Written by Jane Bostock


Costume drama

When Jane Bostock needed to knock up a snowflake outfit for the Christmas play, the internet was no help. And her friends? Well, they should be ashamed of themselves.

snowflake 1I consider myself a slummy mummy. School gate protocol/style does not affect my affect. I have been known to tumble out of my Ford Focus along with a recycling bin’s worth of water bottles and crisp packets. There’s no due care taken with my morning ensemble of MC Hammer pants, Mickey Mouse T-shirt and North Face fleece.

A friend complimented me recently on how well-groomed my hair looked. I explained that since moving house and losing my hairbrush, I’d resorted to a child’s nit comb found still packaged at the bottom of a bathroom basket. So, I definitely don’t have nits. They would have to have the staying power of Donald Trump’s gravity-defying hairdo.

So it’s not beyond the realms of fantasy that I neglected to spot the folded A4 square at the bottom of my child’s book bag. Imagine reader, my horror on discovering it to be a letter, dated some days previously.

“Dear Parent. Please note your child will be a snowflake in the forthcoming Christmas show. Please have your child’s costume ready for Wednesday.”

My God. Wednesday? A snowflake? WTF?

My child is delighted to be said snowflake. He is going to sing and dance. And, obviously, I am very happy for him. But really? A snowflake? A crystallised piece of ice?

I never made the cut for the Christmas play. Now everyone has a place in the show, so it’s no wonder they have resorted to palm trees, grains of sand and (frigging) snowflakes.

The snowflake is the Krypton Factor of costume design. It’s the kind of thing that would make Mister Maker’s heart sink. It’s the kind of costume ask that makes you wonder if you have upset the PTA in some way.

snowflake 2Where was my shepherd in his tea-towel glory? Where was last year’s angel (for which my mother-in-law’s ’70s smock came in handy, along with an easily-sourced halo from Party Fiesta)? Where was my camel, for which I had seen a onesie in Primark? Where was my narrator, which only had the dictate of wearing red? I say again, a flipping snowflake.

I had no time for tax-issue Amazon to come to the rescue either and anyway, if I did have the time to be morally bankrupt, which of course I absolutely am, they had sold out. Because snowflakes are suddenly friggin’ integral to the story of Christmas.

During my on-Google panic, I found a Daily Mail article screaming that snowflake costumes or the like are now in bidding wars on eBay for £5,000 or the like. I wanted to dig a hole and never come out.

So, I did what I should’ve known would never work; I reached out to friends for suggestions. Here is a rundown of some of their “ideas”:

Most sensible: Take flip chart paper and fashion a sandwich board snowflake. Use glitter and paint.
Most unreasonable: Douse child in water, then stand in sub-zero temperatures.
Most lazy: Glue a doily to a T-shirt. (This was a frontrunner.)
Most beyond the realms of necessity and diligence: Extra thick quilting fleece from fabric shop and a scalpel.
Most delicious: Roll child in desiccated coconut.

Sorry no, this is the most unreasonable:

snowflake 3Then someone began bemoaning climate change getting everywhere (it has a tendency to do that BTW) because the story of Christmas is set in the desert. I need new friends.

Thanks to tinsel and tree decorations from ASDA, and my own crafting efforts, I have come up with something. Like crown prince icy Teletubby. I look forward to my anthropomorphised shard of ice making me proud.


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Written by Jane Bostock

A human, like you.