How to Re-enact the Nativity Scene

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Re-creating the Nativity can become a treasured family tradition in which all the children participate. You can make the costumes as simple or as complicated as you wish; the message is the most important thing.

Things You'll Need

  • Bookstore/music Gift Certificates For The Magi
  • Angel Wings
  • Men's Bathrobes
  • Scarves
  • Women's Bathrobes
  • Christmas Carols
  • Baby Jesus
  • Mangers
  • Towels
  • Cameras
  • Shepherd's Staffs
  • Decide who will represent the Holy Family. Choose a boy to be Joseph and a girl to be Mary. Jesus can be a real baby or a doll.

  • Assign parts to the rest of the participants. Shepherds, angels, the three magi, the innkeeper and miscellaneous extras can all be accommodated.

  • Design the set. If you're doing the simplest version, all you really need is a place to lay the baby.

  • Dress the cast. Use adults' bathrobes tied with sashes for all participants, saving the plushest velour robes for the magi. Use a white robe for the angels, and a blue robe for Mary. Dress shepherds in brown or black. Give the shepherds staffs made from old broomsticks.

  • Make head coverings using towels or scarves. Wrap towels turban-style for the magi, and add a fake jeweled pin to complete the look. Shepherds should cover their heads and let the remainder of the towel fall down their backs and shoulders. Give Mary a longer head covering that falls around her shoulders.

  • Make halos for the angels, or let them go without head coverings.

  • Provide gifts for the magi. These could be bottles of perfume, objects made of aluminum foil or gold foil wrapping paper, or jewelry boxes.

  • Have all the participants take their places. The baby should be in the manger, with Joseph and Mary at his side. Everyone else should be offstage to start.

  • Have someone read the story of the Nativity from the Bible (start at Luke 3), or from a book about the Nativity.

  • Participants should act out their parts as the reader continues the story. If desired, Christmas songs about the Nativity can be interspersed.

  • Discuss the meaning of Christmas with the children after the performance.

Tips & Warnings

  • Don't worry too much about footwear, especially if this is an informal re-enactment.
  • If your family pets are cooperative, their help could be enlisted to provide sheep and donkeys.
  • If you want to spend a little more time, construct cardboard wings for the angels, and make a shining star from cardboard and glitter.
  • Don't forget your camera. Your children may never look so angelic again!

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