When I was in Year 1, I wanted to play the baby Jesus in the school nativity.
However, there were several fundamental problems that impeded this desire.
There was, for example, the slight issue that I looked nothing like a newborn baby boy.
This was due to the fact that I was a five year old girl.
Nevertheless, when the cast list was put up in the assembly hall, I crowded around it along with my fellow classmates, wholeheartedly expecting to see the following words imprinted before me:
As a result, I was somewhat taken aback when I was greeted with:
It was hard not to feel dejected, especially when it was consequentially revealed that a plastic doll from Toys R Us had been cast in the role of Jesus instead.
Nevertheless, I knew that the majority of successful actresses had to play some undesirable parts before they hit the big time and so accepted the decision with reasonable levels of grace and dignity.
However, I was a curly-haired and somewhat introverted child and, over the course of several years, a trend started to emerge with regards to the roles I was given in the nativity each year:
After my fourth consecutive outing as a sheep, my mum tried to console me in an attempt to reinstate my damaged sense of self-worth.
Despite her efforts, I became increasingly bitter and began making subtle attempts to sabotage the play.
My subversive actions evidently had an impact.
In 2003, I was finally cast in a different role:
At the time, the opportunity to play the backside of a donkey seemed momentous.
The fact that I had been upgraded to a slightly larger barnyard animal seemed like a significant step in my acting career.
However, like most humans under the age of ten, I was not particularly patient as a child.
This lack of patience was particularly evident during the Christmas period.
When my mum first decided to have children, I imagine that some deluded part of her envisioned the family Christmas as a refined and civilised affair, like it was in Downton Abbey times.
However, the building excitement of the festive season severely compromised my ability to do things at the appropriate time.
This tendency began to manifest itself right at the beginning of December when my mum would hand me an advent calender.
The proper use of an advent calendar relies heavily upon the idea of self-control, a notion which my 8-year-old mind struggled to apprehend at most times of the year.
During the Christmas period, it was a concept that no longer existed on my personal cognitive spectrum.
Halfway through December, my mum would buy a Christmas tree and me and my brother were allowed to decorate it.
The process would start off relatively placidly with each of us placing decorations carefully on the branches.
However, it was not long before it became apparent that there was a significant discrepancy in each of our individual creative visions.
The situation rapidly began to deteriorate.
What had started off as a nice sibling bonding session soon became a savage competition as to who could place the most decorations on the tree in the shortest period of time.
It was not long before we exhausted our mum’s supply of relevant, Christmas-based decorations.
In desperation, we began throwing any item in the immediate vicinity onto the tree in what I can only guess was a crazed attempt to claim it as our territory.
In the end, our tree had a slightly different aesthetic than that which is usually adopted in most other households.