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Friday, 21 December 2012

Nativity days and plays

There's something about a child with a tea towel wrapped around his head. It gets me every time ...that innocence, that excitement once again the school nativity play is performed.

I watch a nativity, and I have a lump in my throat, remembering my own childhood.....the dizzying heights of playing the Virgin Mary once after paying my my dues for years as a shepherd... remembering my three, playing angels, stars, a chicken.... yes, a chicken and a shepherd . Such wonderful pictures in my mind, such pride as I watched them all every year....and such magic as the age old story is told .

But some parents simply don't get the chance to watch their children perform in the school nativity play. I'm thinking about parents at Edith Weston Primary School in Rutland. Many of them won't be able to watch because they're in the army, stationed as far away as Afghanistan and the Falkland Islands.

I went to the school last week to watch the dress record some of the play and to hear how the children miss their mums and dads at this important time of year.

Luckily, this year, a bunch of volunteers from the amateur film making group, the Leicester Movie Makers,were there to record the special day, a behind the scenes look at the putting on of the school nativity play.

And there was plenty going on behind the scenes...from little one who literally wet himself with excitement to the teacher who shouted "put some smiles on your faces, and fingers out of noses please!"

A teensy bit of tinsel can make anyone feel like a little angel,....

whereas playing an elf can make anyone feel a little jolly and mischievous

But no matter  what part you play, it's hard when your mum or dad can't be there to watch you perform.....and that's why the dvd being made is so important. Copies are being sent out to far flung parts of the world  so that some of  our serving personnel away from home won't miss out on their children's special day, and they 'll be able to talk to them about what happened when they next skype each other.

Click here to hear some of the children...warning ...hanky alert!

As I said earlier, watching any nativity play brings  a lump to my throat ...but this one, this year , brought tears to my eyes too. Those children won't have their parents at home this Christmas, they're so far away. For now.

Today's track is the beautiful, the emotional "So far away" ...I've always admired Carole King and James Taylor...and this is such a fine version from the 1970s.



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