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A Christmas Play (For Kids!)

July 20, 2017

 

 

 

 

Characters:

2 Narrators: thoughtful, curious boys or girls who can read/act well

School Pageant Readers: any of the kids in other parts who can read

3 Angels: 3 sassy girls who can sing

Baby Angels: wee ones onstage

Barn Animals:

Donkey

Pig

Chicken

Horse

Goat

Cow

Goose

Sheep

3 + Shepherds: 3 boys or girls who can tease each other

Mary: can be played by an adult

Joseph: can be played by an adult

3 Wise Men: 3 boys or girls who are a bit like the three stooges

 

Shepherds usher all the animals and baby angels from the back of the audience down the aisle to the stage. They lead them in singing a song.

 

SHEPHERD 1:

(to the animals and angels)

Are you ready to put on a Christmas play?!

 

ANIMALS AND ANGELS:

Yes!

 

SHEPHERD 1 (or 4): (to the audience)

Are you ready to see a Christmas play?!

 

AUDIENCE:

Yes!

 

SHEPHERD 1 (or 2):

Alright! Then turn off the sound of your cellphones, and here we go!!

 

Shepherds lead the animals and angels back stage to their places. Narrators come out in front of the curtain.

 

BOTH NARRATORS:

(writing in their diaries in front of the closed curtain, speaking in unison)

Dear Diary, So they’re putting on this Christmas Pageant at my school.

 

NARRATOR 1

I’m pretty sure Jennifer is gonna get to play Mary. She’s pretty and popular, and all the teachers love her.

 

NARRATOR 2

And Jamal is probably going to get to play Joseph because he’s the tallest and already has a mustache coming in.

 

BOTH

And everyone else (pointing to self)  is going to have to be sheep!

 

NARRATOR 1

Or angels. I guess an angel wouldn’t be so bad.

 

NARRATOR 2

Or shepherds. When you’re a shepherd you have to wear these stupid pieces of cloth on your head.

 

NARRATOR 1

And when you’re a wise man, you have to wear an itchy fake beard!

 

BOTH

And everyone does the same thing every year. It always goes something like this:

 

Curtain opens behind narrator to reveal a manger scene. Entire cast stiffly pantomimes the story.

 

SCHOOL PAGEANT READERS:                         

READER 1: “And it came to pass in those days that there went out a decree from Ceasar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed...And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.  

 

READER 2: And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem (because he was of the house and lineage of David) to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

 

READER 3: And so it was that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

 

READER 4: And there were in the same country, shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them; and they were sore afraid.

 

READER 1: And the angel said unto them, “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you. Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.” (From the King James Bible- Luke:1-12)

 

CAST sings “Away in A Manger”

 

READER 2: “Now when Jesus was born...behold there came three wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying ‘Where is he that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.’

 

READER 3: When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him….Then Herod sent them to Bethlehem, and said, ‘Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.’

 

READER 4: When they had heard the king, they departed. And lo, the star, which they saw in the east went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was...And when they were come unto the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him.

 

CAST sings “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”

 

READER 1: And when they had opened up their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, frankincense, and myrhh. And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.” (From the King James Bible- Matthew 2:1-12)

 

Cast freezes as curtain closes. The Narrators are back to their diaries.

 

NARRATOR 2:

It’s always very stuffy and boring,

 

NARRATOR 1:

but the teachers and parents all seem to like it.

 

BOTH:

I wonder what really happened back then?

 

NARRATOR 1:

Did Mary really ride a donkey?

 

NARRATOR 2:

What did the angels look like?

 

BOTH:

And how did the animals deal with all these people in their barn?!

 

NARRATOR 2:

I wish I could ask them

 

NARRATOR 1:

I wish I could ask them

 

BOTH:

What was it really like?

 

Three angels sneak up behind the narrators and tap them on the shoulders. As the narrators turn around, the angels sing and strike a pose. They are sassy angels after all.

 

ANGEL 1:

Hello!

 

ANGEL 2:

Hello!

 

ANGEL 3:

Hello!

 

BOTH NARRATORS:

Whoa! Who are you?

 

ANGEL 1

Don’t be scared. We’re your Christmas angels.

 

NARRATOR 1:

Like the ones who came to Mary to tell her she was gonna have Jesus?

 

NARRATOR 2:

Or the ones who came to the shepherds?

 

ANGEL 2:

Yeah, something like that.

 

BOTH NARRATORS:

Whoa….

 

ANGEL 3:

Do you want to see what really happened?

 

ANGEL 1:

Why don’t you go see for yourself….

 

Angels open the curtain to reveal the same manger scene, only it’s real people interacting realistically.

 

BOTH NARRATORS:

Wow! You mean I can just ask them

 

NARRATOR 2:what it was like?

 

NARRATOR 1:In the whole story?

 

ANGEL 2

You got it!

 

ANGEL 3

And when you’ve found out all you want to know, maybe you can do something with that information.

 

BOTH NARRATORS:

Like what?

 

ANGELS:

You’ll know what to do!

 

Singing and striking same poses as before. They are sassy angels after all.

 

ANGEL 1:

Goodbye!

 

ANGEL 2:

Goodbye!

 

ANGEL 3:

Goodbye!

 

Angels exit.

 

BOTH NARRATORS:

Bye! Thanks Christmas angels!

 

Narrators watch the scene for a second. The barn animals all seem to be fighting about something, Mary looks exhausted, Joseph looks worried, the baby is crying, the shepherds seem to be cracking jokes, the sheep look frightened, the angels have disappeared, and the wise men have fallen asleep. Narrators grab their diaries and pens and jump in.

 

NARRATOR 1:

Excuse me, animals, I was just curious-- what was it like here on Christmas Eve?

 

DONKEY:

HeeHaw! Crowded!

 

PIG:

No, it was stinky! Oink!

 

CHICKEN:

Noisy! Bkock!

 

HORSE:

Neigh! Confusing!

 

GOAT:

Basically, it was baaaaaaad.

 

COW:

There wasn’t roooooom at the inn, but there wasn’t much roooom in the barn, either! And I had to give up my manger for a huuuuuuuman baby!!

 

GOOSE:

Oh, hush! We were happy to have the holy family. Everybody chipped in with feathers and straw and hay to make everyone comfortable, and it was actually quite jolly to have the company on the long night. They’re just cranky because anything out of the routine ruffles their feathers.

 

All animals make a noise at the goose in protest. The goose honks back.

 

NARRATOR 1:

(writing all this down in her diary like a reporter)

Thanks animals! Good to know!

 

NARRATOR 2:

What about you, shepherds and sheep? What was it like on Christmas around here?

(The sheep begin to baaa loudly. The shepherds quiet them down.)

 

SHEPHERD 1:

They’re all pretty scared. We saw angels in the middle of the night singing and telling us about a baby saviour. It was pretty weird and out of the blue.

 

SHEPHERD 2:

It was beautiful, too! I’d never heard music like that before!


 

SHEPHERD 3:

We figured we should come see what the angels were talking about. And everything they said was true!!

 

Sheep begin to baaa again.

 

SHEPHERD 4:

The sheep don’t like it, but it’s been pretty cool.

 

SHEPHERD 2:

Now you say that! You were scared out of your mind last night!

 

SHEPHERD 3:

So were you!

 

SHEPHERD 2:

You were, too!

 

SHEPHERD 1:

Ok, we were all scared. But it’s pretty funny now. What’s so scary about a baby in a barn?!

 

All three laugh and tease each other as the baby starts to cry.

 

NARRATOR 2:(Writing down what they said.)

Thanks shepherds!

(Sheep baaa!) And sheep!

 

NARRATOR 1:

What about you, Mary and Joseph? How has this whole experience been for you?

 

Dancers do a dance to “Mary Did You Know?”

 

MARY:

Exhausting and beautiful.

 

JOSEPH:

She’s been a real trooper. If we could do it over again, we probably wouldn’t have traveled by donkey. That was a bit rough.

 

MARY:

Reservations at the Inn might have helped, too.

 

JOSEPH:

Yeah, sorry about that.

 

MARY:

It’s ok, dear. The animals were very sweet, and a manger works perfectly as a crib, who knew?

(Baby cries again. Mary picks him up and hums greensleeves to him)

 

JOSEPH:

They’re a miracle, aren’t they? Just look at these two. It’s been a long night, and I had doubts about marrying a pregnant lady, but I see now. I’m a really lucky guy.

(He gives Mary and the baby a hug)

 

NARRATOR 1:

Yeah, I’d say so. Thanks, Mary and Joseph. And happy birthday, little one! Welcome to the world!

 

Wise Man 2 snores loudly, which wakes up the other two.

 

1st WISE MAN

Hey, wake up! It’s Christmas!

 

2nd WISE MAN

(half-asleep) Huh? Did Santa come?

 

3rd WISE MAN

No, dummy, the baby Jesus came! The king we were looking for!

 

2nd WISE MAN

The king is a baby?

 

1st WISE MAN

Yeah, that’s why there’s a baby in the king cake!

 

2nd WISE MAN

There’s cake?

 

3rd WISE MAN

No, silly, there’s a baby in a manger!

 

2nd WISE MAN

I thought you said there was a baby in a cake!

 

NARRATOR 2:

Oh dear. Wise Men, I was wondering if you could tell me about what it was like getting here.

 

1st WISE MAN

Awful. We kept getting lost.

 

3rd WISE MAN

We didn’t get lost! The star kept moving!

 

2nd WISE MAN

snores loudly

 

1st WISE MAN

We lost him again. Wake up!

 

both Wise Men shake #2 awake

 

2nd WISE MAN

(waking up). What?! Oh. We were late. But we brought presents.

 

1st and 2nd Wise Men shrug

 

NARRATOR 2:

Ok! Well thanks Wise Men!

 

The angels reappear about to close the curtain on the manger scene. The scene freezes as the the Narrators write in their diaries.

 

...the wise men were not so wise, the shepherds were goofy,

 

NARRATOR 1:

the animals cranky, and the holy family seemed off to a good start…

 

NARRATOR 2:

Maybe there’s something cool in all the parts of the Christmas pageant.

 

NARRATOR 1:

I think I want to be the wise men or maybe the donkey.

 

The angels clear their throats.

 

BOTH NARRATORS:

Or the angels!!!

 

The angels conduct the whole cast in singing “Silent Night.”

 

BOTH NARRATORS:

I got it!

 

NARRATOR 2:

I know what I want to be in the Christmas Pageant!

 

NARRATOR 1:

And it doesn’t matter what part I get to play! I want to be the writer!

 

NARRATOR 2:

I can write my own Christmas Pageant!

 

BOTH NARRATORS:

For what good is the story if it doesn’t mean something to me?!

 

ANGEL 1 (singing)

Good job!

 

ANGEL 2

Good thinking!

 

ANGEL 3

Good luck!

 

BOTH NARRATORS:

Thanks angels! (Narrators start to write)

 

NARRATOR 1:Once upon a time,

 

NARRATOR 2: in a little town called Bethlehem,

 

NARRATOR 1:there was a barn full of animals

 

NARRATOR 2: waiting for a baby

 

BOTH: who would save the world...

 

The angels slowly close the curtain. Blackout.

 

THE END.

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    top photo by Jessi Donley @visceraljessi