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.