Mary has always been a coveted role in the Christmas play.
Parents across England wait for their little daughters to come home as the parts for the Nativity are dolled out. Who can still the flutter in their heart when they hear that their little girl has bagged the prime part?It doesn’t matter if they are staunch atheist; that blue dress and veil on a little tot make her look little short of angelic. She positively gleams.
It doesn’t get much bigger than the mother of Jesus because the Messiah himself is usually played by an aged Tiny Tears Doll wrapped in a festive Christmas old sheet.
In Maddie’s businesslike way, at the age of about six, she went about preparing for what to do, were she ever chosen.
She needed a Mary outfit.
Asking Mummy was a dead loss. Mummy would look at the price of Mary outfits, and calculate that this one would only be worn for one month of the year. Mummy would observe pragmatically that Mary costumes were not available in the local shops, and suggest that Maddie made one out of clothes she already had.
And so, stealthily, Maddie cornered Daddy. And with her biggest, bluest eyes and the certain knowledge that Daddy walked past Hamley’s in London every day, she asked him for a Mary outfit.
The next evening, home came a top-of-the-range Mary outfit: pale blue long dress, darker veil, serene, simple, expensive.
Maddie was in Heaven. The Mary outfit was worn whenever school uniform could be discarded. Civilian wear was a thing of the past as Maddie indulged in method acting of which Larry Olivier himself would have been proud. She was Mary. End of.
Except that Maddie had a little cousin who was blonde and quite enjoyed centre stage, and also coveted the role of Mary.
And what with the family being a close-knit one, Mary would be visiting Mary and playing with Mary on quite a regular basis.
They were, and still are, lovely children: so you must forgive the fierce Marian rivalry which set up between them. It was not uncommon to eavesdrop on the two of them to hear the same cyclical conversation rambling on:
“No, I’m Mary.”
Ad infinitum. By this time Mummies and Daddies were lost in the maelstrom of Christmas preparation, and I confess I did not follow the story and its twists and turns, though I feel sure Maddie could fill me in on them to this day.
But I was there at its conclusion.
We were at Grandma’s house, which was hopping with Christmas action. The knitted Christmas figures were in the crib which was lit by a festive red electric-bulb star. Various children would settle themselves there and rearrange everyone in it. The kitchen was noisy with mothers preparing things, the sitting room filled with affable blokes sipping Christmas beverages.
The meal was wonderful, and it came time to leave. And as we put our coats on to leave the house I became aware of something like a duel going on at waist height.
“No, I’m Mary.”
This last, from The Cousin. And then, no rejoinder from Maddie. I was incredulous. My daughter never forsook a bee once it was in her bonnet. It was not like her to capitulate to another’s Mary-assertion so mildly.
Goodbye, we said, goodbye: and everyone tumbled out of the door.
Maddie last of all.
And that little girl waited until the door was on the point of being closed; and she stuck her head around the door, and she looked directly at her cousin with the light of victory in her eye.
“I’m Mary,” she volleyed. And then slammed the door shut.
And Mary ran down the path, and jumped in her car, and drove far, far away.
35 thoughts on “I’m Mary: A Christmas Eve anti-Nativity story”
The religious internecine struggle has started early!
I know. And all on account of Mary. It was ever thus, Roger.
Maddie has the vital art of timing! 🙂
She nailed it that day, Fiona 😀
That explains eggnog! Something for parents to drink so that they don’t hear anything! Wishing you and your family merry Christmas 🙂
Thanks Tandy, and to you and yours. I am looking forward to tales of Christmas Dinner xx
Such a cute story and Maddie definitely has the talent of good timing down pat. Of course, as an Inspector Clouseau aficionado, inquiring minds want to know who was finally awarded the coveted part of Mary. Perhaps that is another story??
A very Merry Christmas and a Wonderful Holiday Season to you, yours and all your faithful blogees.
Alas, it bypassed our family completely. My sister and I, who suffered the same fate though we both know we would have made beautiful Marys, are unsurprised. Happy Christmas to you, Miss T-K and your family too, Lou!
This also was my question. Sorry Maddie didn’t score the coveted role. I’m positive she would have been brilliant in the part – with, or without, the perfect blue dress.
Brilliant! Way to go Maddie, err I mean “Mary!” and Happy Christmas Kate!
And to you, Rita. Have a wonderful festive season 🙂
Reblogged this on ritaLOVEStoWRITE and commented:
Here’s a little Christmas story from across the pond by blogger Kate Shrewday. (She’s excellent, btw, you should follow her!)
Poor old Joseph… Having two wives… one for each ear 😉 Hilarious story Kate. Happy Christmas to you and yours 🙂
And to you and yours, Martin. Have a lovely break.
She is my kind of woman! Fight to the bitter end! Happy holiday to you all!
😀 Thanks Kate, and to you!
Merry Xmas and Happy Holidays. And may all your Marys be feisty and merry. 🙂
You too, Rafael 🙂
Hahaha! Loved this:
“And as we put our coats on to leave the house I became aware of something like a duel going on at waist height.”
Waist height duels are worthy of note at Christmastide. 😀
They are best viewed over a glass of wine, I find, Nancy 😀 Hope your Christmas is proving merry and bright!
Lovely day from first to last . . . ready to SLEEP LATE tomorrow.
Merry Christmas to you and your family, including, of course, Macaulay and Clive Bond.
Thanks Gale, and to you and yours!
ha ha 🙂 love you Maddie.
I now feel I’ve doubly missed something. We have no nativity plays in school, and we don’t go to church… and alas, I have only small Joseph in my midst.
Or perhaps a wise man?
You have definitely added to my Mary Christmas with this tale!
(Oh, c’mon, SOMEBODY had to say it, so it might as well be me!)
Sounds like something my granddaughter would do! LOL.
Merry Christmas, Kate, to you and your wonderful family.
Merry Christmas, Kate, Phil, Maddie, Felix, Mac and CB.
Have a wonderful day.
Thanks, BB, Hope you had a great day too xx
Maddie was obviously a precocious child. Only six years old, and already wise in the ways of winning arguments and irritating your opponents.
Merry Christmas to the Shrewsdays, Macaulay, Clive Bond, and all.
Aha! That ever-important last word, and in this case, tossed in edgewise. What a sweet story that has surely been and will be again around the Christmas tree.
Maddie certainly know how to make an exit 🙂