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Intergenerational Advent/Christmas Events
which "Begin" or "End" with a Meal (Feast)

We have consolidated the many Intergenerational Advent/Christmas Events, that either began with or end with a meal) posted over the years into this topic which began many years ago, but great ideas never go out-of-date!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 pdf files of any scripts posted for easy viewing).

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, Christmas: Programs - KEEPING IT SIMPLE! No dress re-rehearsals required! ~ link.
  • Advent Workshops/Lessons that incorporate your Christmas Program Prep & Practice ~ 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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Family Advent Pancake Breakfast and Worship

Overview: Family Advent Pancake Breakfast and an art project, followed by an Interactive Worship Service

An  Advent Pancake Breakfast is a fun way to help families prepare their hearts and homes to journey toward Christmas. Families are invited to register in advance and drop in any time during the breakfast hour on the first Sunday in Advent.

In addition to breakfast, each family is given the materials to make an Advent craft designed to engage hearts throughout the Advent season.  Examples that vary from year to year include:

The tradition is designed to give families a means to begin the season together and tools to continue celebrating at home. The event is in place of Sunday School on the first Sunday of Advent each year. Specific themes vary from year to year but the parts remained consistent.

8:30 - 9:30  Breakfast buffet and family table activity
9:30 -10:15 Interactive family worship service

Registration is an important aspect of planning. A small cost that accompanies registration allows organizers to plan well. We cap the cost for each family so that it is accessible for all families no matter how large.

The kid-friendly food was prepared sometimes by volunteers, and other years it was catered.

After breakfast, families experience an interactive service together at 9:45 a.m. in the same room as the breakfast. Older children handed out programs for worship and led some of the kid-friendly liturgies. Our music team led the familiar Christmas hymns. Rhythm instruments are available for all children so that they could join in the music.

Twas-the-Season-of-Advent-by-Glenys-NellistThe message for the service was usually a retelling of a Christmas storybook. A great example is 'Twas the Season of Advent, by Glenys Nellist. It is a devotional and storybook told in the style of The Night Before Christmas. This book could also be the devotion that families take home. A sample:

The Season of Advent began long ago
Before there were seasons or winter or snow.
It began in the darkness, before day or night,
When God whispered softly, "let there be light."

An Advent Devotional is an option to send home with each family. Here are some pages from one example with the theme of Jesse Tree Ornaments.


More resources that can be used in planning this event:

Below, members responses
moved here to consolidate topic.


Images (6)
  • Twas-the-Season-of-Advent-by-Glenys-Nellist
  • devo-intro
  • devo-page-1
  • devo-day-3
  • chrismons
  • christmas-donut

Bethlehem Dinner Theater

A couple of years ago our church family performed "In Bethlehem Inn" by John Carter (Contemporary Drama Service). It is in a dinner theater format.

From its production notes: The play is set in the dining room of the Bethlehem Inn on the night Jesus is born.The audience becomes not only observers, but participants as well. They are the guests at the Bethlehem Inn. There will be times when they are called upon to respond, and the cast should do their best to encourage them to respond heartily! The innkeeper and his family sit and eat at the head table, and the servants should sit and eat at the opposite end of the room. This places the audience in the middle of the action, and forces the cast to project to the opposite ends of the room so that all can hear. In addition, there should be a live nativity scene set up.

When we did this program in our church, we made it intergenerational. There's a lot of humor in the program, but it was profoundly moving when we were all encouraged to "see for ourselves" the live nativity scene. Living in Vermont, we chose to have the nativity scene indoors rather than having to deal with boots, coats... This also made it easier for the many elderly folk.

We sold out on our tickets with the number being determined by the size of our fellowship hall. We offered a traditional Christmas dinner at cost which made it very affordable for families.

The entire evening was a huge success!

Script can be purchased from christianpub website:
P748-In Bethlehem Inn, By John W. Carter
Cast: 14 mixed and audience, All ages, Playing time is about one hour with dinner.
Includes 14 scripts.
Synopsis: A "you are there" church supper Nativity play. Those present are first-hand observers of the events that occurred on the night Christ was born. The Innkeeper and his family are presiding over a dinner at this crowded inn. We are the guests. Our dinner is interrupted by Joseph and Mary asking for a room. It is interrupted again by the announcement of a fiery star above the stable and then by a band of shepherds looking for the baby.

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.

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

Simple Advent Potluck Breakfast
followed by a Short Story ~ Idea

We have not done a pageant in the four years I've been at my church. In fact, they hadn't done anything at all for a very long time.

I started an Advent Potluck Breakfast that is held the Sunday closest to Christmas.

We eat, then I read a short story, not necessarily the Nativity story. I have read "A Cup of Christmas Tea", a couple of stories from Guideposts magazine and this year I read "The Legend of the Candy Cane". I had the children pass out candy canes before I read the story.

The children in my church LOVE to be read to, so this is something that has worked pretty well.

Our Children's Ministry Team wants to do a full-blown pageant next year, which is fine with me.

If that doesn't happen, I will read "Away In the Manger" by Sarah Hayes and integrate the carols appropriate to that part of the story. Another neat Christmas book is "The Christmas Star" (sorry, I don't know the author). This is the first Christmas story where they got it right with the Magi's visit!

Good luck!
Julie Burton

Simple Pageant Idea with Potluck Dinner

For years we did Christmas plays using scripts that would supposedly make our life easier. We would have two Wednesday evening practices. The "canned" plays that had lots of parts. Every child that wanted a speaking part got one. They weren't required to memorize, they read their parts. They loved to dress up. The children's choir sang several pieces. The congregation sang several carols. The kids were nutso during rehearsals, the volunteers were grumpy during the rehearsals, the actual program went well. Easy, lots of fun. But stress-free? Not so much.

So...this last Christmas we had a"No-rehearsal Christmas Pageant" telling everyone to come dressed up as shepherds, animals, wise-people, travelers. Kids and Adults

Someone in the congregation made a soup/bread/cookie supper. It could have easily also been a potluck dinner. We did it the first Sunday evening in Advent.

First we all had supper together, then handed out costumes from our drama workshop for people who did not come dressed up. After dinner we moved to the sanctuary where there was a simple backdrop up (also borrowed from the drama workshop).

We had a narration of the Christmas story that was read by various children who had picked up parts the week before (as well as some kids who just read on the spot). The narration had parts that talked about the different groups of people who were dressed up--shepherds, angels, etc.--when that group was talked about all of the people dressed that way came to the front of the sanctuary to stand in front of the backdrop. Then everyone sang hymns and carols that mentioned that group ("Away in the Manger" when the animals came up.)

Check out the "Paper Bag Pageants" Ideas and Scripts over here, no-stress, no-rehearsal topic for more ideas for narrations to use with this idea.

It was so much fun. Very intergenerational. All of the kids were dressed up, of course, but the most amazing thing was all of the older folks who came dressed up. I have a wonderful picture of our 83 year old neighbor dressed as a shepherd, standing with my 4 year old daughter dressed as an angel.

Fun? Yes! Educational? The kids got a review of the Christmas story. "Less" stress, you bet!!
There were a few people who just really like the whole big major production thing...but the parents are sold on doing it this way.

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