Things I’ve learned about school Christmas and Nativity shows over the years:
- It’s a very brave primary school that runs a string quartet for year 4 kids. It’s an even braver school that lets the children go ahead with their number when the teacher has cried off saying they’re ill.
- If you are the violin teacher of a year 4 string quartet, you should definitely always say you are ill.
- The head teacher should probably resist the temptation to ask the cast whether they enjoyed taking part, on microphone, in front of the entire audience. This year’s Mary complained that she had no lines and had to drag her own donkey all the way to Bethlehem, while Joseph was busy ‘helping’ the angels.
- Be afraid, be very afraid, when you ask a child whether they know any carols and they say that they know almost all the words to Last Christmas by Wham.
- Whatever part your children had in their Nativity play, it’s better than the poor soul who played grass in his, wearing a head to toe green astroturf number. Probably.
On the plus side, if you’ve always felt cheated of your rightful role as the Archangel Gabriel, then our church is doing a special service (5.45, Christmas Eve, St Margarets, Lee) where you can turn up in the Nativity costume of your choice. I think it’s aimed at children but don’t let that hold you back.