It's that time of year again: mums and dads jostling for position and grannies overcome with emotion. Yes it's the school nativity play. What could possibly go wrong? Quite a lot, according to posters on TES forums.
"The funniest nativity story was a colleague's four-year-old daughter coming home very upset as her friend was an angel in the play, but she was only a radiator. Mum was very confused. She later found out she had meant narrator!"
"First on are 39 three-year-old snowflakes - they sing a counting song and 'dance', which involves going round and round. In the end they started staggering and falling over like very short drunks because they were spinning too fast and nearly fell off the stage."
"Mary taking the baby Jesus with her to Bethlehem even though He wasn't born yet - she refused to let go of him."
"One little boy was an innkeeper and when asked 'is there any room at the inn?' replied 'Yes, come in!'."
"Having had the courage of my SEN convictions, I had given our school 'thug' the role of innkeeper, hoping to increase his self-esteem and improve his social relationships. Remaining determinedly silent throughout rehearsals, we despaired of getting him to say anything. We encouraged him to just say 'sorry' or 'no room here'. However, on the day of the performance he blossomed before the audience, marched out of the 'door' and proclaimed to everyone: 'Folks like you who leave it to the last minute make me sick, now **** off'. 20 years later I still haven't managed to top that one."
"When the time came for the birth of baby Jesus, the lights were dimmed and what was supposed to happen was that Mary would bring out the doll which had been strategically hidden in some straw. Unfortunately this was the second performance and a helpful parent had tidied away the baby Jesus between the two performances. There was a pause and then lots of straw could be seen flying in the air accompanied by wails of 'I've lost baby Jesus!'"
"My daughter was in preschool when she was Mary. The 'baby' was strategically placed behind her chair - the assistant enthusiastically pushed it through - it shot off the stage into the audience and my daughter, looking shocked, said 'Wow that was quick!', which left the audience in hysterics."
"We had 'Away in a manger, no crisps for a bed, the little Malteser lay down his sweet head'."
"I was introducing the story of the nativity to the children. I got to the part where Gabriel appeared to the shepherds. Me: 'What do you think Gabriel said to the shepherds?' 'Sit on the carpet and listen,' replied one little boy."
"Keen excited voice: 'Look, a star! Shall we follow it?' Bored, fed up voice: 'Yeah I s'ppose, we've nothing better to do'."
"My funniest story was when one of the wise men at rehearsal said to Joseph, 'Your costume looks like pyjamas' and quick as a flash, Joseph answered, 'Of course it's pyjamas, it's nighttime in Bethlehem, EVERYONE is in pyjamas!'
"Not to mention the three kings: two are non-English speaking. We had 'God for the baby', 'incense frank for the baby' and 'murder the baby'."