Nativity play disasters

It's what parenting memories are made of, right? Who are we kidding - as Mumsnetters recount, thrills, spills, fisticuffs and downright Nativity play disasters can erupt around the crib...

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1. Being chosen for a starring role can bring out unfortunate diva tendencies

singing loudly

"My son (then a trainee cathedral chorister) loudly baa'ed his way through Away in a Manger. That ended his career really."

"The Innkeeper (my son) kicked the wheeled donkey across the stage, donkey and wheels came asunder, wheels carried on in the correct direction, donkey was left lying on its side, so darling son gave it another boot into the wings for good measure. The whole audience burst out laughing, and he responded by doing Michael Jackson-inspired hip thrusts before he was 'escorted' off the stage by the head of drama."

2. But not everyone can take centre stage...

on stage

"My brother was the straw in the stable. We dressed him in yellow cords and a yellow jumper and tied some straw around his middle. He spent the entire production lying on the side of the stage. My poor mother was mortified."

3. Casting Mary is a losing proposition no matter what

"In preschool, daughter sat with a face like thunder, cross-legged in the middle of the tiny stage, totally ignoring the play being acted out around her, and continuously muttering just loudly enough for the audience to hear: 'I wanted to be Mary!'"

"Mary delicately sat down and hurled the baby Jesus into the crib with a resounding thump."

"My one-time starring role as Mary lasted two minutes - me and Joseph walked across the stage, he walked too far, fell off the stage and broke his collarbone."

4. Territorial disputes are rife

"One of the angels stole one of the toy sheep from one of the shepherds. A second shepherd then used the crook he had been given to hook round the angel's belt as she tried to escape up the aisle and dragged her back."

"A fight broke out over who was going to hold the baby Jesus. Joseph pushed Mary off the stage and one of the three wise men wet himself in all the confusion."

5. It's entirely too easy for child actors to get the wrong end of the stick

"My three-year-old nephew was the Innkeeper. 'You can't come in, we have no room. You have to go to that place...' He screwed up his face as he tried to remember the word stable. He improvised with: 'That place where the aminals are...' As poor Mary and Joseph shuffled sadly off with the donkey, he yelled: 'THE ZOO'."

"My son was signing, and his learning support assistant not being too good at it and my son's coordination meant that instead of signing 'I am a pig', he signed 'you're a pig'. Then later on, he ended up signing 'that teddy's a prostitute'."

"I was deemed sensible enough to be narrator for the Nativity. It had all gone swimmingly until the end, when I asked everyone to join me in saying the Gaylord's Prayer."

6. And sometimes, it all just gets a bit much

shocked audience

"The little narrator was clearly a bit fazed by his starring role, and for comfort, unzipped his flies, got his willy out and clutched it for the whole performance. Nursery teacher was nearly apoplectic, kept gesturing, and waving her hand for him to put it away. This threw him even more, and he started to rub it (without losing track of his narrating)."

"My son was a snowman in the nursery school Christmas play. His outfit consisted of his dad's white T-shirt and a bowler hat and scarf. To my utter embarrassment, he turned round, pulled down his pants and mooned at the audience."

"My son was in the front row of the choir last year, so that everyone could see that he was quite desperate for a wee. He jiggled and held his crotch, ignored my hissed instructions to jump down so that I could take him to the loo, all the while still singing his heart out."

7. Frankly, no matter how well you plan, something unexpected will happen

hide behind stage curtain

"Nervous four-year-old Mary, having entered stage right, turns to face the audience. Sweet, but with most of her fingers crammed into her mouth in a self-conscious sort of way. Loud hiss from four-year-old Joseph: 'Stop it, tha'll get WORMS in tha' BELLY'."

"Baby Jesus' head fell off and rolled slowly down the two steps from the stage."

"My daughter was given the part of the star when she was around three. Her speech had never been clearer than when she said 'sod this' and walked off the stage."

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Last updated: 10 minutes ago