Taste of Christmas – a holiday variety show
If you are looking for a holiday event to entertain you and keep Christ in Christmas, then this annual holiday show is a must. Christ United Methodist Church puts on a free four-night show each Christmas season – open to the public, you do not have to be a member of the church – full of music, comedy, and the message that Jesus Christ was born on Christmas Day.
Christ United Methodist Church is located in an old theater at 2901 Fantasy Way in Myrtle Beach. I was told that the Taste of Christmas sells out (it’s free and you don’t need a ticket but there are only about 400 seats) each night so we got there about 50 minutes before show time (this was early – we probably only needed to be 30 minutes early). Upon arriving parking attendants directed me to where I should park and my seven-year-old daughter and I were greeted kindly by church greeters. We were given a program with a tear-away ticket to vote for our favorite-decorated Christmas tree. My daughter enjoyed picking one that was white and was dressed like a snowman – boots and a nose included! We met Kelly and our friend, Brian, and found seats in the raised balcony. Christmas music played over the speakers and a few minutes before the 7pm start-time a children’s chorus sang Christmas songs in front of the stage. Promptly at 7pm the lights dimmed and the show began.
The show hosted vocal talent, ballroom dancers, interpretive dancers, rappers, drummers who splashed paint into the air when they banged on their drums (like the Blue Man group), and comedy. Pesky elves interrupted the show and Minions from the movie, Despicable Me, playfully helped clean the stage after the drummers painted it. In between acts members of the Christ United Methodist Church put on a skit about a family getting together during the holidays and some of the drama that goes along with that. This included the reading of the Christmas Story from the Bible and introducing a topic that the church would be covering in January if you chose to join their congregation. Don’t be alarmed when you realize the church is using this event as outreach. There was no pressure, but instead it was a gentle reminder that the show was being put on by a church community who are passionate about sharing a Christian message.
The one-and-one-half-hour show culminated with an incredible vocal rendition of “O Holy Night” (that brought most of the audience to their feet) as wise-men, shepherds, and some cast members joined Joseph, Mary, and Jesus in a stable on stage. The leader (I’m pretty sure it was the leader) of the church invited everyone to either come back to one of their services on a Sunday or to visit another church.
After the show there were cookies, brownies, and more treats offered in the lobby as well as hot cocoa and other drinks. Outside there were tables lined with marshmallows, chocolate, and graham crackers with chimneas for roasting your own marshmallows to make s’mores.
The talent was impressive; my daughter’s favorite part was the comedic elves popping up throughout the night; and the evening was a nice reminder to sit back and reflect on the meaning of the season. Merry Christmas!