Links
Introduction
Feedback
Christmas Ideas
Christmas Breakfast Sketch
Christmas Story with Actions
God's Daring Plan
Chocolate Christmas Stories
The Spider's Reward
Christmas story using tv toys film football
The Light Inspector Sketch
Christmas Rap & Christmas Song
A footballers story of Christmas
Football Teams
 
This page is not accessible from the main website– it was created for those involved in preparing worship for Christmas.

Comments/feedback and new additions can be sent to gduffin@loanheadparishchuch.co.uk
 
17 Dec 2007 from David McAdam
A retelling of the Christmas story with football teams to spot on the way through. See the link above
 
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17th December 2007
Link for Christmas images:  http://www.lifewords.info/christmas/audiovisual-presentations.html
 
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27th November 2007
From Andrew Ritchie
You will need an Outsize Christmas Card with a stocking shape (but open at
the top) inside a card on which is written
"He came down from glory to bring redemption's story" or
similar. Underneath the stocking the words
"Perfect Gift..." on the back of the card the words "or
unopened present.".
I think you
get the drift. It might be useful at a nativity service or the like.
 
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First entry for Christmas 2007
27th November 2007
From Yvonne Atkins
I plan to get a large helium balloon from a party shop (e.g. The Party Shack)  which needs to clear or pale white.... so you can see the inside of the balloon.  A small box  containing a  heart shaped card  is placed inside the balloon.  The idea is that each week the children have to try and guess what the gift is in the balloon, and as the balloon usually takes 3 - 4 weeks to go down, it allows the minister to talk about the advent theme of waiting etc.  Once the balloon has gone down, or if the balloon has to be burst on Ad 4/or Christmas Eve, then the heart is revealed... the heart  being symbol  for love.... well no doubt you see the Christmas message connection. 
 
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30th Dec 2006 Update
Thanks to all those who shared their Christmas ideas with us in 2006. If you used anything in 2006 which might be useful to someone else in 2007, please email it to us!

Over 800 people visited this page in December 2006, and we are keen to get your feedback on the usefulness of the ideas contained – and whether we should continue with this in future years.

 
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19th Dec
From David Harper: (sorry this one slipped through the net so on a bit later - GD)

1. Take the song "The 12 Days of Christmas" and substitute gifts that children might want today. I used this with primary schools and asked each class in advance to choose their favourit gift/toy; I then made up a powerpoint with pictures of all the gifts and we sang the song together. I then spoke about the religious significance of the original song and the hidden Christian meaning of each line. It was very effective.

2. I have developed, with my Media Group, a series of powerpoint stories about a fictional character called Harry the Hare - 2 harvest and 2 Christmas so far. They have gone down really well and can be obtained from me ( probably on a CD by E-mail - d.l.harper@btinternet.com ).

 
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18th Dec
From Wendy Drake

The Christmas story with football words slipped in – see link at top of page

 
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18th Dec
From Jim McEwan

(Keep asking till you get the answer given)

Who`s birthday we are celebrating? (Jesus)

How do the children celebrate their birthdays? (Party)

What do they do? (share food)

Such as? (cake)

Produce a simple cake.

Is there anything special on a birthday cake? (Candles)

How many (Depends on the age)

How old is Jesus? (2006 for these purposes!)

Do you think we could get all these candles on the cake (No)

O K, let`s just use one. (Put the candle on the cake: a trick candle, which does not go out when blown, but needs to be pinched or doused in water. Have some water!)

Who is going to light it?....

What happens to the candles at your parties? (The birthday boy / girl blows them out)

Who would like to blow this out for Jesus` birthday?....

Two or three try, and they all fail, because `Jesus is the light of the world. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has never put it out.`

On one marvellous occasion an adult, who knew how to put it out, pinched it....and to great amusement it still burst into flame again, as she was returning to her seat.

(Hence the need to ensure you have water handy)

 
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18th Dec
From Jock Stein

A Christmas rap and a Christmas song for children – see link at top of page

 
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18th Dec
From Robin Hill
See link above - "The Light Inspector " Sketch
 
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18th Dec
From Frances Henderson

A simply idea from the Assemblies website www.assemblies.org.uk - a fantastic website at any time of year.

Wrap a large box of sweets - preferably Celebrations - in layers of different paper (as below) with newspaper as the inner layer and Christmas paper on the outside:

- Christmas paper

- birthday paper

- new baby paper

- paper with stars on

- brown paper

- newspaper

Point out that the parcel is wrapped in Christmas paper - have a few suggestions as to what it might contain.

Ask some volunteers to play pass the parcel with you. Each time the music stops, take off a layer of paper. Discuss what is underneath and why that particular paper has been used.

- Christmas paper = it's Christmas time!

- birthday paper = Jesus' birthday

- new baby paper = God's Son was born as a human baby at Christmas.

- paper with stars = the star that led people to the stable

- brown paper = Jesus was born into a very poor family, in a stable.

- newspaper = Good News for everyone

The box of Celebrations is for sharing with the congregation, as a reminder that the birth of Jesus is a reason for celebration. Alternatively, you could wrap some other object to illustrate whatever point you want to arrive at.

 
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18th Dec
From Neil Urquhart

There are a few scenes in 'Superman Returns' which are decent ways into talking about Jesus' coming & purpose. Scene 19-20 has a bit where Lois Lane's provoked Superman to put her right on an article she's written entitled, "Why The World doesn't need Superman." 'Does the World need a Saviour' is the question Superman asks Lois and the answer is clearly 'Yes'.

 
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14th Dec
From Lorna Hood

Four ideas about retelling the Christmas story, having used the sweet theme and newspaper theme so successfully. TV programmes, toys, football and film themes. With the TV programmes, which are a bit dated now, my organist played the theme tune for each programme! The football and films themes were worked out with some colleagues in Paisley. See link at top “Christmas story using tv toys film football”

 
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  14th Dec
From Eileen Ross

You’ll find three all age services for Christmas day at
http://www.methodistchildren.org.uk/adults/service06.htm

 
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13th Dec
From Liz Henderson

Christmas Play - the Spider (see link at top). It comes from the www.assemblies.org.uk site but have adapted it because I didn’t like the ending.
One Christmas we set up some cardboard boxes and made a small place like some of the homeless stay in and just left it there over Christmas.
Papa Panov is a good Christmas Story. Have done this both as a play and with a cardboard model of the carpenter’s shop. The story is in the Lion Book of Christmas Stories.
At our Christmas Eve Service we use a fibre optic tree that looks like a bare tree and we make paper doves. Everyone writes the name of someone who has died on a dove and the children put them on the tree and we read out the names at the beginning of the service. We have a child bereavement project here and it is a way of remembering the sadness that is there for a lot of families..it is important that the service then moves to why the birth of Jesus brings hope and the service ends in celebration.
Just after Christmas have used a black bag full of torn up Christmas paper as part of the sermon based on the theme of what is left with us when everything is being tidied up.
Last year we used the silly Christmas poem from the assemblies website –I wasn’t sure but the congregation thought it good.
The Family Feud game show is a based on a game show where Santa and Joseph are contestants –I found it at www.few.net/bobsnook On the same site is the Christmas allegory of shepherd and sheep which I came across again. Haven’t used it but it could be used when it’s not Christmas as well.

 
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13th Dec
From Neil Dougall

What do you want for Christmas?

Good starter for a secondary assembly. I downloaded a 5 minute video from http://www.osbd.org/shop/item/199 (cost £5). Barry Bling, dressed up as Father Christmas goes around asking people what they want for Christmas.

There is a good contrast towards the end. Abby, a girl in her 20’s says, . ‘I don’t want anything at all. I think Christmas is way too commercial. I don’t think anyone knows the true meaning of Christmas anymore.’ Shortly after, Vincent says, ‘I want to win the lottery.’ That provided me with the chance to talk about having Christ in Christmas.

It held the attention of the young people very well. I guess it’s quite like a You Tube video.

 
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8th Dec
From Gregor McIntyre

Retelling of the Christmas story with the names of Chocolate bars inserted. It went down a storm with the School Christmas Assembly. Throw the chocolates out to whomsoever spots the tradename of the sweets.
Pure fun, lots of calories, send them back to class in hyper mood!

– see link at the top “Chocolate Christmas stories.”

 
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8th Dec
From Donald McCorkindale

Published in Expository Times, a fun way of telling the familiar story using titles of newspapers. Could follow conversation about current affairs, making the transition to the good news of the gospel. Try to obtain copies of as many newspapers as you can to display at the appropriate points to illustrate the talk – you may need to adapt as required by local availability. The words in bold all feature in international titles. (www.onlinenewspapers.com may prove helpful) You’ll find the text for the story at:
http://talks2children.itsforministry.org/t2c/view.asp?id=204
 
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8th Dec
From Gregor McIntyre

Retelling of the Christmas story with the names of Chocolate bars inserted. It went down a storm with the School Christmas Assembly. Throw the chocolates out to whomsoever spots the tradename of the sweets.
Pure fun, lots of calories, send them back to class in hyper mood!

– see link at the top “Chocolate Christmas stories.”

 
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8th Dec
From Malcolm Rooney

Christmas pictures
If you have a number of young people in the Church, ask them in advance to save the wrapping paper form their presents … bring it to the Christmas day service … divide them into group with an adult or a teenager … provide some light coloured wall paper and some glue and send them away for 15 minutes to make a Christmas collage using the wrapping paper.

Service interlude
On Christmas morning we adjourn our service and retire to the hall for a glass of wine and shortbread. We do this so that everyone has a chance to chat to someone on Christmas morning. It is also a great way to catch up with the youngsters who have left the town but who are back for Christmas

What Christmas means to me
Invite half a dozen members of the congregation to prepare a one / two minute reflection on a memory of Christmas

 
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8th Dec

From Yvonne Atkins

Something that my Children's leaders did last Christmas  at the Family Service and was incredibly popular with the children was Christmas bingo.  Different things that we associate with Christmas i.e crackers, toys, santa etc are called out and the children mark them off.  The last to be called out is Jesus, at that point (because of the way the cards are printed) all the children will shout Christmas (instead of Bingo) together.   No single winner,...  I followed on with a talk about Jesus being the real reason of Christmas etc.  I am happy to pass on fuller details of the bingo cards if anyone would like them.

I should add - it doesn't encourage the children to gamble as there are no individual prizes ....

 
 
8th Dec

From Iain Morrison

You’ll find full outline for an all age service called “the ants Christmas” for download at http://www.spurgeonschristmas.org/

 
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8th Dec

From Stuart Matthews

“God’s daring plan” - a story ‘borrowed’ from a sermon from Barbara Brown Taylor
I’ve cut it down and simplified it for use with young people
It can be simply read – even better if learned
And is best with some pictures to help the listeners
Pictures I use are – planet earth; a man and woman; the garden of eden; a baby; a nativity scene

See link at top “God’s daring plan”

 
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8th Dec

From David Keddie

1) Set the manger scene in the chancel with a Mary and Joseph. Leave room in front of the set. Then start talking about and asking about what actually goes on at Christmas and all the different people who are involved. We have shopkeepers - get a few folk out from the congregation to stand in front of the crib scene, we have shoppers, ditto, then we have carol singers, we have waiters and cooks and hoteliers - and so on - each time get some folk out to represent these different groups - by the end the manger scene has become totally invisible. Nuff said!!

2) This talk/activity reflects on the fact that the CHRIST of Christmas is often reduced to an "X"

What different things does "X" stand for - in maths the unknown, in X-rays, seeing the problems inside someone (God saw what we needed...), the treasure map where X marks the spot (have a map and ask kids to come out and find the spot..), X for a Cross, X for a kiss (God's kiss of love...)

Its useful to have a flip chart for this and write the various things on it.

 
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7th Dec
From Graham Duffin

Powerpoint available with clipart pictures of presents, trees, santa, parties, food carol singer. But look closely and you’ll see something hidden behind. More important than the presents, trees ……. (pic of child in manger revealed hidden by all the others.)

available from gduffin@loanheadparishchurch.co.uk

 
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6th Dec
From Christine Sime:

I sometimes use a puppet - a bear  - whom the kids (and adults) enjoy.  Toby said he wanted to go to the stable and be part of the scene this year - and I told him there were no bears at the stable.
He re-appeared with various 'ears' on - donkey, cow, horse (and reindeer) - pretending to be these animals. His cover was blown - sometimes by the children - and Toby was told he could not go.
However by the end I had 'realised' that Toby could go to the stable as he was, because that is how Jesus wants us all to go - just as we are. Acceptable to him as ourselves, not having to pretend to be anyone, or anything we are not.

At a special needs school, my plan was nearly thwarted when one lad shouted out to Toby that he could go with him! Not a dry eye..............

 
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6th Dec

From Robbie Hamilton

This year at our Family Christingle Service I am doing "Who wants to be a Christmas Millionaire" as way of telling the Christmas story.  The answers will come together to tell the story towards the end of the service and the Jacpot will be out of this world - a prize that money cannot buy.

 
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6th Dec
From Allan Vint

can I perhaps recommend a site www.worshiphousemedia.net which contains some great video clips, christmas countdowns, graphics etc
 
Also www.faithvisuals.come has a wide range of material and the cost is very reasonable. Finally www.imagevine.com is good quality

 
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6th Dec

From Robert Cranston

Tapioca Christmas Talk.... this works better than anything else I have ever done. You get a tin of Tapioca and take the paper off the front of the tin prior to the service. During the service you get a child to help (good to pick one who is about 10-12 years old and articulate) and blind-fold the child sit him/her down at the table with a bowl in front of the child. You then open the can and poor the Tapioca into the bowl. You then ask the child to describe what it feels like? AND THEY WILL SAY JELLY...you are in trouble if they say Tapioca but most kids don't know what Tap is..... but it is good to think what you would do if they do say that... sing another carol or pray ???? The next question is what does it sound like ? The next question is what does it smell like...... what does it taste like......... then take off the blind-fold and ask them what does it look like.............. here some kids don't even recognise what it is... and if that is the case you have an even better talk because you then get them to take it to the congregation and get somebody who does know what it is to tell them what
it is. Now we get to Jesus. When we try and imagine what God looks like
feels like, sounds like, tastes like it is very difficult to know and describe... like the Tapioca... because no one has seen God... so he sent Jesus so that we can know and understand what God is like.

 
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6th Dec

From Neil Galbraith
as CEO of the Caring City, I have a resource that can be called upon for next year if anyone wants to borrow it. The Charity own the World's Biggest Santa Hat over 22ft. Tall. It's in the Book of Records for 2007/8.
Five of the other Glasgow Churches are using it this year up until Christmas Day, but it's out there for next year.

From Jeanne Roddick
Try using audience participation as you tell the story. People participate as someone holds up each of the key words.

Angel Glory to God [wave hands in the air]
Sing Hallelujah [like Handel’s messiah]
Noisy ‘Hello everyone it’s me!’ [wave one hand]
Manger It’s time to go [point]
Now No! [cup hand round mouth and shout]

“See Christmas story with actions” page – link at top

 
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5th Dec
Contributed by Tom Nelson:

The Sweet News of Christmas - a family service which can involve all age groups. The Christmas story is told and as each sweet is mentioned someone in the congregation brings forward that sweet until there is a great big pile for sharing at the end. I think Wesley Owen were giving these out as freebies some years ago. wordonline.co.uk were the publishers.

 
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5th Dec

Contributed by Jared Hay:

Last year we ran our family service as a party. At the start played part of Graham Kendrick's song 'Heaven invites you to a party', sang O come all ye faithful while there was a procession of birthday cake and Christmas crackers - threw about 60 of them out to the congregation and had one huge one from WH Smith with its contents replaced. Cracker readings were the stories from the Gospels, the cracker toys were the hooks for telling the story - paper hat: Jesus the King; three wooden blocks with letters spelling JOY - the Good News of great Joy; some long nails: Jesus the Saviour. Pass the parcel: had gold, frankincense and myrrh. A quiet time with Still the night, Away in a manger and prayers. Cutting of the cake (and eating it after the service!) and singing Happy Birthday. Thought it went down really well and got the message across.

One previous year I did a 'Who's hot and who's not'. We have three singing toys: Frosty the Snowman, Santa and a Christmas tree - all very evident in the shops! As the Christmas story is told in the readings each of these is swapped for angels, shepherds and a manger, telling the significance of each of these for the story - Good News of a Saviour from the angels, the witness of the shepherds, the place for the baby Jesus to lie - God's King. Seemed to go down well as an antidote to the prevailing culture.

Another year I picked on members of the congregation to receive gifts. As they unwrapped them a piece of paper with a text was found which related to the gifts and these were used to tell the story and its significance. Can't remember now all the gifts but the star gift was a ladies watch (cheapest one I could get) - text: at just the right time God sent his Son into the world. The amazing thing there was the lady receiving the gift was actually needing a watch.

Also, newspapers: The Times, News of the World, The People, The Record (could even add the Morning Star!) - all titles that have resonance with the nativity story and can be used to convey it.

Hope these might be a spur to other ideas.

 
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5th Dec

From Mike Frew: mwfrew@blueyonder.co.uk

I prepared a windows video file using Graham Kendrick's Thorns in the Straw (from Rumours of Angels) and some photo images. Might be useful for a quieter Christmas service, maybe even Watchnight. File size is 39Mb so I would need to put it onto a CD and send it by post, rather than attempt email. If anyone wants it, let me know. Hope you'd reimburse me for CD and postage!

 
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5th Dec

From Graham Leitch:

Last year Neil Dougal mentioned a Children's Story Book "Thomas and the Christmas Present" - this is now out of print but I used it (as Neil had suggested) as a simple story for the children but also as an illustraton of the meaning of GRACE - Thomas got a present he didn;t deserve at Christmas because he had been bad (read the story!)

It worked very well in School Services but would suit any Christmas Family Service too.

Email for powerpoint & story Graham Leitch leitch@cranscott.fsnet.co.uk

 
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5th Dec
From Robin Hill

As last year, I am offering a comic sketch wot I wrote. This time it's a two-person one based around the theme of Christmas cards. We will use this before doing a talk in which we show (on Powerpoint) some hand-made Christmas cards created by our Sunday school, which will allow us to talk about the real signiifcance of the Christmas story (without any of Val and Jim's lovely sentiments!).

Happy to have the sketch used with adaptations as required, though
please make a donation to Christian Aid if you do perform it!

Cheers again and all good wishes for Advent

See link at top for sketch………..

 
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5th Dec

From Kenny Stott

Kingship
We used various video clips to look at kings- began with opening scene from the madness of King George- lots of pomp and trappings of kingship.
Later on used clip from Henry V- Kenneth Brannagh leading his troops into the breach- a military/ warrior king
Finished with scene form Lion King –where all “creation” bows down before the king- emphasis on the unusual – not what people expect .

Chrismon Tree
Last few years we have adapted a Chrismon tree-agree on a symbol and ask all organisations to make a symbol- must be white, silver or gold. Organisations then encourage all their folks to come to service and decorate tree. Each year we keep symbols form past year and it allows a sense of continuity- past symbols have been angels, candles, shepherds, stars, lions ( last year to tie in with “Lion, Witch, and Wardrobe) and this year crib/manger to tie in with TEAR funds HIV project.
Any lights on the tree must be white- it has meant an end to “tacky” baubles, lights and tinsel- quite an effective visual aid.
The tree is then kept and brought back out in Lent where it is stripped and turned into a cross. During the weeks of Lent various symbols placed at foot. Has meant that we have kept Christmas and Easter connected.

 
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5th Dec
From Neil Urquhart neilurquhart@beeb.net

Powerpoint meditation available to the superb song "Go light your world!” by Chris Rice (words below) - you might be able to download it from somewhere, I used an album someone lent me.

There is a candle in every soul
Some brightly burning, some dark and cold
There is a Spirit who brings a fire
Ignites a candle and makes His home

So carry your candle, run to the darkness
Seek out the hepeless, confused and torn
Hold out your candle for all to see it
Take your candle, and go light your world
Take your candle, and go light your world

Frustrated brother, see how he's tried to
Light his own candle some other way
See now your sister, she's been robbed and lied to
Still holds a candle without a flame

So Carry your candle, run to the darkness
Seek out the lonely, the tired and worn
Hold out your candle for all to see it
Take your candle, and go light your world
Take your candle, and go light your world

Cause We are a family whose hearts are blazing
So let's raise our candles and light up the sky
Praying to our Father, in the name of Jesus
Make us a beacon in darkest times

So Carry your candle, run to the darkness
Seek out the helpless, deceived and poor
Hold out your candle for all to see it
Take your candle, and go light your world

Carry your candle, run to the darkness
Seek out the hepeless, confused and torn
Hold out your candle for all to see it
Take your candle, and go light your world
Take your candle, and go light your world

(Neil also has three sermons/meditations on waiting, light & angels)

 
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5th Dec

From Eric Foggitt

1. If you go to http://www.sermoncentral.com/article.asp?article=a-Nativity&nop=0&

you will find a promo site for "The Nativity Story", a film which is just out (I think) on general release.

Opinion seems to be that it's worthy, accurate enough and as true to the biblical account as anything else. Since many families go to the flicks at Christmas time, it's probably better than most films on offer!

There's a 2-3 min video clip you can download on the "Nativity Story" website, and some pretty piccies that you can use to make up PowerPoint presentations if that rattles your biscuit tin!

2. Use clip of Mr Bean rearranging the Christmas scene in a store (in Merry Christmas Mr Bean) as a starting point for a talk to teenagers.

 
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5th Dec
From Graham Duffin

Get pictures of some famous people as babies. – could their mothers have known what they would grow up to be and to do? Much was revealed to Mary. Powerpoint of a few pictures available from gduffin@loanheadparishchurch.co.uk
 
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5th Dec
From David McAdam

Socks hung on a line – a novel way of telling the Christmas story (and it works) .. woolly sock for shepherds, sock with a hole (holy – words of the angels), smelly sock – stable where Jesus born.. here’s the last sock – do you know what it’s for? Well, I thought it was time for me to put a sock in it! But the shepherds couldn’t do that, as they returned from Bethlehem they were full of the news of what had happened .. and no doubt you can think of more
 
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5th Dec
From Jan Gillies

Wrap up three parcels – two well decorated with Christmas paper but containing only one sweet, the third wrapped in brown paper and containing a box of sweets. Get three children out and ask them to choose a box in turn, and then get them to open their boxes together. Talk of how we judge things by appearances. Jesus being born in a stable in Bethlehem didn’t look much like the birth of a king, and people found it hard to accept him as the Messiah
 
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