“Christmas in the Americas: A Christmas Program,” Friend, Dec. 2004, 18
Use this Christmas program for your ward, Primary sharing time, or family gathering. You will need people for the following roles:
An angelic choir
Although this play is designed for 16 or more cast members, roles could be easily combined to accommodate fewer participants. For costume and prop ideas, see page 21. All songs are from the Children’s Songbook unless otherwise noted.
Narrator #1: Long ago in the town of Bethlehem, a wonderful miracle took place.
Narrator #2: On the night Jesus Christ was born, signs in heaven were seen by people both in Judea and in the Americas. Our Savior had been born.
Song:“Hosanna” (pp. 66–67)
Nephite #1: Look there! It is just as Samuel prophesied. A great star!
Nephite #2: Yes, the sun has gone down, but it is still light. There is no darkness at all.
Nephite #3: He has come! The Son of God has come into the world to redeem all who repent and come unto Him.
Nephite #4: It happened in five years, just as Samuel said. He really was a prophet of God. Do you remember when he spoke to us?
Song:“Samuel Tells of the Baby Jesus,” verse one (p. 36)
Samuel: “Behold, I give unto you a sign; for five years more cometh, and behold, then cometh the Son of God to redeem all those who shall believe on his name” (Hel. 14:2).
Unbeliever #1: How can that be?
Samuel: “And behold, this will I give unto you for a sign at the time of his coming; for behold, there shall be great lights in heaven, insomuch that in the night before he cometh there shall be no darkness, insomuch that it shall appear unto man as if it was day” (Hel. 14:3).
Unbeliever #2: I can’t believe it! This man is crazy!
Samuel: “And behold, there shall a new star arise, such an one as ye never have beheld; and this also shall be a sign unto you” (Hel. 14:5).
Song:“Samuel Tells of the Baby Jesus,” verse two (p. 36)
Shepherd #1: It’s such a calm and peaceful night.
Shepherd #2: Yes. The stars sure are bright and clear in the sky. I don’t think I’ve ever seem them shining so brightly.
Shepherd #3: That one over there is the brightest by far. It seems to shine right over Bethlehem.
Song:“Stars Were Gleaming” (p. 37)
Nephite #5: If we can see the star, I’m sure that others can see it, too.
Nephite #6: Surely they must know that the star is a sign of the coming of the Son of God.
Nephite #7: I’m sure the Lord has found a way to tell them, just as He sent Samuel the prophet to tell us.
Song: Softly play “Far, Far Away on Judea’s Plains” (Hymns, no. 212) in the background as shepherds show signs of fear while looking at the angel.
Angel: “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger” (Luke 2:10–12).
Song: Members of Angelic Choir enter and sing first verse of “Joy to the World” (Hymns, no. 201).
Nephite #6: Seeing this star is wonderful, but it is also difficult to understand.
Nephite #2: What don’t you understand?
Nephite #6: Well, why did the Son of God have to come to earth?
Nephite #4: Samuel said that Christ would come to save all those who have faith in Him and keep His commandments. God loves us, so He sent His Son to show us the way back to heaven.
Song:“He Sent His Son” (pp. 34–35)
Nephite #3: I remember that wicked people did not want to listen to Samuel. They were mad because he spoke the truth.
Nephite #1: They tried to kill him just for prophesying of the birth of the Son of God.
Nephite #5: If people here tried to kill Samuel just for prophesying, I wonder if wicked people will also try to kill the Son of God in His country!
Nephite #1: Don’t be afraid—the Son of God will be safe, I know it. Tonight is a night of peace and joy, not fear.
Nephite #7: Yes, and He has a mother, remember? She will watch over Him.
Nephite #5: I wonder what she’s like.
Song:“Mary’s Lullaby” (pp. 44–45)
Nephite #6: Do you think we’ll ever get to see the Son of God?
Nephite #4: Well, if He’s the Son of God, He can do anything. The Savior could even come and visit us!
Nephite #2: He will come. I feel the Spirit testify to me that He will come. I only wonder when.
Narrator #1: We share these same feelings today. We wonder when the Savior will return in our time.
Song:“When He Comes Again” (pp. 82–83)
Narrator #1: In spite of the great ocean separating these two continents, people in Judea and America recognized the promised signs of the Savior’s birth.
Narrator #2: We can feel peace as we read about Christ’s birth in the Bible and Book of Mormon.
Narrator #1: Sometimes we can even feel it when we look up at the stars, and think of the joy that was experienced by so many when they saw the star 2,000 years ago.
Narrator #2: Just as the Nephite and Judean children of old were joined together in love for one night, perhaps we can feel peace and love right now as we join in singing “Silent Night” together.
Song:“Silent Night” (Hymns, no. 204)
It’s time to put on another year’s Christmas program, and once again there are shepherds to dress and stables to create. Here are some helpful hints:
Bathrobes, large towels, and sheets make great costumes. They are easy to get in and out of, come in a variety of colors, and can still be used after the program ends. (Make sure costumes aren’t too long so no one trips.)
Remember to keep costumes simple—more than two layers will be too bulky to manage easily.
If you don’t have any wood for a shepherd’s staff, try using cardboard from a roll of wrapping paper or a length of plastic PVC pipe wrapped in brown tape.
For large scenery backdrops, ask a home improvement, furniture, or appliance store for old cardboard refrigerator boxes. These are free and large enough to create scenery that is visually appealing. They can be painted using acrylic paints—but remember to focus on shapes and ideas, not small details.
Many tissue boxes come elaborately decorated for the holiday season. Try using three different sizes of decorated tissue boxes for the Wise Men’s gifts. If they are empty, fill them with something so they are handled more realistically. You could even fill them with treats to hand out after the Christmas program ends.