It takes months of practice and hard work to pull off a top-notch Christmas program. Arranging choreography, dealing with temperamental children (and parents) and building sets on a shoestring budget can culminate to make a challenging task. Entering the foray will be droves of new children who have heard about the play and are longing to be involved. You have been praying for an increase in your attendance so you don’t want shoo these little souls away. What should you do?
You already know the answer; include them! Obviously new kids’ involvement will not include any lengthy speaking part or anything complicated. However, there are some add in roles that are perfect for timid or new children. Try these small ideas for huge, happy results in your Christmas program.
#1 Card Holders
Decorate poster boards with the phrases like “Scene 1” or “Back in the Manger.” The font should be large enough for everyone to read, even from a distance. Give these cue cards to your new kids and nudge them when it is time to use them. Have kids walk across the front of the stage to show the audience what the next scene is. Show kids how to hold the cards over their head and below their face. You want Mom and Dad to see little one’s face.
#2 Candy Kids
During the intermission, send new kids into the congregation to hand out candy canes. This would be a nice time to share the Story of the Candy Cane. Tuck candy canes in small handled wicker baskets. Attach little note cards to the candy canes.
You can never have too many angels, shepherds or stars. Add to your cast without tweaking your story line by inviting new kids to take a spot on the stage. If kids do not show up for the play, no big loss. You may consider having some extra tinsel halos and white sheets around to create an impromptu costume.
Someone has to hand out the programs. Instead of giving this special job to the grown ups, ask the new kids. Your Christmas program will seem more exciting when you involve new faces. Ask some of your regular children to guide the newer ones. Other children can point people to the restroom, special seating or to the visitors box.
Got a child that reads well? Hand off some of your Christmas program speaking roles to new kids. Of course, you will need a run through before the big day. Give kids several paragraphs to read and stay close by in case your new kids decide to panic.
Finally, be flexible and refused to be stressed. Your Christmas program may be the sole reason some families come back to your church. Have fun with your kids and present your glad tidings with a smile.