In the car on the way to his fourth grade Christmas program, my son said, “Don’t listen too hard, Mom. Our songs are really stupid.” He’s at a stage right now where if it’s not rock and roll, it doesn’t count. But I have to admit that, while I wouldn’t have used the word stupid, I also wouldn’t want to be forced to sing such ditties as “I Taught My Turkey How to Tango” and “Over the Freeway and to the Mall”. We asked him afterward if he wanted our copy of the program, and he said, “Please throw it away. I don’t want to remember this night.”

You’ve got to expect vapid songs at a public school Christmas program – I should just be glad they called it a Christmas program. What really appalled me was the behavior of the parents. People sitting all around us were laughing and talking throughout the songs. Then, at the end of a song, they’d whoop and holler as if they were at a sporting event. I wonder if some of them realized there’s a difference between a choral concert and a football game. It didn’t appear so.

If it had been isolated to one family, I could consider them rude and move on. But it was all over the auditorium, a whole generation of parents who apparently never considered that it might be polite to shut up while their kids were performing for them.

So here it is, in case no one’s ever told you before – chatter and yelling may be supportive at Little League games. At a performance, it’s rude. End of story.

And while we’re at it, turn your cell phones off, too.

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