Monday, 12 December 2016

Christmas memory

John at Going Gently asked for Christmas Memories and I have added a couple there, but here is another one.

Every year my kid's school put on Christmas plays, the Nativity in the Infants school and something Christmassy in the Juniors and most kids got to take part. The lead parts always went to the Chair of the PTA's two daughters, a pair of poisonous and spiteful little cows, both of them.

Every year we parents were sent a list of the items we needed to provide for our child's part in the play, and woe betide if the costume wasn't up to snuff. We parents were told off by the PTA chairperson and our kids were belittled by her daughters.

One year we had a new family join the school during the winter term, they had two children a boy of eight and a five year old daughter. Dad was a quiet unassuming sort of chap, mummy was rather strange, sort of Alpha mummy on speed!

Well Alpha mummy took umbrage at her children not getting starring roles and kicked off big time, eventually, tired of being harangued by Alpha mummy the Head agreed to the five year old being given the part of Mary in the infant Nativity play. The ensuing row rumbled on for years between the mothers, well into secondary school.

Alpha mummy was not able to obtain the starring roll for her son, either the Junior school Head was made of sterner stuff or, more likely, she was more afraid of the PTA chairperson. The son was given the role of a non-speaking rocking chair. Don't ask! The son had obviously assumed he was destined for acting greatness. I would never have believed it was possible to overact the part of a rocking chair, but it was, and he did.

He rocked repeatedly, he creaked loudly and then he rocked some more. The audience was transfixed, no-one could hear the carefully learned lines of the other players. No-one could concentrate on anything apart from when this miniature Marlon Brando would next rock or creak. People started to snigger, I was sat next to Alpha mummy, this was not how she had envisaged stardom for her son. She glared, she hissed, she flapped her hands. All to no avail, her son creaked and rocked throughout the entire duration of the thirty minute play.

It was the best school play I've ever watched!


justjill said...


galant said...

Oh, Hester, a truly brilliant post! I'll bet John never envisaged such a treat of a post when he requested Chirstmas memories, but boy, has he got it here. In spades!
Margaret P

Linda Metcalf said...

It must be the same everywhere. My great granddaughter was a sheep last year...while most of the other little girls wore their gold sequined dresses and halos. But needs must and they did need sheep. She was the most adorable sheep ever ;)

Joy said...

I won't bore you with tales of nativity plays I have produced with primary school children. One day I WILL write the book.
The first one that comes to mind is when I issued the main parts and told all the other children that they could choose which animal in the stable that they would be.

We had 3 sheep, a donkey, 2 cows and a gorilla.

I always chose the lumpiest, most unprepossessing girl to be Mary, knowing that it might be the only time in her life that she had a starring role. Joseph was always pretty naughty, for the same reason. One year Joseph and Mary had a huge fight nearly tearing the Baby Jesus limb from limb in the process. It ended when Mary kicked Joseph so viciously that he ran howling into the audience to find his mum.
Another Joseph was the son of the local publican and his dressing gown was made out of towelling beer mats. That year Joseph arrived in Bethlehem advertising Watneys, Double Diamond and Stella Artois.

Oh, stop me.

Margie from Toronto said...

OMG - Hester & Joy - I'm in stitches giggling over these stories! Thank you both.

Hard up Hester said...

Oh please write your book Joy.
And then there was the time I sat up all night making 24 sets of angel wings from net curtains as one of the mums donated a full roll of fabric to playgroup so all the little girls and some boys could be angels.
And the time I used a Matey bottle sprayed gold as one of the Wise Men's gifts, I stuck fruit gums on it to look like jewels, and the boy carrying it picked them all off and ate them, baby Jesus received a somewhat denuded gift that year!


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