Has Baby Jesus finally grown up?

Is the traditional nativity now all about dancing camels and laughing lobsters?

Fairies, Aliens, Elvis Presley and even recycling bins, this is how some schools do it.

But here in Gloucestershire, they like to keep things traditional, with a snippet of dancing camels and laughing lobsters.

Nicky Farrow, a teacher at Naunton Primary School said:

“Sometimes the story gets lost, and that is the nativity story, some years we can get so far away from it. We ask the children what is the away in a manger story, and they will just look at us blankly because they will remember the hopeless camel that couldn’t find his way to Bethlehem but cant remember the away in a manger bit so it is all about balance.

This traditional story will forever be an underlying theme of the Christmas nativity shows. But, is the show for education purposes?

“It’s about the story, and the reason Christmas is, it’s the history and the RE (Religious Education). Also, for us, it’s about the performance and about being part of a group, being part of an audience, dancing, singing and telling the story.

We are lucky here, and do a lot of performing so each year group will do a performance each year so they see it as the norm and get very used to being up and down off the stage.”

We spoke to the children of Naunton Primary School too about their favourite part of doing the shows, and rather unsurprisingly, their favourite thing is the singing and dancing.

“Our favourite thing is the songs, as they are very joyful.”

The nativity show has changed over the years, as elements of the Nativity have been altered. The Guardian reported that The Pope’s book, ‘Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives’ revealed that no animals, such as an Ox or Donkey, were in the manger at the time of the birth.

The Pope said:”In the gospels, there is no mention of animals.”

The film industry is putting its own spin on the story, as they take a new modern twist to explain the story in the 21st Century.

Director Debbit Issitt took a new approach to the Nativity story in her 2009 blockbuster, a film that uses song and dance to tell the story about the birth of baby Jesus. With actors such as Martain Freeman, and Marc Wootton featuring in the film, it brings a comedy element to the nativity.

Words by Amber Griffin and Natalie Bradshaw.

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