Ahh it wouldn’t be Christmas without the nativity play, would it? It normally falls slap bang in the middle of the busiest week in December when you have a million things to do before the children all break up from school but actually I quite like that in the middle of all the mayhem, you are forced to take that time out and just sit back and enjoy. Nothing quite like it to make you make you remember the spirit of Christmas.
I could joke that your mummy has to be head of the PTA for you to plump the treasured role of Mary or Joseph. But I’d only be half joking. My teacher friend once told me that she always give the best parts to the children with the parents most likely to kick off. You think all of this stuff is an urban myth until your own children start school and you have the pleasure of meeting these parents in the playground. And by meeting of course, I mean hiding from like the plague.
Then the day of the nativity arrives and you get there nice and early to find the school hall is already packed. Seriously, what time do these people get here? I swear they must camp out. Those much coveted front row seats are undoubtedly reserved by the mummy mafia. Not even the grandpa that arrived a day too early stands a chance. But it’s okay, he’ll squeeze in somewhere and spend the whole of the play trying to work out which child he is supposed to be waving at because he has his wrong glasses on.
On first glance though, the front row will be empty bar one seat and you’ll think maybe it’s your lucky year. But you soon realise that one poor sap as drawn the short straw to save the rest of the seats for the mummy mafia while they busy themselves taking the best biscuits from the tea tray before swanning in to take the best seats in the house at the last minute. The reserving of seats drives me I N S A N E can you tell? It’s just not on. If you are lucky enough to get there and bag yourself a front row seat, good on you. But getting some poor sap to save you a seat? So unfair.
So there you are, squashed at the back of a packed school hall and hopefully not behind the dad who insists on standing up for the whole performance to record the whole thing on his iPad without caring that he is blocking everyones view. But at least he has his memories saved forever, eh?
This has quickly turned into a post about how much I hate other parents, hasn’t it? And to be fair, that would be true. Well, not all parents obviously. Just most of them. Ahem. But actually, I do love me a nativity. Even after all of these years. Our primary school tends to do a Christmassy play with a traditional nativity squeezed somewhere in the middle. And having four children over ten years means that I have seen each version at least twice I swear they must be on rotation. But I love it!
I can never get over just how brave they are getting up there on the stage. There is always at least one shepherd picking his nose. And a donkey in an itchy suit who really doesn’t want to be there. But that moment when you catch your own child’s eye across a crowded hall and wave like a loon is just priceless. Those sing songy little voice never fail to reduce me to tears, it doesn’t even have to be my own children singing. Gets me every time.
Happy nativity to one and all. Goodwill to all men and all that. Even the most annoying of parents.