Debenhams encourages parents not to splash out on nativity costumes.

Ultra competitive parents are spending up to £150 to make sure their child is the star of the annual Nativity Play, says department store Debenhams.

No longer are tattered tea towels, tinsel or cheap ready to wear outfits good enough. Instead, new designer clothes bought especially for the occasion are becoming the norm in church halls and school assemblies across the UK. Virgin Marys are appearing in luxury pashmina shawls instead of old towels, and the Angels of the Lord are swapping cheap tinsel for expensive glittering imitation jewellery


So great is the trend that Debenhams has now asked its country wide team of personal shoppers to persuade customers to see sense.

Said Debenhams Ed Watson: “The amount of money that some parents want to spend on their child’s Nativity Play appearance would enable Baby Jesus to leave the stable and check into a five star hotel.“

“ It’s silly and we’re doing all that we can to persuade competitive parents to change their minds it is the season of good will after all.“

“Their sons and daughters will still look wonderful wearing a pair of pyjamas and a sheet rather than the latest dress or coat straight from the high fashion cat walk.”

Among the most popular items bought by competitive parents are:

• Brand new ivory white bridesmaid dresses costing £40 for the role of “Angel.”
• New Artic Fur throws costing almost £60 for the role of “ Sheep”
• New grey fleeced duffle coat with hood, costing £14. When ears are added it makes the perfect “Donkey” costume.
• Blue Velvet dress costing £21 for the Virgin Mary.
• Baker stripe Velour dressing gown costing £25 for Shepherds
• Glamour jewelled turban costing £8 for Wise Man.