Do you feel sad that your kids have never done a nativity play?

(26 Posts)
FlimFlamMerrilyOnHigh Tue 04-Dec-12 02:00:21

Mine are in an international school in Asia where they're so bloody PC they hardly mention Christmas, let alone do a nativity play. [sigh] I suppose it would be seen as religious indoctrination, and rightly so. I don't even consider myself a Christian! I just want to see my DCs being shepherds or the angel Gabriel or fourth sheep or whatever. Just one of the many things they're missing out on from their home culture. Can you tell I'm feeling homesick?

MarjorieAntrobus Tue 04-Dec-12 02:05:19

Are you staying there for Christmas or going back to the
UK, OP?

ClaudiaSchiffer Tue 04-Dec-12 02:08:47

YES!

I so agree with you flimflam. My kids even go to a Catholic School and they don't do a nativity. I am SO disappointed. We have their Christmas Concert tomorrow evening and it's all songs from the Jungle Book ffs.

I'm not religious either but I'd love it if one of my kids was Mary a sheep or something. I love the Christmas story it's so pretty.

Bloody Australia.

Sorry you're feeling homesick.

FlimFlamMerrilyOnHigh Tue 04-Dec-12 04:41:37

MarjorieAntrobus: (even your name makes me homesick!): staying here, broke, haven't been in UK for the last 4 Christmases. Where are you based?

FlimFlamMerrilyOnHigh Tue 04-Dec-12 04:45:56

Thanks for the solidarity Claudia. I don't think there is even a Christmas concert here. Probably a 'year-end' assembly. The ironic thing is they try really hard not to put too much emphasis on Christmas, as it's an IB school, many other religions, etc., but in this city, there are Christmas carols playing in every supermarket, Christmas lights in the main shopping street and decorations in all the malls. Though it is basically a shopping festival here, with only one day of public holiday.

Also an international school in Asia here .... The infants did their Christmas and nativity play (which was a lot about how families and love are more important than presents and food hmm and had a nativity at the end as the ultimate reason for Christmas taking place) and last week, juniors did a carol service with bible readings in church. We have also done assemblies about Rama and Sita for deepavali (Diwali), lion dances and dragon legends for Chinese New Year, mooncake tasting for the mid autumn festival and a huge UN day. We live abroad partly because we want our kids to absorb and learn about other cultures and beliefs, so we chose a school with that in mind. Surely the nativity (and other religious beliefs and celebrations) are part of education?

MarjorieAntrobus Tue 04-Dec-12 05:20:21

Sorry, OP, had to go and do something so couldn't reply earlier.

I'm in KL. I understand what you're talking about. My DC have carol concerts at their international school here. Not sure what happens with nativities and the primary children.

Alligatorpie Tue 04-Dec-12 06:08:46

My dd is at a Canadian school in Egypt and will do a Christmas concert which involves singing, but we wouldn't do nativity plays at home, so they won't do them here.

But yesterday after seeing a friends picture on FB, I was sad that dd will never go to Brownies. There is always something I guess.

IndigoBelle Tue 04-Dec-12 06:19:18

I'm the opposite. When my kids (in the UK) do a Christian nativity play I miss my home country where they wouldnt do it.

It's shocking and not right how Christian UK schools are.

I wish this was a secular country.

TanteRose Tue 04-Dec-12 06:33:39

its funny, but I honestly have never given nativity plays a moment's thought while my DCs have been growing up

we are in Japan, where it is absolutely Christmas-a-go-go grin but very commercial, Santa rather than the baby Jesus.

We did actually go back to the UK one year in early December and the DCs spent a week or so at the local primary school. I remember being quite shocked/surprised at how religious-y Xmas is over in the UK, I had sort of forgotten, so I can understand your point of view Indigo

so I guess my kids HAVE experienced (just the once) the whole shebang - candlelight service, carols etc. They watched the nativity, but weren't in it

MoleyMick Tue 04-Dec-12 06:42:37

I'm an atheist but have fond memories of the nativity play. I live in a v multicultural area of Australia, they do a lot of Christmassy stuff at DS's kindy but the big Christmas concert is the Three Little Pigs!!! Odd. Couldn't they have done something about Santa?? I don't mind hugely that my two won't do one, but my sister does and grumbles about it every year!

TheUKGrinchImGluhweinkeller Tue 04-Dec-12 07:29:12

I am in Bavaria, southern Germany, and I strongly dislike that in Kindergarten Christianity (with a Catholic slant) is taught as absolute truth with no mention whatsoever that other religions even exist. It bugs me and I would like them to tell the Christian stories and celebrate the festivals but also give the same respect to stories and festivals from other religions. no chance of that though as there is no real separation of church and state. I am agnostic I'd say and I want my children to know they can make up there own minds and am unhappy with the "This is the truth" approach. Ho hum, can't have everything. They can do Ethics at school, but by then they've had 3 years of indoctrination.

They don't do nativity plays at Kindergarten (3-6) which covers most of "infant" school as it would be in the UK. My 7 year old (year 2) could have been in a nativity play in the church next to her school, the children were invited via school but but all rehearsals would have been after school with the performance in church on Christmas eve. DD would have liked to be "in a show" - she's a show off performer by nature and has wanted to join a drama group for a while, but there is nothing for her age locally, so there was mild disappointment when she remembered she'd had the letter in her bag 3 days and missed the deadline to sign up! The nativity aspect is not remotely important to her or me though, sorry!

I hated brownies too, so no disappointed about that - there is a similar organisation here but again I'm not that keen on the religious element and would only enrol DD (or her brothers as its unisex) if they initiated it - at the moment my kids are very involved with their football teams, which also have a social life and group identity etc.

I miss lots of things about the UK, but not nativity plays especially, though I don't have any objections to them! I love the fact that here Christmas does not take over school life right from early November, or before - there just isn't time in a 3.5 to 4.5 hour school day!

Greythorne Tue 04-Dec-12 07:31:04

No Christmas play here, or carols at school, or anything much, AFAIK.

We are in France and the DDs go to Catholic school, but you would not know it was coming up to Xmas.

I am sad about it. But there's no Xmas anywhere, went shopping in our vilkage on Saturday.... No Xmas decorations, no Xmas music, no Xmas bands....it was just vy cold and damp.

Yuck.

TheUKGrinchImGluhweinkeller Tue 04-Dec-12 07:35:22

Bavaria does do Christmas well I must say, much as living here sometimes just makes me feel tired to the core, I'd rather Christmas markets and snow and Glühwein than rain, floods, and shop-til-you-drop to tinned Christmas music in the UK.

I was sad to miss the bonfire night of my memories, but I'm not sure the kind of small display with fireworks where you can get close enough to the fire to be warm while your toes freeze, and eat parkin while waving a sparkler, that I remember still happen. My primary and secondary schools both did good ones, but I don't think health and safety would allow them these days.

NamingOfParts Tue 04-Dec-12 07:45:28

I understand where you are coming from FlimFlam, my DCs were abroad in the Netherlands during the primary school years. I was thinking toady that they have grown up without being immersed in either culture. They dont know Christmas carols and they dont know Sinterklaas songs either as we didnt sing them at home.

On the other hand we all desperately miss the mass firework display that is New Year celebrations in the Netherlands.

MarjorieAntrobus Tue 04-Dec-12 07:55:20

UKgrinch, I think those displays do still happen, if you live in places where Rugby Clubs, Lions, and so on operate. At least they did three years ago when I left.

TheUKGrinchImGluhweinkeller Tue 04-Dec-12 08:08:39

Ah that's good to hear Marjorie the really huge displays, while impressive, don't really tick the box for me.

I miss helpful staff who offer to pack your bags in supermarkets shock

FlimFlamMerrilyOnHigh Tue 04-Dec-12 08:32:19

Grinch: you're right, I would probably be complaining about 'Xmas' taking over for months if I was in the UK.

I'd better not watch Love Actually, though, I would be sobbing by the end.

Yes, my kids have no idea about Bonfire Night. It was one of the most exciting nights when I was little, going to the local park by a lake, buying jacket potatoes in foil, being scared by the bangers.

Greythorne: that sounds sad. Your village NEEDS a huge tacky illuminated house with plastic santa coming down the chimney, you should do it grin

Tanterose: sounds a lot like here (Singapore). Each mall's decorations are themed to some commercial product, so at the airport, for example, there is an Angry Birds Space christmas tree. Tacky much?

MoleyMick Tue 04-Dec-12 08:55:55

Now bonfire night - I do miss that hmm

Alligatorpie Tue 04-Dec-12 12:43:36

An angry bird tree? Off to google....

ripsishere Tue 04-Dec-12 22:19:47

When DD was at school in Bangkok, they did a production of the grumpy sheep one year and rumble in the jungle the next as their christmas productions.
This year in KL, they are doing. Nothing.

Sibble Wed 05-Dec-12 01:58:44

Nothing here in NZ either - very sad. I miss the carols, trees, nativity and everything Christmassy.

Bonfire night very BIG though which is great (even if the fireworks don't start until 9.30 because it doesn't get dark until then and the dss used to be psychotic the next day as they were so tired - it was fireworks and we were going! wink).

adventkerzylin Thu 06-Dec-12 16:24:41

My dc have missed out on all that too as they've had all their schooling abroad but then 'only' being one of the sheep in the nativity has stuck with me for life so actually glad for them (I had to ask 'Mary' to atleast pat my head just as she arrived atthe stable so I felt as if I had a better part)!

Now, the fact that they don't appreciate Pancake Day, and have never made an Easter bonnet or been to a bonfire do, that's sad!

On the other hand, try to see the positive side of it - all of our expat-dc have experienced things that none of their cousins/friends back in the UK have ever had the chance to join in with. For ours it's getting a big Christmas stocking on the 6th of december (St Nicolas day) or the lantern parade in November for St Martin's day and other traditions.

Salbertina Sun 09-Dec-12 10:59:01

Yes sad all v low-key on xmas front.

Bonsoir Sun 09-Dec-12 18:23:18

I would rather teach DD about Christianity and Christmas my own way than have her school botch it! We have spent the evening singing along to a CD of Christmas carols (Jewish DD is out!) and had a lovely time. She has a gorgeous Austrian advent calendar and lots of books about the Christmas story.

Sibble Sun 09-Dec-12 21:38:12

Those who love nativity check this out...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWq60oyrHVQ

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