Children's Church

Church Christmas Program: What do I Choose?

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If you are a Children’s Church or Sunday School teacher, chances are, you have been asked (or for some reason come up with the idea on your own) to have a Christmas program.

This means different things to different churches. In some churches, Christmas programs are a huge, spectacular deal. In others, it means the kids are singing Rudolf. This guide talks about different ways that you can do Christmas programs, and how to approach them.

 Church Christmas Program: What Do I Choose? Becca's Music Room. A guide to picking the correct christmas program for your children's church or sunday school.

The musical

This is the big mamma. This is the thing that takes three months of planning, kids who can actually learn their lines, songs, and choreography, people who are willing to help out after work and on weekends… it takes a lot of dedication.

This is what we did when I was young. And I am not going to lie, it was so much fun. I loved it.

But. It is difficult. There is a lot of work. We basically had Christmas program rehearsal instead of Children’s Church from October to December, and then we had extra rehearsals on Wednesdays and Saturdays. This is not great if you have lots of visitors, because they will feel very left out.

If you are going to do it, I suggest finding one with a few main roles, and then lots of songs or group parts. This will help because you can even do rehearsal of the whole group songs for part of the time, and then rehearse with a small group while the other students have a lesson (assuming you have multiple teachers to help out).

Who is this good for?

Churches with a lot of volunteers, a lot of (consistent) kids, and not a lot of visitors.

Related: The Beginner’s Guide to Teaching Children’s Church

The skit

If you are not up to all of that mess (and trust me, I have not worked my way up that much either), a skit will probably be better. You can make your own or find them online. The Skit Guys are seriously the bomb. I did one of their skits a few weeks ago for a Missions Month and my kids loved it. It was short, funny, and had a good message. Buy it here.

Skits are nice because you can do them with fewer students. Most have 2-10 people, so if your group is smaller, this is a good option.

If you are creative enough, there are ways to incorporate more students. They can be extras. You could add songs to make it into a short musical, I have even seen skits where some kids made up the props.

Skits are usually shorter alternatives to large-scale Christmas program musicals, so they take up less time in class for rehearsal. Here is a link to The Skit Guy’s Christmas Skits.

Who is this good for?

Smaller churches, groups with fewer students (or fewer students old enough to memorize lines), people creative enough to make up their own skit or involve a lot of students.

Church Christmas Program: What Do I Choose? Becca's Music Room. A guide to picking the correct christmas program for your children's church or sunday school
My Children’s Church kids doing a skit from The Skit Guys.

 

The act out

That is a terrible name, but I do not know what else to call this type of Christmas program! Basically, you can have a student (or yourself, if most of your kids are little) read the Christmas story while the other students act it out. You could use the actual story from the Bible, or you could use a story book version, or you could use your own summarized version.

This is a great Christmas program idea for church with little kids, because they do not have to say anything! Have the kids dress up as their part and just practice blocking. The narrator can literally tell them where to go. “Mary and Joseph get up and go to Bethlehem.”

Plus, you can dress up extra kids as barn animals. And what is better than a child dressed like a sheep?

You could also read a book about the Christmas story and have the kids act it out.

Who is this good for?

Groups that have less volunteers and less time. Groups with a lot of little kids.

The songs and recitations

This is what my kids have done the past few years. My church is small; my Children’s Church is usually 15-20 children. This is not ideal for a big mamma-jamma Christmas program like the musical.

As an alternative, I have taught the kids two or three songs (usually one or two that are Biblical like “What Child is This” or “Silent Night” and one that is not, like “Rudolph” or “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”) and had a few of the older students read part of the Christmas story.

This was perfect for us, because I have a smaller group, and we did not have to spend all of our time working on it.

As a music person, I also enjoy teaching songs. I tried to find Christmas songs the kids had never heard before. Last year we did “Twas in the Moon of Wintertime”, which is the first Christmas song written in North America. My choir sang it and it was gorgeous, so I taught them two of the verses. It is fun, because it is written for the Native Americans, so it uses references they would understand instead of the traditional ones. For example, instead of bringing baby Jesus gold, frankincense, and myrrh, the Wise Men bring fox and beaver pelts.

This is a very cheap option, in that you can literally do it without spending any money. I did buy a Kids Christmas Music CD. One year they were struggling, so we just sang along with the CD.

Who is this good for?

Churches with any amount of kids and any amount of volunteers. Virtually no money needed, unless you buy accompaniment tracks for the kids. Great to teach Christmas Music that is a little less popular than “Silent Night”.

So what Christmas Program are we doing this year?

This year, my church is doing a little bit more than the past. My plan is to do a skit by The Skit Guys (once I have chosen one, I will link the page so that you can purchase it if you choose) and add in a few songs. I like to do songs, because everyone gets involved and, again, I am a music person.

What is your church doing? Anything different from what I have come up with? I would love to hear about it! Let me know in the comments!Church Christmas Program: What Do I Choose? Becca's Music Room. A guide to picking the correct christmas program for your children's church or sunday school


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