It’s that time of year again.  Children have been busy practising 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.

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 some improvisation from the cast.  These are the 9 types of children you see in the nativity…

children you see in the nativity


1 The Cryer 

They may have been practising 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.


2 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.


3 The Shouter

You 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.


4 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?  What if 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.


5 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.


6 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.


7 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!


8 The Superhero

Normally spotted making a flying entrance onto the stage and maybe shooting some webs out into the audience.  If The Supehero is really committed they will refuse to wear anything but their superhero costume.  There’s room for Batman in the nativity, right?  Dad can be easily spotted in the audience.  He’s the one wearing a Batman T-shirt.


9 The Face Puller

Not to dissimilar to the nose picker, just slightly more sociably acceptable.  It’s hard to watch the main action when you are being distracted by the little darling who is poking their tongue out and preparing to be the gurning champion.  Parents of The Face Puller have a fixed grin and can be seen to be occasionally mouthing “stop it”.


Was your child one of these children you see in the nativity?


For my little star, who walked off stage after his first Nativity performance shooting webs into the audience ala Spiderman!  And in his second stomped of stage in a huff after looking for me in the audience, shrugging his shoulders and saying “That’s it!  That’s all I get to do!”


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


Merry Christmas. Make me feel all festive by sharing this post 🙂


Children you see in the nativity was featured on Mumsnet and Huffpost.


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9 types of children you see in the Christmas nativity play. Whether it's the starring role of Mary or Joseph, an angel or a shepard, no nativity is complete without a nose picker and a cryer.


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Claire Kirby

49 Comments on 9 Types of Children You See in The Nativity

  1. 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. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Haha! I used to help with the nativities at my mum’s school – yes, there is ALWAYS a shouter! #fridayfrolics

  12. 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.

  13. 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… 🙂 #FridayFrolics

  14. 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

  15. 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!

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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!

  20. 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 🙂

  21. 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.

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