Thursday, 9 December 2010

Lip Service Nativity

ADVANCED WARNING: I think I've turned into the Grinch! Again.

(I know, this happens E.V.E.R.Y C.H.R.I.S.T.M.A.S…)

I'm sorry. Nativity plays are cute and that, but they are soooo tedious. So dull...

...Or is that just me…??

Having just come out of Ben's second Nativity play of his entire life, I am fuming. Seething. Frustrated.

What a farce! What a shame...

It wouldn't have been be so bad if I could've seen Ben and he was actually doing something!

Instead I will just remember this year's play as the one where my son didn't do anything except sit on the floor in his PJs , with a tea towel round his head, among another 130 kids, being the 'singing crowd'. He and many of his classmates found it pretty boring as it seemed there were only about 6 children there with main (read: i.n.t.e.r.e.s.t.i.n.g - or FUN) parts.

The "singing crowd" weren't even prompted to STAND to sing their songs for crying out loud!!

How unfair. How frankly stupid...

The little glimpses I managed to catch of Ben, from my cramped, tiny, child-sized seat 4 rows from the back, only served to reinforce the feelings I already had as I had walked into the school hall earlier… His little face was almost exactly what you would draw as a typical caricature of a tired, bored, SAD face. His eyes, each time they caught mine, were pleading with me to take him home.

I would really want to be able to look back one day and think of my children's school Nativity plays as LOVELY and MEANINGFUL but I don't think that's about to happen. To me they're just paying lip service to an event so amazing you can hardly put into words -  they just make me angry. And Incredibly Frustrated. (Did I say I was frustrated!?)

Every so often I come across a deeply meaningful nativity play, like the one Ben was involved in last year in Reception… Or the ones my Thomas takes part in every year, at his "special school"… Or the ones produced by Out of the Ark, who are a Christian-based primary-school-production company. If done well and your kids are properly involved, then sure they can be great.

But mostly, the experience I have had of them over the past 10 years have brought out irritation and cynicism in me and made my skin crawl.
And yes, for certain things I am a self-confessed, unapologetic Grinch.

Just sayin'...


  1. I can tell why you are so upset! I remember those school plays where kids can get lost in a sea of way too many faces. I use to lead the 1st & 2nd grade choir at my church, now I assist my Aunt in the 2nd-6th grade choir at my church. I've always tried my best to give "special" parts to everyone who wanted one. Even if it meant extra work for me or the child. I know how it feels to be the parent in the audience, wanting to see the joy on your child's face, instead of boredom.

  2. I must admit I agree for the most part. Working with preschoolers in a church setting the parents and the chior director always lobby for a nativity scene or a couple of songs sung up front on a Sunday morning. I would be more excited about these events if I witnessed more of the right motives. A good majority of the parents just want to see their cute kids on stage... it's not about singing praises to God or teaching the kids the reason behind the productions - it's just a way to take pride in our kids instead of in our God - makes me crazy. (But I can be rather a scrooge myself :)


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