It’s that time of year again.  Children have been busy practicing their songs.  Parents have been frantic trying to pull together camel costumes.  Teachers are preparing for organised chaos and (I imagine) doing a lot of holding their heads in their hands.  It’s nativity season.


Nativity Children

Image Source: Wikipedia

“Never work with animals or children” is a well used phrase for good reason.  Come performance day who knows what your little angel is going to do! Whether your child has the starring role or has been cast as a sand dancer (what’s a bloody sand dancer?) no nativity is complete without the following children…


The Cryer: They may have been practicing for weeks, and they may have been super excited about their performance, but when the day comes the pressure is too much for them.  They will spend the entirety of the performance sobbing.  It could be an Oscar worthy performance in itself, with full on shoulder shaking, lip quivering and wailing.  If you are the parent of The Cryer be prepared for lots of sympathetic looks, whispers of ‘ahh bless’, and a stabbing guilt feeling that only a child can inflict on their parents.


The Flasher: A captivated audience is the perfect opportunity for any child to become an exhibitionist.  For some Flashers it might be a flash of the belly.  For others it maybe a lift of the skirt.  But at worst it’s every parent’s nightmare, it’s the full on, no holes barred, naked bottom flash.  If you’re the parent of that kid, the best course of action is to pretend you’re not the parent of that kid.


The ShouterYou know the one.  They shout every line.  To every song.  As loud as they possibly can.  The whole school can hear them.  The audiences initial amusement quickly turns to disapproval.  Oh the shame of being the parent of The Shouter!  The ground is probably not going to open up and swallow you, despite your desperate pleas.  The only grown-up thing to do is hide.


The Nose Picker: It’s like they are mining for gold up there or something.  The audience can’t help but stare.  The tension mounts as they find their treasure and you watch with bated breath to see what their next move is.  Will they wipe it on their clothes?  Will they wipe it on someone else’s clothes?  Will they be feeling peckish?  You will spot the parents of The Nose Picker doing frantic “get your finger out of your nose” mimes and turning a festive shade of red.  The Nose Picker is oblivious to their parents and anything else other than what they are ferreting around for in their nostrils.


The Fidgeter: This kid may well have ants in their pants because they cannot sit still for toffee.  Whilst all the other kids are sitting beautifully, The Fidgeter will be doing anything but.  There will be exaggerated arm stretch yawns, yanking at costumes, shaking of head wildly for no apparent reason, and shuffling side to side in moves not dissimilar to the wee wee dance.  If The Fidgeter belongs to you, be prepared to use the phrase “I don’t know where they get their energy from”.  A lot.


The Waver:  This kids enthusiasm for seeing Mummy and Daddy knows no bounds.  As soon as they spot their beloved parents they start waving and mouthing “hi Mummy, hi Daddy”.  It’s cute and The Waver’s parents give a little wave back. But then the performance starts and the waving continues.  And The Waver’s parents have to keep waving back.  If they don’t The Waver becomes more frantic, the waves get bigger, the “hi” gets louder.  If their waves are not acknowledged they begin shouting “MUMMY, I’M HERE” and jumping up and down.  The parent’s of The Waver have no place to hide.


The Star:  This one can be spotted mainly by their costume.  The Star’s parents have been working on this for months and spared no expense.  This is no cobbled together from the contents of the airing cupboard and poundland job.  The Star delivers their lines perfectly.  Mummy and Daddy can be spotted in the audience mouthing the lines too and positively glowing with pride.  They are going straight home to Google the fees for the Sylvia Young Performing Arts school.  Don’t hate these slightly smug parents.  Give them their moment of glory.  Next year The Star  will probably have other ideas!


Which child was yours?


For my little star, who walked off stage after his first Nativity performance shooting webs into the audience ala Spiderman!


Check out this shouter, and yes that is a real baby Jesus!


Merry Christmas. Make me feel all festive by sharing this post πŸ™‚


This post was featured on Mumsnet and Huffpost.


Check out these other festive posts…

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49 Comments on Nativity Children

  1. Suzanne
    December 10, 2016 at 6:46 am (1 month ago)

    I think my daughter is all of them (except the star – she’s never going to have an amazing costume). We’re going to her first nursery carol concert on Wednesday – I’m looking forward to the nose-picking, flashing, waving extravaganza! #fridayfrolics

  2. Twin Pickle
    December 10, 2016 at 4:22 am (1 month ago)

    Hahaha. Brilliant. My daughter used to be a bit of a flasher, but these days I’d say is more of the nose picking waver. #FridayFrolics

  3. Helen
    December 9, 2016 at 4:07 pm (1 month ago)

    Oh this is so true! I am normally at work during the wonderful nativity performances, every year there’s a kid that’s remembered for something specific. I remember a shouter we had one year, his one line was ‘Full’ but he added a good ‘ah’ on the end so it was ‘Fulllllah’ at the top of his voice. He’s long gone now but every year I think of him when the line is read, no one cared about having to say the word ‘full’ in all their life! #FridayFrolics
    Helen recently posted…The highs and lows of TuesdayMy Profile

  4. Laura - Threesypeasy
    December 9, 2016 at 1:56 pm (1 month ago)

    Hahaha. All of my three have stared in the nativity today I had one pulling silly faces and waving, the star who sulked all the way through and another who looked like he was going to cry! It hilarious! #Friday frolics

  5. Emma Island Living 365
    December 9, 2016 at 10:30 am (1 month ago)

    Ahaha, we have had the flasher and the shouter so far. In her first year at school Oldest shouted at the Headteacher that it was unacceptable that she had been shoved on the back row (because she is so tall) because she was able to do the gestures to the song. She shouted this at the Headteacher as she was trying to make her speech about what a lovely play it had been etc. I was mortified! Everyone else thought it was funny :-/ #FridayFrolics
    Emma Island Living 365 recently posted…The Mother Feminist with Kat from Candyfloss & DreamsMy Profile

  6. Chilli Regina
    December 9, 2016 at 10:14 am (1 month ago)

    hahaha…mine were cryers at the first year and then my son moved to a category, you don’t have – The silent one ;)))- a child who just stands there, looks around and doesn’t make a sound (maybe giggles from time to time and moves his lips in beat);) my daughter is def a star, but I don’t make costumes – she does!!:) #fridayfrolics

  7. Fran Back With a Bump
    December 9, 2016 at 6:36 am (1 month ago)

    Mine was none of these thankfully but then not did we get a nativity but Christmas Across Europe. Theres always one who forgets their words too. That was me aged about 8. All I had to say was “a baby is born”. Far less than what my own 8 year old stood up and said!! #fridayfrolics
    Fran Back With a Bump recently posted…Review: Pick n MeltMy Profile

  8. Nicole - Tales from Mamaville
    December 8, 2016 at 11:28 pm (1 month ago)

    Still not experienced this aspect of parenting… but omg this post had me snorting! Loved it.

  9. Baby Anon / Michelle G
    December 8, 2016 at 8:37 pm (1 month ago)

    I recognise a lot of these categories from my own school days – and they’re spot on! My tot is too young for nativity but I have a feeling she’s be a nose picker or a shouter. Dreading the day when I have to start making costumes #fridayfrolics

  10. Mudpie Fridays
    December 6, 2015 at 10:19 pm (1 year ago)

    Lol this is hilarious! Thankfully there seems to be no nativity at Monkeys nursery, although I am sure we will have the pleasure next year at school! I think he’s most likely to be a flasher!! #FartGlitter xx
    Mudpie Fridays recently posted…Small Clanger Comes to VisitMy Profile

  11. Lucy at occupation:(m)other
    December 3, 2015 at 9:19 pm (1 year ago)

    Oh this just fills me with horror…what if I have the nose picker!! I’m more likely to have the shouter I think. My son’s two and a half, I’ll worry on a bit longer! #coolmumclub
    Lucy at occupation:(m)other recently posted…Peace On Earth?My Profile

  12. mummuddlingthrough
    December 3, 2015 at 7:59 pm (1 year ago)

    Hi! Love this – our Tigs is a sheep in her first ever nativity next week. I wonder what she’ll be?! Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub x
    mummuddlingthrough recently posted…#coolmumclub Linky week 9My Profile

  13. Melissa
    December 1, 2015 at 1:46 am (1 year ago)

    oh it was so embarrassing I had the fidgeter!! and I tried SO HARD to have the star! Hahahaha!! This was an awesome post.

  14. Mama, My Kid Doesn't Poop Rainbows
    November 30, 2015 at 11:29 am (1 year ago)

    Haha, as a teacher this is all very familiar. At least when they’re little everyone’s secretly hoping for something to go wrong , provide a laugh and ease the monotony. It’s when you’re class of older kids messes up that life gets stressful fast.

    Thanks for linking up to #fartglitter x

  15. Mama Zen
    November 28, 2015 at 12:34 pm (1 year ago)

    Hahaha love it!! My son (and me) sound just like the shouty girl in the video. I am treated to Christmas song rehearsal by both my little cherubs every morning. They have been ‘rehearsing’ since July. I particularly like the angelic version of jingle bells that they like to sing on crowded buses replacing ‘Jingle bells’ with poo bum bum #FridayFrolics.
    Mama Zen recently posted…Dear Board Of ParentingMy Profile

  16. jeremy@thirstydaddy
    November 27, 2015 at 4:49 pm (1 year ago)

    I can’t wait for my daughter’s dance recital. I have a feeling “the star” is going to be in full effect
    jeremy@thirstydaddy recently posted…The Best HolidayMy Profile

  17. Jessica Powell
    November 27, 2015 at 3:08 pm (1 year ago)

    Haha, love this! I still have it all to come – and all I can remember about my own is being so bored. Background extra just wasn’t challenging enough when I could have been at home in front of the TV… πŸ™‚ #FridayFrolics
    Jessica Powell recently posted…Tippitoes Vibrating BouncerMy Profile

  18. Charlene
    November 27, 2015 at 1:56 pm (1 year ago)

    Awww this is still to come for me. I was definitely half cryer, half waver. I also played the donkey two years running πŸ™‚ #FridayFrolics

  19. hannah mum's days
    December 19, 2014 at 12:28 am (2 years ago)

    Man! I wish I’d read this before we went to Gabby’s Nativity this week – I would have made sure we got a better seat – I couldn’t see any of this from where I was sitting and it sure would have been more entertaining than listening to it – it was all in Spanish. An impressive display but a bit dull for non-speakers!

    Thanks for linking up to #TheList xxx

  20. Lifeloveanddirtydishes
    December 17, 2014 at 11:57 am (2 years ago)

    Well H had his nativity yesterday. All the kids did so well and there was many a proud parent and lots of happy tears. H himself was brilliant. He sand his song with such concentration on his face. He did all his dance moves. He was perfect. Then everyone clapped and he started pretending to be Spiderman and shooting webs out into the audience! Loved my little Superhero!

  21. Honest Mum
    December 17, 2014 at 9:12 am (2 years ago)

    Haha so true, love this! My son’s crown fell off a few times but the teacher helped it get back on and I might have cried, the nativity was so touching! Thanks for linking up to #brilliantblogposts x

  22. Jenny @ Let's Talk Mommy
    December 13, 2014 at 9:59 pm (2 years ago)

    Hahah this is brilliant I just couldn’t stop nodding and laughing as we just watched our son’s first play at nursery for Christmas and there was one of every one on this list. hahaha Great post. Thanks for linking up to Share With Me Happy Holidays! #sharewithme

  23. mama Blueberry
    December 13, 2014 at 7:16 pm (2 years ago)

    This is a fantastic post really made me laugh. I look forward to our sons first ever nativity next week and wonder which one he will be.

    • Lifeloveanddirtydishes
      December 14, 2014 at 11:08 am (2 years ago)

      Whichever he is you will be beaming with pride and shedding some tears. It’s one of my favourite parts of Christmas!

  24. MummysCrochetWorld
    December 12, 2014 at 10:11 pm (2 years ago)

    We have the nativity play for my eldest next week, I will be keeping an eye out for each of these! #thelist

  25. pottymouthedmummy
    December 11, 2014 at 11:28 am (2 years ago)

    Ha this is amazing. I am yet to reach nativity age, I can’t wait!!! xx

  26. Mij
    December 10, 2014 at 8:13 pm (2 years ago)

    Dd1 is Closet Director. So invested in the show and consequently so concerned that everyone else is doing what they should be doing, she misses her own cue, gets a prompt and then collapses in sobbing despair that she ruined the entire show as soon as she’s off stage. No one else noticed of course.

    DD2 is Mary Poppins: practically perfect in every way. Straight back, head held high, knows every word of every song despite barely mentioning rehearsals beforehand. Not a star though: just the perfect supporting cast member. Every parent wants to shove her off the rostra.

    • Lifeloveanddirtydishes
      December 10, 2014 at 9:19 pm (2 years ago)

      I think my son might be a closet director too. I will find out on Tuesday πŸ™‚

  27. Emma
    December 10, 2014 at 4:40 pm (2 years ago)

    Although its not on the list,Mine has always been “the confident speaker”,I’m sure a career as a politician or public speaker beckons!

    • Lifeloveanddirtydishes
      December 10, 2014 at 9:18 pm (2 years ago)

      It’s a good skill to have. Not one that you can necessarily teach either. Must be born with it πŸ™‚

  28. Lattes and Little Ones
    December 10, 2014 at 1:49 pm (2 years ago)

    You had me giggling throughout! Well my three children definitely covered a few of those! You hit the nail on the head – nativity chaos, stress and excitement often ending with overwhelmed tears and cries of “I want to come home with you Mummy!!” – ah the Christmas spirit! Great post πŸ™‚

    • Lifeloveanddirtydishes
      December 10, 2014 at 2:02 pm (2 years ago)

      Thanks. They are cute though. When one of my best friends was small she was a Shepard. Her headdress fell over her eyes as she walked on stage and she tripped over baby Jesus!

  29. annaethain
    December 10, 2014 at 3:12 am (2 years ago)

    Brilliant! I was the nose-picker according to my mum, lets hope the boy does not take after me πŸ™‚

    • Lifeloveanddirtydishes
      December 10, 2014 at 8:18 am (2 years ago)

      You can’t help but shed a tear no matter what they do πŸ™‚

  30. gluestickmum
    December 10, 2014 at 1:32 am (2 years ago)

    I have been the parent of (depending on the year):
    – the crier (nursery school caroles)
    – the waver (every year, but only minimally)
    – the star…but only by default as she was meant to be the back end of the camel, but got promoted when the front end refused to wear tights and became the crier. :-/ I had to stand up during the performance holding cue cards as, when you’ve practised nothing more taxing than putting your head near somebody else’s arse and tried not to fall off the stage you don’t tend to bother with learning the script.
    – the nose-picker. The promoted-camel’s twin sister, sat front and centre as very important triangle-player. And you can’t mime ‘stop picking your nose!!!’ when you’re already juggling cue cards!
    Normally I’m the parent of the there-was-a-[insert dubious role]-in Nazareth?/narrator. Which translates as ‘your child is no star’ with the add-on of narrator being ‘but at least they can read’. As said parent you have to smile graciously and find something positive to say about their single line.
    Still, I love a nativity and cry every time. Even when they’re not my children.

    • Lifeloveanddirtydishes
      December 10, 2014 at 8:20 am (2 years ago)

      Ha ha, love it. H’s first year at playschool he was the cryer. His second year he was the flasher, he just kept lifting up his t-shirt and showing his belly to everyone! He is now in reception at school. He knows all the songs, but who knows what will happen on performance day next week!


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