The misanthrope’s advent calendar – day 14

One that annoys be about christmas – and there are many – is the nativity story. The nativity story play, as performed at primary schools

I mean, whilst it’s fine for children in a ‘not really’ kind of way, it does need a bit of a updating with a dose of reality. We are, after all, a society with the highest teenage pregnancy rate in Europe, so instilling impressionable young minds the patently ridiculous notion of a virgin birth, isn’t possibly the wiset of ideas

Anyway, Mary and Joseph, instead of having to move because of a census requiring them to do so, they could instead be seeking accommodation because they’d been made homeless by a draconian benefits regime. Even though Mary was heavily pregnant, this would cut no ice with Herod, I mean the D.W.P. Instead of finding a room at the inn, they could find it increasingly difficult to find private landlords willing to house welfare claimants. The three wise men would be bearing gifts; they’d be three loan sharks hunting them for unpaid debts.

In this scenario Mary and Joseph would of course have no extended family to assist and of course no savings to draw upon. They would be completely reliant on the State and the State would be in a right state. Eventually Mary would give birth not in a stable, but in a disused garage lockup that Joseph had forced open and instead of the cattle lowing – whatever lowing is – there could instead be the sound of bored teenagers smashing things up in the streets outside.

However, I imagine trying to produce that in a school play might upset a few people.