Six years ago, my husband was the commander of an AWANA club in East Tennessee, and I was a director for Sparks. Before we moved to Texas, we embarked on one last performance at the church we had grown to love as newlyweds and then as new parents of young children.
As we enter the Christmas season – now in a new time and place – we are once again directing the performance of a Christmas play/skit that we wrote based upon an idea and poem we found at the Dovecot Sunday School webpage. Dovecot Sunday School has granted permission for us to share the adaptation that we wrote based upon their original poem and idea. (You may even prefer to use their version of the play, or use one of the other great ideas they have for Christmas presentations!)
This musical requires little set-up as compared to other sets, and cost for costumes is minimal. (Our costumes are top hats ordered from Oriental Trading and black cloth cut into rectangles to make “shawls,” as you might see carolers wear.) Even better, it takes very few practices to prepare a group of children for the performance, and it works with either a small group or large group. We also intermix some adults with the caroling group to assist the children with singing, since the musical is sung without music (as normal carolers would sing).
The making of the set
The set consists of a square store “window” (32″ x 32″) with nine individual panes measuring approximately 9-5/8″ x 9-5/8″. The panes each hold three 9″ x 9″ posterboard cards. Previously, we used plywood for the window, but in keeping our costs low, we used particle board this year, along with some 3/4″ flat trim for the borders of the panes.
The window can be placed on an easel, or you can build a stand (as my husband did). If you need direction or photos of the stand, just let us know.
The photo below shows the window as it appears at the beginning of the performance, with all three cards layered into each pane.
The letters are printed on white paper and adhered to black posterboard, which is cut into 9″ x 9″ pieces. I have included a small black tab using electrical tape so that the cards can be easily lifted from the window.
This second photo shows the cards after the first layer has been removed, revealing the secular side of Christmas: Cookies & Cocoa, Holly, Rudolph, Icicle Lights, Stockings, Tree, Malls, Advertisements, Santa. (Note the miniature letters in the corner of each card to maintain the consistency of the acrostic.)
This third photo shows the cards after the second layer of cards has been removed, revealing the Christmas story: Census, Hard journey, no Room, Inn, Shepherds, Treasures, Magi, Angels, Savior.
The musical includes three children’s speaking parts which alternate with the singing of Christmas Carols by the entire group. There are also five separate Christmas story Bible readings which can either be read or memorized by children within the caroling group. And if children or adults do not know the words to the carols, they will be holding caroling booklets as they sing.
Download the play, templates, and caroling book:
If you have questions, please send me an email at brandyferrell @ yahoo.com. If you use this play, we’d love to know! Leave a comment or send us an email to tell us how it went!
Disclaimer: I am not a playwright, nor do I feel gifted in this area at all. But… the performance turned out so well six years ago that we are attempting to direct it again with two different groups (grades pre-k through 6): our church’s Sunday Night Kids Klass, and our Classical Conversations Community, who will be performing it at a local nursing home the first week of December. The script was written specifically to help participants to memorize their parts quickly. (Also note that the distance from Nazareth to Bethlehem varies depending on sources.) We did not get any photos or audio/video recordings the first time we performed this, but we are hoping to share more details/media using this year’s performances. I humbly share this hoping that it will help another church or group somewhere.
May you have a blessed Christmas season!