"They lied and stole and smoked cigars (even the girls) and talked dirty and hit little kids and cussed their teachers and took the name of the Lord in vain and set fire to Fred Shoemaker's old broken-down toolhouse." The Herdman's are the worst kids in town. They don't have respect for anyone. They couldn't care less about the consequences of their actions. Yet, they always passed on to the next grade in school. No teacher would want more than one of the six Herdman's in class at the same time! When the Herdman's hear about auditions for a Christmas play, they assume there will be snacks. They show up as auditions are starting when Imogene decides she want's to be Mary. None of the other kids want to go up against Imogene.... And that is how the Herdman's became the star cast of the play. They create one of the most hilarious and wondrous tellings of what Christmas is all about. They learn the story of Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus. They leave behind their rotten antics and put on a memorable show for the awestruck members of the church.
This is by far my favorite Christmas story to read. If you're looking for a quick story for your kids, this is it!