Sounds of Christmas
By Deb Brammer
(an interactive Christmas story using rhythm instruments)
Rush: castanets, clicked quickly like running footsteps
Shake: shaker (could use rice in an plastic Easter egg)
Parties: toy drum, party horn, shaker
Quiet: pause in narration
Walking: castanets, clicked slowly like walking footsteps
Angel: strum an autoharp or guitar chord or run a xylophone stick over the xylophone
Baby: baby’s gentle cry sound effect downloaded off the internet
Announcement: different party horn
Travelled: coconut halves (saw coconut in half, take white “meat” out)
Knock: hand knocking on wood or the wall
Cows: group says “mooo”
Donkeys: group says “hee haw”
Shepherds or sheep: group says, “baaaa”
Worship: group sings, “Come and worship, come and worship, worship Christ the newborn King.” (from “Angels from the Realms of Glory”)
Birds: bird whistle
[Tip: You can find many of these instruments in cheap party stores or make them yourselves. Try them out to get a feel for their sound. You can adjust the script to fit the instruments you have. Before the narrator reads the story, hand out instruments to members of the audience and assign groups different parts, telling them to play their instrument or part each time their word is read. The narrator should pause after every word in all caps and wait for the sound to be made.]
Christmas is a time of JOY. BELLS ring to remind us to give to charities. We RUSH to buy presents, SHAKE presents, and celebrate with holiday PARTIES. But in all the hustle and bustle of activity, let’s QUIET our hearts for a few minutes to remember the very first Christmas.
In a QUIET village a humble girl named Mary WALKED about, doing her normal business when an ANGEL stopped her. “Don’t be afraid,” he told her. “I bring news of great JOY. You will give birth to a BABY boy. An ANGEL also appeared to Joseph in a dream. He told Joseph to name the BABY Jesus because he would save people from their sins. Joseph and Mary were filled with JOY as they prepared to give birth to the new BABY, God’s own son in human form.
Before Jesus was born, the Roman king made an ANNOUNCEMENT. Everyone had to go to their hometown to be registered. Joseph and Mary TRAVELED to the village of Bethlehem. When they got there they KNOCKED on the door of an inn, but it was full. They KNOCKED on the door of many inns, but none of them had room for the couple who would soon give birth to a BABY.
Finally one innkeeper agreed to let them live in his stable where COWS and DONKEYS usually slept. Before long Mary gave birth to a beautiful BABY boy and laid him in a manger where COWS and DONKEYS usually fed on hay.
At the same time SHEPHERDS were watching their SHEEP on a nearby hillside. Suddenly a bright light shone in the sky and an ANGEL appeared to him. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “I bring you news of great JOY for all people. Today a BABY has been born in Bethlehem. You will find him lying in a manger.”
Suddenly a great company of ANGELS joined the other ANGEL. They praised God with a song of WORSHIP. When the ANGELS left them the SHEPHERDS said, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this BABY. They left their SHEEP and RUSHED away to find Jesus and his parents. When they found him their hearts were filled with JOY too. They WORSHIPED the BABY and praised God for his birth. Then they RUSHED away to tell everyone the good news as they ANNOUNCED the birth of the BABY Jesus.
God put his own birth ANNOUNCEMENT in the sky in the form of a special star. Wise Men saw the star and TRAVELED to Bethlehem in search of the BABY who had now grown to be a young child. Sometimes the sun shone and the BIRDS sang. Sometimes the WIND blew and the RAIN beat down, but the Wise men kept on TRAVELING. When they found Jesus they WORSHIPED him and gave him expensive presents of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
The BABY grew to be a man. He did miracles, taught about God, and died for our sins. This was the first Christmas and Christ was the best present ever given.
Today the Christmas season is still a time of JOY. We RUSH around in preparation and celebrate with fun PARTIES. The occasional church BELL rings. But amid all the hustle and bustle we need to find time to QUIET our hearts and fix our minds on the Lord Jesus. We need to come to him with JOY in our hearts and a song of WORSHIP.
I am working on our ladies’ meeting for December (our theme for the year is “Use the ‘Senses’ God Gave You”) and December is “Do You Hear What I Hear?” I was looking for something fun to tie the sounds of the first Christmas to a group activity. And tonight when I googled in “Sounds of the First Christmas” yours was the first hit. I was so surprised. Thanks so much for your input. Trust all is well with you.
Sallie (McElwain) Lemponen
Hi Sally. Glad to hear this will work for you. Yes, we’re doing well except for a cold I’m working through that has currently robbed me of my voice. Bad news when you teach 3x a week.
I was looking for an interactive Christmas program for our church. This will work perfectly!
Thanks for sharing!
Glad to be of help.
I love this! I’m planning to use it with our children’s Bible club.
I’m glad to hear it works for you. Thanks for your reply.
I am very interested in your Ladies program
“Do you hear what I hear” could you please share
Note I just answered this for someone else. You can copy anything on my website to use in your ministry. See other comment for how to do this if you don’t know how to copy and move a document.
Thank you for sharing this wonderful idea! I teach music as a business and in my church, and I can see several ways to use this story, both as an outreach and as just a fun idea to focus on the true meaning of Christmas. I’m sure you won’t remember me, but when we were first starting out in the ministry, my husband was the assistant pastor at Calvary Baptist in Lamar, CO, where we supported you as a missionary to Taiwan. That was 36 years ago. 🙂 God bless you for all that you are doing for His kingdom. We were looking for your ESL program and were so glad to find it here! Thank you so much for your kind generosity.
Hi Teresa. Always glad to help.
LOVE THIS PROGRAM, THANK OU
Thank you so much for allowing me to use this skit for our Children’s Church. I only have about 7 to 10 children so this skit will work great!
Bless you dear!
I’m glad it will work for you. Blessings on your ministry.
How can I print this off? I’d like to use it at our church for Family Night.
For some reason, people keep asking me this. I’ve copied a previous comment to answer this question. You can copy anything from my website to use in your ministry. If you don’t like the way it downloads, you can always copy it and move it to your software program. Don’t know how to do that? Highlight the text, hold down “Control” and hit “C”. Then move to your word processing program, bring up a blank page, hold down “Control” and hit “V.” Hope that helps.
Wow beautiful idea and wonderfully written. I will be using this for my grade 4-6 boys sunday school class this year, as part of our Christmas Program. I prayed God would send me something that would work for my group of unique boys from all stages of faith and background, and this was no doubt what he wants me to do. God bless your ministry
I’m glad this works for you.
Thank you for making this resource available. We fit the description of a small church, literally! This will allow us to still share the wonderful message of the Hope of Jesus. God bless you and thanks again.
I’m glad this resource fits your congregation and can be useful to you.
Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful recounting of the Christmas story. Our children will do this for the Children’s Sermon on Christmas Day this year. We’ll use the adults for the animal groups. It should be awesome! Merry Christmas!
I’m glad you find this program useful.