There’s nothing quite like a traditional children’s Christingle service to get you feeling Christmassy!
The Christmas story is part of our heritage and is full of magic and sparkle. So let me encourage you to take a step back from the commercial-Santa-side of Christmas for a few moments and try out this fun craft activity with your little ones (it’s a craft that you can eat – what’s not to love?! Haha).
This version of the Christmas Story is aimed at primary school children (age 3-10 years). But feel free to check out my nativity story for toddlers if you’d like an easier version (including actions!).
A Christingle Christmas Nativity Story
Divide the children into 2 groups. One group are the “angels” and the other group are the “babies”. Whenever you say “angel” in the story, the angel group must shout “Hallelujah”. Whenever you say “baby”, the baby group must shout “Wah!”.
This story starts with a lady called Mary.
Mary lived in a town called Nazareth
One day, while Mary was busy doing the washing up, a bright light filled the whole room
It was an Angel!
An Angel is a very beautiful creature who lives in Heaven and works for God
So God had sent this Angel to Mary
And the Angel had a very important message:
“Mary, you are going to have a baby.
And not just any baby – this baby will be a king!”
Then the Angel left.
As the months passed, it became clear that the Angel had been telling the truth – Mary was indeed pregnant
Mary and her partner, Joseph, had all the plans in place:
- they’d spoken to the midwife who was going to help them have the baby
- and they’d bought some teeny tiny baby clothes
They were ready
But then, just a few weeks before the baby was due to be born, a stranger strode into town
“Hear ye, hear ye – the king has issued a decree – he wants to know how many of you there are so you’ve all got to travel back to your home city. And you’ve got to be there by next week!”
Mary burst into tears – she and Joseph would have to travel all the way to Bethlehem!
And the baby was due any day!
What would happen?
The Angel hadn’t mentioned anything about an epic roadtrip!
… But they didn’t have a choice. So they packed as much as they could into their bags and set off for Bethlehem
It was a long way and they had to do it all on foot
They were both ready for bed when they finally trudged up the little cobbled street into Bethlehem
But the little town was PACKED!
It seemed like the whole world had rocked up to Bethlehem that night – people were bustling around everywhere and they all wanted somewhere to stay
Mary couldn’t move very quickly because of her baby bump
So she waddled as fast as she could to the closest hotel… Full!
But there was another hotel next door so Joseph hopped over the wall and tried that one… That was full too!
They wandered around Bethlehem, looking for a place to stay
But everywhere was full
When Mary had just about had enough, a kindly lady came out and said, “I haven’t got any room in my house, but if you’d like to sleep in the shed, you can? It’s dry and will give you a bit of shelter.”
Mary and Joseph were so relieved, they jumped up and followed the lady to the shed
But as they lay down to go sleep, something didn’t feel right…
“Joseph,” Mary whispered. “Joseph – it’s the baby. I think the baby is coming!”
And sure enough, Mary had her baby that night, in a dark, cold, smelly shed
There hadn’t been enough room to pack all the baby clothes, so instead, she wrapped him up in bits of cloth and laid him down in the animals’ food bowl
“Surely this can’t be right,” thought Mary. “The Angel said he would be a king! The Angel said he was important. It’s all gone horribly wrong.”
But it hadn’t gone horribly wrong. Not at all – it was all exactly as God had planned it
Because, you see, this baby, the one the Angel spoke about, hadn’t come to be a rich king, shut away in some palace somewhere…
He’d come to be a leader, a king, to normal people – people like the busy tourists in Bethlehem – people like you and me
And of course this baby, foretold by Angels, was Jesus – the same Jesus we hear about in churches and school assemblies
The bible says that Jesus is “the light of the world” because he shows everybody who God is
He calls everybody from every corner of the world and says, “God wants to be your friend!”
[Pick up Christingle] – This is a Christingle and it helps to explain these things a bit
The orange represents the world
There are 4 cocktail sticks to represent the 4 corners of the world – North, South, East & West
And on each cocktail stick, there are sweets to show all the good gifts that God gives us
Round the middle, we put red tape, to show that God loves us
And on the top is the candle – this is the most important bit
Because the bible says, without Jesus, we are living in darkness – we don’t know where God is or how to find him or anything about him
[Turn the lights off and light the candle]
But when Jesus was born, he was showed us who God is – he was the light of the world
Everyone on my left – can you see the candle?
And on my right – can you see the light of the candle?
That tells us that God wants everyone to see him and learn about him
That’s why the baby was born
That’s why the Angel said he was special
[lights back on]
Okay now we’re going to have a go at making our own Christingles…
Making the Christingle
These are the 5 parts of the Christingle and what they represent:
The Christingle is very easy to make and is lots of fun. It has been made in churches and schools across the UK for 50 years and, of course, you get to eat it at the end! Yum!
What are you favourite Christmas traditions? Do you remember making a Christingle when you were little? What are your go-to Christmas activities? Let me know in the comments section below 🙂