Intro: Show all the animals — cows, sheep, donkeys, camels, stable mice, barn swallows — together in stable setting.
Sound of clock chimes (vocal).
Midnight. Just a few hours now until Christmas morning. Have you found your voices, everyone?
All: Animals sounds transform to answers of “ready.”
Cow: Donkey, are you ready to start?
Well, it was a donkey that started things off so many years ago.
He was an very ordinary little grey donkey. His saddlebags were light. His job was to carry the lady and the baby that was
still in her tummy. But she was so lovely and kind that his load never felt heavy.
The road was long and dusty. They plodded a long way. Just the donkey and the lady and man and the baby who travelled with
them. But the story goes that my cousin never got tired. He never slowed his steady pace. He just enjoyed the trip. He felt
so special making a trip with such nice people.
The lady often stroked his neck and spoke kindly into his long grey ears.
He knew she was very tired and he was worried about her. When they finished their trip and reached the tiny town of Bethlehem,
they still had to knock on many doors.
The little town was so busy — it was buzzing with people. For the lady and her husband, the answer was the same everywhere
— No Room.
This is where you come in, isn’t it, Cow?
Yes, well, one innkeeper took pity on the tired couple. And imagine, our lady so big and uncomfortable still carrying that
baby around in her tummy. Although there were no beds left, the innkeeper said they could rest in the sweet hay of his stable.
It was almost quieter there than in the noisy bustling rooms of the inn.
That night, in the privacy of the stable, the baby was born. His mom wrapped him up snuggly in blankets. The tired but happy
mother and father told the cows and stable mice and barn swallows that the baby’s name was Jesus.
One of my cousins nudged a manger with her snout. The lady smiled, fluffed up the hay inside and laid the baby down in it.
It was quite a night. It was hard for everyone to settle down, the story goes, because of the strange and different bright
star that lit up the night sky. Yet they say it was uncommonly peaceful. That is until all the visitors began to arrive.
This is our part — about the sheep and the shepherds, right?
Cow: Yes, it is. Would you like to tell us about it?
Certainly. We were quite surprised to be there that night.
There we were — out in the pasture that night — minding our own business. Then low and behold, an angel appeared
out of nowhere — and scared the daylights out of us.
“Don’t be afraid,” said the angel.
“I have good news, which will bring great joy to all people.
“Today in the town of David a saviour was born — he is Christ the Lord.
“This will be a sign to you — you will find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.”
Then the sky was filled with angels. They were singing, “Glory to God in the highest.”
Well, when the sky is filled with singing angels, you follow! We found that baby all right. What a sweetie. We were so thrilled
to find out his nickname was, “The Lamb of God.”
Ahhhh [sigh]. That gave us something to talk about for some time. And it did get pretty crowded around here when those three
fancy kings from the east showed up. That was quite a trip, huh, Camel?
Yes, it did take a few unexpected turns. The wise ones had been watching for a mysterious star. They finally saw it from their
palaces in the east.
They began preparing for a long journey — with food and supplies, camels, cooks and animals handlers. Then they began
the long trip west.
They finally arrived at this little backwater town and starting asking around. But no one seemed to know anything. Not a thing
about the star or the baby boy who would be the future king.
Even the king of the day, some guy named Herod hadn’t heard anything. (My cousins had a bad feeling about him right
away.) So the whole caravan made a side trip to speak to the king. He asked if they would let him know when he found the baby
because, uh, he’d like to worship too — yeah, that’s it.
Of course, they said yeah, right, sure. (They never did go back. They took another way home.)
So they kept on following the star. It led right up to the place where the baby was resting with his mom and dad. And oh,
what a sight — so many creatures — but it was so peaceful. The wise ones had costly gifts—treasure chests
of gold and fancy perfume bottles of sweet-smelling frankincence and myrrh. But their gifts seemed almost cheap in the middle
of that peaceful feeling. But give they did — and with joyful hearts.
Cow: Don’t you all agree that would be the most special thing about that night — that peaceful feeling?
All: [Muttered agreement]— ‘yes, absolutely, most definitely....’
Cow: And every Christmas morning when we have found our voices and remember the stories of seeing that special baby, this
is the idea we like to share — Ready everyone?
Peace on earth and good will to all people!
Writer's note: I wrote this play for my own children about 8 years ago. So it's a bit earnest and straightforward, geared
toward younger but very verbal children with dramatic flair! I believe we did it with the dreaded popsicle stick puppets against
a big boxboard backdrop. The kids did remember a lot of detail of the nativity story thru it. So why not share. Merry Christmas!