The Miserable Days of Nativity Plays!

Posted on December 12, 2014

Because of the hectic schedule in my work and domestic life at the moment, I have not really had much time to get in to the spirit of Christmas yet, or even take part in the annual ordeal that is writing Christmas cards.

So when I drove past a school this evening to see cars spilling out on to the side roads and queues of parents snaking towards the main hall area, it brought back memories of when a decade or so of my Decembers were dictated by nativity plays.

I hated them, they were always very poorly put together by attention seeking music teachers and my children, for reasons I am unaware of, were perpetually denied the roles their undisputed Thespian talents warranted.

Instead, these positions went to perfect children whose Daily Mail reading parents looked on dotingly in between ensuring that every other person with useless kids like mine would be fully aware of their brand new video camera.

Then there was me, sat in a relatively amicable mood alongside my ex-wife as I waited for three hours to see one of my children in an Oscar-winning performance as a rock or the arse end of a cow. As further punishment, as a finale, there would be a ten minute speech from the headmistress that was as nauseous as it was patronising.

“Your children are wonderfully talented, every one of them.”

So talented that ten years on, none of them have even appeared in a day time TV advert for a loan shark, let alone a soap opera or a movie. All those jobs go to the little shits that have attended Her Lady of Perpetual Premenstrual Tension School of Drama in Islington.


Nativity Plays: Awful

As a a consequence of these fading memories, as I drove on and the light of the school faded into the distance, I couldn’t help but loosely plagiarise Band Aid and sing to myself “Tonight thank God it’s them, instead of me.” 

I must have done something wrong in a previous life, because going right back to when I was a child, the nativity plays I have been involved in or watched, have on the whole, been a jolly jamboree of talentless nonsense.

I say this because since the advent of social media in the last decade or so, I have been amazed how awesome the nativity experiences have been for other parents. Some were reduced to tears, whilst others were so overwhelmed by hedonistic pleasure, it was as if though they had just experienced a play where the original Joseph and Mary had turned up as a special guest stars.

I am going to make a candid admission here and now. I spent every nativity play I went to see either wanting to stamp on someone’s camera or constantly talking myself out of shouting “This is Shit!”. Confirmation of my ongoing battle against Tourette’s syndrome and my hatred of state controlled education.

The only pleasure I ever experienced was a swift exit and a race to the pub before the last orders bell sounded. Some parents used to take up an invite for soft drinks and biscuits with the head teacher, an offer I would decline with the look of a man who had just been asked to attach his testicles to a steel girder with high voltage staple gun.

Maybe it was just jealously that as usual, the previously untapped artistic genius of Harry and George had once again been overlooked, with the conspiracy theorist in me wondering if the state education system was taking revenge through my own children purely because I spent my own educative years in a state of perpetual non-conformist chaos.

However, in all probability, my apathy to such events is because they are a load of old nonsense, where the stars of the show are the kids who take presents to the teacher, and a narcissistic music tutor who wrote and produced the whole bloody thing whilst all the other staff members became increasingly resentful that they were the ones saddled with more work as a consequence.

“I’ve got a weekend of extra marking because that silly bitch is re-writing Jingle Bells so it sounds like Dizzee Rascal…oh how the parents will be laughing in the aisles at her ingenuity.”

The majority of parents at these shit shows always feel morally obliged to applaud wildly and emerge themselves in a sea of ecstasy before a finale that leaves them uncontrollably crying and soiling themselves all the way to the car park.

Then, when they are home, it is on to Facebook to describe the whole event to unsuspecting family and friends…how they were reduced to tears by their little star and the misery they would soon inflict on family members with a video on Christmas Day that would have Uncle Dave furiously thinking up graphic description of a hideous stomach bug so he could miss the whole bloody charade.

I have to say, I was lucky to have always been around as my kids grew up and there were lots of pleasurable experiences along the way.

However, none of those pleasures were associated with nativity plays.

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