‘Very special’ – One parent’s inside view of our Woodland Nativity

What a wonderful time at the Woodland Nativity. Mother Christmas, mince pies and mud!

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Arriving at the Forest School site, the first activity was to introduce ourselves. We had, I think, one princess, one robot and several spidermen in the group. Next it was the rules that keep the children safe, then on to setting up the camp and stick hunting for the fire. Craft activities of willow peeling in readiness for roasting marshmallows and preparing oranges for cake making were on offer.

Suddenly, through the trees more people were coming: the younger Woodland Adventurers and other family members. They were swiftly and eagerly given a tour of the Dens, the Pirate Ship and the Bouncy Log. The children showed such pride and pleasure at being able to show off ‘their place’.

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After being beckoned by a song back to the fire circle, hot drinks and mince pies and cakes were gratefully consumed, with much chatter between mouthfuls. Gradually, by the addition of red and white checked tea towels and gold ribbon, boys turned into shepherds and girls into angels. It was time for the Nativity to start.

It had everything a nativity should have: Mary and Joseph, the stable, the star and of course, baby Jesus – a gorgeous 4 week old baby boy, who presented a wonderful photo opportunity and many murmurs of ‘awww’. But it had so much more too: humour, a sense of inclusion for everyone and a lack of pressure on the children or trepidation in the adults. Very special.

Next it was time for the children to receive their gifts from Mother Christmas who was resplendent on her throne in a green velvet gown and red berry headdress. The children gathered round eagerly and were not disappointed with the beautifully wrapped gift.

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The relaxed atmosphere and ease of execution were a testament to very good planning and organisation by the staff, doubly so because everything has to be carried into the woods. It was also heart-warming to watch everyone helping each other in so many small but meaningful ways.

A very special event. Thank you.

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