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MumsnetGuestPosts (MNHQ) Mon 14-Dec-15 15:36:23

Guest post: Donkeys and divas - the hell of the school nativity

After the drama, tea towels and tears, That Mum Blog observes the absolute mayhem that is the school nativity

That Mum Blog


Posted on: Mon 14-Dec-15 15:36:23


Lead photo

"Could I hear her lines on the day of the Nativity? Could I hell."

Christmas: the happiest, most peaceful time of year... at least until calm is replaced by panic-buying turkeys, visiting relatives, and of course, the nativity. Each year, this annual hot-house of mixed emotions, pint-sized divas and over-stressed, underpaid adults ends the term with a dramatic display of forgotten lines, confused four-year-olds and a high-pitched rendition of Little Donkey. In case getting ready for the Christmas holidays hadn't made you cry already.

Let me set the scene. The emotion is palpable as soon as you set foot into the tinsel-clad church hall. The angel's mum forgot to bring in her halo (and as the angel was not typecast, all hell has broken loose), Joseph wants his mum, and the donkey has just fallen off the stage. During the performance the parents are all crying too because it's indescribably adorable to watch the chaos unfold.

I'm not entirely sure what it is about the nativity that turns (semi) rational adults into versions of themselves that would make Justin Bieber blush. I've seen ticket trauma prior to the show, elbows out in the queue and inexplicable grudges towards children who got the main parts (Mary and Joseph are so NOT invited to the Camel's after party). And what's with the waving thing? On a day-to-day basis I possess no desire to wave like a loon at my child. For some reason, during the nativity performance it becomes completely compulsory to capture my offspring's attention and then flap around like I'm bringing a Boeing 747 in to land. She then spends most of the performance waving back, forgetting she is in the middle of a scene and as a result stealing Mary's thunder as she trips over her headgear during a harrowing depiction of childbirth.

I am sure there is a bloody good reason why the second king is an octopus and why during Mary's interpretive dance performance Joseph was miming being in a box, I just don't know what it is.

And then, imagine if you will, the moment of truth: my little darling's turn to do her line. Okay, so last year she didn't manage to sway in the right direction to O Little Town of Bethlehem and faced the back of the stage during the entire rendition of Away in a Manger, but I was sure she had this line nailed. My presumption was that she was given the most lines purely because of her gregarious personality and the volume of her voice. When my five year old 'whispers' it normally measures on the Richter scale. She is so loud that I now suffer with the kind of hearing loss normally exclusive to those working with heavy duty machinery.

Could I hear her lines on the day of the Nativity? Could I hell. She was so quiet during the performance that I could hear a pin drop (and unfortunately it wasn't the proverbial pin but the actual pin holding together her makeshift king costume it took a month to put together).

I am not exactly the go-to mum for costumes, so it is beyond me why I always seem to be issued with a costume that Vivienne Westwood would struggle to interpret. I always have my fingers firmly crossed when my daughter runs out of school with her book bag full of nativity instructions that I will see the following word: SHEPHERD. Easy. Done. Who doesn't own a tea towel? But no, I will probably see one of the following: ROBOT or OCTOPUS or FIG ROLL. And though I am sure there's a bloody good reason why the second king is an octopus and why during Mary's interpretive dance performance Joseph was miming being in a box, I just don't know what it is. I'm sure it has everything to do with the birth of Christ and absolutely nothing to do with the fact that the drama teacher fancies himself as a bit of a budding Quentin Tarantino (the armed robbery scene at the end was a bit much though).

I haven’t quite had my fill of Tarantino yet, so I'm looking forward to enduring, sorry, enjoying my daughter's nativity next week, and the subsequent drama that will ensue. Just keep your fingers crossed for me that next year we'll be blessed with a shepherd in our midst, it'd be so wonderfully easy and very handy for drying up post-production coffee cups.

By That Mum Blog

Twitter: @ThatMumBlog

Gileswithachainsaw Mon 14-Dec-15 18:34:52

God that made me laugh grin

We3KingyOfOblomovAre Mon 14-Dec-15 20:49:21

All true

ProbablyMe Tue 15-Dec-15 04:10:00

Haha! All very true! I still cried at every one though (in a good way!) and was sad when my youngest did his last one in Y6. Ah well, in 4 years time I can start it all over again when my current bump starts school!

throughaglassclearly Tue 15-Dec-15 11:24:28

Brilliant. My daughter only ever did two. She was ill for the reception one. Waste of a sheep costume that was and then a shepherd in year one and an angel in year two (after which school promised to return the disney dress she had worn but never did and used it for another child in the nativity afterwards (cheeky!) She changed school for year three and only the infants did the nativity at that school so i haven't been to one in seven years sad

mouldycheesefan Tue 15-Dec-15 12:52:41

I like nativities sadly this year is my childrens last one. Some parents do make a big deal out of it though! Just turn up watch and enjoy! All too soon the years of being a shepherd slip by and you will look back fondly on those years as pleasurable rather than angst ridden.

StrawberryLeaf Wed 16-Dec-15 07:44:34

Was my 4 years old daughters very first one yesterday sand I identify with all of this grin

Yes, I was waving like a loon!

twinkletoedelephant Wed 16-Dec-15 13:11:54

Just watched my twins in their last Christmas play ds2 was sulking because one eye had fallen off his donkey hat and ds1 took full control of the stage and carefully unzipped his cow onsie and released one shoulder at a time before throwing some 'dance like an Egyptian' moves during the animal procession song.
Still he did decide to solo bow and thank everyone for coming at the end (despite promising he wouldn't... He has form for this) I was still a proud grinning idiot ;-)

purplishclouds Wed 16-Dec-15 13:25:40

Another proud grinning idiot here who was waving like a loon. Ours was yesterday .

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