ST. THOMAS MORE
St. Thomas More fifth and sixth graders presented their annual Christmas play Dec. 11 for all students, and then again on that evening for the public in the school's auditorium-gymnasium.
The play, titled "Is There Room for Christmas?" was scripted and choreographed with original lyrics and music by Natalie Seng Pionegro, director of music and liturgy for St. Thomas More parish and school.
The play portrays the concept of looking beyond the distractions in our daily lives, no matter how attractive those things may be, and finding the real meaning of Christmas.
The first scene depicts what might have happened when modern devices and conveniences came to Santa's Workshop. The audience is then taken to an "at-home electronic shopping party," and to a downtown mall, where shoppers compared Christmas now and Christmas of past generations.
The play then goes "behind the scenes" where school children in character as personalities in the Christmas story were preparing for a Christmas pageant.
The final scene brought all the wonderful feelings about the Christmas season back to the stable in Bethlehem where it all began.
Pionegro said, "While parties and presents, shopping and socializing, food and fashion, technology and entertainment are all wonderful things in our lives, those things are really not the heart and soul of Christmas.
"Life changes in many ways as years go by," Pionegro said, "even the ways in which we prepare for and celebrate this special season. The STM students portray that while some of us may long to return to the ways in which Christmas was celebrated in the 'old days,' others are happy to celebrate the season in a more modern and less traditional way.
"In either case, the very heart of Christmas is timeless and constant," Pionegro said.
The St. Thomas More students, which encompassed all of the school's fifth and sixth graders, who presented "Is there Room for Christmas" rehearsed since early October to bring the message of the true meaning of Christmas to life.
"These children were a delight to work with," Pionegro said. "Their sense of wonder about the meaning of Christmas, and their enthusiasm for the message, made these past two months of preparation a delight for everyone involved."