A different kind of holiday classic

Long before there was American Idol and Star Search and The Gong Show even, there was the Hedberg Family Christmas Program brought to you by… the Hedberg family, of course.

I’m not exactly sure how far back our family Christmas program dates, but we’ve been putting on a performance for my parents well over 30 years.

xmas 3 wisewomen.jpgOne of my earliest recollections was acting out the Nativity Story. I think I was about 4 years old. I was wearing a robe so I believe my role was a shepherd. I can’t remember exactly, but I do recall that my three oldest sisters portrayed the three wise men. Wearing dish towels on their heads, they marched in with the gifts of gold, frankincense and … packages of graham crackers (see photo).

Each year for our family Christmas gathering, we either put on a play, share a reading or sing as a family unit or as individuals or small groups. Thankfully, this is not like American Idol. Mom and Dad do not judge us, merely enjoy the performances.

elves xmas prog 3.jpgWe also learned early on that there was no such thing as embarrassment. Check out the picture at right. My twin sister Raylene (the taller one on the left) and I dressed up in the elf costumes we wore for our grade-school program and sang a song. No one ever accused me of being shy (or tall, for that matter).

As our family has expanded over the years to add spouses and children, the format of the program has changed. Now, instead of the original family doing something together, each of us eight kids do a number, so to speak, with our respective families.

Many times, on the long drive to our family gathering, I have written a poem or something my family can read together. As a former elf, I always look forward to it. I just have to get my other “participants” to share the excitement. I mean really, they can’t be that embarrassed. It’s not like I’m making them wear elf suits!

Or am I?

Antique Trader would love to hear stories of your family holiday traditions  — whether it’s trimming the tree, caroling, participating in a program or watching the real holiday classics on television.

Drop a note in the mail box, my inbox (robyn.austin@fwmedia.com) or post a reply in our forums online at antiquetrader.com. Maybe your holiday tradition can become a classic for someone else.

Happy Holidays!

— Robyn