Family Pictures – Christmas 2010
(A Little Christmas Sketch For Little People)
- This is a VERY simple Christmas Feature to include children as a part of a Christmas Service.
- You can expand the cast, but this one only needs around a dozen children and an adult (or teen) narrator.
- There are NO lines to memorize
- You can even simplify what I have here but this is what you will need for the play
YOU WILL NEED:
1. Photos that you take a few Sundays before the event of children posing for the powerpoint photos near the front end of the play (I will try to post some so you get an idea how we did ours).
2. A Polaroid frame you can use for the “live” photos – we made a frame with some light inexpensive wood and then stapled cardboard to it, that we painted white
3. Some simple props made out of cardboard that you can paint
4. A keyboardist and some simple sounds recorded on an iPhone or CD or…
Narrator’s Introduction: This year we did what we have done so many times before, we took a family picture. It seems like such a simple thing to do, but it is ridiculously difficult. This year I gave everyone fair warning: at 1:00 p.m. on Monday afternoon you better all be good looking because we are taking a family picture. Monday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. it was pouring rain. But I didn’t give up. We waited that rain out and when it was down to a drizzle we snapped as many photos as we could and…well…with a little photo-shopping, it is what it is. (You can show some blooper shots of failed family pictures shot and then your final family shot if you like).
Why do we want to capture things in photographs? I guess we want to hold onto those moments, to remember, to reflect…
I wonder…as Jesus looks back at all the time that has gone by, from the beginning of the world until now, what are His standout moments? If He were to pull out the Polaroid’s, which ones would make him smile?
* Photos on powerpoint that look like Polaroids with kids reinacting scene…you can use children of any age. Just have them pose and then photoshop to add to the scene, child-like drawings to create the photo. See our sample.
(Photo One) Adam and Eve – in the beginning of course (Adam and Eve, big grins) when everything was perfect and new and full of possibility.
(Photo two) – Some photos aren’t as great as others. But the reality is…this was a pretty big moment in human history; one really bad decision (picture of Eve considering the snake up in the tree)
(Photo Three) – Every photo album has its crazy photos. Can you imagine the ark…close quarters for months on end…it was pretty…”wild” (we had children pose and then we drew in animal attributes, drew in an ark etc)
(Photo four) People seeing the rainbow for the first time…now that was a moment for God to show off his artwork wasn’t it? (child looking up at a rainbow that you draw in)
(Photo five) Joseph and his fabulous colorful coat. The story of Joseph was one of those suspense stories where you think things will never turn out…and then they do! (Child arms out, thumbs up…showing off the amazing coat you draw in)
(Photo six) Moses and the burning bush? He was just walking along on an ordinary day and then God capture this scene with the burning bush(child kneeling, warming hands…draw in burning bush)
(Photo seven) David & Goliath. This one definitely would be in the album…remember David yelling, “You come at me with sword and spear, but I come at you with the power of God!!” Yeah, that is definitely a keeper. (we used a preschooler and a really tall young man, in the shot you only see legs and then the little kid sitting on the floor with a drawn in slingshot and bag of rocks)
(Photo eight) Those first glimpses of the promised land? You know when you have waited and waited for something and then you see it. Who wouldn’t snap a picture? (group of kids, excited, hands to eyes as if searching…and a picture of milk and a picture of honey)
(Photo nine) Jonah and the whale? Wait for it….wait for it…God sets up the perfect shot and there it is…Jonah thinks he is a goner and then God does what only God can do. (Child puffing out cheeks and holding nose…draw in bubbles and a huge fish lurking behind him)
Polaroid frame is moved onto the stage. Scenes are formed behind this frame….as “frozen shots”
Jesus could have loads and loads of photos to scrapbook but I am thinking one of his favorite pages would have to be the Christmas one…because it would be the first time people would meet Him face to face.
- We used gentle keyboard music behind the sketch from this point on, just to mask “dead spots”. When the actual scene would freeze, we would switch to music, or to a recorded sound that fit the particular scene.
- We used a bell on stage to indicate the end of a scene…narrator did this.
Live Photo 1:
Music: Something ethereal
- Large Flashlight
- Cardboard cutout of window (curtains etc)
Stage Hand Stage hand 1: Up on ladder, shining down flashlight
Stage Hand Stage hand 2: Hold window in front of her, beside Mary,
Mary: Kneeling and praying
Narrator: This would be the first photo capturing the moment. It all started when the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary saying,
“Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you! You have found favor with God! 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32 He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High…
Narrator slows: …his Kingdom will never end!” (“ding!”)
(Scene change: Mary Stands, moves forward, and turns around…Stage hand 1 puts flashlight behind curtain and carries ladder down. Stage hand 1 moves to right side of stage near curtain ready for his next prop. Stage hand 3 is standing there too. Joseph enters…Stage hand 2 grabs the “what”)
Live Photo 2:
Music: impending music (Jaws-like)
- Voice balloon: “What?!?”
Stage Hand Stage hand 2: Stands outside of frame and holds up voice balloon saying “What”
Joseph: Looks shocked
Mary: Looks like she is explaining
Narrator: This frightened and confused Mary, she was engaged to be married to Joseph.
Here we see Mary telling Joseph the news that she would be having a son and that he would be called the Son of God. Can you imagine?
Narrator slows: God couldn’t have picked a more unusual way to have His Son come into the world. (“ding!”)
(Scene change: Mary moves behind curtain and takes voice balloon with her)
Live Photo 3:
- Pillow and blanket
Stage hand Stage hand 1: Grabs pillow from behind the curtain and holds it behind Joseph’s head
Stage hand Stage hand 3: Grabs blanket and holds up one corner and gives Stage hand 2 the other. Holds blanket in front of Joseph
Stage Hand Stage hand 2: Stands outside of frame and holds up other corner of blanket
Joseph: Appears to be sleeping, hands behind head. Serious face
Narrator: God knew the whole idea would scare Joseph too.
So he appeared to Him in a dream and said, “It’s all good Joseph. This is my idea. (Joseph smiles in his sleep)
Narrator slows: The baby will grow up and save people from all their sins.” (“ding!”)
(Scene change: Stage hand 2 steps back, taking props with her and putting behind screen. Stage hand 1 moves to right. Stage hand 3 moves off stage to help Picketer 1 and Picketer 2 move into the frame Stage hand 2 stays where she is just to help Picketer 1 and Picketer 2. Stage hand 3 helps the boys stand still but stays out of the frame)
Live Photo 4:
Music: Newscast music, voice in background “Everyone’s heading home…meanwhile, there’s a lot of controversy about the new tax…should Caesar have held a referendum first
- Picket signs (our signs said, “No H.S.T.” which was a controversial tax in British Columbia at the time this was written), kept by the chairs. Kelsey will help boys get ready
Stage hand Stage hand 1: Moves back to right
Stage hand Stage hand 3: Moves down to guide boys up
Stage Hand Stage hand 2: Stands outside frame
Joseph: Moves behind curtain to where Mary is
Picketer 1 and 2: Move into frame with picket signs
Narrator: There are more photographs to look at. Mary is now pregnant and something happens. The Government in that time declared that all the world should be taxed
Narrator slows: This meant Joseph had to pack up and head to his home town in Bethlehem. (“ding!”)
(Stage hand 3 moves boys off stage and back to their seats)
So that’s where he and Mary went.
Live Photo 5:
Music: City noise…leading to sheep noise
- “Bethlehem Inn: Rest With The Best”
- “Bethlehem Stable: Sleep With The Sheep”
- Manger with baby in it
Stage hand Stage hand 2: Holds Sign “Bethlehem Inn: Rest With The Best”
Stage hand Stage hand 1: Ready to help with Innkeeper if necessary.
Joseph: Comes out from curtain
Mary: Looking at Joseph with that “told you so” look
Joseph: Looking sheepish
Innkeeper: Pointing out back
Narrator: When they arrived in Bethlehem the city was busy. There were people everywhere. Joseph and Mary went to Inn after Inn and could not find a place to sleep. Finally, one of the Innkeeper’s offered an unusual solution…they could sleep in the Stable he had out back.
(Stage hand Stage hand 2 quickly changes sign to: Bethlehem Stable: Sleep with the sheep. Thought Bubble goes away. Mary and Joseph stay in their pose. Stage hand 1 grabs the manger prop and sets it in place where Innkeeper was standing. Innkeeper leaves the stage)
Narrator slows: It was warm-ish and there was lots of hay they could sleep on, so that is where they went (“ding!”)
Live Photo 6:
Music: Twinkle, twinkle little star…
- Manger with baby (already on stage from last scene…move it into foreground)
Stage hand Stage hand 1: Move manger into foreground
Joseph: Looking at the baby
Mary: Holds baby in her arms
Narrator: That night…Jesus was born.
No big announcements. No fanfare. Just a quiet moment that would profoundly change all of human history.
Narrator slows: Quiet…well…kind of. (“ding!”)
Live Photo 7:
- Manger with baby (already on stage from last scene…move it into foreground)
- Stool 1 and Stool 2
Stage hand Stage hand 1: Move manger behind curtain. Moves back to right
Stage hand Stage hand 2: Move stools onto set, foreground; holds up Stars
Stage hand Stage hand 3: Puts feed bags on stools; Stars
Mary: Moves behind curtain
Joseph : Moves behind curtain
Shepherds & Sheep: Move onto stage – little guys sit on stools with Big Shepherd (we used a young adult, since we had so man young ones on stage) in the middle. Shepherd 2 and 3 stand behind sheep. All with big grins.
Narrator: God couldn’t contain his excitement so he found some people – not kings or queens or prime ministers or business owners or dignitaries –
Narrator slows: blue collar shepherds working in the fields with their sheep (“ding!”)
Live Photo 8:
Music: Hallelujah chorus
- Second Polaroid frame * Optional. You can also just have the angels appear on stage without a frame. The Shepherds and Sheep stay in the original fram.e
- Angel prop signs
Stage hand Stage hand 1: Moves second Polaroid frame into place. This one has a bit of a cloud frame. Stage hand 1 holds one side
Stage hand Stage hand 3 Holds other side with his free hand
Shepherds: All look super shocked and amazed
Angels: Move into place, holding their angel signs. Big smiles.
Narrator: God did what only God could do – he filled the sky with angels which completely freaked out the shepherds
The angels smiled and said
“Don’t be afraid. We are bringing good news to you that will soon mean great joy for every person on earth. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem. You will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.
Live Photo 9:
Music: away in a manger
- Second Polaroid frame
- Angel prop signs
Stage hand Stage hand 1: Removes second Polaroid frame
Stage hand Stage hand 2 Helps little sheep find their moms
Stage hand Stage hand 3: Moves manger back into foreground
Shepherds: Move a little to the right side to allow Mary & Joseph to come to the other side. Shepherds are looking into manger
Mary & Joseph: Moves to the left side smiling, looking at shepherds
Wise men crowns: Are in the manger
Narrator: Ah yes, in this photo we see the shepherds worshipping Jesus. They ran as fast as they could to get there…to be the first people in history to lay their eyes on Jesus.
Narrator slows: Later, of course, others would see Jesus as well…(“ding!”)
Live Photo 10:
Music: something eastern
Shepherds: switch to wise men – just put crowns on overtop shepherd headdress
Narrator: The Bible tells us that there were three wise men, or Kings, that came from the East to see Jesus. They had seen a special star pointing to where he was and this led them to Jesus.
Narrator slows: They brought him special, meaningful gifts. (“ding”)
Live Photo 11:
Music: warm background,
Shepherds: Back to shepherds
Narrator: But for now …
…It was just the shepherds and Mary and Joseph in the stable.
If God had a photo album, would he pause here? He knew what all of this would mean
Narrator slows: …but would people get it? (“ding!”)
Live Photo 12:
Music: Jesus loves me
Shepherds: Leave stage
Stage hand Stage hand 2: Verse canvas hangs behind Polaroid frame
Stage hand Stage hand 3: Verse canvas
Mary: Stands by Narrator, ready to read verse
Narrator: Would people understand that because of Jesus they could finally have a way back to a close and intimate relationship with their heavenly Father?
Mary reads: John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him will not perish but will have everlasting life.