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Organizing Your Christmas Nativity Play

For me, an effective nativity play is one that unites everybody in a relaxed, friendly, family atmosphere of celebration (also including the organiser!), with the focus on the real meaning of Christmas. So, the crucial thing for me is to keep the organization and running of the play as simple and relaxed as possible so that the unavoidable stresses of the celebration do not win through.
So, right below is some useful information, with pointers and ideas …

Run A Successful Church Nativity Play

I think that depends on what you consider to be a success play! For me, a Successful Church Nativity Play is one that unites everyone in a relaxed, friendly atmosphere of celebration (including the organiser!), with the focus on the genuine significance of Christmas. It is not a perfectly tuned, professionally performed show, but the story of Jesus’ birth, told through the innocence of kids, for the appreciation of proud parents and others.

So, the vital thing for me is to keep the organization and managing of the play as simple and calmed as possible so that the unavoidable stresses of the occasion do not win through.

So, right here are my helpful tips:

  • Nativity-PlayChoose your script sensibly! Make sure that it is basic enough to require few rehearsals, and versatile enough to include additional parts as you need to.
  • Do not be too reliant on any one individual or part. You need to have some flexibility so that if somebody is missing on the day you can choose a way to make changes swiftly to accommodate the conditions. Choosing a play which uses narrative for the majority of the script will certainly help.
  • Find ways to avoid learning lines: use props to assist. The shepherds lines could be adhered to the lamb, the kings could be read from their gifts, and the innkeepers can hold ‘registers’ with their lines on. By doing this, even if someone was ill, a stand-in could play their part.
  • Do not assume that the nativity play needs to be a ‘performance’. It could be something that you do unrehearsed, with the help of volunteers, and ad hoc props. Keep in mind, Jesus was the ultimate storyteller, making his stories relevant and appropriate to, those around him.
  • Plan ahead! Book the church in good time for the nativity service AND the rehearsal(s), and recommend the moms and dads of both/all dates. Be sure that you know who will be there and is happy to participate before you start casting or rehearsing.
  • Circulate any scripts early enough for them to be learned if needed. Remember that Christmas is a busy time for moms and dads and children at home and school, so give them time to enjoy doing what is needed without feeling the pressure.
  • Check out the suitability of costumes and sizes well ahead of the date, especially if you have a mixed age cast: if Mary was petite last year, but tall this year you do not want to discover that the costume doesn’t fit at the last minute! Ideally, entrust this task completely to another person, including ensuring that the outfits are washed and ironed as required.
  • Do not believe that the music has to be ‘performed’ by the children. Incorporating some carols for the congregation to sing automatically includes a Christmassy atmosphere of celebration, and there are lots of clear choices to fit with specific parts of the story. This option also means less practicing, and less dependence on musicians and singers on the day, and produces a way to prepare for the next scene!
  • Like any family, recognize and appreciate the individual skills within your group with a healthy pride. Finding ways to include them will add a memorable personal touch. Perhaps someone plays guitar and can play ‘Away in a Manger”. Maybe someone else would enjoy singing a solo. Perhaps somebody is artistic and could make crowns, crooks, animal masks, or any other props that you might require. Could you finish with a prayer or poem composed by one of the children? All of these choices will add a personal touch, but the play need not rely upon them and they can be quickly left out in the case of illness without impacting the flow of the story.
  • schoolplayDon’t underestimate the advantage of having extra volunteers on the day. Share duties so that you can just focus on the overview and pulling everything together. Have a prompter, somebody to watch out for props/costumes, someone to usher children on and off etc, Likewise, ensure that you have extra scripts on the day; the children often leave theirs at home!
  • Consider the best ways to include a ‘party’ atmosphere after the nativity. While you are sorting out all the children and packing away costumes, have coffee and mince pies or something similar served to the congregation so that they can all unwind and enjoy some fellowship together. Inevitably, they will go over the nativity play and it will become a lasting memory. And don’t feel neglected whilst that happens: enjoy the privilege of serving God in this way. Mary AND Martha both had an important role in Jesus’ life!

Finally, the most important thing is to keep in mind the meaning of a successful nativity service. That way, you’ll relax and enjoy the humor of the moment if Mary declines to walk with Joseph, or Angel Gabriel won’t talk, or the shepherd goes walkabout, or the king will not hand his present over, or the angels reveal each other their new underclothing when they should be dancing! These are special unforgettable moments, so much more than the most professional performance ever would be. Oh, and always remember that you are also one of God’s children: you are allowed to make errors and laugh about them too!

Run A Successful Church Nativity Play

Idea’s On Writing Your Own Nativity Script

script2If, like me, you’ve always had a hard time to find a Nativity Script that would work for your church, school or group, why not write your own? You know the story, after all! Plus, you’re sure to have some old favorites that you can make use of as tunes, and if not, simply utilize carols: everyone likes them, and the audience can sing them too. Tempted to give it a try? Okay, so here’s some useful pointers and suggestions …

  • If you have any particular skills or characters within your cast, welcome the flexibility of writing your own script to make it personal to your cast. Perhaps someone can play ‘Away in a manger’ on the guitar, maybe you have a toddler who would enjoy to sing a solo of ‘Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star’, it could be that among your cast is a character in their own right and would love to play a comic or clumsy role. Maybe you could write in a visit from the local comedian, and afterwards have the narrator comically remedying the story!
  • Use songs to break up the story so that you can smoothly get ready for a brand-new scene. I find that any of these natural breaks work well in every script…

1. An optional opening tune
2. Mary and Joseph’s trip (traveling song).
3. The infant is born (lullaby/Away in a Manger etc).
4. The angel speaks to the shepherds (angel tune).
5. The shepherds trek to Bethlehem.
6. The kings make a journey to Bethlehem.
7. An optional ending/celebration song; perhaps looking forward to Christmas day etc.

  • If music is a challenge, utilize Christmas carols, and have the audience join in. Taking a look at the list above, there are some clear recommendations: Little Donkey / O Little Town of Bethlehem etc; Away in a Manger; Hark The Herald Angels sing; While Shepherds Watched their Flocks; We 3 Kings of Orient Are; Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star; We wish you a Merry Christmas and so on

One last point:
script_writingDo not aim for the best play, just a perfect atmosphere and a spirit of love. The goal of the nativity play is to tell the story of God’s love, so if you see your play enacted, welcome the chaos and the things that fail; those are the enduring memories that you can take pleasure in laughing about. Remember, the play is a celebration of Jesus’s birth, so it needs to be as much fun as anybody else’s birthday!

Idea’s On Writing Your Own Nativity Script

Offering A Christian Message In Your Nativity Play

How to draw out the Christian Message in your Church Nativity

kids_nativityIn the past, I have been so caught up in the tension and preparations of the nativity play, that Jesus would not have been happy with the way that I was commemorating His birthday! However, it’s one thing knowing that, and another thing getting the balance right, but it does help to focus on the purpose of the nativity play before you start and get your own mindset right.

  • Ask yourself exactly what matters to God

    “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” Psalm 51 verse 10),

    and when things fail, or somebody lets you down, remain focused on managing things with God’s grace. Be a good witness as you tell His story.

  • These are useful bible passages to include to repeat that Jesus’s birth was foretold:.

    “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times” Micah 5 verse 2.

    “Then Isaiah said ‘Hear now, you house of David … … Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call Him Immanuel.” Isaiah Chapter 7 verse 13 & 14

    “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting father, Prince of Peace.” Chapter 9 verse 6.

Open your nativity service with a prediction before you inform the story as it took place. I can honestly say that, as a long-lasting Christian, my understanding of the Christmas story was restricted for a long time to the way it was stood for in the nativity play, so I am very aware of how crucial it is that we likewise back this with the actual passages from scripture.

Why not include in the play the angel’s message to the shepherds directly from the bible

“Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger” Luke 2 verses 10 to 12.

  • Remember that people do not always check out the bible, but they do read the people. Your nativity play is an opportunity to be a family of God’s people, joined in celebrating Jesus’ birthday together, and welcoming others to join you in doing so. Make sure that you encourage an atmosphere of love and inclusion, not one of perfection, and stress.
  • Consider very carefully how you close your nativity play
    1) Maybe with a bible passage which highlights the relevance of the birth of Christ today.

    “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” John 3 verse 16).

    2) Alternatively, search for a Christian poem to make use of as a mini sermon. There are lots of Christian poetry websites easily available on the internet.

  • Consider using your nativity play as an opportunity to welcome visitors to join you; a neighborhood outreach. Could you find a way to include participation on the day if anyone wants to join in? Could you invite the community ahead of time to join you for rehearsals if they want to? Could you have a household fun event or party pre-arranged and advertise it at the nativity, maybe offering a pre-printed invitation?

KidsNativityPlayKeep in mind, Jesus set us an example of working through love and look after others, and the nativity and carol services are the ideal way to start creating this relationship. Maybe you could welcome the audience/congregation to stay after the service for mince pies and coffee or some other appropriate Christmas tradition. Jesus created many relationships with fellowship over food.

In summary, tell the story in the way Jesus would have done; with relevance and love, and then simply cover everything that you do in prayer, and let God do the rest.

May God bless you richly as you share His word.

Offering A Christian Message In Your Nativity Play

Outfit Advices For A Nativity Play

Nativity1largeWhen I first started organising our Church Nativity I used to find costumes a massive challenge, because we have a blended age group of youngsters in our cast, and the level of youngsters changes every year. One year Mary might be played by a petite 5 year old, and the following year by a tall 9 year old, so the same costume would not work! Plus, if we were blessed with the very same kids continuing to attend, the WHOLE WARDROBE of costumes would need to be larger, not just a few. For this reason, for many years, we have developed a stock of differing sized costumes that will suit numerous purposes, however below are a couple of hints and pointers to help those of you that are still working towards that.

The details of the costumes

Use dull colors and affordable looking material (gray, brown tweed/linen effect) for the tunics.
Use the waistcoats to include contrast and make them look different from one another.
Maybe use striped, patterned material for the shepherds and plain for Joseph. Perhaps make the shepherds’ waistcoats all in the very same material but various lengths and sizes so that you have a style, but some range.

Use white, satin-look material so that it has an outcome of purity. Do not be afraid to ask if any of the kids have a costume of their own, as they inevitably do if they love dressing up at home.
Have lots of gold and silver tinsel to make basic halos, and to make use of as belts to hitch up any tunics that are too long. If you have a really tall angel (or if, like me, you have some ‘good for a laugh’ teens participating as comic angels!) just wear white pants and a white t-shirt. Once again, ask whether they have their own, as many school t-shirts are plain white.

Use the basic tunic, hitched up with a belt of some sort; perhaps a dressing gown belt, or a brightly colored cord (perhaps even a curtain tieback cord). Do not believe that the crowns have to be anything expensive. Simply a piece of silver or gold card wrapped around to the size of the head, with some stick on jewels or glitter will be fine. Attempt to keep the mixes of cape and tunic flexible so that they will certainly interchange to provide even more choices as your wardrobe of costumes hopefully grows throughout the years.

We have the tendency to use blue as the color of Mary’s outfit to make her significantly special and recognisable as a character. The most flexible combination we have actually utilized has actually been a simple blue tunic of medium length which worked for little and medium sized children. We also included a long blue gathered skirt which could be used with it for a bigger sized kid to play Mary.

Nativity-PlayThe Animals.
Fasten some furry ears to ladies hairbands for the donkey, sheep, cows and so on. Make waistcoats as above in fleece product for sheep or black and white material for cattles etc, and wear suitable color trousers or thick tights or leggings. (Don’t forget to tuck a tail in at the back for full effect). Alternatively, use face paint, or masks.

Additional props.
Shepherds: Make the crook from a long piece of garden stick and use something flexible, like a coat-hanger, to make the crook shape, then cover it with duct tape. Remember that you’ll require a cuddly lamb too.
Kings: You’ll need something to act as gold: simply make a brick shape of cardboard if you don’t have anything ideal. For frankincense and myrrh, simply make use of a few bronzed looking containers (something that looks ideal for fluid).
A manger and a newborn; honestly, I have been spoilt since we had assistance from a member of the congregation who made a manger for us! Nevertheless, if you don’t have that privilege, simply make use of a wooden crate for the rustic look, or a cardboard box painted to look wooden. Don’t forget a doll, ideally with a simple cloth wrapped around him as the swaddling bands.

Last point:
Do not try to make the costumes too perfect or ‘show-like’. The simpleness makes it more special and charming! Even better, let the kids make their own crown, halo or animal mask etc for a personal touch.

Outfit Advices For A Nativity Play

Finding A Suitable Christmas Nativity Script

I have always found this to be the biggest difficulty of running a nativity play, especially as our church nativity play consists of a varying size cast from year to year, of kids and youths of different ages, skills and confidence, who can not go to numerous rehearsals. For this reason, I have always searched for an adaptable script above all, as I inevitably have to differ parts to suit the ages and abilities of the children that are taking part.

kids nativityOn top of this challenge, in recent years the kids that got involved didn’t intend to perform tunes, although in the years when I did include tunes for them to perform we had very little opportunity to rehearse and no guarantee that the kids would learn the lyrics (or, indeed, lines to act) anyway. And naturally, the final fear has constantly been the last minute modifications that are required if someone is ill on the day, or has stage fright and declines to perform! If you can relate to any of these problems, then the following thought process will help you to consider all of the crucial issues and choose an appropriate script.

1) Exactly what challenges/opportunities does your cast present?
– Is it an especially little or huge cast?
– Do you even know the size of the cast at the point of choosing your script?
– Do you have any special needs to consider, or skills to display?
– Will the cast carry out tunes, learn lines, get dressed up, speak up, use a microphone or be especially shy or worried?
– How many rehearsals can you feasibly count on to attain (without making it a burden!)?

2) Exactly what challenges/opportunities does your audience present?
– Would they enjoy taking part in some way? Perhaps as innkeepers, or extra shepherds etc.
– Would they enjoy singing carols rather than listening to the children perform songs? (Hark the Herald Angels sing; While Shepherds watched their flocks by night; We 3 Kings of Orient are etc) Numerous carols will fit well into the traditional nativity play.

3) What challenges/opportunities does your selection of music present?
– Do you have any music performers, and can they go to rehearsals?
– Do you have any sheet music? Do you require a licence to perform it? Do you have a backing track?
– Do you have any budding musicians, or likely soloists?
– Do you require gaps in the play to prepare the next scene? Would it be helpful to make use of a song to provide the chance?
– Will the audience want to take part? Would singing carols contribute to the atmosphere?

4) Exactly what challenges/opportunities does the location you will perform the play present?
– Can you use various areas for different scenes?
– Do you have a raised area: a natural spot for the angels, or the shepherds on a hillside?
– Do you have a great place for the tableau scene to develop as the play progresses and brand-new characters are introduced?
– Can you find a way to symbolise the journey to Bethlehem, and the traveling of the kings and the shepherds?

5) What challenges and opportunities do the outfits and props present?
– Do you have the right sized costumes for the variety of ages in your cast, or will the availability of outfits restrict your choice of a script?
– Do you have the means to make props as required? Have you got the fundamental nativity props

kids_nativity_playIn summary, when you are searching for a nativity script, try to find something versatile to match numerous conditions, with the flexibility to make last minute modifications without too much problem (a script which uses narrative is ideal). Go for a script with no licence fees to pay, and no restrictions on reusing songs with another script etc, and be sure of what you can accomplish before you begin your search. Ideally, if at all possible, find a script that has been recommended or that shares feedbacks from fellow organisers or, better still, is written by a fellow organiser: there is no substitute for experience, so make the most of someone else’s!

Finding A Suitable Christmas Nativity Script

The ABC Of Overseeing A Nativity Play

christmas_nativity_playTry to be ADAPTABLE and pick a script with care.
BE PREPARED, and on the day have helpers everywhere!
COSTUMES need to be simple; just tunics, waistcoats, wings
And dull clothing for the shepherds, with bright ones for the kings.
Ensure that you DELEGATE; don’t be afraid to ask
Share the work with others; do not do every single task!

Most of all ENJOY yourself; create some FAMILY FUN;.
You want a FRIENDLY atmosphere, when all is said and done!
For after all, you can’t forget the reason for the play:.
To share the GOSPEL GOOD NEWS, and what GOD has to state.
So keep a HAPPY HEART and a HEALTHY attitude,.

Do your best to make sure that you INCLUDE.
Anyone who ‘d like to be included in the story,.
Making very sure that you provide JESUS all the glory.
Acknowledge him as KING and LORD in everything you state.
And put Him at the center, for it is His special day!

Now, think about the MUSIC, and what songs that you could select.
Will the children sing them? Are there carols you could use?
Have you a MUSICIAN, and can they play on the day?
Must they go to rehearsals? Is there another way?

Make NO-ONE all important, for you can never know.
If somebody might be ill … and you can not halt the performance!
So ORGANISE ahead of time, and try to be PREPARED.
For all scenarios: make sure the work is shared.

PROPS can be a handy tool to give the play some style.
So do not make all the outfits just about what people put on.
And do not make the error of being desperate for PERFECTION:.
The fun is in the doing, not so much in the correction!

Keep the play quite flexible, so you might QUICKLY alter.
Anything that circumstances make you re-arrange.
Plan REHEARSALS very carefully; how many will you require?
Don’t over-do the workload in your yearning to prosper!
In fact, another way would be to pick a SIMPLE SCRIPT;.
No lines to learn, and one for which you’re currently equipped.

Nativity_Play_Bear in mind SONGS aren’t crucial, but the atmosphere is excellent.
If audiences get involved: could they take part?
Or maybe you have special TALENTS hidden in your cast:.
Maybe you could find a way to display them, at last!
Picture, as the Kings are led to Bethlehem afar,.
The youngest toddler singing “TWINKLE, Twinkle Little Star” (Ah!).
These little moments serve to make your Christmas play UNIQUE,.
And that’s exactly what makes it unique, not the fact that it is smooth!

But if you have the help of prepared VOLUNTEERS at hand.
It’s much less trouble to accomplish the things that you have planned.
But undoubtedly WILLING is what everybody must be:.
The soloists and actors must be willing: that’s the key!

And if you can, find simple ways to add an XTRA in.
So, at a late rehearsal, someone brand-new could be participated.
Then, remember, that YOU are all important on the day.
So have a back-up plan for if you can’t attend the play!

The letter Z; a challenging one; it represents the end.
So make sure that you’re careful of the message that you send out.
Make sure that you do not leave Jesus sleeping in the hay!
Celebrate Him happily at the finish of the play.
Perhaps read a bible passage or a poem out.

Summing up the message of what Christmas is about.
I wish that I have actually been useful: I’ve just one thing left to say.
I really hope that you have a successful Christmas play!

The ABC Of Overseeing A Nativity Play

Tips For Great Nativity Play Costume Outfits

Nativity_Play1When I first started organising our church nativity play I used to find costumes a huge challenge, because we have a mixed age group of children in our cast, and the number of children changes every year. One year Mary might be played by a petite 5 year old, and the following year by a tall 9 year old, so the exact same costume would not work! Plus, if we were blessed with the same children continuing to attend, the ENTIRE WARDROBE of outfits would need to be larger, not just a few. For this reason, over the years, we have actually developed a stock of varying sized outfits that will fit several purposes, but these are a few hints and pointers to help those of you that are still working towards that.


1) Make T-shaped tunics, without any shaping and which are not meant to fit any person in particular!

Use a drawstring or elasticated neckline so that it will go over a large or small head (Beware that the opening isn’t so large that it won’t stay on a little one’s shoulders).
Make it medium length: too long for the youngest kids, who can then wear it hitched up with a belt around their waist, and too short for older youngsters who can then just wear it as a short tunic over a pair of pants.

2) Make simple waistcoats, once again without any shaping or sleeves: effectively just a square tunic which is divided down the front. It needs no buttons or fastenings of any sort.
See to it that the neckline isn’t too large, so that it will certainly remain on the youngest kid’s shoulders. Maybe, you might even make use of a drawstring or some elastic around the edge of the neckline similar to the tunics.

3) Make robes / capes for the kings in rich looking material like velour or satin, or in bright regal colors. Old drapes are great for the job, as you can thread a piece of cord through the top hem for the child to secure it around their neck like a cape. (CARE: We have actually in some cases discovered these to be so heavy at the back that the kids couldn’t keep the cape around their shoulders, or that they pulled on their neck. It was handy, in this case, to have a small fastener at the front of the cape, a little below the drawstring, or to shape the shoulders of the cape). Alternatively, does anyone have a satin look kimono/dressing-gown? These will be just as successful!

4) Make wings for the angels using large pieces of silver or gold card (or simply spray plain, white card gold or silver).
Position 2 holes on each side of the wing, roughly at the top and bottom of a child’s armpit (if in doubt, make the holes too far apart, as opposed to too close!) Thread loose elastic through the holes and tie together, being generous with the elastic as a youngster needs to have the ability to fit their arm through it.

Nativity-costume5) Have lots of pieces of cord to use as belts to hitch up the tunics and hold on the waistcoats as required.

6) Have tinsel to utilize as halos for the angels, and as belts to hitch up the angels tunics.

7) Make simple headdresses making use of little rectangular pieces of cloth (generally teatowels!) and tied around the head with a piece of cord or material or, preferably, thick elastic headbands. Fold the overlap back upwards and tuck behind the elastic to look even more professional and less ‘teatowel-like’!

Last tip:
Do not attempt to make the outfits too perfect or ‘show-like’. The simpleness makes it more unique and cute! Even better, let the little ones make their own crown, halo or animal mask etc for a personal touch.

Tips For Great Nativity Play Costume Outfits

Idea On Composing Your Own Nativity Script.

Nativity-playIf, like me, you’ve always struggled to find a nativity script that would work for your church, school or group, why not write your very own? You know the story, after all! Plus, you’re sure to have some old faves that you can utilize as tunes, and if not, just use carols: everybody enjoys them, and the audience can sing them too.

Tempted to give it a try? Okay, so here’s some helpful guidelines and suggestions …

  • Familiarise yourself with Matthew Chapter 1 verses 18 to Chapter 2 verse 12 (The birth of Jesus and the visit of the kings). Cross reference this with Luke Chapter 2 verses 1 to 20 (The birth of Jesus and the shepherds’ visit). You might notice that the kings’ visit is not exactly as the conventional nativity play represents it, however do not let this be an issue to you. If it worries you, why not highlight the discovery within your play script, and enlighten the audience too!
  • Utilize the bible passages to give your play structure. You could use them as an overview for your story, or check out suitable passages to introduce a scene, or even read them as the children are miming the story at the same time. Do you have a dramatized bible? If so, you may discover that you can utilize it as a script, and just customise it as you choose.
  • Use narration as a means of keeping the play simple, without the risk of unexpected situations complexing things on the day. If some youngsters wish to have lines to say, limit them to the straightforward scenes, like Mary and Joseph finding a room, and the kings delivering their presents. The lines, by nature of the scene, would be straightforward and repeated and, as the bible does not specify these details, are open to your own creativeness.

One final pointer:
Nativity Play ScriptsDo not aim for the best nativity play, just a perfect atmosphere and a spirit of love. The purpose of the nativity play is to tell the story of God’s love, so if you see your play enacted, embrace the disorder and things that go wrong; those are the lasting memories that you can delight in laughing about. Keep in mind, the play is a celebration of Jesus’s birth, so it must be as much fun as anyone else’s birthday!