Christmas is a time of sharing, love and celebration of the birth of Jesus. Christian churches all over the world celebrate with choirs, plays, pageants and special musical presentations. For some churches, the Christmas program is an elaborate affair; for others it is a simple celebration. There are many ways that small churches can celebrate the joy of Christmas with the children without spending a lot of money.

Little Drummer Boys

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A wonderful way to engage the children in the excitement of the Christmas season is to plan a musical program. Most every child has heard the Christmas story “The Little Drummer Boy,” so the children’s group leader or Sunday school Instructor can help the children create their own drums by gathering plastic buckets or coffee cans. The children can decorate their drum with paint, glitter and glue, Christmas cutouts, crayons or whatever the child likes. The drum head can be the plastic lid for the coffee can or a parchment paper lid can be glued on the open end of the can for a more realistic look. Drum sticks can be made from wooden dowels and decorated as well. The “Little Drummer Boy” song can be found on Christmas music CDs or the church pianist or organist can accompany the children as they play their drums. It only takes a couple of practice sessions and the children will be ready to play their drums for the church audience.

Ribbon Stick Twirlers

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Girls will enjoy performing a ribbon stick routine. The children can help make their ribbon sticks from wooden dowel rods, colorful ribbons, stickers, paint, glitter or any other brightly colored decorations. A 3/4-inch-x-12-inch wooden dowel is a good size. The adult in charge can attach an eye screw to one end of the dowel for attaching the ribbon. The girls can accompany the boys as they perform “The Little Drummer Boy” or perform their own ribbon twirling routine to a traditional Christmas carol. Invite the children to be involved in the choreography of their routine.

Bells

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For small churches that have some money to spend and would like to involve the smallest children in a Christmas program, there are brightly-colored hand bells available at most church-supply stores. The bells are color coded so that children need only know their colors in order to play a song. The bells are inexpensive, starting at about $25, and some sets come with music sheets and CDs. It only takes a few practice sessions before the children learn the easy-to-play Christmas songs.