By Gail Marsh
“How can I tell my students the Christmas story this year? Some have never heard it. How can I convey this beautiful message to them for the first time?”
“Well, my kids have heard the story of Jesus’ birth so many times that they could recite it in their sleep! I need to grab and hold their attention!”
Sound familiar? We thought so! Maybe this idea will help . . . or at least get you thinking outside of the Christmas box - tell the Christmas story using a candy cane!
It starts with this idea: things aren’t always what they seem. Take for instance, CTA’s candy cane pen. You can use this pen to make simple line drawings as you tell the Christmas story to children. Tape up a large piece of drawing paper and you’re ready to go!
Begin with: Things aren’t always what they appear. (Indicate the pen.) This looks like a sweet treat, but it’s really something else. I’ll use it to tell the best story ever! (Uncap pen and draw a simple horizon line.) It wasn’t far to travel - by today’s standards. But it would have taken Mary and Joseph a very long time to walk all the way to Bethlehem - especially when Mary was about to have her baby!
(Draw the outline of a barn or stable.) When they got to Bethlehem, the tired couple finally found a place to stay. The little stable was more than it first appeared. This simple home for animals became the very special place where Jesus, our Savior, was born!
(Draw the moon above the stable.) As the darkness of night covered the land, the true Light of the world was born!
(Sketch a simple manger inside the stable.) Things aren’t always what they seem. Soon, the unassuming manger - a food trough where animals ate their hay - became so much more! The manger became the bed for a King! Mary wrapped Baby Jesus in swaddling cloths and placed him in the manger.
(Draw a few shepherd staffs outside of the stable, a distance away.) Some shepherds were with their sheep on the hills outside of town. It was just an ordinary night, until . . . (Make sunburst lines in the sky above the shepherd staffs.) Suddenly the night sky was blindingly bright! Angels filled the sky, praising God for sending his Son into the world! They told the shepherds where to find the newborn King. The shepherds ran quickly to see the Savior! They found him and worshipped him.
(Flip the paper over and make a cross shape.) Jesus, the Christmas baby, would grow up one day. He would die on a cross to pay for your sins and mine. But things aren’t always what they seem, because death could not hold our Savior! He came alive again! (Draw lines emanating from the cross to indicate life.) He lives in us and with us forever!
When you’re finished, give each student two of CTA’s Jesus Is the Sweetest Gift candy cane pens with bookmarks. Encourage children to keep one and give the other to a friend this Christmas.
What creative ways are you using to tell the Christmas story this year?
Editor’s note: Your children’s ministry team can use CTA’s theme Jesus Is the Sweetest Gift throughout December! Look for the downloadable event outline and coloring page, plus the Gospel Fun for Little Ones Activity Book and foam craft kit.
You are welcome to copy this article for one-time use when you include this credit line and receive no monetary benefit from it: © 2018 CTA, Inc. Used with permission.
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