The Coast News Group

It was OK to sing ‘Silent Night’ in school

DEL MAR — December is remembered by folks who attended elementary school in the building that is now City Hall as the month of great preparation for the annual Christmas program that culminated with each student receiving a shiny silver dollar.
During the depression this would be the only gift some of the kids would receive.
Practice for the Christmas program began after Thanksgiving Day. Songs like “Silent Night” and “Hark The Herald Angels Sing” were OK to sing during that era. The play was about Mary giving birth to Jesus in a manger because Joseph failed to make advance reservations at the inn. They had come to town to pay their taxes as was required at the end of the year.
The newborn child that resembled a girl doll was cradled by Mary as the kids sung a medley of Christmas songs. Three boys garbed in their dads’ bathrobes depicting the Wise Men arrived carrying presents for the baby and harmonizing slightly off key.
When the program ended and the cast had taken its bows, the boys and girls lined up and filed past D.E. Thompson, a member of the board of trustees, and each received their silver coin.
Mothers who were members of the P.T.A. passed out bags of popcorn and candy canes and according to all accounts a great time was had by all.