Wednesday, November 30, 2016

No Vacancy

Pauline Books & Media have this great book for resources for Advent & Christmas.  It's called The Advent-Christmas Book by Joan Marie Arbogast, illustrated by Virginia Helen Richards, fsp and Photos by Mary Emmanuel Alves, fsp.

Since I'm doing faith formation for adults, I've adapted the book's version--"No Room at the Inn," to "No Vacancy."  Here's what I'm doing:

Write “No Room” on seven sheets of paper.  Have tape ready to secure the papers.  You will be attaching these signs to seven of the ten chairs needed for this demonstration.

10 chairs                      7 No room signs            Christmas music        tape for the signs

This is the opposite way of playing “musical chairs.”  Instead of one person being eliminated, one by one, at a time.  Seven out of ten people are eliminated at once!  Only three are left and eventually only one.  Follow these steps:
1.        Set up ten chairs.
2.       Stick seven “No Room” signs on seven of the ten chairs, leaving three chairs sign less. 
3.       Ten volunteers circle the chairs to the music.  They are journeying to Bethlehem.  When the music stops, three people scramble to sit on a chair without a “No Room” sign.  Everyone standing is out of the game.
4.       Remove one of the three chairs and repeat the process of music and circling the chairs.  Stop the music.  One of the three people is eliminated.  Remove a chair—one chair is left and two people.  Repeat the process of music and when the music stops only one person can sit on the chair. He/She wins the last room in the Inn.  

    Afterward, I'll explain that this was only a game.  But looking for a place to stay and passing motel after motel, inns, and bed and breakfast homes, with signs that say No Vacancy, is not a pleasant experience, especially when your tired.  Imagine if you were pregnant, tired, and in beginning labor.
   Ask if anyone has ever experienced looking for a place to stay and met with "No Vacancy" signs.  This has happened to me twice.  One time I went back home and the other time I had to leave the area and settle for a cabin on a camp site.  I made do--which is what the Holy Family did.  

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