Here at school Christmas is in full swing with productions and carol concerts. So far all have gone without hitch, although our final two performances are this evening, so I hope I haven’t spoken too soon…
The carpets are covered in glitter and handmade paper chains hang from the ceiling, Christmas cheer is certainly in the air.
Having been teaching now for 10 years I have become somewhat of an aficionado of Nativities and random Christmas productions, but one will always stand out in my mind…
Some years ago I was teaching in a primary school and although I was teaching Year 6, we were invited to watch the infant nativity.
Out they came, the shepherds with the obligatory tea towel tied round their heads holding stuffed toy sheep, the Wise Men with crowns that were too big and kept slipping down over their eyes. The donkey in brown tights and tshirt with ears made of card and a tail of plaited wool. The angel Gabriel that year was played by a particularly naughty boy I remember, his teacher obviously hoping that the purity of the part might rub onto him.
Mary and Joseph, as always, were played by the quiet children, the best behaved, or so we thought…
The nativity was going well, no one ran from the stage crying and most of the children remembered their lines and their rendition of ‘Oh Little Town of Bethlehem’ brought tears to our eyes.
But then came the big reveal, as Mary lifted the baby Jesus from the manger his head fell to the ground and rolled to the edge of the stage! Mary screamed and threw the body of Jesus at the Wise Men, the children on the front row, now eyeball to eyeball with a decapatated head, also screamed and through the mayhem Joseph was heard to say, ‘Oh shit, that wasn’t meant to happen!’
Needless to say, the staff tried hard to stifle their laughter as they rushed to bring order to the now chaotic scene.
Eventually Baby Jesus’ understudy was brought in and calm resumed and needless to say the nativity ended to rapturous applause.
Children are never predictable but they can be guaranteed to bring a smile to even the most sombre face, especially at this time of year.