People say Christmas is great because you get to be a kid again. I think this generally refers to being excited and playing games, not to the fighting with your siblings and eating so much you’re sick.

Of all the Christmas rituals, one of my favourites is the Nativity, especially when I get to play too. I was never Mary or an angel when I was a kid, and now I naturally gravitate to the role of shepherd – blunt, to the point and rough-and-ready is more me than pure and sweet and holy or pretty, glowy and aloof.

Last year at the chapel down the hill from my parents’ house, we were invited to dress up and ‘experience what the different characters in the Christmas story might have felt’. It all got a little bit silly unfortunately. It’s hard to be serious with a tea towel on your head.

Last Sunday, the children were invited to dress up again. And ‘any adults who want to come’ were mistakenly invited too.

In the absence of enough tea towels, I fashioned myself a shepherd-style turban out of a scarf.

I felt like I was well in character. Even if I did look like a div. It’s only once a year after all…


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