The Christmas Story (Gifts, Wise men)

Equipment: Christmas presents (pre-wrapped) – some good, some bad, some which the contents are obvious, others less so (see ‘Guess the Presents game below), children’s version of the wise men visit

Introduce yourself, what you do etc.

Ask: Who’s excited about Christmas? Who’s got a tree up at home? Who’s written a letter to Santa?

Explain: I’m sure lots of you are really excited about Christmas…perhaps you like seeing family you don’t see or perhaps you’re excited about special things like carol services or Christingle or perhaps you’re excited about presents.

This afternoon I thought I’d bring in some presents and see if we can guess what they are

Guess The Presents (Game)

Have some pre-wrapped presents…some should be obvious as to what they are (i.e. a banana, a ukulele) others shouldn’t be so obvious (perhaps a couple of things boxed). – Some of the presents need to be good presents and some bad presents too.

For each present ask the children if they can work out what they are and then unwrap to see if they’re right.

Explain: Some of those presents were easy to guess others were more difficult…maybe you’re a bit like that on Christmas morning…perhaps you go round the tree and trying and work out which presents are for you and what they are.

Ask: Hands up if you think all the presents I came with today were good presents?
Who thinks some were’t good presents? Which ones? Why?

Explain: Some of the  presents weren’t very good presents…a banana isn’t a good present nor is a (name another present) but a ukulele or a (name something else) are quite good presents…but it depends who you are getting something for

At Christmas we celebrate a very special gift which God gave to everyone. That gift is the baby Jesus who God sent to each because He loves us.

Now Jesus was a gift people had been waiting a very long time for and they had lots of ideas about what he would be like but no-one expected him to be born in a stable.

But some people knew there was something about this baby and so they decided to get him gifts.

Ask: Who got Jesus gifts?

Story: Read the story of the wise men visiting Jesus from a children’s bible or something else suitable.

Explain: In that story these wise men travelled for miles and miles to visit Jesus…who, by the time they got there wasn’t a baby any more but was about 2 or 3 years old and they gave him some gifts…

Ask: What did they give him?

Do you think gold, frankincense and myrrh were good gifts for a baby?

Explain: Gold, frankincense and myrrh are very odd gifts to give a baby but gold represented Jesus being a King, frankincense was something people burned during prayer that smelt nice and myrrh was often used when people died and so these gifts might be strange for any of us but they tell us that Jesus would help us get to know God more when He was older.

So when you buy your presents for others think about the presents Jesus got when He was born and how they remind us that the Christmas story is just the start of God doing something exciting!

Prayer:

Dear God,

Thank you for sending Jesus to earth as a baby.

Thank you that we can celebrate his birth at Christmas with friends and family,

Help us remember that you sent Jesus because you love us and you want to get to know us,

Amen