Here you will find templates, talk ideas and links to Advent and Christmas worship resources and craft ideas.
St Lucia/Christmas around the world
Follow this link to the worship resources section, where you will find an assembly/lesson plan and supplemental classroom resources on St Lucia.
Christmas All Age Eucharistic resources
Nativity in a box
Simply print on card or paper and laminate and then stick together to make character hats. You also might wish to include a tinsel halo for an angel, wooden walking stick for shepherd and a doll for baby Jesus.
You can attach the innkeeper badge to a participant’s top with a paper clip or a sticky label.
If you need to make the hats bigger, simply print extra of the template without words and then add and trim as needed.
Paper Plate Angels
A really quick and easy craft for all ages. The Angels’ robes can also be made from colourful paper plates that are left over from parties or offcuts of sparkly card etc if you don’t want to use glitter glue.
You can find instructions here:
An idea for a worship talk if you only have a small number of children. Make white pom pom snowballs (or you can buy them fairly cheaply). Every-time the volunteers answer a question on the nativity correctly they win a snowball. At the end of the quiz, the winners with the most snow balls get to throw ‘snowballs’ at the quiz leader or the celebrant.
If you can only make/buy a few snow balls use a point system instead.
In the Bleak Midwinter: A short Story for Christmas
A short story originally written for a Christmas Day family service by R. Hill in 2016.
(Apologies for paragraphing it’s been laid out for ease of reading aloud)
In the bleak mid winter
The air was crisp and frozen as we entered through the great gates of my aunt’s house. The horses’ hooves tramped rhythmically over the gravel like a thousand tiny drummers heralding the start of our Christmas holidays. As we sat with a blanket enfolding our laps, our breath pierced the air and with every intake our anticipation grew.
Eventually, the carriage drew to a halt. The horses whinnied as the groomsman held their bridal and we climbed down to be greeted by Great Aunt Christina. Her arms encased us and as we entered the great house we were greeted by the smell of chestnuts, spices and fruits simmering in the kitchens. Everywhere was busy, there were people putting up decorations and a great tree stood at the foot of a great staircase. Upon it small candles flickered and beneath it lay the promise of excitement in the form of beautifully wrapped packages that teased us. There our names were displayed, tantalising us with the promise of excitement on Christmas day.
We were sent to our rooms to unpack and change for lunch. As we climbed the great staircase we knew that something magical was going to happen.
After lunch,we were led into a great room. It was filled with books from floor to ceiling. On one side there was a great roaring fireplace with a small cauldron hanging over it. Inside was apple juice and spices bubbling away. Aunt Christina told us to come and sit by the fire, and as she poured the golden, sweet liquid into our cups, I glanced out of the window and saw a small boy walk across the frost encrusted lawn. Clasped in his cold, tiny hand was a singlewilting rose surrounded by ivy and holly. It was not a big bouquet and looked rather drab and yet he clasped it as if it were the most expensive, precious gift the world had ever seen.
I asked Aunt Christina if she knew who the boy was. She looked up and smiled,
“Ah yes that’s little Thomas the Gardner’s son. He lives in the village. His little sister has been born and he wanted to give her a gift. I told him that he could pick something from the garden, but unfortunately all the best winter flowers had already been picked to decorate the house.”
I sniggered slightly,
“That’s not much of a present for his baby sister. She can’t play with it. She can’t wear it, she can’t even eat it. You’d think he would want to get her something better than that!”
Aunt Christina told us to come sit by the window. As we looked out onto the cold garden, the pond frozen and stone like, the snow flakes dropping light and fairy like onto the paths and bushes the scene began the scene began to change as Aunt Christina began to tell us a story…
“A long time ago in a place called Bethlehem, there lived a small girl. Her parents were not rich so sometimes they would rent out rooms in their home to travellers if the city was busy. The city was busy. Caesar had ordered everybody home to register in the towns that they were born in. The city was alive with the sound of many people and the little girl’s home groaned with the amount of people who were staying in her little home. Her parents were good people and they did not like to refuse anybodyif they could help them.
As the travellers settled down for the evening there was a knock at the door. The little girl’s father opened the door and was greeted by a young couple. The young woman was about to have a baby and she looked tired and scared. The young man looked wearied and worried. The little girl’s father had to tell them there was no room but seeing their distress he told them it wasn’t much but they could use the stable.
As the couple settled in the stable the young woman gave birth. At once it were as there was no difference between heaven and earth for there was a great sound of singing and a feeling of immense joy swept through the tiny stable. As the young woman wrapped the tiny child in her shawl and laid him in the horses’ manger, the little girl watched. She knew that this little baby was important even if she didn’t know why.
Over the coming days many visitors came to the stable. Shepherds came to see the baby. The rough men softened as they saw the child and the animals were unuasually quiet as if some unseen person were singing them the sweetest lullaby of all time. As the little girl saw the visitors arrive she too wished that she could go see the baby but she had nothing to offer the little child.
One day three very rich men arrived carrying gifts of Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh. As the young woman fed the baby they offered their gifts. The little girl began to cry. She so wanted to bring a gift but had nothing. The young woman heard her tiny cries and looked up. She asked her to come closer.
“What is the matter dear one?” She asked. The little girl looked up into the young woman’s eyes and saw the most beautiful, loving eyes. Eyes that had seemed old beyond their years, eyes that held both great joy and great sadness within them.
“I have seen all these travellers coming and going with great presents for your baby. Even the poor shepherds brought him a lamb but I have nothing to give. I want to welcome him into my home but I have nothing.” The little baby boy stirred and the little girl drew closer to the manger. The little boy gave a whimper in his sleep and as he slept, warm in his mother’s shawl, a small wisp of dark hair gently poking out from beneath the folds of fabric, the little girl bent down and gave the little baby boy a kiss. The little boy’s eyes opened and he gazed into her eyes. He did not cry, he simply looked at her and her heart swelled with joy. The little boy drifted back to sleep and the yong woman held the little girl’s hand softly in hers and spoke, “my child does not need great riches, you today have given him the greatest gift, a kiss. You have given him your heart.”
“And so you see,”said aunt Christina, “Young Thomas might not have money. He might not have a great gift but in that little bouquet is his love. The gift of christmas is not what’s wrapped under the tree. The gift of christmas is not what we receive, but what we give. Even if all we can give is our heart.”