The First Christmas - A Childrens Christmas
THE FIRST CHRISTMAS -
A Childrens Christmas Pageant
by Louise Egan
(c) 1992 Louise Egan - All Rights Reserved
A One-Act Play
(In the center of the stage is a stable, open on all sides, its four
supports and roof beams covered with straw. A palm tree stands to one
side of stage. Three small boxes for standing upon rest in front of
the manger in centerstage. ANGELS sit to the left and right of the
stage. The NARRATOR reads from behind a podium stage left.)
This is the story of the first Christmas - the night Jesus Christ
was born. We celebrate this to remember the hope and joy that this
tiny baby brought to the world on that extraordinary night in Bethlehem
almost 2000 years ago.
For Jesus birth did bring hope and joy to the world. Hope
because at that time there was much wrongdoing and fighting on the
earth and the people were looking for a sign from God that he would
always be there to look after them and joy, because, after many
years of waiting, God had finally fulfilled his promise to send a man
a savior, or messiah to Earth to go among the people and
teach everybody his peaceful and loving ways. That man would be
Gods greatest gift to mankind his son Jesus Christ.
(Enter THREE PROPHETS from right. They step up on boxes as SEVERAL
TOWNSPEOPLE enter from left and sit beneath them.)
To prepare the world for this man, God asked different men and women
to prophesy, or foretell, that Jesus was coming. These people were
called The prophets. This is what they said:
Behold, a virgin shall bring forth a son and his name will mean
God is with us.
Out of Bethlehem...one will go forth to be the King of Israel.
For unto us a child will be born, unto us a son shall be given. And
his name shall be called
the Prince of
and there shall be no end to his kingdom.
The prophets foretell of a wonderful savior!
Yes, a baby who will grow up to lead us in Gods ways!
And he will be with us forever!
(Exit PROPHETS right, TOWNSPEOPLE left. In the background, MARY can
now be seen in the house sweeping. GABRIEL enters from right, stands
on middle box centerstage. JOSEPH enters from right, sits on a padded
chair and sleeps.)
Now when God was ready to give Jesus to the world, He chose a good
and pure woman named Mary to be his mother. Mary lived in the little
village of Nazareth and was engaged to be married to Joseph, a humble
carpenter, who lived nearby.
(MARY comes forward to left of GABRIEL and looks up at him.)
One day, when Mary was alone, God sent his messenger, the angel
Gabriel, to appear before her.
Hail, Mary. The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women.
Mary was at first frightened and confused by this greeting of the
Angel of God. But then Gabriel told her that God had chosen her to
give birth to Jesus.
Fear not Mary, for you are special in Gods eyes. And behold,
he has chosen you to bring forth a son. And you shall call him Jesus.
And he will be called the Son of God. And his Kingdom shall have no
Mary now understood everything she had been told. And it filled her
with great joy and happiness. She replied to Gabriel saying
I will happily carry out Gods will.
(MARY looks toward heaven, a smile on her face. Gabrielle turns to
stage right and looks down to Joseph.)
Not long after he had spoken to Mary, the angel Gabriel appeared to
Joseph one night as he slept. In Josephs dream, the Angel of the
Lord told him of Gods plan.
Joseph, God has chosen you to be the father of his son, Jesus. And
Mary will be his mother.
(JOSEPH rises, clasps his hands, and looks up to the heavens. Then
he and MARY walk to center stage and hold each others hands,
looking into each other’s eyes.)
When Joseph awoke, he went to Mary with joy in his heart. Both Mary
and Joseph had heard that Gods son would be coming and they were
overjoyed to be chosen by God to be his parents.
(MARY and JOSEPH exit into the house and out as GABRIEL exits stage
And so Mary and Joseph went back to living their quiet lives,
keeping Gods secret only between themselves.
(Enter CAESAR AUGUSTUS, grandly, from left, followed by a ROMAN
SOLDIER who stands next to him, guarding him. CAESAR stands on a box
in centerstage, holding a proclamation before him.)
Now, at that time, the land they lived in was ruled by the Romans,
who were mighty, but wicked rulers of an enormous empire. The chief
ruler, a man named Caesar Augustus, was mean and greedy. He wanted to
tax everyone in the land to raise money for himself and the Romans. So
he issued a decree.
Every man shall return to the place of his birth.
That way, Caesar would know every person who lived in his country,
so he could be taxed.
(Exit CAESAR and SOLDIER, with exaggerated importance, left. As they
reach the side of the stage, MARY and JOSEPH enter, right. JOSEPH pulls
MARY on a wagon decorated as a donkey. As the NARRATOR speaks, they
slowly cross to the other side of stage, with other TOWNSPEOPLE
passing them in the other direction)
And so Joseph and Mary left Nazareth to return to the small village
of Bethlehem, about 90 miles away, where Joseph had been born. It was a
difficult journey across the hot land, but after six long days and
nights, they finally reached Bethlehem. By then Mary was very tired and
about to give birth.
(INNKEEPER #1 enters from backstage and places the lower half of
a door in front of the stable. The INNKEEPER stands in back of the
door with the INNKEEPER #2 and INNKEEPER #3 in line
behind him. MARY and JOSEPH enter from left and stand before the
But when they arrived, the city was already very crowded with other
people who had come back to be registered, and all of the inns were
full. But Joseph sought shelter at several inns anyway, in the hope
that someone might spare a room for Mary.
We have traveled a long way and my wife is very tired. Is there any
room at your inn?
Im sorry. I have no room.
(INNKEEPER #1 exits, INNKEEPER #2 comes forward behind door.)
And so it went at every inn.
Sorry, my inn is full!
(Exit INNKEEPER #2. INNKEEPER #3 comes forward.)
But one innkeeper looked at Mary, who was great with child, and felt
sorry for her. He said:
I have no room in my inn. But you may stay in my stable out in the
We thank you very much for your kindness, sir.
(INNKEEPER #3 exits, carrying the door. MARY and
JOSEPH enter the stable, spread a blanket, and lie down on the floor to
The stable was for animals for the donkeys, cows and sheep
that people had brought with them. But Mary and Joseph were grateful
for any shelter they could get that night in the little town of
(Several ANGELS walk in front of the stable to provide scene-change
The ANGELS and CONGREGATION sing Oh, Little Town of
ANGELS and CONGREGATION
OH, LITTLE TOWN OF BETHLEHEM
Oh, little town of Bethlehem,
How still we see thee lie;
Above they deep and dreamless sleep,
The silent stars go by.
Yet in the dark streets shineth
The everlasting light;
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee tonight.
(Meanwhile, in the stable, STAGEHANDS arrange artwork to suggest
animals – a sheep, an ox, a lamb, a cow, a donkey, a camel, a goat,
chickens, two doves. In addition, a black drape that has been covering
a manger filled with hay is pulled off.)
(When the song is finished, the ANGELS walk off stage right to
reveal the creche scene. MARY walks to front, holding the
baby, wrapped in swaddling clothes.. JOSEPH stands next to her. )
That night, Mary gave birth. Jesus was born!
(MARY gives the baby to JOSEPH, who holds him high above his head
for all to see.)
(JOSEPH hands the baby back to MARY, who gently lays him down in the
The Lord Jesus Christ, the King of Kings, the Everlasting Prince of
Peace – for he is called all these things – was born to a simple
carpenter and his wife. And to make the baby Jesus comfortable, Mary
wrapped him in swaddling clean strips of white cloth and
laid him down gently in the soft hay in the manger, the animals
(Several ANGELS come center stage to lead the CONGREGATION in
singing the first stanza of AWAY IN A MANGER.)
ANGELS and CONGREGATION
AWAY IN A MANGER
Away in a manger, no crib for a bed,
The little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head;
The stars in the sky looked down where He lay,
The little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay.
(Exit ANGELS who have been singing, right. The THREE SHEPHERDS enter
from left and stand center stage.)
That same night there were shepherds watching their flocks of sheep
on the steep hills surrounding Bethlehem. The shepherds were poor men
who wore rough, simple clothing. For them, nights were usually dark,
cold and lonely.
(Enter GABRIEL from left. He stands on a box, center.)
But the night that Jesus was born, the angel Gabriel suddenly
appeared above them in the sky.
(The THREE SHEPHERDS point up at GABRIEL, then back up, frightened,
and hold their crooks in front of them for protection.)
The shepherds had never seen an angel, and they were frightened. But
the Angel of God soon comforted them, saying
Fear not, good shepherds, for I have wonderful news! Today, in the
city of Bethlehem, a child was born. This child shall grow up to be
our king – not just any king, but the KING of ALL kings – the
Please tell us where we can find him!
You shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a
(SEVERAL ANGELS enter from right; two stand on boxes. They face the
Then suddenly a whole host – a multitude – of heavenly angels
appeared in the sky! And they heralded, or announced, the news of the
baby Jesus. Glory to the newborn king! they exclaimed.
He shall bring peace and goodwill to all men!
(The ANGELS and the CONGREGATION sing HARK, THE HERALD ANGELS
SING, 1st verse.)
ANGELS AND CONGREGATION
HARK, THE HERALD ANGELS SING
Hark! the herald angels sing,
Glory to the newborn king!
Peace on earth and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled.
Joyful all he nations rise
Join the triumph of the skies;
With the angelic host proclaim,
Christ is born in Bethlehem!
Hark, the herald angels sing,
Glory to the newborn king.
GABRIEL and the ANGELS exit, right, as the SHEPHERDS talk excitedly
When the angels had departed, the shepherds decided that they should
go see the baby Jesus right away.
Let us go to Bethlehem!
Yes! Let us see this wondrous child that God has told us about!
(Exit SHEPHERDS left. They walk around the stable and enter it from
the back, and stand to the left of Jesus, looking down at him. MARY
and JOSEPH are on Jesus right.)
The shepherds were the first to see and worship the baby Jesus.
They searched their pockets for some gift they could give him.
What have I to give this King? I am just a poor shepherd.
If only we had riches to honor him by.
Brothers, we can offer him our faith.
(The SHEPHERDS fall to their knees, raise their arms and press their
palms together in prayer.)
Faith and trust in Jesus were all that mattered to God. And for the
shepherds, just seeing Jesus filled them with hope for all people.
Joy to the world! they cried, The Lord our Savior has
(MUSIC CUE: CONGREGATION sings JOY TO THE WORLD, 1st
JOY TO THE WORLD
Joy to the world, the Lord has come;
Let earth receive her King.
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And heaven and nature sing, and heaven and nature sing,
And heaven and heaven and nature sing.
(Enter MORE TOWNSPEOPLE and CHILDREN from behind stable. They stand
behind MARY and JOSEPH and the SHEPHERDS.)
The word about Jesus birth began to spread. And little by
little the stable filled with men and women from near and far.
Children came too – but they were shy at first, until Mary beckoned
them to come forward.
(MARY sings O COME LITTLE CHILDREN )
O COME LITTLE CHILDREN
O, come, little children
O come, one and all.
O, come to the manger
In Bethlehems stall.
And see Baby Jesus
Asleep on the hay
He came to bring joy
To all children today!
(Enter THREE WISE MEN from right, in front of stable: and enter STAR
OF BETHLEHEM, holding an illuminated star high on a pole, from left.
The THREE WISE MEN point up at the star.)
Meanwhile, in a land far to the east of Bethlehem, three wise men of
great knowledge noticed an unusually bright star in the sky.
WISE MAN #1
That star is amazing! Its so bright!
WISE MAN #2
Yes, its as if its trying to tell us something.
WISE MAN #3
Maybe it is! Could it be a sign that the Savior has come? The
one that the prophets wrote of so long ago?
WISE MEN # 1
Yes! Thats it!
WISE MAN #2
Lets follow it!
(The THREE WISE MEN exit stage right, walk around the stable and
enter in the back, right. As they enter they pick up their
props (a golden treasure chest, an urn of frankincense,
and a vase of myrrh.) Then they fall to their knees beside Jesus,
holding their gifts in front of themselves. Meanwhile, the STAR OF
BETHLEHEM crosses to stage left and remains there, at the side of the
Upon their camels, the three Wise Men, or magi* , as they are
now known, journeyed for several weeks, faithfully following the star
shining brightly in the sky, until it stood over the little stable in
Bethlehem where the holy infant lay. *(pronounced: madge-eye)
(MUSIC CUE: CONGREGATION SINGS WE THREE KINGS)
WE THREE KINGS
We three kings of Orient are
Bearing gifts we traverse afar;
Field and fountain, moor and mountain,
Following yonder star
O-o, Star of wonder, Star of night,
Star of royal beauty bright;
Westward leading, still proceeding,
Guide us to Thy perfect light.
(As they are mentioned by the narrator below, the THREE WISE MEN
place their gifts in the front of Jesus manger, then return to a
When they saw the baby Jesus, the Three Wise Men fell on their knees
in humble worship. They lay at the feet of baby Jesus the valuable
treasures they had brought with which to honor Him.
The FIRST KING gave him gold. The SECOND KING gave Him
sweet-smelling frankincense. And the THIRD KING gave Him perfume-like
myrrh. For they knew they had at last found their Savior, Gods
son, who had come to bring peace on earth on that silent and holy
(The CONGREGATION sings, SILENT NIGHT, 1st verse, as the
Silent night, holy night,
All is calm, all is bright;
Round yon Virgin Mother and Child;
Holy Infant so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace;
Sleep in heavenly peace.
And that is the story of the first Christmas.
(As the audience applauds, the ENTIRE CAST comes forward to face the
audience, and on cue, takes a bow. Then the MINISTER steps up to the
stage, thanks the cast and crew and says the cast would like to
leave you with one last message)
(The CAST then starts to sing WE WISH YOU A MERRY
CHRISTMAS and the CONGREGATION joins in. When its over the
CAST waves bye to the audience.)
CAST AND CONGREGATION
WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS
We wish you a merry Christmas,
We wish you a merry Christmas,
We wish you a merry Christmas,
And a Happy New Year.
Good tidings to you, wherever you are;
Good tidings for Christmas and a Happy New Year.
CAST (IN ORDER OF APPEARANCE)
OTHER TOWNSPEOPLE AND CHILDREN (POSSIBLY)
WISE MAN #1
WISE MAN #2
WISE MAN #3
STAR OF BETHLEHEM