2. Use the Christmas Tree for object lessons. Here are a few.
Apples: We hang apples from the Christmas tree because Adam and Eve sinned by eating the apple. Jesus came to Earth to save us from our sins.
Evergreen: Just as evergreen trees grow all year long and are always green, Jesus came to Earth to give us everlasting life.
Holly: The holly we hang on Christmas trees is red and reminds us of the blood Jesus shed to save us from our sins.
Tree Top: The tree top is usually an angel or a star. Both were in the sky the night Jesus was born. The angels proclaimed the good news to the shepherds. The star lighted the way of wise men traveling to Bethlehem.
Lights: Jesus is the light of the world.
Ornaments: Round bulbs represent Jesus coming to Earth. Other ornaments represent that God wants to give us good things.
Tree:The tree itself can represent the tree of life that Jesus came to Earth to restore to us. It can also represent the cross where Jesus died for our sins. We cut down a tree for Christmas just as Christ was cut down for our sins. But we resurrect the tree in our homes just as Christ was resurrected after 3 day.
Wreath: Wreaths are a great symbol to teach children about Christmas. Wreaths are circular. This symbolizes eternal life. It can also symbolize God’s unending love. We usually hang wreaths on the door to welcome guests just as Jesus welcomes us to have eternal life in Him. Wreaths are made out of evergreen symbolizing again everlasting life in Christ.
3. Tell the Tale of Three Trees. The Tale of Three Tress is a folk legend told for many centuries to teach the importance of Christ’s life. The author is unknown. Here’s the link to tell the story in Kidmin this Christmas.
Certain colors are associated with Christmas. You can use these colors to teach children about Christmas by showing different color ornaments or decorations.
Red symbolizes Christ was born on Christmas so He could shed His blood for the sins of the world.
Romans 5:9 Now that we have been justified by his blood, how much more will we be saved from wrath through him!
Green is the color of the evergreens that last all year long even through the winter snow. It symbolizes eternal life that Jesus came to give. If we believe in Him, we will have eternal life in Heaven with Jesus.
John 3:16 For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
White symbolizes the purity of Christ. He lived His life on Earth without ever sinning, He cleanses us from our sins when we become His children. Our sins become as white as snow.
Isaiah 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
Gold symbolizes the three wise men. Some called them kings. They brought gifts Jesus when he was born: gold, frankincense, and myrrh to show Jesus was born a king. He came to this Earth as a baby, but He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
Matthew 2:1-2 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.
Silver has two meanings. It symbolizes the star of Bethlehem that the wise men followed. But it also symbolizes shepherds who rang their silver bells in Bible times to help the sheep find their way. When Jesus was born, angels appeared to shepherds so they could worship Him. Jesus as our Great Shepherd. Jesus came to Earth to help us find our way back to God.
John 10:11, 14-15 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep.
Christmas caroling is a lost art in this world where everyone is so busy getting the latest gift. That’s too bad because Christmas caroling is a way to share God’s love with a dark world. It works even better when we go Christmas caroling to people who feel forgotten at Christmas.
Here’s some ideas on where you can take the children in your church caroling.
Neighborhood around the church: Let the church’s neighbors see you’re a part of their neighborhood and that you have a thriving children’s ministry.
Nursing Homes: Share the love of God by taking the children to a nursing home to sing for the patients.
Children’s Hospital: Christmas is a sad time for children stuck in the hospital. Cheer them up with some caroling.
The Mall: Put Christ back in the Holiday season by having children sing songs about the birth of Christ. They could even act out the nativity scene.
Shut Ins: Most churches have seniors who can’t get out of their houses because of health problems. Compile a list and take your students to their houses for a little visit and some carols.
Any of these places would be a great way for children to minister by sharing God’s love. Don’t forget to plan some hot chocolate and Christmas cookies for after the caroling is over.
Here’s a fun way to teach children using the Christmas Carol “The 12 Days of Christmas”.
The True Love who gives us gifts is Jesus Christ who gave us eternal life.
On the 1st day of Christmas my true love gave to me…
A Partridge in a Pear Tree: The partridge in a pear tree is Jesus the Christ, the Son of God, whose birthday we celebrate on December 25, the first day of Christmas. In the song, Christ is symbolically presented as a mother partridge that feigns injury to decoy predators from her helpless nestlings, recalling the expression of Christ’s sadness over the fate of Jerusalem: “Jerusalem! Jerusalem! How often would I have sheltered you under my wings, as a hen does her chicks, but you would not have it so . . . .” (Luke 13:34)
On the 2nd day of Christmas my true love gave to me…
Two Turtle Doves: The Old and New Testaments
On the 3rd day of Christmas my true love gave to me…
Three French Hens: The Three Virtues – Faith, Hope, and Love (1 Corinthians 13:13)
On the 4th day of Christmas my true love gave to me…
Four Calling Birds: The Four Gospels
On the 5th day of Christmas my true love gave to me…
Five Gold Rings:The first Five Books of the Old Testament, known as the Torah or the Pentateuch
On the 6th day of Christmas my true love gave to me…
Six Geese A-laying: The six days of creation (Genesis 1)
On the 7th day of Christmas my true love gave to me…
Seven Swans A-swimming: The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit (Romans 12:6-8; 1 Corinthians 12:8-11)
On the 8th day of Christmas my true love gave to me…
Eight Maids A-milking: The eight Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-10)
On the 9th day of Christmas my true love gave to me…
Nine Ladies Dancing: The nine Fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22)
On the 10th day of Christmas my true love gave to me…
Ten Lords A-leaping: The ten commandments (Exodus 20:1-17)
On the 11th day of Christmas my true love gave to me…
For most of you, the children’s Christmas program is one of the biggest events on your children’s ministry calendar. Hopefully you’re on schedule and things are going according to the plans you made during the summer. Here’s some last-minute tips to help it run smoothly.
Write out the words to the songs for the children. If your church has a monitor or video that can be seen from the stage, have your media director place the words to the songs on power point. That way, if the children forget the words, they can read them on the screen. If you don’t have power point, ask someone to write the words on poster boards and sit on the front row holding them during the program.
Teach children what to do when the program ends. Many times children’s pastors work hard with the children to have a great program only to have the children ruin it because they don’t know how to end it. Let the children know what they’re expected to do at the end of the program. Should they file off the stage or should they sit quietly while the pastor talks? Rehearse this with them so they’re ready.
Keep children occupied. Have activities ready for the children to do while they’re waiting for the program to start or if you are working with small groups of children during rehearsal. This will keep the children from getting out of control when they have nothing to do.
Check costumes to make sure there are no last-minute surprises. If your students are coming up with their own costumes, make sure you give approval in time for them to change something if they need to.
Make sure the sound technician is available for final rehearsals. Many great children’s programs are ruined because the sound technician wasn’t there at the rehearsals to know the cues. Provide him with a copy of the program, and ask if there’s anything else he needs.
Invite people. Ask each student in the play to provide a list of at least five friends or relatives with addresses or emails so you can invite them to the program. Don’t leave the invites up to the children and parents. Send the letter out on church stationary. Don’t forget to mention the name of the child who provided their information.
Take breaks during long rehearsals. Children will focus better if they have time to get their energy out.
Plan for unexpected surprises. Have a plan for if a child with a main part gets sick and can’t be in the program.
Remind the students often why they’re doing this. It’s not about them being cute and showing off to their parents. They are involved in ministry. Have them pray for God to move and people to give their lives to Christ during the program.
I pray God uses your children’s ministry program for His glory this year.
Having great rehearsals is one of the most important keys to having a great Children’s Christmas program. A good rehearsal schedule won’t tire the kids and parents but will have enough practices to make sure the children are comfortable with their parts. Here are 5 tips to help you with that schedule.
Weekly Practices: These practices are for every child in the program. They should start no later than the beginning of October. Some churches start practices in September. During most of the practices, the choir director should teach the songs everyone sings. If there are any lines that everyone shouts out, the drama director should teach these. The last four to six weekly practices should run through the entire program so the children have a feel for what to expect and when they sing each song. Depending on what’s best for your church, you could have these practices during Children’s Church, midweek class, after church or one evening a week. These practices should be an hour long weekly. You could also have half hour practices twice a week.
Soloist Practices: Every child who sings a solo or duet should get together at least two or three times with someone who knows music to go over his or her solo. You might ask the music director for a suggestion on who could do this. These practices don’t have to be long. They can be for fifteen minutes before or after church.
Drama Practices: These practices are for children who have speaking parts in the program. The children should have a deadline when they have their parts memorized. After they’ve memorized their parts, they should practice at least once a week. The practices should only last a half hour to an hour. If they’re any longer, the children will become bored.
Dress Rehearsal: There should be two dress rehearsals, one a week before the program, and one the day before. The rehearsal on the day before should be mandatory for everyone and should include scenery and props. It is important to have sound and light technicians at these practices.
Cast Party: The final countdown for the Christmas program has begun. How will you get the parents to bring the children to the final dress rehearsal? Have a party for the children after dress rehearsal. You could take them skating, sled riding, or Christmas Caroling. Have pizza or Christmas cookies and hot chocolate for snacks. Remind the parents and children that only those attending dress rehearsal can go to the party. Children are as stressed as children’s workers during rehearsals. A party will allow the children to let out some of that stress before the play. It will also give them the opportunity to bond with their Christian friends.
Written Schedule: Make sure each parent gets a copy of the schedule of practices in writing. You also might want to send home reminders or call the parents to remind them of special practices and dress rehearsals. Let each parent know what you expect from them. Also, if you have a date children need to learn their parts by, let the parents know this. Be flexible, but have guidelines in place for missed practices. The more you communicate with the parents, the easier it will be to get the children to practices.
Rehearsal Supplies: Each parent (not child) should receive supplies to help the child practice at home including a script, songs, CD or DVD with the play, and costume and prop requirements. The sooner the parent receives these supplies the better.