This topic on Christmas pageants and programs began many years ago but great ideas never go out-of-date! We have curated some of the older posts (combined, clarified, reformatted, and added to), and added many new ones.
In fact, we somehow ended up with TWO Christmas Pageant/Skit forums. Here's the other one.
Please share your thoughts, ideas, and resources by using the "Post Reply" button below.
Kicking off the topic...
Member "Mother Mary" asked this question, which others have also asked over the years:
Do any of you NOT DO a Christmas Program?
How do you coordinate Sunday School with "Christmas program practice"
We have had to weave Christmas program practices into our Sunday morning workshop rotations to get maximum participation --as parents say they don't like to make extra trips to church. But the coordination of what's happening in individual workshops each Sunday related to the coming drama can be really confusing to us and our teachers.
How do you schedule the rehearsal(s) and still teach?
And how do you handle not every student being there ever week?
Many have answered "Mother Mary's" question 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" too.
- 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 hte worship service in which the performance of the story will take place.
- 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 workshop 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.
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