When the final curtain falls

Nativity play smartphones

We passed another one of those milestone moments yesterday: our final preschool nativity play.

You think you’ll always remember them but three children and five preschool nativity plays later, I find they’ve all rather merged into one. Okay, the year that Toby threw up all over the toilets five minutes before the play was due to start was particularly memorable. I was unceremoniously summoned from the audience to whisk him off home before he spread the illness to anyone else.

But other than that they’re essentially a blur of kids wandering round the house practising their songs for weeks beforehand (until even I know all the words by heart), jostling for a decent line of sight in between all the other parents videoing the play on their smartphones, then idle chit-chat over wine and mince pies afterwards.

Kara nativity play 3

Kara was one of the angels in this year’s production. Now that was an ironic piece of casting if ever there was one, akin to, say, Jack Dee as Mr Happy or Wayne Rooney as Stephen Hawking.

Nonetheless she, like all the children, did a fine job of standing up on stage and performing in front of the assembled audience. That’s pretty impressive for a group of three and four-year-olds. I still have trouble keeping it all together when I stand up to present in front of an audience, and I’ve been doing it for years. And I have Powerpoint to back me up.

It must be doubly nerve-racking for the preschool staff who have been patiently teaching and cajoling the kids in preparation for their big day over the past couple of months. They must have been crossing all their fingers and toes hoping that the group would make it through without dissolving into a teary, tantrum-y mess en masse.

Kara, as is her way, seemed to approach the whole affair with her usual gusto, not at all overawed despite being one of the younger members of her group. She did, however, leave us cracking up with her misinterpretation of the words of Jingle Bells – not so much “making spirits bright” as “making squirrels cry”. Well, it made us laugh, anyway.

At the end of it all, it was a little sad knowing that this was the last time we would watch one of our kids perform at a preschool nativity. Still, next year we’ll have to find space in our diaries for school Christmas performances for all three of them. It never really ends, does it?

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