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Would you like to go to the Christmas Concert?

December 21, 2021

Poster advertising Zion School's Christmas Concert with a Motion Picture, year unknown

In the world of one-room schools, life was so often just the same—the routine of opening exercises, playing games like baseball at recess (because anyone young or old could have a turn at bat) and doing exercises like penmanship out of the Ontario curriculum. A few days in the year stood out, and none more than the Christmas concert or pageant.

It was a big event, and preparations often began in November. Every step of the performance was of course rehearsed. For the teacher, it would be the time when the neighbourhood got together and visited the school. Being for all practical purposes the community’s employee, this would be a defining moment for how the teacher was perceived.

For the community it was an occasion when everyone could have a wonderful Christmas. Generations ago, people could not take for granted the excess of today—for many, it might be the only Christmas Tree they would get to enjoy. It was special indeed to see all the paper chains that the children worked together to make. In an era before television, watching the neighbourhood kids perform on a makeshift stage meticulously decorated by hand, might very well be the most memorable show of the year.

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