And not a lobster in sight – the true spirit of Christmas

Corpus Christi Primary School, North End, Portsmouth, in 2003, and, below, Manor House Nursery, Inverness Road, Fratton, in 2004
Corpus Christi Primary School, North End, Portsmouth, in 2003, and, below, Manor House Nursery, Inverness Road, Fratton, in 2004
One of the town's Christmas trees

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Forget rampant consumerism, groaning dining tables and family rows – today’s pictures capture the true essence of Christmas.

Today and tomorrow we revisit some nativity plays performed by schools in the Portsmouth area.

046132_0008_MANOR_HOUSE_NAT (SH) 16/12/04''Manor House Nursery at Manor School, Inverness Road, Fratton, Portsmouth, children in costume for the Christmas nativity play.''PICTURE: MICHAEL SCADDAN (046132-0008) MAYOAK0003261786

046132_0008_MANOR_HOUSE_NAT (SH) 16/12/04''Manor House Nursery at Manor School, Inverness Road, Fratton, Portsmouth, children in costume for the Christmas nativity play.''PICTURE: MICHAEL SCADDAN (046132-0008) MAYOAK0003261786

There’s been some controversy this year that the traditional school nativity play has been under pressure to modernise and some were even renamed ‘winter celebrations’.

Some parents have reported that rather than simply casting Mary, Joseph, shepherds, wise men and a donkey, there are parts for aliens, punk fairies, Elvis Presley, footballers, a lobster and a drunken spaceman.

And, believe it or not, Christmas carols have been replaced with Christmas-themed pop songs, report some parents.

But these pictures remind us of the nativity plays most of us remember with fondness.