“The Christmas Family”
A Journey of Imagination and Hope.
by Frederick Passmore copyright 2006
Synopsis: In a script that is performed without actor lines, only narration supplied on the soundtrack CD, a young crippled boy in a children’s home spends Christmas Eve listening to the Nativity Story on the radio. As his imagination pictures the scene, the audience sees it acted out while the story is told. Woven in between the radio segments are dramatic encounters that lead to the boy finding that family is not always limited to flesh and blood kin. A simple but moving story that is easy to learn and do.
(Soundtrack key: NO LINES TO LEARN, the Skit Trax supply the narration, background music and sound effects.)
Length of play: 40 minutes.
Number of cast: 9 parts (two main, seven smaller parts), and as many extras as you have available, mostly children.
Category: Christmas, Biblical story, Dramatic, Full-length Play, No Lines To Learn,
Price of script PDF & Skit Trax MP3: Instant download: $19.99 Add to Cart
Price of script PDF & Physical CD: $24.99 plus shipping Add To Cart
YOU MAY ALSO ORDER THE SCRIPT AND SOUNDTRACK AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE.
At last! A Christmas play with no lines to memorize! One that all ages can be a part of: children, teens, adults and even seniors. You’ll have an easier time recruiting cast members when they hear there are no lines to learn. The play is 40 minutes long, the length of the soundtrack CD.
Setting: The stage is divided between the orphanage activity room that is decorated for Christmas, and the stable where Jesus is born. A Christmas tree is needed, with a table where a radio and a miniature creche is set up. On the stable side, it can be as realistic or as simple as you desire. At least, have some hay and a manger for the baby to lay in. IDEA: painted backdrops can add a lot to a stage set without building much. Here is a page from another site that offers some ideas and tips on using this proven theatrical device.
Characters: Daniel, the main character, is a ten year old boy in a wheelchair. Miss Dickenson is an older adult, a senior in her late 50’s or early 60’s, or even older. Dr. Spencer, in an adult. The janitor/gardener Mr. Clements is in his 60’s. The Shepherds, of which there may be five or six, can be played by teens and older. Mary and Joseph. Mary can be played by a teen, Joseph can be a few years older, an adult. The Innkeeper is an adult. The Children at the orphanage, of which there can be as many as you’d like, are all different ages, younger than 10. There is a brief appearance at the end of the now-grown Daniel, aged about 30, his young daughter and younger son, and his wife Fran, also about 30.
Extras: You may cast as many extras as you wish for the orphanage scenes and Nativity scenes. You are only limited by how many interested people you have! The more extras you have as townspeople in Bethlehem, or children and helpers at the orphanage, the better.
CASTING NOTES: Please, cast age-appropriate actors for the roles, where at all possible. Seeing children play Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, etc., in church Christmas plays may be cute, but it’s not right for this one. Use children for the children’s roles, and teens or adults for the shepherds, and adults for the grown-up parts. Otherwise, what is a serious drama will look extremely silly. You can get by with a teen playing an adult or an adult playing a senior; but you can’t get by with a 6 year old trying to play anything other than a kid. Don’t even think about it with this play. Seriously.
Special Costumes: Robes for all the Biblical characters. A Santa Suit for Mr. Clements as he plays “Santa’s helper.” Dr. Spencer is dressed in a suit, as Doctors usually are. He wears glasses.
Props: A wheelchair. Table top radio. (The older or more antique it looks the better.) A tabletop manger scene. A pocket New Testament. Wrapped boxes representing Christmas presents for the children. Candles or an oil lamp. Hint: For a quick and cheap solution, you could simply cut out an oil lamp-shape from a piece of cardboard, paint it brown, and tape a battery-operated flicker bulb to the back, to fake it for a few moments.
“The Christmas Family” Story Breakdown
copyright Fred Passmore 2006
(A general description of the script; not all details or scenes are here, but it gives you an overall picture of what it is like.)
(The action takes place on two sides of the stage; the left side is the children’s home, the right side is the manger scene.)
The scene opens on a Christmas Eve many years ago in a children’s home. The main character, a 9-10 year old boy in a wheelchair named Daniel, is sad due to several near-adoptions falling through for him. As the other children help decorate the tree in anticipation of the arrival of “Santa” (the home’s janitor), Daniel is not looking forward to the holiday like he used to. Miss Dickenson, the home’s activity director and stand-in mother, is leading the children in Christmas activities, which Daniel half-heartedly joins in. The narration is by the adult Daniel, who is recalling the events of his youth and relating them for the audience. From the narrative we learn about Daniel’s illness, his past, and how he feels. When it comes time for the children to go out into the neighborhood for the traditional caroling, Daniel must stay behind, so Miss DIckenson pushes him over to the radio and tunes in some Christmas music for him to listen to while they are out.
Preview a PDF page of the script that contains the scene above by clicking here: The_Christmas_Family_sample_01
As Daniel listens, the music leads into a program with Storyteller Grandpa, who is going to relate the true story of the birth of Jesus from the Bible. As he begins, we see what Daniel is picturing in his mind’s eye, and the stage lights fade on the orphanage set, and come up on the front of the stage on the audience’s level. As the narrator tells what is happening, we see Mary and Joseph looking for shelter, coming from the back of the church down the main aisle toward the front. They ask several extras they encounter going the opposite direction, but no-one can help them. Finally, at the front near the stage, they come to an inn-keeper, but he also turns them away. Seeing them start to leave, and Mary’s advanced state, he reconsiders and offers them room in his stable. They gladly accept, and he guides them in, and after lighting a lamp, they settle in for the evening.
We see then see three or more shepherds coming in from the side, tending their sheep. We see them react to the sight of the angel and the heavenly chorus in the sky. When the angels are gone, the shepherds agree to hurry to Bethlehem and find the new-born Messiah.
Preview a PDF page of the script that contains the scene above by clicking here: The_Christmas_Family_sample_02
Preview the section of the soundtrack that is heard during the scene above by clicking on the player below.
The lights go back up on the side of orphanage set, and we see Daniel as he was listening to the radio and imagining the events described by Grandpa. As a song plays, he gets the feeling of being watched, and as he looks around, he is startled to see a figure in the shadows. It turns out to be the home’s doctor and psychologist, who was observing him. Coming into the room and greeting him, the doctor tells him he needs to do a quick evaluation of his health, and as he checks Daniel’s limbs, they talk about how Daniel feels. The doctor encourages him to not give up hope, and presents him with a pocket New Testament as a Christmas gift. With some final uplifting words, the doctor leaves and Daniel goes back to the radio for the next part of the story.
Preview a PDF page of the script that contains the scene above by clicking here: The_Christmas_Family_sample_03
Preview the section of the soundtrack that is heard during the scene above by clicking on the player below.
As Daniel listens, the lights fade down on him and we see the shepherds coming down the aisle toward the front on the stage. They encounter several extras that they inquire of, but on-one knows anything. Finally they encounter the Innkeeper, who directs them to the cattle stall. When the shepherds peek in, they get excited, and Joseph herds them out and tries to quiet them down. When he hears their story, he can only let them in, and he pulls back a draped cloth covering the manger area, to reveal Mary and the newborn Baby. The shepherds come in reverently, and worship the Promised One, and when the scene is over, they leave with joy in their hearts and the desire to spread the word about this miraculous event.
Preview a PDF page of the script that contains the scene above by clicking here: The_Christmas_Family_sample_04
Preview the section of the soundtrack that is heard during the scene above by clicking on the player below.
Back at the children’s home, as Daniel reflects on the previous events in the story as told by Grandpa, he is surprised by a noise outside, and sees the janitor and groundskeeper Mr. Clements coming in dressed as Santa as he does every year. The kindly old man is surprised to see him, and tries to act the part, but Daniel lets him know that practically all of the kids know who he is under the beard and suit. After putting out some presents, Mr. Clements comforts the boy concerning his fears, and shares his own story of how he grew up at the orphanage himself many years ago, before returning to work there. He also lets on something he knows about Mrs. Dickenson, that Daniel resolves to ask her about soon. when the janitor leaves, Daniel goes back to the radio to hear the conclusion to the story of the first Christmas.
Preview a PDF page of the script that contains the scene above by clicking here: The_Christmas_Family_sample_05
Grandpa relates the part of the story that pertains to the visit of the Wise Men, and explains that, contrary to much tradition, they did not make it to the manger; they arrived about a year or more later. (The play director has the option of having some actors act out the events as the story is told in brief, or just letting the narration carry it.) When it is finished, Grandpa invites the listeners to accept the Lord into their hearts, and Daniel follows along with the prayer of salvation.
Preview a PDF page of the script that contains the scene above by clicking here: The_Christmas_Family_sample_06
When the children get back from their caroling trip, Mr. Clements, in his Santa get-up, arrives to hand out presents individually, in addition to what he had already left, and he leads the excited children into another room to do so. As Daniel starts to accompany them, Miss Dickenson asks him to wait, as his present is something Santa can’t bring. She reminds him of the last family that tried to adopt him, but legal troubles had stopped them. Now, the legal difficulties had been cleared up, and they were waiting in the office to take him home for good. Thrilled, Daniel thinks about what Mr. Clements has hinted at earlier, and takes his last opportunity to ask why she came there to help the children. She relates how she lost all three of her children in house fire many years ago. Instead of giving up, she turned to the Lord for comfort. Being a mother without her children, she was led here, where there were children who were without a mother. At last, they say their goodbyes with a long embrace, and she pushes him off stage to go be with his new family for Christmas.
As an epilog, we see the adult Daniel coming onstage, where he is joined by his two children. In his narration, we learn that after his adoption, doctors has been able to help him walk again, and he studied to be a doctor himself. In medical school he met and married his wife, and they had a daughter. He eventually came back to the children’s home to be the staff physician, where they adopted a boy. It is Christmas Eve again, and Miss Dickenson, whom they took into their home and is now in a wheelchair, is brought in by his wife to join them as they celebrate. Daniel has everyone gather round and sit down as he open the Bible to read the Christmas story to them as he does every year.
ORDER THIS SCRIPT AND SOUNDTRACK AT THE TOP OR BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE!
Hello again, Fred!
We did your narrated play “the Christmas Family” 2 years ago and loved it!! We are a small church. Everyone loved the last play we did, complimenting that it was so enjoyable because they didn’t have to worry about not understanding the storyline because someone forgot their lines or wasn’t talking loud enough. Thanks so much for this format – it works great for us and is a lot easier to cast for!
W. Jones, The Jordan Chapel Church of God in Edgehill, GA
Everett Hills Baptist Church in MARYVILLE, TN did “The Christmas Family” on 12-15-13.
The play was a great success and we are so appreciative of your Christian skits. If you want to see the play, go to www.everetthillsbc.com then click on “launch media player” and it is titled The Christmas Family.
We are excited to get started this Wednesday on our production of “The Christmas Family”! I did listen to the audio preview on the script page. I probably would not have ordered the CD & gone with this program had I not listened! We have never done a program like this, so I think I would have been a little nervous to go with this without having heard a sample. And like I told my pastor, I cried with the little bit I heard, so I think it will be very touching! 🙂
We will be doing your script “The Christmas Family” at the Northland Bible Church in Tomahawk, WI on December 15th, 2013.
This is the second time that we’ve used your material. I really appreciate your special format of making plays that can be done with silent actors. We have a small church and a small youth group with limited talent. We are able to put together a nice play using everyone. The time and talent needed to rehearse spoken parts is limited. With your special plays, everyone goes into this with confidence and expectation. Of course, the format wouldn’t be enough without your excellent commitment to Bible accuracy and salvation emphasis. We thank God for your work. Please keep it up!
– For Christ’s sake, Pastor Alex Lindsay
We (United Methodist Church of Winlock, WA & The Hope Grange #155) put on “The Christmas Family” under my direction last December. We had a Dinner/Theatre, to say the least it was quite an event enjoyed by all. We had a profit of over $1,000 for just one showing. The money was donated to a local cause, The Winlock Food Bank. I want to thank-you from the very bottom of my heart for writing such a well written-play.
I have been recently approached if I could find a play for this year that was like the one last year. I just read a quick synopsis of “Redemption In The Wings” and was quite impressed, being that it sounds perfect.
I just wanted to say THANK-YOU for your time, playwriting and all your efforts that many people and organizations can take part using.
Dear Fred, We performed your play “The Christmas Family” this year. I have been organizing and directing the Church Christmas plays for several years. This play was the best we have ever done!! It was so meaningful and moving. Even during rehearsal we were moved to tears. It was great. You do a wonderful job, thank you for sharing your gift with so many!! It really blesses many people.
Thanks! Stacy Cantey
Lake City, SC
Dear Fred, The Avant Houst of Prayer used your script “The Christmas Family” on 12-19-2010.
This skit was wonderful. We were able to incorporate all the kids that wanted to be in the program. We had around twenty orphans so that the little kids could be included. We had three rehearsals and it went off without a hitch. Everyone said it was one of the best programs that the church had put on. Thank you so much for making this material available. Please continue to make more CD’s like this. It’s so much easier to have everything on one CD than to have the kids try to memorize their lines. The crowd enjoyed being able to hear every line. Once again thank you for making this easy for me.
I just wanted to tell you that two groups have performed your Christmas play, “The Christmas Family” this week. One performance was at the school that my nephew attends, Crockett Christian School. The other was done by my youth group at Pond Creek Congregational Methodist Church. At both performances, the cast members received standing ovations. Both groups had an audience that was really moved by the story told in the play. This was the first time(s) I had used any of your material. I wanted you to know that your play had brought joy to many and, I believe, was used by God to remind its performers and viewers of the true meaning of the season. Thank you for a wonderful play.
Thank you for your time and effort to develop and make available the dramas. We used “The Christmas Family” for our church Christmas Dinner Celebration this past weekend and it was well received. We got so many good comments about the fact that with the narration CD everyone was able to hear all that went on. The content of the drama was very effective for an outreach night. We had almost 400 in attendance between two nights.
Thank you again for being a blessing to our church.
Philadelphia Baptist Church
Our small church, Riverside Baptist Church in Owensboro, KY presented “The Christmas Family” this past Sunday night, December 20, 2009.
It was a blessing to all of us involved in the play. I directed the play and had enough volunteers for each part in the play, including the 3 wise man. I loved the theme and the wonderful blending of the secular and religious side of Christmas. We had several visitors in attendance which were blessed as well. Yours is a wonderful ministry. Thank you so much.
Just wanted to let you know that our little church performed “The Christmas Family” on Sunday evening. We had 23 children/teens involved and it was beautiful!! It was a bad weather night, but we had over 25 unsaved people (along with our regular crowd) out who were deeply touched by the play. It was great and I want to thank you as the creator of this play and soundtrack. Jesus was praised and honored, it is the highlight of my Christmas!!
My church performed “The Christmas Family” this past Sunday, Dec. 13, 2009. Just thought I’d report back to you that it was a hit! We got a lot of good responses from people. Also, 2 people recommitted their lives to Christ, and one person marked on their card that they invited Christ into their heart for the first time. We also had a visitor from Australia. He was very impressed with the play, and sought me out after to ask how he can get the script so he can have his church do it next year. We’ve been invited to bring our production to another church in town for their Christmas Eve service. So we get to “go on tour” (so to speak)!
Thank you for your creativity and your service to our Lord!
Pastor of Creative Arts
Surrey BC, Canada
The church youth group of the Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Yadkinville, NC performed your play “The Christmas Family” on December 21, 2008.
The youth really enjoyed it and were happy not to have to memorize lines. Several people came up to us afterwards with tears in their eyes saying it was the best play ever. The youth group are asking to do another skit soon.
The First Baptist Church in Janesville, WI presented your play “The Christmas Family” on Dec. 11, 2008.
Many people said it was the best Christmas program they’ve ever seen. Some had tears in their eyes. It was easy to hear for those who have hearing loss. Thanks much for a job well done.
The Sharon Baptist Church in Iron Station, NC did “The Christmas Family” on December 17, 2008.
We have a limited amount of kids so this play was perfect for us! It was nice not having any lines to memorize. We had numerous comments saying that this was the best play our church has had! Hope to see more for next year.
Good evening Fred,
I wanted to say thank you for “The Christmas Family” which we purchased earlier in the year and performed last Sunday. In fact we performed it two Sunday evenings in a row as people wanted to see it again. It went really well.
I’ve attached some photos of the event – I think they’re self explanatory… The set was backdrops positioned in what passes as the “sanctuary” (though we never use it as such these days…) – good job the pastor is good at art! (To see the pictures, go to the Submissions Page.)
So, once again, thank you. Even though it was an American voice and many of the people we have at church are over 50 we had nothing but compliments about the evening, the sound, the acting and the message. We had a number of “unchurched” people in – which was the whole point of it. Oh, and we went through mince pies like hot cakes (silly expression really, and we didn’t even heat the mince pies!).
Thank you and God Bless,
On 10/14//07 we purchased the MP3 Download for ‘The Christmas Family’ play. We performed this play as a combined group of churches in our small community on Saturday 8th December 2007 as part of our Combined Community Christmas Carols presentation. It went really well! We had a lot of favourable comments from people particularly impressed with the clear gospel message through the play. We interspersed carol singing at various interval through the play presentation.
Thank you, as it was a roaring success! Thank you for making such a fantastic play available for free over the internet and helping us to provide such a beautiful and fun clear gospel message to our community at Christmas. We appreciate your ministry.
Dale Jones Katherine
Baptist Church Northern Territory Australia
The Hartford Community Church in Hartford, Ohio performed “The Christmas Family” on December 16, 2007.
Thank you! Our youth loved that they didn’t have to memorize lines, although it wasn’t as easy as they thought! They did a great job and we received many comments from people in our congregation as well as visitors, that this was the best Christmas program they had ever seen. Great job, Mr. Passmore! We’re trusting that SOMEONE was/will be saved from seeing this skit! May God continue to bless you, and thanks again for your Bible-based skits!!!
Just wanted to let you know that our church presented “The Christmas Family” on December 23, 2007 at 6:00 p.m. at Mankin Assembly of God Church in Trinidad, Texas. It was a great success!!! (Go here for pictures submitted.)
Our youth group presented the program with some help from some of the adults. The youth group helped design the scenery and activated all of the lighting as well as the Angels and Heavenly Host which rose out of the baptismal pool during the scene with the shepherds!! Compliments were many and praises flowed!
Our congregation was delighted at the great salvation message and our pastor said, “this was the best Christmas program I have ever seen!” Our pastor is a former missionary to Africa and is 80 years old, so he has seen many Christmas programs!
Thank you again for your wonderful play and we look forward to using some of your other works in the near future. I enjoy the website and use the information alot.
-Anne and Al Sherrill
We at the New Life Baptist Church performed “The Christmas Family” this past weekend Dec. 22-23 and I just wanted to let you know that it was wonderful. It was easy to do because of the soundtrack and the message was so awesome. I was told by many that it was the best Christmas drama they had ever seen. I want to thank you for using your God given talent to help others spread the message of salvation.
Merry Christmas, Fred!
I just wanted to tell you that we performed “The Christmas Family” at Tabernacle Advent Christian Church in Lenoir, NC on Sunday evening, Dec. 9th.
Our audience loved it! There was not a dry eye in the house. The story was wonderful and the fact that it could be heard by everyone present made it even more special. Thank you so much for your great website and your plays. We will definitely use your site again.
This is to let you know that the Mt. View Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Dover, Tennessee performed your play entitled “The Christmas Family” last Saturday night, December 15, 2007.
I wanted you to know that this production warranted rave reviews by all who attended. We are a very small church and were able to get pretty much everyone, that wanted to be, involved. Friends and relatives came to watch, as always, and were very impressed by the style of the play. Even though we do a Christmas Play every year, we have never done one with a CD narration and the majority of the positive comments were about how different and unique this production was. The cast, of course, was thrilled about not having lines to memorize. The older members (some who are hard of hearing) raved about being able to hear this year! Thank you for this positive message.
-Barbara Humphries, Directorv
When I read your play “The Christmas Family,” I felt it was just what our church needed this year. We performed it last night, December 16, 2007, and it was awesome.
Our church is small, and we don’t have many children. Your play was perfect because it allowed a church to use a lot of people or a few. But the part I loved the most was that it made the message of salvation so clear.
Thank you for such a great play, with the CD at such a reasonable price.
First Baptist Church
Our church, Emmanuel Church in Mountain Home, Arkansas, performed “The Christmas Family” this past Sunday. It was a great success! So many people commented on the uniqueness of the skit. They were especially impressed with the fact that no one had to memorize lines and that they could understand everything that was being said because of the soundtrack.
Thank you so much for making your skits available on-line. You are truly a blessing to others.
We just performed “The Christmas Family” today (12-16-02) at the Cornerstone Evan. Free Church in Blue Earth, MN. It was VERY well received. We did something a little different that worked quite well: we videoed the Bethlehem scenes (all in ‘real’ rural settings) with shepherds and Joseph and Mary and created a DVD with those scenes on it. Then the only scene we had to set on stage was the orphanage scene and those characters involved with those scenes. It worked great. It made it possible for many people to be involved, but involved less work on the day of the presentation.
It is always our goal to make our Christmas presentation as evangelical as possible and this skit was very impactful- even emotional. The CD provides a polished, well planned approach, for inexperienced small congregations! We’d like more just like this one! Thank you!
Our church did your script “The Christmas Family” on Christmas Eve. It was an awesome play. People in the church and community are still raving about it. Thank you for doing and sharing your wonderful plays. God Bless You!!!!
Our church is small and this play worked so well with the soundtrack CD and no memorization. Please do some more the same way!!
Clappertown Christian & Missionary Alliance Church
As promised, I am reporting back to you on the outcome of our play of “The Christmas Family”.
It was a big hit with the congregation. Here are some comments…
It was the best play our church has ever done.
It was great that adults and children could participate in the same play.
An elderly person commented that she especially enjoyed the fact that she could hear and understand the entire play. Often times when small children have verbal parts she is unable to hear what they are saying because they are speaking too softly. She was able to actually follow along the entire play (due to the narration).
The message was the TRUE meaning of Christmas. Often times the nativity scene is portrayed but what does it really mean to us. This really applied why Jesus came to earth.
It brought tears to my eyes (2 people shared that).
I was able to get volunteers much more easily due to the fact they there were no lines to memorize!
Thank you so much for providing this for us to use. I would highly recommend this play to anyone who is interested. It contains a wonderful message brought in a new way that can be applied to anyone’s life. Keep up the good work!
Sandy with Orrville Mennonite Church
On December 18, 2006 the First Baptist Church of Roff, Oklahoma put on your play “The Christmas Family.” The production was a hit. My kids worked very hard on this, and I had the right amount of help from youth and adults. Comments from the church were “It was the best play I have ever seen,” and “It focused on the Christmas Story, and the Real meaning of Christmas instead of how cute the kids were.”
I can’t tell you enough about the success of this economical well done production. The set painting pages were of great use too. I painted a back drop that added to the stage a lot. We used a split stage, and a spot light and that was about all of the extras we needed. It was really great.
I plan to use your ideas as much as possible, even though our class is actually called Children’s Choir.
Keep up the good writing!
First Baptist Church, Roff, Oklahoma
Thank you for helping small churches like ours to be able to obtain wonderful skit material free. Just three weeks before Christmas our leadership decide to try something different for our Christmas Eve service and your skit “The Christmas Family ” was found to be the answer. The fact that there were no lines to memorize took a lot of pressure off the participants. We had quite a few family visitors that Sunday and many commented it was the best Christmas play they had ever seen! Thank you again for providing well written material that gives honor and glory to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Blessings from Vineyard Community Church
Okay, if you liked the story breakdown, and were encouraged by the many testimonials of those that have done it, buy the complete script and soundtrack here!
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