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Just before Christmas, I spent an hour with my brother and sister in law. Nothing amazing about that I hear you all cry. We do it all the time. Yes I know, but this time we were together to watch my 6 year old niece in her school Nativity play. It was such a brilliant afternoon, and my niece enjoyed it as much as we did, because there was no pressure on her, as her mum and dad are so laid back they are virtually horizontal. I cannot imagine how proud they must have felt, I was tearful, so I can only imagine what I will be like when my daughter is of the age to be in her own Nativity play. This was not the case for all of the parents though. Some of the parents nearly came to blows with each other over whose child put in the best performance, and how their little prince or princess was robbed of the starring role. In fact some of the children had clearly been forced into the limelight to satisfy their parents needs. The bickering adults were a separate performance in themselves! It was sad because they had missed the whole point of the play, and that is to celebrate Christmas, and the true meaning of it. My niece was fascinated with the story of Joseph and Mary when she first learned it, and although I am not religious, I think it is a nice story for children to know. Try your hardest to be there for your child?s play, it will mean the world to them. We checked with the teachers that it was okay to take photos, and it was so we will have some lasting mementos. The teachers even organised the children at the end for a photo shoot, and they loved every minute of it, and they had more standing ovations than I could remember to count. I have never seen so many faces light up. If your son or daughter is featuring in the play, try not to make it a huge deal, especially if they fluff their lines. There was one little boy who made a mistake, and the look on his mother?s face was one of disgust, and it was all I could do go over and tell her that he had done his best and she should praise him to the high heavens, as I bet that little boy runs a million miles when they are asking for people to take part next year. This is what Christmas is all about, and for that short space of time we forgot about the commercialism and we were treated to some innocent and to be honest very impressive performances, where the only egos were the parents in the audience. Also if you have some spare time on your hands, the school may appreciate it if you approach them and ask if they need any help with costumes etc. My sister in law helped with the wise men, and she said it really made her feel part of it all. I hope you all had a lovely Christmas, and all the best for the New Year.
Its a cold afternoon two weeks before the end of the winter term, standing in a church with a camcorder in my hand. I cant stop my hands from shaking, not because of the cold. But because my eyes are that full of tears, I cant see. Not tears of pain, or worry but tears of joy, happiness and a sense of pride. Now you might think I gone soft, but no I havent. Your child's Nativity play is one of those precious moments in which you cant miss. They only do it for a few years as by the time they go into Juniors they don't do nativity play as such, its more of a carol service. A nativity play is usually the first time in which your child comes in contact with the religious aspect of Christmas. Usually is very simplified and has many variations to the story but the children play out the basic story of how Jesus was born to Mary. With children starting nursery as young as 3 years of age and going through to school, I feel the Nativity play is a very important aspect for any child and parents alike. Regardless of whether, as a parent/ carer, you have no religion, you should still make sure that your child knows the true meaning of Christmas. Even those how havent got a Christian faith but another, should open themselves up and let their children know that there are many religions and beliefs in this world. Children are very open to ideas and if guided the right way, can have an open mind with this world we live in. Any child shouldn't be forced to take part in an acting role in the play but even if they are an angel. cattle or a star, they are involved, building confidence and most all they will enjoy it. Jessica had come home one afternoon mid November after nursery and told me that they had Been singing and practicing a play about Mary and Joseph. I asked her about Jesus and she promptly got told " Jesus hasn't been born yet!" Out of mouth of babes and innocence .Umm maybe. Anyway, she also told me she was a wise kin g and she had a camel to go trot trot trotting along the stage with. I thought aww bless her, but I didnt think that she was actually doing anything in the play as although she is very confident, she plays shy. That night in the bath I could hear her singing "Twinkle Twinkle" and various other songs and my heart started to melt. For two weeks I kept hearing this angelic, but slightly out of tune voice floating about my house. Singing songs and playing with her toys reenacting what she had learned that day. Tim took a half day from work to come to the church to see Jessica in her Nativity play. He wouldnt of missed it for the world. Tim had Lucy on his lap but if the younger ones do start making a fuss there is a small play pen at the back with a few toys in to keep them occupied. Lucy was really good though so she stayed on his lap for the hour. I'm not surprised she stayed still, she wasn't well and came down with a cold that morning. Lucy was streaming and could of done with going to bed but she snuggled into Tim's coat. I took Jess around the back of the church were all the children were gathered to slip their customs on. Some had already got ready and I could feel the tears welling by looking at them. Being a deeply emotional person, I'm easily touched, but this sight would of made an ogre's heart melt. After kissing Jess good-bye, I went back to the pews and got the camcorder out. If you want to video your child's nativity play, the best place is to sit about 3 pews back but right against the wall. This gives you the fullest sight range without being one of those annoying parents that moves every time a child moves. I was so conscious that I was in someone's way but most other parents are ok as long as your not standing in their way. Most church don't mind videoing inside the church for the Nativity. But if the church that yours is held at doesn't allow it, try not to make a big deal of it. Respect the decision and just take photos instead. Some schools ( ours didnt) ask someone to video the nativity and then reel them off so you can buy them. They are usually cheap to buy if they do this and the money goes back into the school funds. The whole church went silent as the children came out of the vestry. The reception class first who were dressed up in blue and had banners which looked like a lake. The nursery class followed. some dressed as stars, shepherds, snowman, kings and of course Mary and Joseph. I could feel the lump in my throat already and now as I'm recalling this sweet memory, I'm almost in tears. They all sat down facing the stage while a few of the reception sang a song about stars. I fact Jess is sitting at the table singing it now. The whole story was a little boy called Jack who saw a star, wanted to catch it but it lead him to Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus. At the end there was also a little play about Santa and snowmen and then they all sung, " Wish you a Merry Christmas." Most children of this age can be very shy, not because of their personality but mainly because they can see all these people and even this young age they are conscious of "performing" Make sure when you sit a watch a nativity play, you clap after each part. You can see their whole faces light up when they know you appreciate their play. I know its tempting but try not to wave at your child as they are performing, it can put them off. Saying that I lovely smile works wonders in telling your child that you know they are there. Jess, was indeed a King, on a hobby-house, which was pretending to be a camel and she sang her heart out with the two other lads. I have no idea why she wanted to be a King, her teacher told me that she just wanted to be one, so I think that was lovely to see them for filling that. I can't believe that my daughter, once a helpless dependent baby, is now a confident three and a half year old who looked so grown up. My heart swells with pride everything I picture her there on the stage. I even set off crying, when one of her friends at the start sang on her own. Josephine who is four and a half and goes full time after Christmas, was wonderful. Needless to say when I got home and watched my recording, it was shaking in some places but that didnt matter. Its a lovely keepsake to have and I've watched it many time over the last few weeks. Of course the nativity play doesn't just bring tears of joy and a swell in the hearts but it brings laughter too. There is always something that happens which provokes some rumbles of laughter. Usually its something unplanned, something spontaneous and that's what having children is all about. What made me chuckle was when Santa came to the snow covered fields to take a snowman home for Christmas pie. They all said Ho Ho at the end of each line. Well Zoe who was Santa, shouted an extra Ho Ho on her own. Rumbles of laughter came from the parents then she did it every time. I can't really do this justice on paper or opinion but to see them all chuckling is so sweet. After the play was finished, the head of the school came on and praised the children up even further. It was lovely to see that the head actually talked to the children, not down at them. Each section of children, the stars, the snowman, the kings etc. stood up and was applauded. W were asked to go around the sit of the church when we were ready to collect our children, that way they would know each child had found their parent. So you see the true meaning of Christmas comes not from giving and receiving presents, but from the shear joy of seeing others enjoying themselves at this time of year. Some times as an adult, you lose sight of what Christmas is all about but you do gain it back when you have children At the top on my profile page there is a saying which I found on the net.. "Its your p resence that children need at Christmas, not presents" Remember this .....the true meaning of Christmas. I hope you all have a brilliant Christmas and an even better new year.
It wouldn’t be Christmas without the round of Christmas Nativity Plays. Proud Mums and Dads troop to the schools to see their young ones strut their stuff on stage. My first experience was when my oldest daughter (now 13) was in her Nursery nativity play. The Christmas music was playing gently in the background; the kids were getting ready in an adjacent classroom, as the Mams and the Dads sat excitedly. We knew she was playing an angel and awaited her big entrance, she moved onto the stage looked up ready to say her first ever line. Looking up and seeing all the smiling faces looking at her, she immediately burst into tears crying for her mum, her first chance of stardom gone. The rest of the play was spend on her mams knee in the audience. As an afternote her shyness has now gone and is a member of the school drama club. But over the years we have had many a good laugh at nativity plays as the child’s innocence shines through. We have had the Innkeeper who told Joseph there was no room at the Inn but the hotel down the road had plenty of room as his Mam and Dad had just booked a room there for a dirty weekend! One of the three kings who brought Jesus, Frankenstein as a gift. The donkey in the stable that barked like a dog when nobody was watching Mary who dropped Jesus on his head and the list goes on. But each little mistake like that makes the Nativity play worth while. Brings a lump into the throats of Mams and Dads sitting in the audience. Christmas isn’t Christmas without the nativity play; long may they go on.
My little girl is 4 years old.This year will be her first nativity play and I cant wait.To see your child in such a magical play is so wonderful to me. We dont know what part she will play as the teachers have so many little ones to find parts for,better them than me. I am sure they will all look great and feel very proud of themselves.The little smiles on their faces and the sparkle in their eyes will make my christmas complete for me. Children can be so funny even if they dont mean to be but if it wasnt for the children what fun would christmas be! Every child is so precious,it doesnt matter how old they are.In a mothers eyes they will always be our little baby. This first nativity play will always be cherished by all the parents and grandparents. For me I will always remember the day that my little girl stood on stage with the magic of christmas all around her and a song in my heart! Happy christmas everyone! Update!! Well yesterday the nativity play went ahead. We had a power cut and had no lights but the children all looked beautiful and did us parents proud. There was a few giggles but they put there hearts into it and really enjoyed themselves.At the end when everyone clapped those little faces all lit up like little stars. The teachers did a brilliant job and the children really did capture the spirit of christmas!