Ready or Not?
Getting ready for Christmas
by Janice Ross
Suitable for Whole School (Pri)
To consider the preparations that are needed for Christmas.
Preparation and materials
- For the ‘Assembly’, Step 5, you will need six children to play the parts of Parent, Farmer, Supermarket Worker, Florist, Santa and Jesus. The responses can be read or learnt, but the children will need time to rehearse prior to the assembly.
Optional: you may wish to include some simple props for the characters (such as wellies, some flowers and a Santa hat) and provide a microphone (toy or real) for the responses.
- You will also need a candle and the means to light it for the ‘Time for reflection’ part of the assembly.
- Have available a Christmas song such as ‘Silent night’ and the means to play it during the ‘Time for reflection’ part of the assembly. A version of ‘Silent night’ is available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nEH7_2c644Q (3.34 minutes long)
- Ask the children whether they know how to play the game of hide-and-seek.
Ask a child to explain the game: one person is chosen to be the seeker, and then the rest have to run off and hide. While people scurry this way and that, trying to find a good hiding place, the seeker counts loudly, ‘One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine . . .’
- Ask the children what the seeker shouts when he or she reaches the agreed number.
Suggestions should be along the lines of ‘Coming, ready or not!’
Invite the children to shout out this response.
- Ask the children whether any of them have ever been caught out during hide-and-seek because they were still dithering about finding a place to hide when the seeker finished counting.
- Suggest that this game is a bit like Christmas because it’s coming whether we’re ready or not.
Explain that you are now going to interview some people to find out whether they’re ready for Christmas.
- Conduct the interviews.
Interviewer: First up, we have a parent. Christmas is coming. Are you ready or not?
Parent: Oh yes, the Christmas cards are written, the tree is up and the food shopping is done. I just need to get some crackers.
Interviewer: Here, we have a farmer. Christmas is coming. Are you ready or not?
Farmer: Oh yes, I have 40 turkeys ready for sale and they’re looking good!
Interviewer: My next interviewee is a supermarket worker. Hello! Christmas is coming. Are you ready or not?
Supermarket Worker: Oh yes, we already have a list of orders for food. The supermarket has been buzzing with people making preparations.
Interviewer: Ah, a florist! Christmas is coming. Are you ready or not?
Florist: Oh yes. The shop is full to bursting of poinsettias and cyclamen and I’ve had lots of orders for Christmas wreaths.
Interviewer: I don’t believe it, it’s Santa! Christmas is coming. Are you ready or not?
Santa: Oh yes, I have bags of presents in my workshop and my address list is fully up to date. Rudolph has been itching to go for weeks!
Interviewer: Oh my goodness, here’s Jesus. Christmas is coming. Are you ready or not?
Jesus: Oh yes, I’m always ready for Christmas. That was when I was born many, many years ago. Christmas is like my birthday.
Interviewer: And what will you be doing this Christmas?
Jesus: I’d like to visit lots of people. I hope that they’ll have room for me in their hearts and in their homes.
- Explain to the children that the Bible says that Jesus came to seek and save those who are lost.
Unlike the game of hide-and-seek, people aren’t necessarily hiding from Jesus. They just don’t know that he is looking for them. Jesus wants to be their friend and to love and care for them.
Time for reflection
Christmas is such a busy time: for parents, families, shopkeepers, farmers, teachers and many more.
It was certainly very busy in Bethlehem on the night that Jesus was born. There were no rooms available in any of the guest houses. Nobody was ready for him!
Light a candle.
Let’s light this candle and think about Jesus’ arrival.
He was born in the quietness of a stable, with the warmth and contented munching of the animals.
Let’s allow him to visit us this Christmas.
Play the song ‘Silent night’.
Thank you for sending Jesus to us at Christmas.
Thank you that Jesus is still there to be our friend.
Help us to find room for him in our hearts.
Any appropriate Christmas song.
‘Silent night’ is available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nEH7_2c644Q (3.34 minutes long)