18 December 2015
Chances are, you will come across a Nativity this December. I stood aside for a crocodile of diminutive shepherds, a HOST of angels, three kings, Mary and Joseph, of course, and a quantity of woolly animals including a giraffe – and, surprisingly, Mickey Mouse. The troupe wore an assortment of kitchen drawer costumes, principally dusters and tea towels.
Aluminium foil was fashioned into a multitude of stars for the angels. Gabriel’s star was fastened to a stick which he held aloft most of the time; but varied this tiring pose with a good poke at a shepherd of his acquaintance. Mary’s baby Jesus, almost as big as herself, was a large plastic dolly clad in a pink Babygro swaddled in crepe bandage.
Holding hands, quiet as mice and wide-eyed, this rainbow of Fives-and-Unders assembled in the Laurels Care Home to the bemused delight of Residents and Staff. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room when they piped up with Away in a Manger.
What happens between then and now? How many of those Innocents will take the memory of the Christmas crocodile into a church twenty years on? Will they remember then that Christmas means more than a Celebrity Special on TV, the Office Karaoke, or Two Turkeys for the Price of One at the supermarket?
(Surely the angel who carried the Star on the stick won’t forget?)