Christmas Hope: A Free Christmas Play for Children

This free script for a children’s Christmas play was contributed by a reader named Julie Snyder. Print Print this page to use it in your own church or ministry setting.

I would recommend adding some simple Christmas Bible readings along with this excellent script. You can also browse our other suggestions for doing a Christmas program at church.

Learn how you can share your children’s ministry ideas on our website too by writing a guest article.

Christmas Hope


  • Mom
  • Son
  • Daughter
  • Mary
  • Joseph
  • Angel
  • Isaiah
  • Jesus
  • 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.

Act I

Scene I

(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)

Scene 2:

(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)

Scene 3:

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.

Scene 4

Away in a Manger    (spotlight on manger scene)

Act II

Scene 1

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.

(lights fade)

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.

Scene 3:

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.)


  1. Amanda McMillian says

    Thank you for this play! We also used it last night, tweaked it for our kids, added a few songs… This is such an anointed play and it really ministered to our church. God bless and Merry Christmas!

  2. Samantha Sands says

    We did this play Last Night at our Sunday School Program in the Bahamas. One of our best programs. Not only telling us of His birth but the real reason He came to earth. We added a few songs which really improved the play. We had Mary Sing “Breath of Heaven” We had “This is such a strange way to save the world” sang after Joseph part and “His Life for Mine for the ending scene with Jesus on the Cross. It was beautiful! and was a play which did not require much practice. Thank You so much and Have a Merry Christmas.

  3. Maggie says

    This is a beautiful play. It really touched my heart. I am planning to use it this year. Thank you for sharing it. Maggie

  4. Lashundra Hughes says

    God Bless you for producing great plays and allowing the public to use it for free. I live in Ennis, Texas apart of a small church Alliance of Faith UMC with a small group of children of different ages I believe this play will work out well for us. Thank you so much. God bless.

    • morgan says

      This was a beautiful Play. It really touched my hearted we are going to this for sure and we are doing it just the way it is.

  5. Brenda Martinez says

    I have a few children of all ages. This is a great play. I will put this away to use next year for sure

  6. Eloise says

    I, too, come from a small church, maybe only 4 children and a dozen adults but we try to do something each year. We often have guests the night of the program. I appreciate the message of “Christmas Hope” and see possibilities in using this.

  7. Rebecca Tumusiime says

    Dear Team,
    Thank you so much for sharing with us this Xmas play, i’m now going to boost my sketchy play which i had organized. i have benefited a lot from this website together with my Sunday school team and we pray the Holy spirit continues to guide you in this ministry as you continue to share with us.Merry Xmas to you all.

  8. patricia tamang says

    Thank you to Julie Snyder for sharing this script and to this website. Thanks Tony. The Christmas story is beautifully recreated in this script. I plan to translate this into our language and present it in our worship. Thanks again!

  9. Derryl says

    Thank you for the play. We have a small young church. You have blessed our ministry with this play,

    May God continue to bless you.

  10. Cathy Converse says

    I am looking for new ideas for our Children’s Christmas service. I really like the message in this program. Thank you to the author who shared it. I plan to interweave the traditional manger birth as well with the Christmas carols. Our Norwegian Lutheran Congregation expects that every year. When we do something different like “Happy Birthday Jesus” they miss the traditional manger scene. Thank you for having this site. I find and use many things here.

  11. Patricia Foley says

    I used this play last year and it was a beautiful play. It was my first play but with the script and alot of prayer it turned out great. Thank you for sharing this with us and may God bless you.

  12. julie, India says

    …. I am a sunday school teacher searching a christmas play for my children, I am going to use this play in our church on 23.12.2011. I hope and pray that it will be a blessings to my church members …..THANK YOU!!

  13. Tracy says

    Thank you for the free Christmas Hope script. We have a small church up to 60 members. We got our Youth & Children involved helping in the play. We used it for our children’s church Christmas play yesterday. We had so many people coming up to us after the play & told us it was AWESOME. It showed the true meaning of Christmas. God bless you for your ministry.

  14. Rhonda says

    I thank God for you and this ministry. The skits are short and to the point, they’re also bible based which is a real blessing.
    I’m in need of ideas to assist our youth ministry and this website is a blessing, we’re a young church so it’s a blessing to have information that can assist with planning,
    May God continue to bless you and your ministry.

  15. Hanna Engtipi says

    Thank you so much for this play! Today, Christmas has lost its actual meaning and it has become more of a materialistic one!! Its like…CHRISTMAS=NEW ATTIRE +FEAST. I am going to use this play in our church and I know its going to bless many!!! Thanks again. God bless you and your ministry.

  16. Kay says

    I thank you for allowing me to look over your ideals about short plays for christmas. This was trutly a blessing for me to gather some ideals of my own to enteract with the kids for our chruch christmas program this year. God Bless

  17. Mrs.Heard says

    I was looking for a Christmas play for the children at our church.Your wesite
    was so helpful. Thank you !!!

  18. Philip Atonga says

    As a pastor of a growing church in a slum, i find this attractive for slum children including those whose parents have not come to the saving power of Jesus Christ. Thank you.

  19. Reed says

    This play has blessed my soul and continues to open my eyes to see that the greatest gift I’ve ever received was from God sending His son to die on the cross for my sins.

  20. Crystal says

    Thanks for the plays on here. I work with the youth at church and was in need of a play that would involve more than 3 or 4 children!!! Thanks!!

  21. Amanda Wells says

    I was looking for a play for the children and teen’s to put on at our church. As I read this it blessed me so much that I knew this was the one god wont’s us to do. Thank You

  22. Terry says

    Hi! Just sat down to think about a program for our church. Smaller church and you never know how many will step up. But, God is good – If we don’t get enough children participating, we can always pull in some adults. This is the first program I pulled up and I love it! Not sure if I’ll add songs, usually wait on God for that, but I think I can handle this! Thank you Jesus! And thank you!

  23. Priyadharshani Perera says

    Thank you,i am a Sunday school coordinator in a church witch has a bout 25 children.i do lot of programs with them and this story is a great one i will be using it next for the Christmas program. thanks !

  24. Greta says

    I used this play this year and the church loved it.I used songs like, My Grown Up Christmas List, Baby Changes Very Thing and the cross scene I used our 12 decons and played a song that I our adult choir used that morning The Next Time He Comes He Will Come in Clouds of Glory and then at the end the kids sang the song Happy birthday Jesus. The play is a good one. Thank you so much for what you do.

  25. Brenda says

    Thank you! We used this play for our youth program this year, and it was definitely a success! The kids really enjoyed it, and our congregation was blessed with the message. It was my first year directing the program, and I’ve already been asked to do it again, although I don’t know how we could possibly top this year’s performance! Thanks so much. God bless you.

  26. Kathryn says

    Thanks! We’re set for this year but I’m already thinking about 2011 ~ I’ll definitely keep this in my file.

  27. Carmen says

    Hello, We are currently a small church and I have exactly 11 children (ages 4 – 16) who want to participate in the Christmas program. I chose the Christmas Hope play and our 3 youngest children would be the shepherds, however in the context of the play I do not see what part you suggest the shepherds should play. Thank you.

  28. says

    Greetings from Fiji Tony. Thanks for putting up the lovely script on this site. we are planning do produce a short movie based on this script – thanks a million.

  29. Matt Meeks says

    Would you mind if we videoed the Play and sold the DVD’s? (As a fundraiser for the Children’s Ministry)

  30. Angie says

    Thank you for this play, this is just what our church need to relate to today’s generation.

  31. sarah says

    I love this play! We are going to use it this year at our church which is small. I also only needed to tweek it just a tiny bit. I am going to make the dad unemployed instead of deceased due to the fact one of our members just lost her husband to cancer and I think that part would just be too hard for her. Unemployment is just a fact of life for many right now. I will give you credit and supply your website of the church program. Thanks again!

  32. says

    I am one of the leaders of the children’s bible club in Curacao, an island in the Caribbean. Our native language is papiamento. But we also speaks and understand Dutch, english and spanish.
    As I was searching for ideas for our small community to conmemorate Christ birth this year, I encounterd with this play.
    I was directly touched by it’s strong message and actuality. With you pemission I will have to translate it into our language. Thanks a lot for the idea and sharing. May God bless you to be so gifted and talented.

  33. sylvia says

    I love the combination of the modern scene and the biblical scene. It gives some reality to the true christmas. I am the Overseer of our children’s church and am considering using this play. Thanks for the good workl.

  34. Cranberry says

    I just want to say Thanks for posting this play! I am the president of our youth ministry from a small church. We don’t really have that much youth in our church and all of our ministry members still children from the eldest (me) being 18 to the youngest being 5. I found this play and brought it to church and we’re going to use it! Thank God for people like you who are just a blessing to us. God Bless!

  35. April Sargent says

    It sounds like God prepared this just for people like us, the ones who found it! I too am the song/children’s play director from a small church with NO church funds and even few children and this spoke to my heart also. God blessed you with this piece and you in turn have blessed others. Thank you!

  36. Elizabeth says

    Thank you so much to Julie for writing and sharing Christmas Hope with others. We also have a small church with a small number of children. We are going to use this during a worship service as our message/sermon the 3rd Sunday of Advent. We may have to change the Mom character to a Dad. We have more boys that girls in our program. The only other changes we will have to make all relate to staging and our limitations. But the story is great and all on our Youth Ministry team liked the theme which also goes along well with our stewardship theme this year.
    thank you again.

  37. Julie says

    I am so thankful that others will be able to use “Christmas Hope”. I know how hard it is in a small church with limited funds and not many children willing to participate.
    Please feel free to improve and modify as needed. :)
    Let me know how it turns out!

    Julie Snyder

  38. Judy Dean says

    I reviewed many plays to use with our very small group of children. When I read this one…it gripped my heart, and made me realize it would speak to the parents of the children we minister to. Thank you for sharing…I tweaked it a bit..but gave credit for the play to the author. Thank you again from an exhausted 62 year old children’s worker…in a small church with limited funds.

  39. Abigail says

    Hi… i was wondering if someone could help me find the tracks for the musical The Bethlehem Project i have the singers edition book and i had the cd but i lost it i cant find it anywhere… dont know what to do.
    From Ensenada, B. C. Mexico

  40. elva morgan says

    i was looking 4 a christmas play 4 my church and i chose 1 from u i like it and i am goimg 2 try it thank u 4 your help u inspire with with your sunday stuff thank

  41. Debbie Hughart says

    Thanks Tony for sharing this play. I didn’t know if I was going to do a play this year and was browsing your web site and saw Christmas Hope.
    It spoke to me and now I’m just waiting for God to give me the right songs to add with it and then we are all set to practice. So Thanks a bunch!

  42. Carol Miller says

    I can’t print this play. It really spoke to me as a great play as our church plans this year’s Christmas Play. Please help

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