Supplies: Large Christmas stocking, eight little cardboard boxes (about 2 x 2) or seven legal size envelopes. You will need the following items or pictures in the boxes or envelopes:
- A scroll
- A picture of Bethlehem
- Manger or stable scene or small animal figure (to make manger cut a toilet paper tube in half. Then cut one of the halves about an inch shorter than the other one and staple them curved sides facing out, to each other. Glue hay/straw or yellow raffia or yarn to it.)
- Baby Jesus (To make baby Jesus to fit the manger, use a popsicle stick or a clothes pin wrapped in cloth and draw a face.)
- Small candy cane (shepherd staff)
- Gold pipe cleaner in the shape of a halo
- Small color page of the Nativity-or a small crèche
- A heart with a cross
- A coloring page to hand out at end of children’s sermon (optional)
Faith+Open: Gather the children to where you would like to do the children’s time. Show them your stocking and talk about how you always find presents in your stocking on Christmas morning. Ask if they have a stocking as well. Then explain that THIS stocking has the best present ever.
Faith+Share: Have the boxes or envelopes numbered 1-8 for ease of telling the story.
Pull out #1: This box/envelope has the start of the best present ever. Pull out a scroll with Joseph and Mary’s name on it. Tell how Joseph and Mary had to take a trip to check-in with the emperor to sign their names. Mary was expecting a baby so it was a hard trip.
Pull out #2: This box/envelope has a picture of Bethlehem. This is the city of King David, where he was born and where Mary and Joseph had to go to be registered.
Pull out #3: This box/envelope has a manger in it When Mary and Joseph got to Bethlehem all of the hotels or inns were full. The only place they found was a barn where animals live.
Pull out #4: While they were staying in the stable Mary had her baby! What was the baby’s name? Jesus! Pull out a baby Jesus. Place the baby in the manger.
Pull out #5: There were shepherds near by watching sheep. Doesn’t the candy cane look like a shepherds staff?
Pull out #6: Suddenly angels appeared the shepherds saying don’t be afraid! A very special baby has been born! Glory to God in the highest and peace to all people on earth!
Pull out #7: So the shepherds went to where the baby Jesus was and were so happy! They had found the best gift ever! God’s love given to us in Jesus!
Pull out #8: Isn’t this the best present that you have ever seen in a stocking? God loves us so much that God sent Jesus to be with us and to show us that God loves us no matter what we do. God wants us to love and talk to God through prayer, songs, dancing and everything that we do. That’s what the cross reminds us of!
You each get a color page just like in box #7 to work on and you can hang it in your room to remind you of your best Christmas gift ever!
Faith+Prayer: Dear God, thank you so much for the gift of your son Jesus. We are so glad that you love us so much and we love you too! Amen.
Faith+Christmas Blessing: May your days be filled with the peace, joy, hope, and love of God +
All intellectual property rights apply. This may be used in a home or ministry setting but not sold or used for profit. Authors: Leta Behrens, Brigette Weier, Gus Brockmann