Once upon a time, not so long ago, Christmas hadn’t truly arrived until we heard Fairytale Of New York by The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl on the radio.
But ever since daughter #2 has been taking dancing lessons the true spirit of the festive season is in the air the moment the lights go down for her performing arts school’s Christmas production at Lancaster University.
Tickets sell out faster than a Stone Roses reunion gig so you’ve got to be quick off the mark. But once the music starts and the kids arrive on stage it is as magical as hearing Mani’s bassline to I Wanna Be Adored in a field full of 70,000 roaring fans.
Parents with kids who dance know the sacrifices that have to be made, both financial (about £500 a year for us) and with precious family time (every weekend weeks and weeks before Christmas).
But when you’re sitting front and centre, watching your kid have the time of their lives dancing so well, then all the time and money spent seems like it was worth every second and every penny.
We know the effort the kids put into the show because when we pick up daughter #2 from rehearsals every Tuesday and Saturday evening she is, for want of a better word, knackered.
The costumes looked brilliant, the hair and make-up was stunning and the dancers were marvellous. The show was three hours long but it felt like it was over in about five minutes. The school puts on three shows over a weekend and daughter #2 said she was nervous about the first one, really enjoyed the second and by the time the third one was over she wanted to do it all again.
There was almost a wardrobe malfunction with her 1970s Saturday Night Fever flared satin catsuit outfit but thankfully she (literally) held it all together through all three performances.
Even hyper-critical daughter #1 was moved to say that her little sister danced well and had come on, pardon the pun, in leaps and bounds since last year’s show.
It takes some nerve to stand on a stage and dance in front of an audience. But to do it with such grace and poise at such a tender age is something else. And thanks to her the magic fairy dust has been sprinkled and Christmas is well and truly here.