Also by this author: , The Best Halloween Ever
Series: The Herdmans #1
Also in this series: , The Best Halloween Ever
Published by Harper Collins on February 22nd 2011
Genres: Young Adult, Classics, Holidays & Celebrations, Christmas & Advent, Humorous Stories
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The Herdmans are the worst kids in the history of the world. They lie, steal, smoke cigars, swear, and hit little kids. So no one is prepared when this outlaw family invades church one Sunday and decides to take over the annual Christmas pageant.
None of the Herdmans has ever heard the Christmas story before. Their interpretation of the tale -- the Wise Men are a bunch of dirty spies and Herod needs a good beating -- has a lot of people up in arms. But it will make this year's pageant the most unusual anyone has seen and, just possibly, the best one ever.
“The Herdmans were absolutely the worst kids in the history of the world.”
Nothing says Christmas like a bunch of asshole kids taking over the Nativity play. Friends, The Herdmans are children I can get behind. They are bad kids and OWN IT. Totally my type of children. As you well know, I pretty much give in to all of my urges and this holiday season I had that urge to re-read The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson.
First, I remember one of my fifth grade teachers (multi-age, bitches) reading The Best Christmas Pageant Ever out loud to us during the season and laughing hysterically at the antics of those wild Herdmans. I wanted to know if Robinson’s book would stand the test of nostalgia and time. YOU GUYS! The Best Christmas Pageant Ever is SO religious. How the heck did my teacher get away with reading it aloud to us in BLUE STATE NEW YORK! What the what! There are MORALS and LIFE LESSONS.
Okay, so the narrator in The Best Christmas Pageant Ever is this chick whose name I don’t even remember because she’s more like a blank piece of paper which serves to stand in comparison to those rat bastard Herdmans, and on flipping through, I find the narrator is not named. Anyways the narrator really does not matter at all, because this story is all about those Herdmans. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever opens with a description of the Herdmans. They do cool things like smoke cigars and swear and tell dirty jokes. But also mean things like use people’s weight against them. And holy crap you guys, keep in mind The Best Christmas Pageant Ever was written in the 70s, so bits are definitely offensive today, like the fatphobic parts.
Anyways, the narrator’s little brother Charlie gets so angry at the Herdman kids stealing his dessert that he brags about how they get awesome refreshments at Church. The Herdmans believe him, and lo and behold show up at Church (my kind of children). The exact same week they cast the Christmas Pageant. Instead of the usual stars getting the lead roles, the Herdmans threaten their way to the top. I LOLed. Then the Herdmans learn the story of Christ and Christmas.
Okay, so here’s a confession — this is MY blog so I am allowed to get personal. I am agnostic but was raised evangelical Christian. I am not at all religious anymore. Surprisingly, despite the good old time religion bits, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson did not make me feel vaguely uncomfortable. I never felt like it was those people who come to my door wanting to talk about God. Thank goodness. PLUS those Herdmans ask some pretty big questions like: Why isn’t there room at the Inn for JESUS of all people? Also why didn’t the Wise Men bring better presents? What happened to Herod? Things to ponder, yo.
RIGHT O! SO I know you all are not morons and can guess that a big life lessons happens at the end of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson but the Herdmans don’t end up becoming perfect little angel children. However, the ending is pitch perfect. ALSO, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever is 80 pages with full page illustrations. You could probably read it in under an hour, just enough time to feel the holiday cheer.
Disclosure: Borrowed from my local library.