Christmas Around the World: A Christmas Play
© written by
We live in Canada (loads of snow). My daughter came up to me near Christmas when she was about 4 and told me she felt very sorry for all the people in Australia and Maui (we'd been to Maui, but I'm not sure how she came up with Australia).
I asked her why and she responded, "because they don't get Christmas."
"Sure they do honey!"
"No they can't mommy... They don't have any snow."
I explained that Christmas wasn't about celebrating snow... It was about celebrating Jesus' birth. In fact, there was no snow where Jesus was born!
Written by Leanne Guenther
I think this could easily be expanded into a simple play. You could start with two people dressed in cozy warm clothes -- mom and two children having a similar conversation (or you could expand to a mom, a dad and a child and give some of the mom lines to the dad)
Child 1 (looking sad), "Mom, we can't have Christmas this year"
Mom (looking puzzled), "Why not dear?"
Child 2 , "Because it makes me sad that we get to have Christmas and people in Hawaii don't"
Mom (suppressing a giggle), "Um, why wouldn't people in Hawaii get to have Christmas?"
Both children together (emphatically), "Because they don't have any snow!"
Mom, "You don't need snow to have Christmas!" (you can add, "in fact, there was no snow where Baby Jesus was born")
... Then sing
Depending on how large your group is, you could have the group singing this song dress up in Hawaiian outfits and do a bit of a hula dance (check out our luau Activities) or you could just have a few of the group members in Hawaiian outfits move to the front during this part.
Child 2, "oh... well I guess that's ok then..."
Mom, "so we can have Christmas now?"
Two children look at each other and shake their heads slowly
Child 1, "No, I still don't think it's fair..."
Mom, "How come?
Child 1, "...because people in Australia can't have Christmas"
Mom (startled), "Whatever made you think that!"
(children get increasingly excited/convinced during the following:
Child 1, "Well... It's really hot..."
Child 2, "Yeah! 'cause it's summer there right now"
Child 1, "And Santa wears those fur lined boots and all..."
Child 1, "And the reindeer are used to the North Pole..."
Child 2, "It's really cold there you know! The reindeer couldn't stand the heat!"
Both children, "You can't have Christmas without Reindeer!"
Mom, "You don't need Reindeer to have Christmas!"
... Then sing
Here you can have a group of 6 children dressed all in white. You might want them to hold stuffed toys or crafts of Australian animals
Both children (look at each other with a really happy expression), "Neat!!!"
Mom, "Wonderful! NOW we can have Christmas, right?"
Children contemplate for a second and then Child 2 looks sad
Child 2, "No... I don't think so" (big sigh)
Child 1 looks curious, mom looks flustered
Mom, "Now why not!!"
Child 2, "Think of all the people who don't speak English... You can't have Christmas if you can't speak English!"
Mom (semi-curious as to the rational behind this one... half grinning), "And why can't people have Christmas if they can't speak English?"
Child 2, "well... You couldn't say merry christmas..."
Child 1, "or happy new year..."
Child 2, "or sing Christmas Carols..."
Child 1, "Yeah! you couldn't even sing Silent Night. What would Christmas be without Silent Night!?"
Both children, "You can't have Christmas without Christmas Carols!"
Mom, "You can sing Silent Night in any language!"
... Then sing
Multi-lingual Silent Night (pick a few lines from various languages) The ones with Real Audio Files help a lot with the pronunciation - you don't have to do too many lines to get the point across, nor do you have to do too many languages. (The Boney M christmas tape has it sung in a German/English medley.)
- (easy sheet music)
(real audio file) http://silentnight.web.za/multimedia/joanieko.ra
(real audio file) http://silentnight.web.za/multimedia/tichanoc.rm
- Visit http://silentnight.web.za/translate/ for Silent Night in 101 different languages
Here you can have small groups of children dressed in appropriate costumes for the various countries around the world.
If you don't like Silent Night... You could sing something like Feliz Navidad (spanish - also on the Boney M Christmas tape) or another non-English Christmas Carol
Both children (look at each other with a really happy expression), "Wow!!!"
Child 1, "So people don't need snow, reindeer or english to celebrate Christmas?"
Child 2, "What do they need?"
Mom, "Hmmm, I guess that's a little bit different for every person. But I think people likely just need a bit of love, a bit of faith and a bit of happiness."
Sing: "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" or "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"
You can add this right before THE END for a good Christian finale (I made the first version for schools where a strong religious message isn't allowed... here's the rest of the play:
Child 1, "And you need to know the story!"
Child 2, "Oh yes, don't forget the story."
Mom, "Which story is that?"
Have someone read the Meaning of Christmas LUKE 2:8-12 I split it up a bit so you can share the reading... If you want to show the kids how to read it let them watch a Charlie Brown Christmas first!! I'd dress the children who read this up like shepherds or angels.
Instead of We Wish You a Merry Christmas or Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, sing "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" or "Joy to the World" (I love the Boney M "Mary's Boy Child" song, but their Christmas tape also has Hark the Herald Angels sing on it *grin*)