Over the next few weeks, the parents of school aged children around the U.K. will join in solidarity and sympathy as they endure together yet another school nativity play. I know we all love watching our daughters as angels and sons as shepherds for years and years in a row, but let’s be honest, the other 95% of the play that your child isn’t in is pure torture. So, in preparation, dig out your old hip flask and pray that it holds enough vodka to get you through 45-160 minutes of off-key singing, horrible acting and a good deal of nose-picking.
Every year, the Christmas season is marred by the knowledge that at any moment, the nativity dates will be announced. Inevitably, this calendar killer comes on the exact days previously scheduled for all the most awesome holiday parties. With spite and a slight tear forming in your eyes, you delete all the RSVPs of, “Absolutely! This party is going to be epic.” Then replace them with 250 word profanity filled tirades about the absurdity of the nativity play that ends with, “Does there have to be one every bloody year?!” But then deleted it and simply say, “Can’t make it. Hopefully next year, love.”
Next up is the casting and the costume planning. Now that your plans of getting pissed at Jemma’s “Martinis and Mistletoe” party are ruined, you lean into the nativity hell and hope for a line or two for your kid. Maybe, if you are lucky, all their scenes will be at the beginning so you can sleep through the remaining hour of misery. The costume roulette wheel follows with fear and anticipation as the bagged costume from school comes home. Resist excitement, you know from experience that regardless of what is in that bag, it’s either going to be not sparkly enough for your little angel, a donkey suit that looks more like Chewbacca, or a used tea towel headpiece that still smells of sweat from last year’s occupant. Since your sewing skills are on par with that of a toddler, you pray that your Amazon search for “nativity costume” yields at least one result under £10.
When the day does arrive, don’t be fooled. The lack of a Tardis in the manger scene should not lull you into a false sense of security. This is going to be a shitshow. Remember, this is the school’s punishment for teaching our little arseholes for 3 ½ months since September. Expect a completely erratic story line, jokes that you didn’t realise were meant to be jokes and songs so bad that they stick in your head for years. By the end, you will have literally lost the plot.
So, I propose a toast to all the parents out there with school aged kids. Let’s all raise our full flask in commiseration to this horrendous holiday tradition that will follow us for the next 10-15 years. Cheers! Just make sure you refill the vodka from that sip you just took before the play. You’ll need every drop you can get.