It’s not really a ‘pageant’. That would be an exaggeration. It’s called a ‘Christmas Concert’ but it’s really a lot less than that as well. That’s if last year’s concert is anything to go by.
It’s the Christmas concert that Alfie’s school puts on but there’s so many students they can’t squeeze into the school’s hall so last year they held it out in the quadrangle with the students in the middle and the parents fighting for space around the perimeter. The only trouble was that once you had your rock star position, there was no guarantee your child would be anywhere near you. They could have been positioned around the quadrangle in any point of the compass so stealing a glimpse of them or managing a photo was like divine intervention.
So last year we didn’t see much of Alfie’s performance. And despite the fact it was just some basic actions to a mimed song, Celebrate Good Times, (nothing Christmasy about it), we would have liked a glimpse.
I think some letters of disappointment were forwarded to the principal. This year things seem to have taken a turn for the better. To start with, there are costumes. A few weeks ago Alfie came home with a zip lock bag containing a plain red t-shirt and a small square of green sequined fabric. There was a note attached asking the parent or guardian to use the small green square to put something Christmasy onto the T-shirt.
That filled me with dread.
Because I don’t have a single craft gene in my body and I don’t own a needle and thread let alone a sewing machine.
So I did what I thought everyone else would do and I took that little zip lock bag and its contents down to the Chinese people who altered that Size 2 dress for me and gave them 20 bucks and said I’d be back later in the week to pick it up.
I thought they did a great job. There’s not only a Christmas tree on the front (very Christmasy) but also a little green trim around the neck to heighten the look. I was pleased. Alfie took it to school the next day and when I picked him up I asked him if he had remembered to hand in his costume.
‘Yeah, I did, and the teacher showed it to everyone in the class’.
And I was proud as punch. ‘Oh, she must have loved it’.
‘She shows everyone’s t-shirts to the whole class when they’re handed in’.
‘Oh’, I said a little deflated, ‘But did everyone love it?’
I was shocked. ‘Not really? What do you mean?’
‘It’s just got a tree on it’.
‘Well there was only a small square of fabric. What else could you do with it?’
‘Other mothers had decorated their trees. They bought decorations like little bells and tinsel and glued things onto the tree. Mine’s just plain’.
Every year, in every class, there are those whose mothers just have to raise the bar and their children should be put in a class of their own where their mothers can compete for ‘mother of the year’.
The rest of us are just in survival mode.
If your child does have a lovely teacher (as Alfie does and I know she said nice things about his plain Christmas tree), these Christmas shortbread biscuits make a lovely gift. Normally these are served as little round biscuits but I couldn’t resist my Christmas cookie cutters. Shortbread is so delicious on its own that it doesn’t need added sweetness or decoration but I gave my trees and stars just a little touch of silver bling.
Again, this is something my mother would serve at her Christmas Drinks.
Mum’s Christmas Shortbread.
Degree of Difficulty: 2/5
Cost: Very minimal. If you don’t have all the ingredients in your pantry, it will only cost you a few dollars to purchase them.
Preheat oven to 140C (280F)
- 1/2 lb of flour (225g)
- 1/2 lb butter (225g)
- 2 ozs cornflour (57g)
- 4 ozs icing sugar (115g)
Work all ingredients together. Roll out and cut into fingers and bake in oven for around 15 minutes or until lightly golden.