Xmas Tree 3: teaching with humour

Gosh – life overtook me again yesterday part-way through my Christmas Tree series of posts. (It was called sunshine after a week of grey skies, and there was a mower with my name ALL over it.) But I am back now with the last one (or two, haven’t decided yet!) instalments of our Christmas Tree night.  The previous ones are here, here and here.


As you already know, our school is little – we have just one teacher and a teacher’s aide.  Both are lovely women who, by the nature of their special and sometimes demanding jobs, have an enormous influence on our kids.  The decision to have a Christmas Tree this year was reasonably last-minute. The school had not had one for years (with all activities usually taking place on Break-Up Day) and our teacher, Mrs S, hadn’t done one with us before.

But she, and her trusty off-sider Mrs O, rose to the occasion with fabulous results…

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This is Mrs S – she’s only little, but she has those kids’ attention at all stages.  I love that she is strict but kind – and has a wicked sense of humour.  The students had a week to rehearse their skits and were pretty much word-perfect.  I think they truly identified with the humour in the mini-plays.  They performed some Roald Dahl poems – oh, how I adore Roald Dahl.  He is wicked.  And funny.  And wicked. My favourite combination…

Cinderella was up first… my favourite lines:

I’ll visit every house in town
‘Until I’ve tracked the maiden down!’
Then rather carelessly, I fear,
He placed it on a crate of beer.

At once, one of the Ugly Sisters,
(The one whose face was blotched with blisters)
Sneaked up and grabbed the dainty shoe,
And quickly flushed it down the loo.

Everything was a little upside-down – Cinderella was played by a boy, Prince Charming by a gorgeous tall girl, the Ugly Step-sisters by two of the sweetest and prettiest girls in school. (Aussie Irony 101).

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There was quite a bit of action and head-rolling (just what one looks for in a Christmas event!).

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Check out Cinderella under the piano… s/he cracks me up!

Little Red Riding Hood also turned the tables on the Big Bad Wolf … please read that poem in the link … the line ‘she whipped a pistol from her knickers’ had the audience rolling in the aisles…

They also performed the Three Little Pigs which brought the house down (ahem!)…

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It was like no version I had ever seen before…

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Little Red Riding Hood was back in the thick of it, gathering more pelts than you could point a pistol at.

There were ‘proper’ Christmas items too, of course.  Like the Little Drummer Boy.

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Can you spot my two?  The Little Drummer Boy took his part very seriously, including the headscarf which may or may not have sought to wrest the lead role from our son…

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And that pony in the manger?

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It was a rough night with the new baby, apparently.

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This bit nearly brought me undone… par-rum-pa-pum-PUM!

And that most traditional of all Christmas Carols – The Rusty Holden Ute sung to the tune of Jingle Bells. (Lyrics added at end of post).

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The ‘beer-bellied’ participants were having a knee-slapping good time!

It was a wonderful, wonderful night.

With kids front and centre as the stars…

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And this woman firmly behind them…

Thanks Mrs S (and Mrs O) for teaching our kids well, and for not forgetting to help show them not to take themselves too seriously, and that life is fun.


Aussie version of Jingle Bells

(by Colin Buchanan)

Dashing through the bush,
in a rusty Holden Ute,
Kicking up the dust,
esky in the boot,
Kelpie by my side,
singing Christmas songs,
It’s Summer time and I am in
my singlet, shorts and thongs


Oh! Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way,
Christmas in Australia
on a scorching summers day, Hey!
Jingle bells, jingle bells, Christmas time is beaut!,
Oh what fun it is to ride in a rusty Holden Ute.


Engine’s getting hot;
we dodge the kangaroos,
The swaggie climbs aboard,
he is welcome too.
All the family’s there,
sitting by the pool,
Christmas Day the Aussie way,
by the barbecue.


Oh! Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way,
Christmas in Australia
on a scorching summers day, Hey!
Jingle bells, jingle bells, Christmas time is beaut!,
Oh what fun it is to ride in a rusty Holden Ute.


Come the afternoon,
Grandpa has a doze,
The kids and Uncle Bruce,
are swimming in their clothes.
The time comes ’round to go,
we take the family snap,
Pack the car and all shoot through,
before the washing up.


Oh! Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way,
Christmas in Australia
on a scorching summers day, Hey!
Jingle bells, jingle bells, Christmas time is beaut!,
Oh what fun it is to ride in a rusty Holden Ute.

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LATE EDIT: This is a rusty Holden ute!

(Click on image for original site details.)

15 Responses to “Xmas Tree 3: teaching with humour”

  1. Oh, what fun! You have a true treasure in your Mrs. S and company. Those entertainers look like they had the best time putting one on for the crowd. I also love the scrambling of roles and the humor of the poetry. I’m grinning and I’m not even there.

    Had to look up Rusty Holden Ute to find out it was a utility coupe; sort of like an El Camino. Not a red-headed Native American.
    Leenie´s last blog post ..THE SNOWY DAY

  2. That is so funny, I was sitting here laughing to myself through the remake of the songs.

  3. Love the lyrics of the song. Looks like everyone had fun.
    sara perkins´s last blog post ..Good friends- good horses and a good day for a ride

  4. Hahaha, how fun. Love your explanation of a Ute, too :)
    Rhu´s last blog post ..Question for my Readers

  5. Is this a real song? If so, it’s excellent!!
    Kate´s last blog post ..Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea

  6. Hello Kate

    The song is very real. Infact, if you google “Aussie Jingle Bells lyrics” you’ll find a you-tube link to a video clip to go with the song which is just hilarious.

  7. What a lovely end to the school year :)
    LOVE the old Holden, my cousin has just restored a HD wagon and is lusting after an EH to get his teeth into lol.

  8. Oh dear me! Tears of laughter were rolling down my face as I sang the song to my computer. You people in OZ really come up with the most funniest of things.
    But I have to say that I still can’t wrap my mind around the fact that your Christmas season is spent by the pool! Here it’s cold and dark and we had some snow recently.
    Enjoy your “summer vacation”.

  9. What a great effort for one nights Christams entertainment! Looks like so much fun and YES I am still smiling! Nice one kids, awesome stuff!!

  10. Aww – you got me!
    jeanie´s last blog post ..Paris bid

  11. Oh my, that is just Fantastic! It sounds like you had a wonderful time all around, and the work was well worth it.

  12. Hey BB, Calendar and pic arrived yesterday – they are equally awesome! Love them!
    As you know we are in a little town with a little school also and we have our concert coming up next week – can’t wait for it. I love the skits you guys did – may have to steal them for next year!
    Jindivick Wildlife Care´s last blog post ..Change is in the air!

  13. How the heck did I miss this? It’s hugely hilarious and I could feel the laughter right through the monitor!!!

    Your kids have been so fortunate with their little school!!!

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