And so we gathered, in the close confines of the school hall, to witness the greatest story ever told. The scene was set, the assembled parents and grandparents browsed through their programmes for a sign. A sign that an infant within their own midst had started a journey. A journey into the world of school performances. Confirmation was right there in the cast listing.
Things 1 and 2 were angels, as graceful as four-year-olds can be in the company of miscued Magi, sniffing shepherds and a messenger that possessed a helium-conditioned voice, loud enough to perforate a donkey’s eardrums.
A constellation of stars danced in and out of the rehearsed choreography. This was due, in part, to some obvious discomfort felt by a couple of the heavenly bodies. It’s hard to maintain a predictable place in the firmament when your underwear requires more adjustment than Rafa Nadal’s in the moments before match point.
The Innkeepers revelled – perhaps a little too much - in turning Mary and Joseph away, but eventually they were accommodated in the middle of the set, where they received the son of God in a crib that was deftly manoeuvred into place by teacher. Cue those bearing gifts. Which immediately reminded me of a story told by Ken Robinson. When his son landed the role of a wise man in the school nativity, he duly approached Jesus and said, “ I bring gold.” The second wise man knelt and said, “I bring myrrh.” The last in the trio placed his parcel down and cried, “Frank sent this.”
What can I say? We were as proud as punch to watch our two little angels, for once wearing haloes that showed no signs of slipping. But then, that’s tinsel for you!