vaccine appointments booked over the next seven days. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Alberta surpasses 2 million doses administered of COVID-19 vaccine

Red Deer down to 835 active cases of COVID-19

RCMP file photo (Photo by Jeff Stokoe/Advocate staff)
RCMP investigating shooting near Maskwacis

Maskwacis and Wetaskiwin RCMP are seeking public assistance after a shooting has… Continue reading

Rode
Smith among impressive group of RDC soccer Queens recruits

There have been a number of cases where younger girls have developed… Continue reading

Red Deer Public Schools is projecting a $4-million budget deficit for 2021-22 school year. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Red Deer Public Schools prepares $124-million budget

$1 million COVID recovery plan to assist students

Bo’s Bar and Grill owner Brennen Wowk said the hospitality industry is looking for more clarity from the province around what conditions must be met to allow for restaurants reopening. (Advocate file photo)
Frustated restaurant owners want to know government’s reopening plan

Restaurant owners feel they are in lockdown limbo

NFL schedules get off to strong starts with Week 1 twinbills

NFL schedules get off to strong starts with Week 1 twinbills

The Saddledome, home of the Calgary Flames, is shown in Calgary, Thursday, March 12, 2020. The final three games of Canada's Secret Cup women's hockey tournament will be played in Calgary's NHL arena.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Secret Cup women’s tournament final games to be held in Calgary’s Saddledome

Secret Cup women’s tournament final games to be held in Calgary’s Saddledome

FILE - In this Thursday, July 18, 2019 file photo, Ron Francis talks to reporters in Seattle after he was introduced as the first general manager for Seattle's yet-to-be-named NHL hockey expansion team. Four years since George McPhee was a “puppet master” of the NHL leading up to the Vegas expansion draft, general managers approached this trade deadline with Seattle’s upcoming addition to the league in mind. While Kraken GM Ron Francis prepares – and maybe made a handshake deal or two already like McPhee did – Seattle was on his colleagues’ minds.(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
Kraken still plan to hire coach before expansion draft

Kraken still plan to hire coach before expansion draft

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney attends a news conference in Calgary on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020. Simmering internal discontent in his United Conservative caucus has boiled over into an open challenge to his leadership. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Two Alberta UCP members kicked out of caucus after challenging Kenney’s leadership

Two Alberta UCP members kicked out of caucus after challenging Kenney’s leadership

Toronto Blue Jays' Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (13) celebrates in the outfield at the end of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves Thursday, May 13, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Bichette, Blue Jays rally again to beat Braves 8-4

Bichette, Blue Jays rally again to beat Braves 8-4

FILE - Jordan Spieth waits his turn to putt during the third round of the Valero Texas Open golf tournament in San Antonio, in this Saturday, April 3, 2021, file photo. Spieth will try to complete the career Grand Slam next week at the PGA Championship. (AP Photo/Michael Thomas, File)
Momentum for McIlroy, few others going into PGA Championship

Momentum for McIlroy, few others going into PGA Championship

Cori Gauff of the United States reacts after missing a point against Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus during their 3rd round match at the Italian Open tennis tournament, in Rome, Thursday, May 13, 2021. Gauff won 7-5, 6-3. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Never count him out: Nadal rallies past Shapovalov in Rome

Never count him out: Nadal rallies past Shapovalov in Rome

The Saskatchewan Provincial Courthouse in Prince Albert, Sask., on Thursday, May 13, 2021. Cpl. Bernie Herman, a 32-year member of the RCMP, is accused of killing 26-year-old Braden Herman. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Kayle Neis
Saskatchewan Mountie charged with murder had been harassing man: sister

Saskatchewan Mountie charged with murder had been harassing man: sister

Most Read