21st November 2011

It's that time of year again when children rush out of school, tumbling over themselves in their excitement to tell mums and dads what part they have in the Christmas play. One of my favourite scenes in a film is in Love Actually when, the character played by Emma Thompson, on being told that her daughter has the part of "second lobster" asks, "oh, there was more than one lobster present at the birth of Jesus?"

And so it was with a smile that I greeted my eldest who came out of school last week and announced that he had been given the part of Sir Walter Raleigh, his friend was Shakespeare and the twins are "robots"…I'm struggling to imagine what the plot is going to be but no matter, of course, it will be lovely to watch and being part of the annual Christmas show is something that gives most children some much enjoyment. 

From talking to friends who have children in other schools, it seems that the traditional nativity play is becoming less and less common.  With increasingly culturally diverse classes, schools obviously make an understandable decision that the Christmas play needs to be more inclusive and less specifically about one religion.  Despite the fact that I agree with the principle of this (and I'm not religious), there is a part of me that is a bit sad about the loss of the traditional nativity.  Mary & Joseph with tea towels on their head, a (usually dropped at least once) doll as the baby Jesus, and the inevitably cuteness of the three kings with their "frank-in-sense", I hope that it still makes an appearance at some schools, if for no other reason that it makes a lovely story.

What parts are your children playing this year?