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The visitor

To provide a simple presentation for Christmas.

by Jan Edmunds

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


To provide a simple presentation for Christmas.

Preparation and materials

  • Eleven different narrators can be used. The following characters are needed: Matthew the woodcutter; Matthew’s wife; Matthew’s two children; the visitor; Mary; Joseph; some angels; some shepherds; a star; three kings; three pages.
  • The first scene is set in the woodcutter’s cottage, with the family seated round the table having supper. Scene two builds up the nativity tableau in the stable.
  • Teachers can interpret and present the material, costumes and props in their own way. Speech could be devised for older children; mime would be easier for the younger ones.
  • For scene two a ‘manger’ and a small seat are needed, and some stockings filled with small presents.
  • Several rehearsals will be needed to establish on-stage places, entrances and exits, which are very important.
  • Suitable music and songs can be added to expand the performance.
  • For more on using drama in assemblies, see our resources section.


Scene One: In the woodcutter’s cottage

Narrator 1

It is Christmas Eve. Outside it is bitterly cold. We can see Matthew the woodcutter and his family sitting round the table eating their supper. They are so poor that they only have a little bread and some thin soup to eat.

Narrator 2

Suddenly, there is a knock at the door. Matthew’s wife goes to answer it and finds a stranger standing on the doorstep. She takes pity on the visitor and invites him in. He is tired, cold and hungry, but the family gladly share their supper with him.

Narrator 3

They spend an enjoyable evening by the fire, singing carols and talking about the presents they would like to have, if they weren’t so poor.

(A carol could be sung here.)

Narrator 4

It is bedtime, and the children say goodnight to their parents. The visitor also bids them goodnight, and tells them that they will have a very special dream.

(The children go to sleep at the side of the stage.)

Narrator 5

Matthew’s wife invites the visitor to stay for the night, rather than go out into the cold air. She fetches a blanket. They wish each other goodnight and the visitor settles down to sleep.

(Matthew and his wife settle at the other side of the stage.)

Scene Two: The Nativity

(Music plays as the manger and seat are placed ready, centre stage.)

Narrator 6

The children are fast asleep. Just as the visitor had said, they begin to dream the same dream.

(Play soft music. Enter Joseph and Mary carrying baby Jesus. Mary puts the baby in the manger and sits down. Joseph stands by her side.)

Narrator 7

Mary and Joseph have come a long way from Nazareth to register their names. There was no room at any of the inns in Bethlehem. The only place they could find was a stable and there Mary gave birth to baby Jesus.

Narrator 8

Some angels arrive to keep watch over them.

(A dance could be performed here as the angels take their places.)

Narrator 9

Next, some shepherds arrive. They have been told by the angels where to come. They bring a lamb as a gift for the baby.

(‘While shepherds watched’ could be played here as the shepherds take their places.)

Narrator 10

A bright star leads the three kings to the stable. They bring with them gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to give to the holy child.

(‘We three kings’ could be played here as the kings and their pages enter and bow before the baby.)

(The nativity tableau remains on stage.)

Narrator 11

When the children wake up it is Christmas morning. The visitor has disappeared, but where he had slept there are now presents for everyone. Surely this was no ordinary visitor? Who do you think it could have been?

Time for reflection


So have a good time on Christmas day,

But spare a thought for our little play.

The children were surprised to find

Those gifts were left for being kind.



Dear God,

Thank you for Christmas – such a special time of the year.

Help us to be kind and generous, just like the family in our play.



‘I want to see your baby boy’ (Come and Praise, 117)

(Change ‘I’ to ‘We’, i.e. ‘We want to see your baby boy’, etc. Chorus: ‘We’ll sing a song…’)

Publication date: December 2007   (Vol.9 No.12)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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