How do we add depth to children's experience of Christmas?
For many children the Christmas season begins with the big build up to school plays, concerts, and parties.
Christmas Day itself can be seen as Santa, present giving and receiving and Christmas lunch with family and friends.
The church too gets caught up in this excitement. Christmas is the season for crib services, Nativity plays, carol services and Christingles.
How can we use these opportunities to help children enter into the awe, wonder and mystery of Christmas?
Crib service 1: Bethlehem and beyond The story is told using crib figures and includes a procession to show that the nativity is not just about a baby in a manger but leads on to Jesus' ministry, death and resurrection.
Crib service 2: Travelling together A retelling of the Nativity story focussing on journeying together with people from all times and places as they try to follow Jesus.
Crib service 3: Who is welcome at the Crib? Is it the outcast shepherds, the powerful wise men, the busy executive, the family returning from the foodbank or the noisy children?
Crib service 4: Light in the dark: A crib service that starts at the very beginning with the story of Creation and shows the birth of Jesus as part of God's relationship with his people
Carols for under 5s: Carols for small children set to well known nursery rhyme tunes.
The legend of the poinsettia: The story of two children who had nothing to give to the Christ child.