Jesus’ Christmas Party
Red Fox 2008
This is the story of the Nativity, with a twist. It is told from the perspective of the innkeeper who liked nothing more than a good night’s sleep. But this night, just as he got into bed there was a knock at the door. After showing travellers who turn out to be Mary and Joseph to the stable, he shuts the door, climbs the stairs, gets into bed and goes to sleep. Only to be woken by another knock … And so the pattern of his night is established.
This is a quirky view of a traditional tale that could be used in lots of ways in the classroom to investigate the events which underpin Christmas. It’s also an opportunity to help students learn about viewpoint and how circumstances can be perceived differently, depending on our relationship within the context, either as participant or observer. Younger children will enjoy the repetitive text and empathise with the innkeeper’s frustration.
The book has been adapted to a musical, perhaps an alternative to the traditional school Nativity play. Here’s a sneak peek
This is one of my all time favourite Christmas books. I just love the illustrations with the facial expressions, The kings’ crowns jumping off their heads in surprise and the refrain ‘climbed the stairs, got into bed and went to sleep’.
I read it every year at school and am pleased to hear that it has been made into a musical.