Five years ago a survey found that the traditional school nativity play - a staple for generations of British children - is under threat. It was discovered that just one in five schools intended on putting on a traditional nativity play due to fears about segregating faith groups in today's multi-cultural society.
Over a third of schools said that they were going to opt for a non-religious play, such as 'Scrooge' or 'Snow White', or not even put on a show at all. Certainly those opting for the latter option aren't just letting children miss a great opportunity, with all the dressing up and bonding that accompanies a nativity, but they're letting down parents and teachers as well.
Indeed, Christmas school productions are still important to people for many reasons - no matter what basis in faith they may, or may or not have.
For children, a nativity or other Christmas play is simply something different from the norm. It's a break from the mundane class life that they might be used to - even if that is colouring in throughout the primary school week.
School productions also equip children with new skills that they'll later come to rely on in life. Speaking publicly, for example and memorising lines for a play can help their confidence/memory skills.
It could also be true to say that children will learn to get along with each other in a group activity, such as a play. They'll need to learn to work with each other and bounce off one another when delivering their lines.
However, perhaps most importantly, the school production provides a great time for them to engage with themes and subject matters that might ordinarily pass them by. No matter what the tale, many plays carry messages which provide strong moral guidance for people growing up. They also encourage children to question some of life's bigger questions.
"School nativity plays are a cultural treasure. Christmas encourages all people to appreciate our rich human culture and to ponder the profound and sacred," says Rupert Kaye, of the Association of Christian Teachers, puts it.
The Christmas play doesn't just have a positive impact on children but parents as well. Even if it isn't quite the Oscars, the overwhelming sense of pride a parent can get from seeing their child take the centre stage is enormous. Perhaps this is because for most of the school year, they don't actually see much of their child's successes in person. They have to wait for report cards and parent-teacher meetings - or the odd result or two from fleeting homework assignments.
How great a privilege it must be then to see a child performing in front of all their peers and teachers, doing a great job. Even if their performance wasn't as strong as hoped, then it still provides a great source of humour later in their lives.
Teachers can also take pride in their pupils' achievements because they're also on show at the production. They're the ones who have to say "I put this together. I made this happen". What a joy it must be to finally see all the hard work come together. Perhaps they might even twig onto something of a rising star if one child stands out from the rest.
It's for all these reasons that school productions certainly have relevance and importance today - no matter what the basis of the play.
A2Z Kids aims to provide the most comprehensive range of children’s fancy dress and accessories available in the UK online market-place. Birthdays and other special occasions return year after year but each time it becomes increasingly difficult to come up with new and original ideas. So we've come up with our best party ideas and articles to give you a little inspiration.