Simple costumes for Mary and Joseph
Blank paper and markers or crayons
A small box or basket to use as a manger and a swaddled doll
Some stuffed farm animals
Simple scripts for Mary, Joseph and the Innkeepers (see end of this post)
Las Posadas Christmas Skit:
Before the drama, read aloud Luke 2:7:
And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
How terrible it must've been for Mary and Joseph to be in Bethlehem that first Christmas night. There was no room for them anywhere. They were homeless. They'd come from Nazareth to a very crowded city where there was no room for them.
Have any of you ever been in a place where there was no room for you?
Let's imagine ourselves there that night and pretend our room is the town of Bethlehem.
If children have been pre-selected to play Mary and Joseph, call them come forward. Have them put on a simple costume, then give them a moment to look over the sample script.
Everyone else, groups of two or three, will be innkeepers. Please (quickly!) make a sign for your inn with a name and make sure it says “no vacancy”!
As they finish making the signs, arrange the innkeepers around the room. Have a little spot set up behind one set of innkeepers for the “stable” with a small manger and some stuffed animals.
Mary and Joseph will go from inn to inn and to ask the other children to take them in for the night. I’m giving you all a simple script, but you can make up your own dialogue if you rather.
After Mary and Joseph arrive at the stable, we will all gather to sing “Away in a Manger”.
Lead the children in the skit, with Mary and Joseph going to each group of innkeepers in turn, finally arriving at the last inn with the stable behind it.
Lead kids in applause for one another after the drama. Then gather them together to think about their experience.
Ask Mary and Joseph: How did it feel to be Mary and Joseph? How did it feel to be turned away?
Ask the innkeepers: How did it feel to turn Mary and Joseph away? Did you wish you could do something to take them in?
Ask the group: Think of a time you've been turned away from a place or a situation. How about a time when you wanted to play with people - friends or brothers and sisters - and they wouldn’t let you? What was that like?
God provided an innkeeper who opened up a stable to Mary and Joseph. Even though it didn't seem like much, it gave them shelter and safety for the night of Jesus' birth. God sends us people to care for us and take us in. God also gives us opportunities to be welcoming to one another and to help each other.
Close in prayer: Gracious God, you sent Mary and Joseph a kind and helpful innkeeper to care for them when they were without a home. We thank you for all those who care for us, and we ask that you'd let us help others when they turn to us for help. Lord Jesus, please let our hearts be a place where you will always find room for you.
I've uploaded my document to Scribd. If you print this out double-sided, you'll have the information for the leader as well as some scripts for the children with "Away in a Manger" printed on the back.
Las Posadas Christmas Skit for Children