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celebrating-ChristmasAdvent, Christmas Programs, Scripts, Sketches and related ideas and helps

We have consolidated and updated many of the Christmas pageants and programs (scripts) posted here at over the years. Great ideas never go out-of-date!

We have curated some of the older posts (combined, clarified, reformatted), and recently added some pdf copies for easier viewing and downloading/printing.

As always, your great ideas are welcome. Post them!

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

  • Advent, Christmas: Programs - KEEPING IT SIMPLE! No dress re-rehearsals required! ~ 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!

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


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Last edited by Neil MacQueen
Original Post

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Kicking off the topic...

Member "Mother Mary" asked this question, which others have also asked over the years:

How do you schedule the rehearsal(s) and still teach?
And how do you handle not every student being there ever week (participation)?

Many have answered "Mother Mary's" questions over the years (and some of those replies are still below in other posts). Here's a summary of some of the responses. Hope you find your answer here!

  • Yes, with today's families and schedules it's more challenging to do a "Christmas pageant" that requires a lot of preparation or rehearsals. We've gone "simpler".

  • The solution for us was something simpler with options for EVERY child to participate in some way shape or form whether they show up for rehearsal or at the time of the "performance."  No reason you can't have 6 Magi and 8 shepherds!

  • We use Sunday School class-time to learn the story, and one "all kids" class-time to rehearse with everyone. In our church, that "one rehearsal time" is the hour before the worship service in which the performance of the story will take place.

  • Participation: We have someone standing by the door as families walk in for the service to ask their kids if they want to participate (some do). During the service we also have the pastor invite any of the kids who are sitting in the pews to go to the back of the sanctuary where they are greeted with someone who throws a costume on them and assigns them to either the Magi or Shepherds group.

  • We make it clear that those who stay for rehearsal after worship one Sunday will get bigger parts, but that everyone will get SOME part. (We invite the kids to sing together, and even those who just showed up can read or mouth the lyrics.)

  • We use teens to be "group leaders" for rehearsal and the performance.   If you're assigned the Magi's part, you follow the "Lead Magi."  The lead is responsible for making sure the kids get costumed, know their parts, and do things on cue.

  • In our Rotation Sunday School, we plan a "Great Big Drama Workshop" that everyone attends in lieu of individual classes/workshops so that everyone can rehearse together.  We use the preceding weeks of individual workshops to do the teaching, and divvy up the parts before we get to the rehearsal.

  • We've found that it's super important to alert parents to the PARTS which their children have taken, what costuming they might need, and ask a parent to rehearse the one or two lines their child may have.

  • Our kids sing two songs during their performance of the Christmas story, one traditional Hymn and usually one that is a "kids song" they have rehearsed. We've found that it's important to have LYRIC CUE CARDS for all the children, but especially for those who "just showed up" the day of the performance and need to feel included.

  • This is such a busy time of year that yes, parents seem to think it is just "one more thing" to take their kids to a practice.  Our program runs with a 15 minute music/ hymn time which we extend to  a 1/2 hour during the 5 weeks prior to our pageant when we practice our Christmas songs we will sing and use this as a practice time. The rest of the 1/2 hour is devoted to the Christmas story in the rotation format.

  • Your answer here: ________________________________________   (click reply below!)
Last edited by Luanne Payne

Christmas Eve Family Worship Program
- easy, minimal-rehearsal necessary

Attached is the script for the Christmas Program that I wrote that we do each year as part of our family Christmas Eve service.

It's a program that requires only one, one-hour rehearsal (just run through the program), including time to get costumed and run through it again.  There is nothing to memorize.  And enough people are at the rehearsal so that any child who shows up on Christmas Eve is welcome to join in - they can follow along with their costume group members who were at the rehearsal.  We always have extra costumes available.  

The attached script includes the traditional Christmas songs that we sing, scripture readings, and a description of what the costumed children are doing during the songs and readings to help bring the story of Jesus' birth to life. Also attached (see end of this post) are PDFs with instructions for each of the four role leaders (Holy family and animals, shepherds/sheep, angels, and readers) that clearly outline what each part does throughout the service and also helps you organize costumes and supplies.

Photos below:


A real life baby in the manger is mesmerizing! Helpful tip: use a hula skirt instead of hay - less itchy and a lot less messy!





Angels "flying" - so fun!


Covid modifications — greater distancing.


Christmas at the Farm

Last year we started a Christmas at the Farm event. Everyone loved it! Even in the rain and freezing cold. We plan to do it again this year.

We filmed the Christmas program script (see above post) out at the farm with the kids in the field doing all the action.

We had hot cocoa and cider — which were so welcome. It was an outdoor event so worked well in Covid conditions and we had the shelter of a barn to warm up a bit.






This year we plan to add in a storytelling as well.

Below are comments from others who have also gone to the farm . . . . moved here to consolidate topic


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The Christmas Light - an Advent Candle Lighting Play

EXCERPT from the Setup:

We observe the season of Advent which is a time of waiting and preparing for the coming Christ into the world.  One of the goals of this script is to instruct, develop and inform about this tradition.


(Your church may use purple candles. Songs can be changed. There are other parts of the story which can be told as a candle is lit, but these are the ones the SCRIPT is written around.)

Script is attached in two forms: a PDF file for easy viewing , as well as, a Word docx file should you need to make adaptations.

#1 Hope

#2 Peace

#3 Joy

#4 Love

Christmas Candle











The Patriarchs

The Prophets


John the Baptist

Mary, Joseph, Baby, Angels

Hark the Her.

It Came Upon

O Little Town

Go Tell it on the Mountain

This Hope, Peace, Joy, Love


The Candles:          Hope, Peace, Joy, Love and the Christmas Candle

The Patriarchs & Matriarchs:     Abraham, Sarah, Joseph, Moses, Miriam, Ruth &
          King David

The Prophets:           Samuel, Isaiah, Jeremiah & Micah

The Relatives of Jesus:          Zachariah, Elizabeth, Mary, Joseph


John the Baptist

The Acolyte


Power Point operator

Copyright Phil Holck, Lutheran Church of the Cross, Calgary, AB
Permission is granted to use for educational purposes if acknowledgment of author and copyright is given.

Below, members comments about this great script

moved here to consolidate topic.


Last edited by Luanne Payne

Who Will Save Us?

A Christmas Play based on the Gospel of Matthew

In the gospel of Matthew, the nativity (birth) story of Jesus is rather abbreviated. Much of what we consider to be part of Jesus’ birth comes from Luke: the shepherds, the sky full of angels, the census, the traveling to Bethlehem, no room at the inn, the birth in the manger. The emphasis in the gospel of Matthew is Jesus as the fulfillment of Jewish hopes of a Messiah. The overall structure of Matthew is that a “Pentateuch” (five books) which Jewish readers would connect with the first five books of the Bible attributed to Moses. Moses was the one whom God sent to deliver the Hebrews from the hand of the Egyptians. So also, the gospel writer of Matthew believed that Jesus was the one sent by God to save God’s people as the lived in a land occupied by the Romans.

This drama was written to highlight the parallels of Moses’ and Jesus’ birth stories and to lay the foundation of reading Matthew’s gospel of Jesus in the coming year. A Script PDF file is attached for ease of viewing, as well as the original docx file for adapting.

The dominant backdrops are two large cardboard pyramid/mountain type structures (Egypt-> a pyramid; Bethlehem-> Herodium-King Herod the Great’s palace and future burial place just east of Bethlehem). In the center is the set of a house that is divided in half—the left side (lector side) will be the house of Amram & Jochebed (Moses’ parents); the right side will be the home of Joseph (and later, Mary) the “parents” of Jesus., they are very simple house structures.

The dominant scene backdrops are:

  • Two large cardboard pyramid/mountain type structures:
    • Egypt-> a pyramid (left side)
    • Bethlehem-> Herodium-King Herod the Great’s palace and future burial place just east of Bethlehem (right side)
  • In between the above structures are two very simple house structures, basically a house that is divided in half:
    • the left side (lector side) will be the house of Amram & Jochebed (Moses’ parents)
    • the right side will be the home of Joseph (and later, Mary) the “parents” of Jesus.


Who Belongs At The Manger? - a Christmas Program


The Goal of this Children’s Christmas Program is:

  1. To have the children learn (in an experiential way) the story of Jesus’ birth,
  2. To give the congregation a chance to remember and reconnect with the Christmas Story,
  3. To be part of an event in which the congregation gathers and celebrates Jesus’ birth.

The General Concept/Idea

The primary dialogue and movement of the play will be a BROTHER and SISTER trying to identify the pieces of a nativity scene which they had mixed in with their other toys the previous Christmas. As the brother and sister go through their TOY BOX, they will be trying to remember and decide what belongs around the manger. As the pieces are “found” and placed in the Nativity Set, life-size people/figures take their places around the full-size Nativity Set in front of the altar.

The “dialogue” will be read by two readers at the pulpit and the lectern. The BROTHER and SISTER will mime/lip sync what is being read.

As new figures are placed in the Nativity Scene, there will be musical breaks where carols/Christmas Songs are sung (by children, soloists, and/or congregation).

Character Outline

The brother (Jimmy) and sister (Lizzy) are 10-11 years old.

Lizzy is a little bit older and in general acts a little bit more mature. She likes to think she knows a lot but occasionally Jimmy comes in with some surprising insight and knowledge. She likes

Jimmy is a rambunctious boy. He tends to get distracted the most by the toys he finds while looking through the toy box. Lizzy has to keep reigning him in and refocusing on the task.

In general, they like each other and get a kick out of gentle ribbing and teasing.

The Mom is really sharp. She is less “put out” about the pieces being missing than enjoying an opportunity for them to have a project to help prepare for Christmas.

Cast of Characters

  • Jimmy
  • Lizzy
  • Mom
  • Mary
  • Joseph
  • 3 Shepherds
  • 3 Wise Men
  • Angels
  • Barn Animals (children in costumes or cut out)
  • Living toys:
    • Power Ranger
    • Star Wars figures (Darth Vader, Obi Wan Kenobi, Luke Skywalker-with light-saber)
    • Dolls, Stuffed Animals, GI Joe, Barbie & Ken
    • Harry Potter
    • Woody
    • Buzz Lightyear
    • Batman
    • Superman
    • Transformer


A Shepherd's Tale, a Christmas Play

A tale that portrays the disciple Thomas if he had been a shepherd boy (Tommy) in the fields that star lite night.

Script is attached in two forms: a PDF file for easy viewing , as well as, a DOC file should you need to make adaptations.

Overview: The story is about a shepherd boy (Tommy) who is tending the sheep (tells them the story of Abraham) when the angels appear to tell them about the birth of Jesus. He goes and gets his older brothers (who always make him pull the night watch because they can). They all hear the message and want to go, but Tommy realizes that someone needs to stay with the sheep. He volunteers to stay behind.

The brothers go to Bethlehem and see the baby Jesus in the stable (all to a musical interlude).

While they are there, Jesus appears to Tommy back in the field and promises that someday he will be a “shepherd of people” because of his faithfulness.

The next act skips forward many years to when Tommy is now grown. He is in Capernaum and has been diligent in studying the Scriptures. He hears about a man who teaches with authority and can heal people. Tommy comes to see if he is the one who appeared to him that night in the field. It is Jesus and Jesus calls him to follow him.

The narrator does a quick synopsis of Jesus’ ministry and what the disciples’ experience was. Then there is a brief portrayal of the Last Supper, Gethsemane, and the Crucifixion.

The story picks up again with the disciples coming to get Tommy because Jesus has appeared to them. Tommy doesn’t believe it. Then there is the scene in the locked room where Jesus appears to Thomas. Thomas now believes and Jesus sends him out to be a shepherd in the church—to lead, guide, protect, inspire, nurture the believers.


A Ruler from Bethlehem Shadow Play

created to be performed in Church during Advent

(copied from Jesus' Birth foretold by Isaiah and the Prophets - Drama Workshops)

This drama features a conversation in the synagogue between two rabbis interpreting Scripture and discussing the prophecies about the coming Messiah.

It would work well for older children.

The children performed it as a shadow play and used sound effects of a ram's horn.

*A PowerPoint which shows what the shadows would look like and how they go with the script. It also includes the sound effects of the ram's horn and lines for the audience.

Here is the script:

(Moderator's Note: The sound file is not included, so you will need to find a Shofar Sound Effect. Example: Found this nice one, though I do not know if this is what exactly would be played, but it is a short video of a Shofar horn being blown in Jerusalem (41 Seconds)  entitled SHOFAR in Jerusalem | Ancient music horn | Jewish posted by Soothing Music

Last edited by Luanne Payne

From the Manger to the Cross

Christmas Program

Our Christmas Program was a small (20 minute or so) part of one of the Sunday services in December.  Our rehearsal time was during our Sunday School time for several weeks before the date of the program.  We did the program in late service, so that we had the Sunday school time that day to get into costumes, run through things, etc. Our ages ranged from PreK through 8th grade.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son,
that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.
For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world,
but to save the world through Him.”          —John 3: 16-17

We are all sinners in need of a Savior.  Fortunately, God loves us and had a plan for our salvation—a plan that involved His only Son, Jesus Christ.  In our program today, we remember that God’s plan did not end with the birth of Christ.  The fulfillment of God’s promise occurred with the victory of the Cross and the Resurrection.  (Narrated by one of the older kids).

A Christmas Poem        “What Christmas Means”                       Vickie Lambdin

(This poem is basically "C is for............  H is for...............".  We had 9 students stand up in front.  Each had a posterboard with one of the letters on it.  Their line to the poem was written on the back of the posterboard.  So they held up their letter and read their line, then the next person held up their letter and read their line. etc.  We contacted the author for permission to use the poem.  Here is a link to the poem:

“Away in a Manger”                       (sung by PreK through 2nd grade)

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid.  I bring you good news of great joy
that will be for all people  Today in the town of David a Savior has been  born to you;
He is Christ the Lord.”  --Luke 2: 10-11

From the Manger—A Christmas Drama
by Dixie Phillips

(This was a very short drama skit. I "think" it was from Abingdon Press (see note at end of this post of actual book).  It had been in our Sunday School closet for years!  The following parts had lines (basically 1-2 sentences so that wasn't too hard):  Narrator, donkey, Mary, Joseph, Innkeeper, Angel 1 & 2, Shepherd 1-4, Star, Wise Man 1-3.  The smallest kids filled in the ranks of angels and shepherds.

Philippians 2: 8-9 reminds us that Christ “made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.  And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross”.    The Babe of Bethlehem grew up to become the Christ of Calvary.

Hymn             (Sung by the congregation)

(This gave us time to get all the kids down from the altar area and into their seats, and set up the DVD projector and screen at the front of the church).

Music Video          “Mary, Did You Know?”                    by Mark Lowry

Mary, a devout Jewish maiden, would have been aware of the promises
and prophecies of the Savior included in the Scriptures.
After the shepherds came to see the newborn Savior and to share
what the angels had said, Luke states that “Mary treasured up all
  these things and pondered them in her heart”.  
Did Mary really know that her Son would heal the sick
and calm the storm and raise the dead?
Did she know that He would die on a cross for our sins (and her sins)
—and come back to life so that we would have salvation?   

Last Christmas, in Sunday School, we talked about these things.
Then the students acted out the words of this song.
We put these actions to the music in order to create this video.

The Manger to the Cross   (sung by Grades 3-8)               by Mark Collier, Angel Creek Music, 2000. (VBS, Road Rally Praises, Jesus Road Rally ©2000, Standard Publishing.)

(Here is a link for The Manger to the Cross song, once there to view click on View or to download click on green PDF - as pictured below, found on pages 16-17.)


Love came down at Christmas, and from Calvary arose.
For death gave way to victory, when He triumphed o’er His foes.
by Gary Cavendish

Note by Moderator
:  The skit "From the Manger" by Dixie Phillips 4114655appears to be in the book "The Best Christmas Programs For All Ages: Plays, Poems, and Ideas for a Joyful Celebration!", Standard Pub., [2011], 9780784733073. I found a site that had the Table of Contents listed (link) and it indicated 44 -- From the Manger / Dixie Phillips. 207 pages. Good Reviews of Book and copies still can be found online in 2023.

But you could also substitute that skit for something from your own Christmas skit collection OR substitute the Black Light "It's About the Cross" posted next.


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"It's About the Cross" by Go Fish

Black Light Christmas Performance

Song is found on their CD titled "Christmas with a Capital "C".

I saw this done several years ago on YouTube and thought the song was lovely and the props looked easy to make.

I have attached the file I created that includes: the lyrics indicating words where a black light prop is used; a black light prop chart to keep track of what you need or have; and a cast sheet to note whose doing what.

There are several YouTube video's of churches black light performances done to this song, here is one of them: It's About the Cross - Black Light Christmas Play -Perham Baptist Church 2019"

We eventually did this in a drama workshop and the kids really enjoyed it, so we performed it for our congregation at what we call our "White Gift" service put on by the Sunday School around the 2nd Sunday in December, I did not film ours.

If you are new to Black Lights see the manual I posted here at link.

Below are a list of props we used, with some photos, that may be of help.

  • Musical Notes
  • Manger
  • Baby Doll
    wrapped in white blanket
  • Angels
    Dressed in  White Choir Gowns with Halo’s
  • Shepherd:   White Hat &  Staff
  • Sheep
    (we have 3 large white stuffed sheep the shepherds carried)
  • Star
  • Wisemen
    (3 dressed in black, Wearing Neon Crowns and carrying neon wrapped Boxes)
  • Cross 2-BlackLight-Cross
    (we had a large wooden one, that had a base like the tree so it didn't have to be held up, it could be removed from base to lay down during verses and placed back in the stand during chorus).
  • Stone Stone 3-BlackLight-Tomb-Stone
    (see here how I made our stone here - link)
  • Chorus
    We added to chorus the following Words Spelled out in neon colors on black (letters cut out of neon Bristol board sheets:
    • Sin4-BlackLight-Words-Sayings-Chorus
    • Jesus
    • Save
    • You & I
  • Presents
    (went through my Christmas Wrap to see what would glow under black light, then used that to wrap up three boxes.)
  • Christmas Tree with ornaments
    (Ornaments are cut from neon paper and highlighted with black markers, I used removable sticky tape on them so the fir tree could be used without the ornaments in the future.) This tree we borrowed from another church. For another skit that needed fir trees I created these link.
    5a-BlackLight-Tree -Base5b-BlackLight-Tree -Base5c-BlackLight-Tree -Back5d-BlackLight-Tree -Front
  • Fireplace
    6a-BlackLight-Fireplace -16b-BlackLight-Fireplace6c-BlackLight-Fireplace-Front6d-BlackLight-Fireplace-Back
  • Stockings
  • Snowflakes
    (these I purchased as a garland, at either 7-BlackLight-SnowflakesDollarama or the Dollar Tree, and I just cut the felt snowflakes off the string that connected them and glued groups of snowflakes to a pieces of black foam board.)
  • Bible (can be a simple open book shape that says Bible)8-BlackLight-God-Heart
  • Pink Heart with God (written inside it with a wide black marker).


Last edited by Luanne Payne

Children’s Christmas Program K- 6
by Immanuel Lutheran, Boise

In this program, each speaker comes from the 5th and 6th grades. The speaker goes to the lectern and uses a microphone to read the Bible verse.(Overview: Noah - Jonah - God's Mercy - Joseph/Mary/Baby Jesus - John 3:16.)

Most children sing the songs listed. Pre-k and Kindergarten children have limited singing parts, such as the chorus to songs. Note: I do not have the composer's name or publisher for the songs.


SPEAKER 1: This fall in Faith Quest, we studied two Old Testament stories, Noah and the Ark, and Jonah and the Whale. The events of the Old Testament prepared the way for the coming of the Messiah, our Savior Jesus.

SPEAKER 2: He blotted out every living thing that was upon the face of the ground, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the air; they were blotted out from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those that were with him in the ark. (Genesis 7:23)

SONG: First verse from the song listed below. The verse starts, “Six hundred years old…”

SPEAKER 3: This story shows the judgment and the mercy of God. His judgment is shown in the flood. His mercy is shown in the ark that preserved Noah and his family. 2500 years later, Jesus was born. Jesus preserves us from the flood of God’s judgment.

SPEAKER 4: And the Lord appointed a great fish to swallow up Jonah; and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. (Jonah 1:1 – 3, 17)

SONG: Verse 2 - “Now Jonah had a whale of a problem…”

SPEAKER 5:  Jonah learned that God has mercy on all people, even the people of Nineveh. About 700 years later, Jesus was born. The angels said to the shepherds, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy, which shall be for all the people.” (Luke 2:10)

SPEAKER 6: And Joseph also went up from Galilee from the city of Nazareth to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, in order to register, along with Mar, who was engaged to him, and was with child. And it came about that while they were there, the days were completed fro her to give birth. And she gave birth to her first-born son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. (Luke 2:4 – 7)

SONG: “Angels We Have Heard On High” (with congregation)

SPEAKER 7:  For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

SONG: “Santo, Santo, Santo”

SPEAKER 8:  Today, Jesus comes into our hearts at baptism. We sing joyfully about the faith He has given us! Merry Christmas, everyone!

Last edited by Luanne Payne


Adapted from Matthew 1-2 and Luke 2:1-7, NRSV

This script could be adapted for use in a classroom drama or worship setting.

"Readers Theater" is a presentation concept that typically means, "sitting and reading, not moving around a stage."  Characters are in costume and in character, however.

  Click here to PRINT a pdf of this Script.


Chief Priest
Narrator 1
Narrator 2
Wise Men


NARRATOR 1: My name is ____________. I will be one of the Narrators.

NARRATOR 2: My name is ____________. I will be one of the Narrators.

JOSEPH: My name is ____________. I am Joseph.

MARY: My name is ____________. I am Mary.

ANGEL: My name is ____________. I am the Angel.

PROPHET: My name is ____________. I will be sharing with you the words of the Prophets.

WISE MEN: My name is ____________. I am one of the Wise Men.

HEROD: My name is ____________. I am King Herod.

CHIEF PRIEST: My name is ____________. I am the Chief Priest.

NARRATOR 1: Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit.

MARY: Joseph, we need to talk.

JOSEPH: Yes, sweetheart.

MARY: This is hard to explain, and will be difficult for you to understand, but I need to tell you something.

JOSEPH: Yes, yes, I’m listening.

MARY: An angel visited me, and told me that I have found favor with God. He told me I would conceive and bear a son, and name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.

JOSEPH: I don’t understand! How can this be?

MARY: Well, as the angel Gabriel told me, nothing will be impossible with God.

JOSEPH: I need some time to think about this. I’ll see you later.

NARRATOR 2: Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose Mary to public disgrace, planned to end their engagement quietly. But just when he had resolved to do this, an Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream.

JOSEPH: [Make snoring noise.]

ANGEL: Joseph, listen to me.

JOSEPH: Huhhh?

ANGEL: Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.

NARRATOR 1: All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet Isaiah.

PROPHET: Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him ‘Emmanuel,’ which means, ‘God is with us’ (Isaiah 7:14).

NARRATOR 2: When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the Angel of the Lord commanded him.

JOSEPH: Wow! What an amazing dream. But was it a dream? I think it was the Angel of the Lord. And I think Mary was telling me the truth. I need to go talk to her right away.

JOSEPH: Mary! Mary!

MARY: Yes, Joseph?

JOSEPH: I need to tell you something.

MARY: Yes, I’m listening.

JOSEPH: I had a dream. But I’m not sure it was a dream. An Angel visited me last night. And I believe everything you told me. I will marry you. And we will name our son Jesus.

NARRATOR 1: So Joseph married Mary as originally planned. Time passed. The special baby grew inside her.

NARRATOR 2: One day a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. All were to go to their own towns to be registered.

JOSEPH: Mary, I need to tell you something.

MARY: Yes, dear. I’m listening.

JOSEPH: Mary, my family is from Bethlehem. Remember, I am a member of the tribe of Judah. I am descended from King David.

MARY: Yes. I know that.

JOSEPH: Well, the Emperor is taking that census. And we need to travel to my family’s hometown to be counted.

MARY: All the way to Bethlehem? Must we go now? Can’t we wait until after the baby is born.

JOSEPH: No, dear, I’m sorry. But we’ll take our time. You may ride the donkey.

MARY: May it be as you have said.

NARRATOR 1: So Joseph went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house of David. He went with Mary, who was expecting a child.

MARY: Joseph, I am so tired. Are we there yet?

JOSEPH: Yes, dear. I see the city walls ahead. I hope we can find a place to stay. There are so many travelers on the road, I am afraid all the inns may be full.

NARRATOR 2: While they were there, the time came for her to have her baby.

NARRATOR 1: She gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

NARRATOR 2: After Jesus was born in Bethlehem, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, the capital city.

WISE MAN: We would like to see King Herod.

KING HEROD: Yes, Your Majesties, what do you wish?

WISE MAN: Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him our respects.

NARRATOR 1: When King Herod heard this, he was frightened

HEROD: I want to see all the chief priests and scribes right away!

CHIEF PRIEST: You summoned us, Your Highness?

HEROD: Tell me what you know. Where will the Messiah be born?

CHIEF PRIEST: In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet:

PROPHET: And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who is to shepherd my people Israel (Micah 5:2).

HEROD: Wise Men! I have news for you!

WISE MAN: Yes, Your Highness? What did you find out?

HEROD: Bethlehem. The Prophet Micah had said the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem in the land of Judah. And, tell me, when exactly did the star appear?

WISE MAN: Over a year ago. That is when we started our journey.

HEROD: Go and search for the child. And please, when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him my respects.

NARRATOR 2: The wise men set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother and Joseph his father; and they knelt down. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.

NARRATOR 1: Now after the wise men had left, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream.

JOSEPH: [Make snoring noise.]

ANGEL: Joseph, get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.

JOSEPH: Mary, Mary!

MARY: [Make snoring noise.]

JOSEPH: Mary, wake up!

MARY: What is it?

JOSEPH: Mary, I need to tell you something.

MARY: I’m listening.

JOSEPH: An Angel of the Lord visited my dream again. We must pack up and leave for Egypt right away. King Herod wants to kill Jesus!

MARY: Oh no! Let’s leave now.

NARRATOR 2: Then Joseph took the child and his mother by night, and went to Egypt. They remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet.

PROPHET: Out of Egypt I have called my son (Hosea 11:1).

NARRATOR 1: When Herod saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, he was infuriated, and he killed all the children in and around Bethlehem who were two years old or under, based on the time that he had learned from the wise men. This fulfilled what had been spoken through the prophet Jeremiah.

PROPHET: A voice was heard, wailing and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be consoled, because her children are no more (Jeremiah 31:15).

NARRATOR 2: Time passed. After Herod died, an Angel of the Lord suddenly appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt.

JOSEPH: [Make snoring noise.]

ANGEL: Joseph! Get up, take the child and his mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who were seeking the child’s life are dead.

JOSEPH: That’s wonderful! Mary, Mary!

MARY: [Make snoring noise.]

JOSEPH: Mary, wake up!

MARY: What is it?

JOSEPH: Mary, I need to tell you something.

MARY: I’m listening.

JOSEPH: An Angel of the Lord visited my dream again. We can pack up and leave Egypt. King Herod is dead!

MARY: Hooray! We can go home?

JOSEPH: Yes. We are finally taking Jesus home.

NARRATOR 1: Then Joseph took the child and his wife, and went to the land of Israel. After being warned in another dream, Joseph took his family to the district of Galilee. There he made his home in a town called Nazareth, so that what had been spoken through the prophets might be fulfilled.

PROPHET: He will be called a Nazarene (Isaiah 11:1).

NARRATOR 2: And there Jesus lived with Joseph and Mary; and he grew in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and men.


Last edited by Luanne Payne

"Testimonies" from the First Christmas

Adult Christmas Eve Version

A few years ago, we had an adult evening Christmas Eve service with "testimonies" from Joseph, a shepherd, the innkeeper and Mary.
The testimonies were interspersed with relevant carols and scripture readings.
A member of the congregation wrote the testimonies and 4 members read them with drama and emotion.
It was beautiful, different and enlightening.

Children's Led Worship Service Version

The next year, we decided to do the same thing for the children.
The testimonies were scaled down and simplified.
Each told the Christmas story from their own perspective.
Adults and a teenage Mary were given the parts.
The 5th grade children were asked to read scripture, lead prayers, sing and be the ushers for this children led worship service.
At the end, we distributed rhythm instruments so everyone participated in a final carol song.
Parents were invited too.
It was very well received. The children loved that they had their own worship service and the testimonies were just right for the kids.


Last edited by Luanne Payne

The Last Doorbell

An Advent sketch suggested by Neil MacQueen

We are working on simple play about being so busy/exhausted and caught up in our traditions and preparations that we fail to see the needs of others or answer the doorbell when the holy family arrives looking for a place to stay.

The night begins with an extended family each involved in their "own thing" getting ready for Christmas.  Wrapping, baking, decorating, getting ready for church, etc.

The doorbell keeps ringing --interrupting what various people in the family think is more important.   

There are two deliveries at the door (UPS, Amazon -- one just throws the package at the door.

The next-door neighbor in need of help.

Carolers who just keep singing until they have the door closed in their face.

A lonely friend who steps inside for a moment but is sent away because its time to go to church.

The last doorbell rings but everyone is too exhausted to go answer it. But it's Mary, Joseph, and the baby Jesus who leave disheartened when no one answers the door because they are "too exhausted/busy."  (Each family member has a different excuse.)

Finally, a young child opens the door. Mary asks if they have room for them. The child turns and shouts to the rest of the family, "Mom, Dad, there's someone at the door asking if we have room for them!"  End.

"Waiting" a Living Advent Calendar Pageant

by Mary Jo Ramsey
First Congregational Church, Vermont

We just had our Pageant Sunday performance.  Because it had to be this early (Dec. 15), we chose a theme around "waiting".

We did a "living Advent Calendar." Members of the congregation asked scripted questions, and then the children took turns popping their heads out of the calendar with the answers.


Print the Script:

There were lots of laughter, and tears as well.

Members especially liked the message of waiting, serving others, Mary and Joseph's journey.

We did this with just 6 children. Much more than that would have been crowded behind the calendar board we created.

The asterisks in the script are the children parts. This script is really quite easy to adapt to any situation.

Remarks from members were great.  They were struck by the whole message of waiting and the fact that there ARE more important things than presents!Waiting_20Advent_20Pageant_201

As part of Advent, our Pastor invited the children to move the creche figures a little closer to the manger every week and they took part in the readings and lighting of the Advent Candles.

Mary Jo Ramsey

Consolidating responses to this post:

Luanne Payne: How did you make the Advent Calendar board?

Mj: The board was donated so I have no idea how they built it, but it appears that they cut the holes and then cut new pieces for the doors because they fit pretty tight. I am so happy that someone finds this helpful!



Last edited by Luanne Payne

Stranger Bursts in and Asks Questions

Christmas Program Idea

We used to put on a huge kids production every year, but that took much adult preparation and work I know- and the kids had to be there for practice every Sunday at 9:30 or so. I loved being a part of it then, but now as one of the adults... I am not nearly so interested.

The last few years the only thing we have done is a somewhat impromptu skit usually based on the nativity. Last year the skit had this person (a church member pretending to be a stranger) bust in the doors asking: What was going on?, What is Christmas about?, and one person "explained" while people (dressed as Mary, shepherds, etc) came out to illustrate. It was very simple, and we only had one practice, a few nights before the event.

This year the kids are doing something very similar, dressing as people in the story and singing a few songs. They practiced during Children's church time, not SS. As for attendance/participation worries, if people aren't willing to get their kids there early on Sunday mornings, or arrange for other times, I wouldn't worry about it. Just my thoughts...

Gum Creek Pres

Last edited by Luanne Payne

Saturday "Pizza Birthday Party for Jesus" Rehearsal Idea

Our church used to have a big successful children's Christmas Eve worship service with a Nativity pageant. "Back in the day" we would practice on 3 consecutive Saturday mornings before Christmas Eve. But as the years wore on, it became harder for kids to make practices and parents started to complain about the schedule and their kids being "left out."

Then we changed pastors and started the Workshop Rotation Model for Sunday School, and that became our opportunity to re-evaluate our Christmas program preparation.

Our solution: We changed the time of the "Family Christmas Service & Program" to a Sunday afternoon one week before Christmas.  We moved to a single rehearsal on the Saturday the day before and made it a pizza "Birthday Party for Baby Jesus."

We also use the Sunday School workshops leading up the week of the special program to study the story and work on things we might want to get ready for the single Saturday rehearsal.

You may want to check out this forum as well: Advent Workshops/Lessons that incorporate a Christmas Program Prep & Practice for additional ideas.

And note that we do a "service" rather than a pageant or play. No cutesy time-travelers scripts or other gimmicky things that require a lot of rehearsal and usually involve fewer kids. We also make sure there are roles for older children, especially reading roles.

Works for us!

Advent or Jesse Tree Programs

Compilation of Advent / Christmas Program Ideas

Advent Tree Skit

Posted by Luanne Payne

From: A Very Opinionated Christmas Tree, Abingdon Press, 2005, 9780687495665.Capture
Reproducible. Ages 3-12. Includes speeches, recitations, and very short dramas for Advent and Christmas.
From it we have used "A Very Opinionated Christmas Tree" Drama. Overview: A discussion takes place between a grumpy Christmas Tree and someone in the church. The tree is adamant it's not a Christmas Tree and he finally convinces the person that to be a Christmas tree he must not only be decorated with ornaments representing the Christmas story, but the people decorating him must know the meaning behind each. Gives several suggestions on ways to decorate the tree and ornament suggestions.
Have someone hidden with a microphone and connected to a loud-speaker under/in the tree, but who can easily hear the other person's responses - great fun for the congregation and the kids.

The Advent Tree Program

Posted by Reesee

For the opening weekend, we did "The Advent Tree", a simple play that incorporates 24 kids (we used 25), each of whom bring forward a special ornament to place on the tree. Each ornament has specific significance. Obvious ones are the star, fish, bell, etc. No so obvious ones include an owl (reminding us to be wise as we watch and wait for Jesus), a piggy bank (to remind us to give to others and not to be "piggy", a four-leaf clover (to remind us how lucky we are), an Easter egg (no Christmas story is complete without the Easter story), etc. The play comes from Contemporary Drama and it took NO rehearsal, yet 25 kids got to participate. Youth helpers placed the ornaments on the tree and adult leaders read the meaning behind each one. A hand-out was given to each child to remind them what each ornament stood for. The purpose was to help children find Jesus in many different things, not just the symbols that are so familiar to them. We tasked them with making one ornament such as those on their tree at church. We used this as the launch to Advent. Yes, the time ran over a little for the Workshops but it was well worth it.
Virginia Beach United Methodist

Posted by MMB
Who used the above "The Advent Tree Program" that Reesee talks about commented:

A look at Advent and Christmas through readings and carols based on symbols of the season (some traditional, and some not so traditional).

Each reading is quite short, and goes with an ornament to hang on the Christmas tree. (We did use our own patterns for the ornaments rather than the ones provided with the script, however.)

We had an intergenerational event to make the ornaments, had the youngest children hang them on the tree as the older kids did the readings, everyone sang together, and there was even an Advent coloring book created using assorted clip art and adaptations of the readings.

Moderator Adds:
WoW - I think I found the actually drama Reesee was talking about.

  • P1227: The Advent Tree, By Jan Brown

A pre-Christmas children's program. All the children in your Sunday school may be included in this easy-to-present program featuring symbols of the Advent season. The symbol ornaments hang on a large Advent calendar banner when the program begins. A reader explains the meaning behind each of the 24 symbols as a preschool child hangs the ornaments on a tree. After the tree is trimmed, the traditional Christmas story is told in rhyme with familiar Christmas carols interspersed. Instructions for each symbol included (candle, star, owl, Easter egg, etc.). Playing time is 30 to 40 minutes. Includes 10 scripts.
when you get to the site in the search box type P1227

Other ideas (books)

Posted by Dana

  • The Advent Jesse Tree, by Dean Meador Lambert, Abindgon Press, 1991,  A collection of 25 devotions for adults and 25 devotions for children. Reproducible cutouts for the Advent season. Hardcover.
  • Before and After Christmas, by Debbie Trafton O'Neal, Augsburg, 1991, Looking for ways to add meaning to the season---from Advent through Epiphany? Here's an idea-a-day! Activities, service projects, crafts, recipes, worship plans, stories, and more. 64 pages, softcover. (not sure if the Jesse tree is covered in this book)

Jesse Tree

Posted by Hilary S.
Reesee's "Advent Tree" above sounds like it has different symbols from the "Jesse Tree".
My husband and I made the symbols for the latter some years ago and our children enjoy putting it up at the start of Advent. The story is told much like "The House that Jack Built", teaching the story of Jesus right from "the apple of Eden", the ark, Ten Commandments, to the proclamation by John the Baptist.


Images (1)
  • Capture
Last edited by Luanne Payne

Advent / Christmas Programs

Compilation of Members website suggestions posted over the years.


The famous online archive of Christian skits and plays, is often referenced here at It's website URL changed a few years ago to   Many of their scripts are newer.

Here is a list of links on their site to all 54 scripts they have related to the search term "CHRISTMAS." This link takes you to page 1 of the search results at Dramatix

  • "Jefferey the Mailman"
    Posted by
    Last year our children preformed “Jefferey the Mailman” by Terri Lee, a free script posted on Dramatix.  It went over well with teens doing the acting parts in front of the children’s choir.

Pioneer Drama

Posted by MMB

Sample copies can be ordered for a very reasonable price. To find them, you'll need to type CHRISTMAS in their search engine and browse through their over 50 scripts.

Christian Publisher

Posted by MMB

Two of my favorite scripts we have used in our Christmas Programs are from this site and they are:

  • "Family Memories of Christmas" Project
    Our High School students conducted interviews with several of our older members to collect Christmas stories. The script gives you suggested questions. We then went through the quotes to select some of the most appropriate and meaningful for the program.The older elementary students and junior highers read the quotes, the younger children sang songs and posed in the Nativity scene we created at the end while the story was read from Luke. This did take a lot of advance preparation. We did the interviews in late October in order to allow time for the High Schoolers to do the editing as a Sunday School class project. This had RAVE REVIEWS among our congregation. I'm holding on to it to try it again maybe 4-5 years down the line.

  • My other favorite from this site is "The Advent Tree Program", and you can find my notes on that in the above post.

Sunday School Center

Posted by Sherry

I found a wonderful FREE source of Christmas skits online at the "Sunday School Center" website

Their site has lots of free skits and there is even a helpful guide to planning a Children's Christmas program.

The humorous "A Christmas to Believe In!" skit/script is especially good and suitable for youth.

Cathy's Music

Christmas musicals and songs for preschoolers and children - from Cathy's music (the ones I looked at do not use "traditional" Christmas songs)

PRC - Practical Resources for Churches (

Has lots of articles on Children's Ministry. Their article about different types of Christmas plays includes some suggestions and resources - New Ways of Doing the Christmas Pageant.

Childrens Ministry Ideas Unlimited Blog Spot

Narrator: The sheep on the fields outside Bethlehem were all tucked in for a good night’s sleep. It was dark, but they weren't afraid. They knew their shepherds were watching over them. The fire felt good; the night was chilly.
Shepherd #1: Do you see what I see?
Shepherd #2: Yes!
Shepherd #3: Me, too!
Shepherd #1: I'm scared!
Shepherd #2: Me, too!
Shepherd #3: Look at that light in the sky!
Angel: Don't be afraid. I have good news! A Baby has been born tonight.
Shepherds A BABY?
Angel: Yes, a baby. The most important baby in all the world.
Shepherd #1: Important baby?
Angel: A very special baby. A Savior. His name is Jesus.
Shepherd #2: A Savior?
Shepherd #3: Can this be true?
Angel: It's true. He is in Bethlehem, right this very minute. He's in a stable - all wrapped up and tucked in - lying in a manger.
Shepherd #1: Do you see what I see?
Shepherd #2: Yes!
Shepherd #3: The sky is full of angels!
Shepherd #1: Do you hear what I hear?
Shepherd #2: Yes!
Shepherd #3: The angels are all praising God!
Shepherd #1: "Glory to God in the highest...
Shepherd #2: "...and on earth peace, good will toward men."
Shepherd #3: I've never heard anything so wonderful!
Narrator: The angels in the sky disappeared. The light disappeared. It was dark again.
Shepherd #1: I wonder if it's true?
Shepherd #2: It MUST be true! An angel told us!
Shepherd #3: There's only one way to be sure. We must go to Bethlehem and find out.

Christian Crafters

  • "No Room in the Inn"
    Narrator: Our story is set in Bethlehem, Judea. Caesar Augustus has decreed that everyone should return to the town of their birth to be counted and taxed. The overworked Manager and employees of the overcrowded Bethlehem Inn and Spa are trying to cope with the rush of people. Join us as we listen to The Manager and Desk Clerk discussing their problems.

    Exchange Volunteer notes:
    Access the rest of the above script by Richard Ruddle at:
    (It is copyright so we can not include it here).

Kids Sunday School Place

  • "Not What I Wanted"
    Narrator: Our story unfolds just after Christmas break. Four kids are eating lunch in the school cafeteria talking about what they got for Christmas.

    Exchange Volunteer notes:
    Access the rest of the above script by Mike at:
    (It is copyright so we can not include it here).

Source Unknown

"Promises, Promises, Promises!"

RUSTY: Christmas is my favorite time of year.
SANDY: Mine, too, Rusty. I just love the way everything is so bright and colorful.
TAYLOR: And everyone is so happy and full of love.
SANDY: And we get presents! I can’t wait to get my new cell phone.
TAYLOR: And I can’t wait to get my new dirt bike!
RUSTY: How can you be so sure that’s what you’re going to get?
SANDY: ‘Cause Mom promised!
TAYLOR: She promised me, too!
RUSTY: Yeah, but you know things have been rough for us lately. Maybe she can’t afford to get those things now.
SANDY: I know.
TAYLOR: It’s not my fault things have been rough for us!
RUSTY: I’m sure Mom will get it for you if she can, but sometimes it’s just not possible to keep a promise.
SANDY: Remember last year? Jeremy bragged about how his dad promised him that really neat bike for Christmas, but he never got it?
TAYLOR: Yeah, poor Jeremy! He felt really bad after that.
SANDY: That’s the problem! Even though it’s a promise, you can never be sure it’s going to happen. It sure would be nice if you could count on a promise once it’s made.
RUSTY: The only one I know who never broke a promise is God.
TAYLOR: Never once?
RUSTY: (SHAKES HEAD.) Never once!
SANDY: I wish He was the one giving me my Christmas presents.
TAYLOR: Yeah, then I’d be sure to get what I want.
RUSTY: He already did give you guys a present. Where are you going?
SANDY: To look under the Christmas tree and find my present from God.
TAYLOR: Me too!
RUSTY: Come back! There’s no present from God under the tree.
SANDY: Well, where did He put it then?
RUSTY: In your heart.
RUSTY: Not tart in your body. Your spiritual heart.
SANDY: (SHAKES HEAD SIDE TO SIDE.) This is confusing!
RUSTY: If you have Jesus in your heart, then you’ve already received God’s special Christmas present – the one He promised long ago.
TAYLOR: Oh, I get it! (NODS HEAD UP AND DOWN.) You mean Jesus. He was the Savior God promised to send to the world.
RUSTY: Yep. God promised Adam and Eve He would send a Savior some day, and even though God waited a long time, He kept His promise.
SANDY: Rusty, if God always keeps His promises, then I don’t ever have to be afraid or lonely, do I?
RUSTY: Nope. He said, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you” … and “I am with you always” … today, and tomorrow and next week, and next month, and next …
TAYLOR: Whoa! That’s neat! It’s like Christmas every day!

Exchange Volunteer notes: I looked for this one on-line and didn't find it so I will leave this one here.

  • "The Perfect Gift" (Adapted from the Gift of the Magi)
    Narrator: Once upon a time, there was a young lady named Regina. Her friends called her Reggie. Reggie was especially fond of her charm bracelet and wore it everywhere she went. It was her most prized possession. She had collected charms over the years and each one meant something special. Now, Reggie had a really close friend named Robbie..

    Exchange Volunteer notes:
    Access the rest of the above script at: Scroll down, it's found under special occasions.
    (It is copyright so we can not include it here).



By the way, putting "Christmas nativity play" into the search engine yielded better results than Christmas play or Christmas pageant.

Formatting of post and removal of copyright material done by Exchange Volunteer.
(Always interested in not violating copyright!)

Last edited by Luanne Payne

The Stable That Bob Built (VeggieTales)

(Book - use as script)Stable-That-Bob-Built

While this wasn't traditional, it was fun, meaningful and humourous for our kids, teens and adults in the congregation. This past year we used a Veggie Tales book published by ZonderKids called "The Stable that Bob Built".
It was enjoyable to do by the older kids and those who couldn't read also had significant parts. It just needed a narrator!
Shelley L
Alberta, Canada

Response by Luanne Payne

Thanks for this idea Shelly!
We used this with our small group of young children and it went over very well. It's written in the format of "The House that Jack Built" so lots of repetition actions for cast.

I've attached a pdf file of our cast sheet, costumes, props and actions I came up with. It may be helpful to others. Example below:

Here also is the directions for the stable backdrop we made from a fridge box years ago and used with this skit.


Last edited by Luanne Payne

"What God Wants for Christmas"

“What God Wants for Christmas” by Barbara Rainey, created by Family Life, 9781602004283 (from the makers of Resurrection Eggs).

What_God_Wants_for_ChristmasThe idea is to use at home with your kids -  each night you open one box and read that character's matching storybook page (original box set just came with cards), then add the character to the small pop-up nativity scene. The final night you find a mirror in the bottom of the last box - What God wants for Christmas is YOU!

How we used this to create a Christmas Play as our script:

I covered 7 large cardboard boxes, varying in sizes (went to a local appliance store), with Christmas paper and a bow, back of box was open. These were lined up side-by-side across the stage. Our life-size Christmas Characters (kids), could either sit behind or inside their box and would pop-up behind their box, when their part came up during story reading. All the boxes had more than one child behind it, except for the last box. We used three narrators, but you could use just one, so cast numbers can be adjusted as needed.

I've attached a pdf with details of how we did this (cast list, directions, props, song suggestions, simple lines that could be said by some individual characters, etc).  You will need to purchase this package, which includes the book, which you will use as your script, that is if you don't already have this in your resource cupboard.

Later I found this nice country song, maybe your Choir could sing, by Darius Rucker "What God Wants For Christmas. See a sample of the Lyrics here, here him sing it here on Youtube.


Last edited by Luanne Payne

Search for Baby Jesus Program Ideas

Explore Christmas Traditions

This year our entire church we took time to explore the ORIGINS and meanings of some familiar Christmas traditions, culminating in our traditional infant-gift giving project and drive-thru nativity.

This is our first year (4th month) of rotation so we veered from the Rotation Model for December.

1st Sunday: we started Nov. 30 with every class (3yr - 5th grade) following the same lesson. We included the meaning of Advent, Nativity sets and Advent wreaths and let the children decorate an ornament to hang on a tree in the breezeway.

The 2nd Sunday: we are caroling to the adult SS classes - our lesson explains the origin of Christmas carols and discusses the meaning of some of the songs, how they may not be totally true to what happened (the Bible doesn't say the angels sang or that Mary rode the donkey.)

Infant-gift Giving Project

Third Sunday: is a Search for Baby Jesus. We begin with a "gift-giving project" where children bring a baby gift (diapers, formula, etc.) that are placed in several play pens located outside the sanctuary. After worship, the children and other members wrap the gifts and decorate the packages. We talk about baby gifts today vs. in Jesus time, what infants and parents need (including safe housing, support, supplies, extended family), and remind people to offer help to young parents in their lives.

Finish with a Drive-Thru Nativity Idea

That evening, kids and parents return to continue "the search" by participating as characters or observers in our Drive-Thru Bethlehem Nativity.   Last-minute gifts can be left in the manger and there's an offering basket clearly marked "help purchase supplies for families in need."