This free script for a children’s Christmas play was contributed by a reader named Julie Snyder. PRINT this page to use it in your own church or ministry setting.
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- Shepherds/Wisemen (anyone not in scene)
Area 1: Home. Living room setting with Christmas tree and table for Manger Scene.
- Stage Left. Small chair, end table with Christmas tablecloth, Christmas tree, boxes of ornaments/nativity scene.
Area 2: Stage right. Various scenes. Fake back wall (to hide behind)
Scene 1: Home (cot near opening on back, area for Mary to kneel in prayer)
Scene 2: Manger scene
Scene 3: Table (table/chair with scrolls, feather pen)
Scene 4: Cross (cross)
Lighting: Spotlight(s) which are able to fade in and out.
(Living room with Mom alone.)
Mom: I don’t know how I’m going to do it this year. Christmas is just so expensive. I don’t want the kids to be disappointed. (Pacing around room slowly)
Mom: I just wonder why we even bother anymore. (Starts putting some ornaments on the tree)
(Mom stops looking at the ornament with a picture of the family. Carries it and goes to the couch and sits)
Mom: All four of us…..Lord, I miss him so much and it is so hard without him. Please help us this Christmas. (Mom drops head.)
(Sound of door opening offstage and the kids coming)
(Mom wipes a tear and quickly puts the ornament on the tree.)
Mom: The kids….. pull it together.
(Son and Daughter enter taking coats off and throwing the coats on corner of couch.)
Daughter: We’re home. Did you know that Becky is getting a cell phone for Christmas? Why can’t I get a cell phone?
Son: Yeah, so you could talk all the time, like anyone wants to hear you more than they already do!
Mom: Be nice. Remember Christmas is just around the corner. And I’m sorry, but I just don’t think you are quite ready for a cell phone. Now, will you two please help me finish decorating the tree?
Son: Yes Mom (sarcastically)
Daughter: Fine! (sarcastically)
(All start decorating. Mom steps aside.)
Mom: Lord, what am I going to do? I don’t know how I can afford the kind of gifts that their friends are getting this year. Give me Your wisdom.
(Mom goes and gets the box of the manger scene and takes it to the table to set up.)
Mom: My favorite decoration…..
Son: What? The statues and barn? (Turning to look at Mom)
Daughter: It’s called the manger scene. The whole celebrating the homeless baby is kinda dull though.
Mom: Let me tell you a story. We’ll finish the tree later, come sit and listen. Do this for me, please.
(Kids take a seat on the couch semi-paying attention; Mom places a red cloth across the table and picks up the figures of Mary and Joseph)
Mom: There once was a young lady named Mary who was very excited to be getting married to a nice man named Joseph. Mary was visited by an angel who told her she would have the son of God, Jesus. Mary was very concerned as to what Joseph would say, but God had that taken care of. (Lights fade)
(Mary kneels in prayer)
Mary: God, you have told me that I will carry Your child. I don’t understand this, but I am willing to do Your will. But God, I don’t know what to do. Joseph is going to be so upset. (Mary drops her head)
(Joseph sits on side of his bed)
Joseph: God, I thought Mary was a follower of You. I thought she was special, but she is pregnant now. Where was I mistaken? (Joseph lies down to sleep.)
(Angel appears, Joseph remains asleep)
Angel: Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.
(Joseph sits up as the angel disappears. Looks around and then lays back down) (Lights fade)
Daughter: So, God sent an angel to Joseph to let him know that Mary was telling the truth?
Mom: Exactly. Joseph had gotten so upset that he was not going to take Mary as his wife until the angel spoke to him. When he woke up, he knew that Mary was telling the truth about her pregnancy and the angel and he knew that Mary was to be his wife.
Son: So did they not have a hospital to have the baby at? Or even a house?
Mom: (Finishes setting up nativity set) Joseph had a home and worked as a carpenter. But, they had to travel to be counted in a registry in the town of Bethlehem at a certain time. And that time happened to be right at the time that Mary was about to have the baby, the child of God. Because many people had to travel to Bethlehem at that time, when they arrived, there was no place for them to stay. One innkeeper finally let them take shelter in the barn. That’s why the manger scene is so special. That’s where the son of God was born.
Away in a Manger (spotlight on manger scene)
Daughter: Mom, the story of Jesus’ birth is a sweet story, but why do we still celebrate it all these years later? That happened, like, a long time ago. Now Christmas is just about the gifts and stocking stuffers, at least that’s what the TV commercials say.
Mom: Kids, Christmas is special because the birth of Jesus shows us how much God loves us. Without Jesus, we could never do enough or be good enough to go to heaven when we die. Before Jesus was born, the Jewish people tried to earn God’s forgiveness by following a strict set of rules and by sacrificing sheep and other animals. However, these were just symbols of what God would do later byh sending Jesus to earth. God’s people knew that someday a Messiah was coming because it was predicted in the Scriptures, thousands of years before His birth.
Scene 2: (Spotlight on Isaiah at table writing on a scroll. Prophecy of Jesus’s birth and that he would be the Savior will be read from offstage.)
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. (PAUSE)
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (PAUSE)
He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.
Like one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Surely he took up our infirmities
and carried our sorrows,
yet we considered him stricken by God,
smitten by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
Son: That is pretty cool! The birth happened just like the prophet described it!
Daughter: DUH! If God predicted it then of course it would come true.
Mom: Now, let me finish telling you about the birth so you will remember why it is so important to not let the true message of Christmas get lost in all the other hoopla on TV and in the stores. God loves us and wants us to love Him because He has so many blessings He wants to share with us. Because of our sin, there is no way we can go to heaven or even have a life of peace on our own. God is holy and sin cannot be in His presence. That’s where the problem is for us. We are sinful. So, God made a way for us. He sent His son to earth in the form of a human to take the punishment for our sins. Jesus lived like a man so we can relate to Him and learn from His example. As an adult, He took the punishment for our sins by dying on the cross. When He did this, He fulfilled the promise God had made thousands of years earlier.
(Lights come up on Jesus on cross with his disciples, Mary, and assorted others around mourning.)
Mom: See, that is why Christmas is special. When God came to earth as a baby, hope became a reality for us. Christmas is about God’s love, hope, and the peace that comes from knowing Jesus.
(Lights fade on family, lingering on the cross scene and then all lights off.)
(Lights come back up and cast gathers for a bow.)