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"Stress Free" Advent/Christmas Pageants/Programs

We are all about stress free ideas here! Generally that means NO rehearsal required, exceptions to this will may be where leaders or youth may need to do a rehearsal when they are leading the program, but there is no children's rehearsal required. Read on for NO rehearsal Pageants/Programs!

Please share your "Stress Free" No Rehearsal Pageants/Programs, ideas, and resources by using the "Post Reply" button below.

You won't want to miss the pictured "Paper Bag Pageant!"

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Do you wish you didn't have to do a Christmas Program/Pageant, finding December is such a busy time of year for teachers, parents and children that you ask yourself, "Do any of you NOT DO a Christmas Program?" . . . well keep reading to see members solutions for doing just that!

Please share your thoughts, ideas, and resources by using the "Post Reply" button below.

Not what you are looking for, try these other topics on Christmas Programs:

  • Advent, Christmas: Programs / Scripts / Sketches ~ link.
  • Advent Workshops/Lessons that incorporate your Christmas Program Prep & Practice ~ link.
  • Advent/Christmas FEAST Events (begin or end with a meal); generally Intergenerational ~ link.
  • And here's the link back to the Christmas Program Forum full of other interesting and different ideas!
Last edited by Luanne Payne
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Christmas pageants or dramas can be overwhelming because of the time of year...

So here's a thought:

Advent is a really crowded time to try and pull off a "pageant" every year.  So why not start a new tradition by investing time and energy into an EASTER drama, rather than Christmas play?

Looking for ideas for an Easter Pageant/Programs Ideas, click here!

One way to 'break the hold' might be to institute a 'revolving' plan for dramas: Every year a different story at a different time of the year.

Look no further than the Drama/Puppets/Storytelling Topic found under each bible story. View a full menu of all our Bible Story Lesson & Resource forums.

Of course, you'd probably STILL have to do something special around Xmas. But you could justify something less resource-draining if you did something else at another time of the year. That something special at Xmas could also become the responsibility of a different age grouping each year to keep it under control. See examples below of no stress, No Rehearsal Dramas below.

Last edited by Luanne Payne

"Paper Bag" Pageant - No Rehearsal

We don't do a regular Christmas pageant anymore -- haven't for about 3 or 4 years. Everyone was too busy to attend rehearsals and it made it nuts for the director.

Instead... as part of our Wednesday night program, we do a Paper Bag Pageant. This is based on a program written by Susan Sloan. I have adapted it greatly over the years. The basic idea is a no-rehearsal, EVERYONE (eldest to youngest) participates retelling of the Christmas story.


IMG_3691-_20Silly_20ChickensThere is quite a bit of prep, but I divide everything up and have lots of volunteers who help. You create simple props and "costumes" (mostly these consist of headbands with the heads of the various animals, crowns for the wise men, shepherd crooks made from poster board for the shepherds, etc. You put the materials to made the costumes in a large grocery paper sack and pass out to people.

We do it on a Wednesday night after dinner, so we put about 10 costumes per bag and pass out one bag per table. But it was designed to be done in a worship service, so you'd need more bags for that.

The narrator tells the story, interspersed with Christmas carols. When a character's part in the story is told, he/she comes forward -- no memorized lines, no acting (although some pantomiming can be fun).

At the end of the story everyone is on stage creating this giant tableau. I LOVE IT! It's my most favorite thing we do! It's intergenerational, tells the story, creative, fun and low stress (with the exception of all the prep).


The original script for the Paper Bag Pageant came from Susan Sloan. Unfortunately the link no longer works: (see resources at end of this post for scripts that would work).

I took Ms. Sloan's idea and have modified it considerably over the years - first basically paraphrasing the Luke and Matthew accounts and more recently including text from The Jesus Storybook Bible as we use that in our Wednesday night ministry AND that text includes some extra characters -- mountains, sea, trees. It adds a fun touch to the background. We also add different animal characters every year. We've gone from the traditional cows, sheep, donkey to chickens, roosters, doves, horses, cats, mice, squirrels and chipmunks!

Here are a few pictures from our Pageant this year. (Click on a picture to view it in a larger size.)






Moderator: Doing an internet search I found the following scripts that would work for a "Paper Bag" Pageant:


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Last edited by Luanne Payne

Tobias' Story ~ A Christmas Pageant

by Carolyn Peters, adapted by Theresa Cho and posted on her blog.

The pageant was originally published in a PCUSA educator magazine many years ago.

Copied here for safekeeping...

Theresa Cho's blog post: Below is a copy of the pageant that I have adapted from Carolyn Peters’ “Tobias’ Story.” She is the Director of Christian Education at Grace Presbyterian Church, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin.

Note: At the beginning of each part within the script, children and adults are invited to come forward to the chancel to assume the character they want to be.  This means that in our program we might have only a few or many animals, angels, and shepherds, or several Marys and Josephs.  It really doesn’t matter.  Volunteer helpers secure to each child’s head the tie-on mask of his or her choice, or give them the other appropriate props.  They also guide the children to the places they are to stand or sit.


Introduce the pageant and give instructions to the congregation.


Welcome everyone to Bethlehem! Let us open our eyes and ears and listen to the story of when Christ was born.


Those who wish to portray Mary and Joseph are invited forward. Marys are given a heart-shaped felt necklace; Josephs are given a burlap pouch.

As the Marys and Josephs come forward, the congregation sings “Mary Had a Baby.” When the Marys and Josephs are on stage, narrator begins.

Mary and Joseph, a pitiful sight.

So tired and dirty, they gave me a fright.

Sickly or dying?  What was the matter?

“A room in the inn?” Impossible chatter!

“My rooms are all taken; not one empty bed.

There’ll not be a room in all Bethlehem,” I said.

But their eyes told a story of hunger and need.

I couldn’t avoid them, so I tried a good deed.

I cleaned up the stable: Rachel cooked up a meal.

We helped all we could, at least, that’s how I feel.

For we noticed that Mary was expecting – and soon!

So we prepared for delivery right under the moon.

The child came so quickly.  His face seemed a light.

As if God had shone God’s presence so bright.

Joseph said softly.  “It’s Jesus, my friend.”

God sent him among us to bring to an end fear and

hatred, darkness and sin.

Instead God gave light, to let God’s love in.


Those who wish to be goats, sheep, cows or donkeys are invited by narrator to come forward. Animals are given masks or hats.

As the animals come forward, the congregation sings “The Friendly Beasts.” When the animals are on stage, narrator begins.

My animals were calm, quieter than normal.

They often were noisy, and never too formal.

They always were eating, or else they were sleeping.

The stable required continuous sweeping.

But on Christmas night, they were strangely in awe at the sight of the babe and all that they saw.

It’s as if they were aware that God had just hushed them,

Had fed and watered and carefully brushed them.

They knew, I believe, that God had been able to work a miracle there in that stable.


Those who wish to be angels are invited forward.  Gold and silver garland halos are placed on their heads.

As the angels come forward, the congregation sings “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.” When the angels are on stage, narrator begins.

We don’t often see angels in flight.

But on the first Christmas, they lit up the night.

They appeared to the shepherds and, boy, were they scared!

“Angels!” cried one.  “Will any lives be spared?”

“Are they here to destroy us? Is our time on earth up?

Have we seen our last day? Have we drunk our last cup?”

But “Peace on earth; goodwill to all” was the angels’ sweet song; that was their call.

With a light show that dazzled all who did see, the angels hallelujahed and sang out with glee.

“To Bethlehem, shepherds!”  the angels directed.

“To see Jesus the Christ, whom God has perfected.”

“Go worship the Lord and follow his ways.

And you’ll find Christmas joy for all of your days.”


Those who wish to be shepherds are invited forward.  They are given candy canes to represent shepherd’s staffs.

As the shepherds come forward, the congregation sings “Go Tell It on the Mountain.” When the shepherds are on stage, narrator begins.

The shepherds, I told you, where scared and stunned.

“Too much hard work or too much hot sun!”

That’s what they thought; that’s how they explained.

Perplexed and afraid, they loudly complained.

But the angels’ song calmed them, and then they believed.

They rejoiced when they knew and they were quite relieved.

They went to the stable and worshiped the Lord.

Then they left and began to spread the good Word.


Those who wish to be Wise Persons are invited forward.  Colorful construction-paper crowns with “jewels” are placed on their heads.  An older child has been asked in advance to bring forward a brilliant star extended high on a stick.

As the Wise Persons come forward, the congregation sings “We Three Kings.” When the Wise Persons are on stage, narrator begins.

The star that shone brightly led Wise Persons at night

To Bethlehem’s stable, to the manger’s strange light.

They came bearing gifts, in worship and love, praising God for God’s wonders from heaven above.

The Wise Men were kings and they knelt on my straw.

It was the oddest of things that ever I saw.

If kings bring him treasure, then maybe you, too, can worship with pleasure the person of Jesus, who came to us all.

So worthy of praise, for he brings us God’s call.”

“I am the way, the truth, and the life,

Come to God for healing from strife.

Come unto me, all you who labor,

And I’ll give you rest forever to savor.”


T’was the very first Christmas and there in the manger,

The Christ-child was born; it couldn’t have been stranger.

Shepherds saw angels; Wise Men, a star.

They came to see Jesus; they came afar.

They knew he was special – God’s very own son,

He came to the earth to love everyone.

He grew up in time, the Savior, the Lord,

To be worshiped each day, to be loved and adored.

So now at Christmas we all take delight.

In the gift that God gave us that first Christmas night.

In the gifts we receive and the ones that we give,

Let us never forget, it’s in Christ that we live.



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A Rehearsal-Free Christmas Pageant

An Intergenerational Worship Service for Christmas

Below is an excerpt from Nathanael at, where you can download description and scripts, as Word Docs or PDFs.

Here is an easy, fun, rehearsal-free, intergenerational Christmas Pageant designed to take place during worship service. It invites participation from children, youth and adults alike tells the story of Jesus’ birth and even involves dressing up in costumes!

How It Works

As members of the congregation arrive for worship, they are greeted with tables of costumes from which, with the help of enthusiastic volunteers, they will choose what character in the story they would like to dress up as. There will be costumes for angels, shepherds, various barn animals (cows, donkeys, sheep) and townspeople.

Once the worship service begins, a narration based on the Luke telling of Jesus’ birth is read/shared with the congregation. At various breaks in the narration, while the congregation sings a corresponding song, folks with certain costumes will go to the front of the sanctuary and help create a live nativity scene.

Christmas Eve Tree Project and "The Christmas Nail"

I needed a stress-free Christmas program this past year. We had one beautifully decorated tree in the sanctuary, but I decided to put another BARE tree in the other corner to gain people's attention and interest. We would decorate it on Christmas Eve.

Each Sunday during Advent, during our Children's Church time we took old Christmas cards and cut out all the different symbols of Christmas displayed on those cards. Angels, candy cane shepherd crooks, stars, mangers, and finally "nails" (more about that in a moment). I found a place on the internet that talked about the origination of each of the symbols. The kids decorated their ornaments then punched holes in the tops and attached yarn as hangers and placed them in "piles" in preparation for trimming the tree on Christmas Eve.

Then at the Children's Christmas Eve service, each child got up and explained the importance of that particular symbol they chose to hang on the tree (whichever one they chose and what ever they decided to say), then walked to the tree where someone helped them hang the ornament. We did this until everyone had their chance to speak at least once and hang an ornament, then we invited them all forward to hang all the rest of the ornaments. And with that, we plugged in the lights and stood back.

There was no rehearsal, and I had typed up some cards explaining various ornaments for them to read if they wanted to.

As part of our last Children's Church ornament project lesson, we passed out BIG nails to everyone while I told the story of "The Christmas Nail" (copied below in two versions). We made a lot of these and attached the poem to the nail using the "crimson bow"  so that we had enough for everyone to take one home at Christmas Eve and hang on their tree.

from Beth M. with additions by our Writing Team

Here's the original "Christmas Nail" poem.
Following it is a revised version by an unknown author.

A Nail At Christmas (original version)mceclip0

It's Christmas time at our house
and we are putting up the tree.
I wish I could find one simple way
to remember Christ's gift to me.

Some little sign or symbol
to show friends stopping by.
The little baby was born one day,
But He really came to die.

Some symbol of His nail pierced hands,
the blood He shed for you & me...
What if I hung a simple nail
upon my Christmas tree?

A crimson bow tied 'round the nail
as His blood flowed down so free
to save each person from their sin
and redeem us for all eternity.

I know it was His love for us
that held Him to that tree,
but when I see this simple nail
I know He died for me

by John Patton, creator of the The Christmas Nail® product

Revised Version: "A Christmas Nail"

author unknown

It's Christmas time at my housemceclip1
and on our lovely tree,
there hangs a simple nail
to remember Christ's gift to me.

A little sign and symbol
to remind friends stopping by,
that little baby Jesus
for all our sins would die.

A nail like that which pierced his hands
and from our sins did free,
A crimson bow to hold it,
and bind his love to me.

Angels, stars, and candy canes
hang joyfully with glee,
but when I see that simple nail
I see his gift to me.



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Last edited by Luanne Payne

Children, in costume, lead singing of an Advent Hymn each week in Worship & help light the Advent Candle

in lieu of a Christmas "program"

Here is my version of an idea from the "Worshiping with Children" blog that works especially well for small congregations, and also for any size church that wants to have some sort of opportunity for the children to lead worship and dress up during the Advent/Christmas season but who do NOT want to organize a pageant with rehearsals.

The children lead the congregational singing of one Christmas carol each week of Advent while dressed in various "Nativity" costumes.

The children learn the song (or part of it) during Sunday School, choose costumes to wear, then go as a group to the worship service where the carol is to be sung at the opening as part of the lighting of the Advent candle. (You can also organize your kids to help light that candle in some way, shape, or form.

Children who didn't come to Sunday School that day are invited to join the group up front as they arrive and are given a costume. Be sure to have the carol lyrics printed on posterboard for them and ALL the kids.

This idea works particularly well in SMALL or older churches where, for a variety of reasons, they do not have "enough" families with children attending Christmas Eve services, but they do have enough kids in their classes to gather for a class and learning a song.

This "weekly" idea also gives children (and parents) something to anticipate and participate in each week, rather than loading it all up on a single day.

And Epiphany Feast

...moving the "party and program" after Christmas

After a few stressful years of trying to do a Christmas Pageant the old way and time when everyone seemed to want it, but no one had the time to organize it, we got rid of it and tried something new -- and idea suggested by a new family they brought from their previous church...

We did an "Epiphany Feast" -- which is an inter-generational family dinner after all the hoopla and parties of Christmas are over.  Epiphany is the traditional holy day when we celebrate the arrival of the Three Kings.

We added a "pageant" that we organized as people arrived -- assigning parts and costumes.  There were only a few "one liner" speaking parts, but everyone had a costume.

We asked a lot of volunteers to each do a little bit, instead of needing a drama/music person to do everything. We didn't have to worry about rehearsals and the whole church family could participate.

Read this entire post, by member mcroy, over in the Epiphany and New Year's celebration ideas here at

Youth "Pageant" with a Dinner earlier in December
and a NO FUSS spontaneous Children's "Nativity"
on Christmas Eve

We don't do a children's pageant, instead we do a Youth pageant! The first or second Sunday evening in December, the youth put on a wonderful drama with a dinner. It is so well attended that by the second year, tickets had to be purchased in advance. This is something our younger children look forward to attending AND participating in some day.

This took the pressure off the younger children who form a more "spontaneous" Nativity scene on Christmas Eve at our 7pm service. We invite all the children to come forward and participate. We have props ready, sometimes costumes, and give everyone a part/place at the Nativity. It is really easy to do, satisfies the parent's need to see their children up front, and takes care of the "performance in worship" issue.

If we are to teach parents that a child's place is IN WORSHIP, then we need more opportunities like this for easy & inviting participation in worship not just on Christmas Eve.

Christmas Eve "Simple" Service Ideas

1) Simple Participatory "family" Christmas Eve Service

For several years we’d done a simple, participatory “family” Christmas Eve service.

Kids were invited to wear a headpiece of a shepherd, angel, or wise person, with extras on hand for visitors or those who forgot.

As the Christmas story was told, kids were asked to come sit on the steps during “their part” of the story while a corresponding Christmas carol/hymn was sung. We invite them to bring gifts of baby food for our local food bank.

2) The Perfect Gift

In 2001 we decided to expand on it a bit and bring in a little bit of “meat” for older kids and adults.

Our theme was “The Perfect Gift”. The Assistant Pastor and I (children’s director) began by talking about gifts we give and receive, then “noticed” there was a huge gift right by us. We ripped it open and it was a “stable” with “Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus” (real people dressed up).

We continued by telling the story about the perfect gift, Jesus, with the kids participating as in the past.

We wanted a “reflection” time, so we showed a Power Point presentation of the Christmas story and also included Jesus’ death and resurrection, with Scripture overlapping beautiful artwork. Our pianist played while we ran it.

First Presbyterian Church, Napa, CA

Last edited by Luanne Payne

Through the Eyes of the Lost Sheep

For several years we’d done a simple, participatory “family” Christmas Eve service, as noted in the above post.

This past Christmas 2002 we knew we wanted something different, and “meat” again so during brainstorming, we came up with the idea of telling the Christmas story through the eyes of “lost sheep”. The youth director and I – in rented sheep costumes - came in, “lost” and were soon joined by another sheep, Asst. Pastor, who claimed not to be “lost” but just wandered away. Because sheep are forgetful, he had sticky notes all over him which were his reminders of what to do every day, including “clean your ears”, “where the Christmas story is in the Bible”, etc.

We had the kids participate again and sit with the sheep to sing when it was their “part” in the story while a corresponding Christmas carol/hymn was sung.

At the end, it was focused on “what to do when lost” – which was “clean your ears and listen for the shepherd”. As we went out, we had our church “voice” (a guy with a great, deep voice) read John 10:1-18. We came back in during the last hymn – Joy to the World – then passed out candy canes (shepherd staffs) with postcards attached that said “You’re His sheep – Clean your ears – Give Him your heart – Change your life” with all the scripture we used. It was very unique and quite a hoot! Lots of comic relief with a great message. My 16 year old son said it was too short!

Below is the script that is still rough draft in a way - the final version came after lots of practice in our own words.

First Presbyterian Church, Napa, CA

Printer friendly: just click on your choice of a PDF file for easy viewing and/or a Word docx should you need to make adaptations.

Through The Eyes of Lost Sheep Script

The following is the OUTLINE of an original family worship program that was written by Ben Kerns and Jan Hanson and presented at First Presbyterian Church, Napa, CA on Christmas Eve 2002. May be used with permission in the local church setting providing no part is sold or used for profit and credits are used.

In advance children were asked to come dressed as an angel, shepherd or wise "person". It could be a simple headpiece (tinsel halo, cloth and headband, paper crown). We provided these same headpiece for those who forgot theirs and visitors.

2 sheep who are lost: Sheep 1 and Sheep 2
1 sheep who has ‘wandered’: Sheep 3 – has ‘sticky notes’ all over him (his day planner)

Pastor does welcome.


Sheep 1 & 2 enter down the aisle, Sheep 2 has a map

Sheep 1 - Typical male sheep – shoulda stopped for directions, blah blah blah
Sheep 2 - I think we’re really lost
Sheep 1 - What’s going on here? Where are we?
Sheep 2 - I’m not a crowd person and don’t like calling attention to myself
Sheep 1- We gotta think quick, I know … let’s play that game called “I like”: If you like what I say I like, then stand up …. I like oats, oops they’re people: I like candy
Sheep 2- I like to sing
Sheep 1- I like to read
Sheep 2- I like cold weather
Sheep 1- What do you know about cold weather?
Sheep 2 - Just the other night it got down to 48 degrees
Sheep 1- I grew up on a ranch in the Midwest … up hill, no shoes, snow up to my tail
Sheep 2- I’ve heard of snow
Sheep 1- Knowing about snow and living in snow is 2 totally different things. You think you know about it in your head…. But I really do know about it, cuz I’ve experienced it in my life.

Sheep 3 enters

Sheep 3- Hey, more sheep! You guys must be lost!
Sheep 1 - And you’re not?
Sheep 3- I’m not sure, I knew where the pen was and started wandering away cuz something caught my eye, but by the time I turned back around, I couldn’t find my way back.
Sheep 2- What’s that?
Sheep 3 - What’s what?
Sheep 2- All these sticky notes all over you
Sheep 3 - Oh that’s my Day Planner.
Sheep 2 - Why do you need a Day Planner? All we sheep do is wake up, eat, and go back to sleep.
Sheep 3 - No, that’s what you do. I live a full life. But because we sheep are so forgetful I need a Day Planner to remind myself of my appointments.
Sheep 1 - Let’s see what’s on today’s agenda. – WAKE UP, EAT, GO BACK TO SLEEP.
Sheep 3 - You forgot this one.
Sheep 1 - Clean your ears before you go to bed.
Sheep 2 - Hey you two, why do some of those little people have costumes on?
Sheep 3 - We’re in a church and it’s Christmas eve
Sheep 1 - Yeah, we’ve been around, we’ve heard of Christmas.
Sheep 2 - That’s such a nice story … I like the part about the deer with the red nose, blah blah
Sheep 1 - You goof .. that’s not the Christmas story! It’s about sheep, a star, and getting presents.
Sheep 3 - Uh, no. It’s about Jesus …
Sheep 1 - Oh yeah … we’ve heard the story .. sheep tell it a lot. It’s a real nice story.
Sheep 3 - It’s not just a nice story – it’s the most amazing story ever.
Sheep 2 - So what’s the bottom line point of the story?
Sheep 3 - The most important part of the story is the baby
Sheep 2 - I love babies … I remember when I was a baby
Sheep 1 - Aren’t the sheep the most important of the story? What are you talking about … a baby?
Sheep 3 - Since you are so misinformed and all these people came to hear the Christmas story. Let’s tell them ...
Sheep 1 - I’ll start … once upon a time ….
Sheep 2 - No! Long ago in a galaxy far, far away …
Sheep 1 - No! Just sit right back and you’ll a tale a tale of a faithful trip …. No
Sheep 2 - Hey look, this Sticky note with a heart that says “Christmas story, see Luke 2 … what’s Luke 2?
Sheep 3 - That’s right! Oh I’m so forgetful! Luke 2 is the place in the Bible that tells the Christmas story. My shepherd gave me that sticker for my Day Planner
Sheep 2 - The Bible?
Sheep 3 - Our shepherd gave us this great book called the Bible with all the directions for life in it. Hey people … Open your Bibles to Luke 2 …. If you find it shout out the page number it’s on.

READ Luke 2:1-8 – Call up kids who are dressed as shepherds

SING: First Nowell

READ: Luke 2:9-12 – Call up kids who are dressed an angels

READ: Luke 2:13-14

SING: Hark the Herald Angels Sing

Send kids back to seats

READ: Luke 2:15-20

Sheep 2 - Wait a minute … there are people out there with crowns, don’t they get a part?
Sheep 3 - Hold on, let me check for another sticky note
Sheep 2 - Here's a star: for wise men

READ: Matthew 2:1-12 Call wise "people" up

SING "We Three Kings"

Send kids back to seats

Sheep 2 - Angels, wisemen, shepherds, why would they worship and praise a little baby?
Sheep 1 - Before I split the pen, my parents told me the story about how Jesus was born, grew up, told stories and traveled around. It's a nice story.
Sheep 3 - It’s not just a story …. You know the story in your head but you haven’t experienced it in your life.
Sheep 2 - Yeah, kind of like the cold weather thing, huh, Sheep 1?
Sheep 3 - This baby grows up to become the shepherd who loves and cares for us and provides for all our needs. It’s a great life when you’re cared for by the shepherd.
Sheep 1 - If it’s so great, why did you leave your pen?
Sheep 3 - I didn’t leave, I wandered away. I saw something that caught my eye and now I’m stuck being lost with you guys.
Sheep 2 - (move close to Sheep 3)
Sheep 3 - Get outta my space
Sheep 2 - No, wait …. This sticky notes looks like the brand we have. I forgot we had brands. They say: If lost, read Luke 15…
Sheep 3 - That’s right. I should’ve remembered this one because I wander away a lot. When I do I need to just stop and clean my ears.
Sheep 2 - Clean your ears?
Sheep 3 - Stop and listen. Because the shepherd always calls me back.
Sheep 1 - That’s rather dumb
Sheep 3 - No, let’s listen.


VOICE Reads John 10

Sheep leave

Pastor: sum it up … many have been to church, you know the Christmas story back and forth but have you ever listened to the shepherd. There will be an extended contemplative time during our offering ….. If you hear his voice, inside bulletin is a card for you to indicate how we as a church can help you figure it out. (card indicates: I want to commit my life to the shepherd now, I want to recommit my life now, I want a call from the church for more info)

Pianist plays

Pastor prays for offering, for people, community & beyond.

ALL SING Joy to the World – sheep return and sing first verse then walk to doors

As people leave, sheep distribute a candy cane (shepherds staff) tied to a card w/ribbon. Verses from tonite included as well as: “The Lord is your shepherd – clean your ears, listen to His voice, give Him your life”. Info about our church included.

First Presbyterian Church, Napa, CA


NO Christmas Program, instead, kids decorate a bare tree in stages in-between songs in Adult Choir's "Christmas Cantata" (or Lessons and Carols)

We had our kids participate in the adult choir's Advent program. In between songs, the kids hung ornaments on a bare Christmas tree. They made the ornaments in a Sunday morning "Artisan's" Workshop. As they decorated the tree in stages, a narrator read a section of scripture and then mentioned the meaning of particular ornament symbols/colors. Again no lines to memorize or long rehearsals.

Works well, especially with younger children.

Hope this helps someone. Jerrie Lynn

More notes on this idea:

  • All kids can participate even if they didn't help make the ornaments.
  • Kids can wear costumes if they like.
  • Have a helper at the tree.
  • Lights can be strung but not lit until the "grand finale."
  • Kids can stay together in the back of the sanctuary with supervision until it is time to go forward (where you kids go during songs will depend on how many kids, their ages, and your worship space's architecture).

Lots of possible variations on this "new" tradition.

Have kids come forward during "Lessons and Carols" to give kids something to do and anticipate. You can also have family groups come forward.

Last edited by Neil MacQueen

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