This wasn't at all the seasonal post I had planned, but here we go - a rather different one from me today!
I had been out having a couple of glasses of mulled wine with an old friend, and was walking home on my merry way. I passed my local church and noticed that people were going in. The notice board showed that in ten minutes the Nativity play would be starting.
I walked past, vaguely tweeting that I had been tempted to pop in. However, I am not someone who likes to regret not doing something, so I swiftly walked back and entered.
Now, I do not come from a religious background, and wasn't christened. I don't believe in God, or a god. But I do love the culture of the nativity.
When I was a primary teacher, I was actually a little bit of a rebel (shock horror I hear you cry). A lot of schools these days no longer teach traditional carols, and there are many 'modern' carols that largely sing about winter and snow. I hate these. What on earth is the point of learning carols that you will never ever hear again once you leave primary school?
So I taught Christmas carols. We would practise them every day of December, and I would send the lyrics home to learn. At one point, my class was the only class who knew any, so we did a mini concert for the rest of the school. Some teachers told me they were worried about getting in some sort of trouble. I explained how ridiculous I thought they were being, and that in my class (where English was not the home language for most of my kids) they all loved it. Carols, and the nativity are simply part of English culture, and it used to make me so cross that so do-gooders somewhere and decided that carols offended people. They simply do not.
At school we celebrated all of the main festivals, and the children were excited by all of them. Christmas is just another cool thing to celebrate, and it saddened me to think there are now many children who simply do not know the traditional carols. Embrace them people! Make sure we continue sharing and loving our carols.
Anyhow, so I watched the nativity and sang every single carol. I have a terrible voice, but I decided to just enjoy it. Working with children makes you lose your fear of singing very quickly! It certainly made me feel Christmassy!
On the way out I decided to give the money I would have spent going out again for another glass of wine tonight and donate it to the night shelter they were collecting for. Charity certainly isn't religious.
Which is your favourite carol? Why not look it up on youtube and have a quick sing song to get you in the seasonal mood? Go on....you know you want to.
Oh, I may have also taught them the lyrics to Mariah Carey's All I Want For Christmas. It's part of our culture now too! Children don't sing enough at school, and watching them forget themselves, and start hugging each other as they sang was certainly magical.
P.s - Once Christmas was over, we all loved singing as a class so much, we continued singing. I may have randomly chosen this song to teach my bunch of 8 year olds.
As well as this one, which would cause most of them to start swaying with their arms around each other. Bless.