Families, communities, and nations are strengthened when parents teach the nativity story to their children. The story of Mary and Joseph traveling to Bethlehem and the birth of Baby Jesus in a stable fascinates little children and inspires older ones. One excellent way to teach the Christmas story is by acting out the nativity story.
My family has acted out the Christmas story for more than forty years. We started when we had a three year old, a two year old, and a new baby, and we continue to this day. In fact, our children and their children continue the tradition in their homes. The family in Texas invites friends to join them for Christmas Eve dinner and the nativity, and the three families in Utah get together to do the same.
We normally invite friends to join us for Christmas Eve festivities, but we will have a quiet family Christmas this year. I took my final exam for the semester today, so I have not had any time to prepare anything elaborate. My husband’s health is bad enough that he does not feel like doing anything, and my daughter-in-law is in the process of doing chemo to fight brain cancer. With my son working full time and working on a Masters’ degree in addition to the carrying the full burden of home duties, none of us have much energy for partying.
So we became even more creative about the nativity than we usually do when we have a small group. We asked the group in Utah if we could join their nativity by Facetime. We will all be in costume and act out the part at the appropriate time. My son in Utah works Christmas Eve, so they are doing their Christmas Eve activities on Sunday evening. This will be a change from usual, but life is full of changes these days.
I encourage you to teach your family about the birth of Jesus Christ. If you choose to perform a play about the story, here is a site with a couple of child-friendly scripts. One of the scripts are for smaller children, and one is for older children. If you are creative, you may wish to write your own script. One year our family had a television reporter that did interviews with the various participants of the story. I must say that it is one of our most memorable ones!
This site has some ideas about extending the Christmas story over a period of days or weeks. It has several links for family home evening lessons on the topic as well as some ideas for doing the Twelve Days of Christmas and other Christ-centered activities.
Whatever you choose to do and however you choose to do it, I can guarantee that Christmas will be more special because you do it. I know that you can strengthen your family, community, and nation by teaching the Christmas story about the birth of Jesus Christ to your family. This practice is a wonderful tradition that binds family members together for generations.