Four Fresh Ways to Tell the Christmas Story at Family Gatherings

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Between eating dinner, exchanging gifts, and engaging in conversation at the annual Christmas gathering, sometimes our family has forgotten to retell the story that we’ve come together to celebrate. Sound familiar?

Below you’ll find easy, meaningful, and fun ideas for retelling the Christmas story with people of all ages. Start a new tradition by using one with your family this year!

Participation Story. We used this script by Paul Osborne this last year with my extended family—ages 2 through 79—and it was awesome. One person reads the story script; everyone else chimes in with an assigned sound effect.

Wondering Story. Welcome Home: A Christmas Devotional invites thoughtful participation through a series of wondering questions. Get it for free here.

Build-a-Story. This approach takes 30 minutes or more, but it can be a great way to fill that gap of time before the meal or prior to opening gifts. Split up into small groups of 2-4 people each. Assign each group a different scene from Luke 2 to recreate using using LEGO blocks or an assortment of household objects you’ve gathered (cotton balls, tin foil, tissues, a ruler, spools, yarn, buttons, playdough, toothpicks, rubber bands, paper cups, and so on). When ready, each group can read their part of the story and show their creation.

Picture-a-Story. This method works well during a large family gathering where there’s some space to move around. Form small groups of 2-4 people. Divide a printed copy of Luke 2 into as many sections as there are groups and assign each group a section(s) of the story. Give them five minutes (or more if they have more than one section) to plan how they will either act out (without speaking) or pose to form a live picture of their part(s) of the story. Have a narrator read the story, pausing for each group to quietly recreate their scene.

For more family faith formation ideas, visit the Family Faith Formation toolkit below.

A version of this article can also be found in the Christmas 2018 Issue of the Christian Courier.   

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