I read Past Bedtime



Hello, I'm Isobel!



Welcome to I Read Past Bedtime, a blog for 20-somethings finding their way in the world.


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What Your Role in the School Nativity Says About You

As winter approaches and our thoughts turn to Christmastime, mistletoe and wine, is there anything more holy and sacred than the infants' nativity? 

Whilst my memory of my own role in the school production is a little hazy, the image of one of the three wise men tripping on his travelling cloak, bawling his eyes out and having to be carried off stage is one of my personal highlights from when I volunteered at a school a few years ago.

We may not have known it then, but by assigning us the various roles of this timeless production, our teachers were doing more than getting out of having to do P.E. that day - they were earmarking us for a star-studded (or otherwise) future.

I bet I can tell you what kind of person you are by your role in the school Nativity (no prizes for guessing which one is me).


You little swot, Mary - Mr Wilson knew it then and the whole world knows it now, you put the rest of us to shame with your long line of achievements.

You've gone from strength to strength since your stint as Jesus' mother with a degree from a top university (no doubt in something highly practical and world-serving like biomedical science), a long-term adult relationship and a significant chunk of a first mortgage already in the bag.

You're the girl our Mums wish we were. Sniff.


To the unassuming spectator, Jesus is the starring role of any self-respecting Nativity, but you know what, Jesus? Most schools let a plastic doll play this role. Lacking charisma and apparently the ability to walk, you just sit there lapping up the praise while all the other actors make you look good. You're probably still living at home now waiting for Mummy and Daddy to sort your life out for you. Get it together, Jesus.


You wouldn't exactly win an originality prize, but you shepherds aren't a bad sort. Middling at school in everything from looks to academic ability, you're no doubt still struggling to distinguish yourself against a backdrop of alarmingly similar peers now.

But you know what, Shepherd? No one was ever displeased by a mild-mannered boy with an okay sense of humour. Distinction will come once you settle into your own skin. Follow that star.

Wise Man

Rocking block primary colours and glitter way before it was hipster, you're a dude who's not afraid to stand out from the crowd. Not only do you fully embrace your personal style (right on), but you've taken the time to find out who 'you' really are. You've dabbled in everything from veganism to punk rock, and the result is one helluva guy that we can't wait to get to know. You may not be the son of God, but there's no doubt you're the king.


Those big blue eyes might look sweet and innocent, but the persona that got you out of doing chores at home might not cut it in the real world, Angel. The public face of the Nativity, those bouncy curls are still your pride and joy twenty years later. The word 'basic' was invented to describe you - you used to wear Hollister but now it's whatever the Love Islanders put on Insta. Break out of the mould, once in a while, Angel - you might like what you find.


For every four sheep that perform in the school Nativity, three turn out to be non-events working in marketing, but one will always come as a delightful surprise. Jeweller's apprentice, orca trainer, dreadlock-sporting traveller, being the black sheep of the family suits you. You're almost unrecognisable from the days when you covered yourself in cotton wool and PVA glue, but you'll always stay true to your roots.


Being chosen to play the school donkey isn't the future social suicide you might expect, especially if you teamed up with a mate in the ol' two person costume. Your teamwork, sense of humour and zest for life weren't overlooked in your youth, and are no doubt serving you well in a top management career now. Childhood donkeys always have time for their friends as adults. If only there were more like you around.

Carol Singer

People might not have know who you were, but let's face it, you were the back bone of this whole damn operation! Your rosy red cheeks were the true spirit of Christmas then and now, and boy, did you sing your little heart out. Spreading the warmth of Christmas in an increasingly hostile world is no easy task, but you, little Carol Singer, made it happen. Have a sherry on humanity.