Helpful Planning Timeline for Your Christmas Program


It’s the start of November, and, if you’re anything like me, you need a helpful planning timeline for your Christmas program.

Christmas plans are now officially underway! I know many of you are starting to think about putting on a Christmas pageant this year (if you haven’t begun already!). If you’re just starting to map out how to put on the best Christmas pageant ever, we want to help! Here is a sample timeline to help you. Feel free to copy this, make changes, and let it help guide you to success.


Start Now!

*Decide which program to use ( has some great options).

*Work with your church leadership team to select a date for the performance as well as a budget.

Six Weeks Before the Event

*Put information in your church’s newsletter or bulletin.

*Send an email or personalized email invitation to the families in your church, inviting them to participate in this family event and to invite others.

*Hang posters around your church and community.

*Send fliers home with kids.

*Add information on your church’s website.

*Have families spread the word.

*Reserve rooms in your church for scene rehearsals, one large room for the performance (if not doing it during a normal service), and one snack-friendly area for the cast party.

*Enlist your team: Cast Party Caterer, Registration Team Members (if your program needs these), Assistant Directors (to help with different scenes and other duties), Sound Tech, Photographer (you’ll want to get parents’ approval first), Costume Designer, Set Designers, and Actors!

Five Weeks Before the Event

*Hold an introductory meeting to cast your vision for the program.

*Meet with your team to discuss duties.

*Read through the entire script with your team.


Four Weeks Before the Event

*Give the script to the Sound Tech, the Assistant Directors, and the Actors.

*Set rehearsal dates.

Three Weeks Before the Event

*Continue to hold rehearsals.

*Make a press release to send to local media.

*Have the Costume Director come in with costumes to try on.

*Check in with the Set Designers.


One Week Before the Event

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*Contact your Cast Party Caterer to ensure food and drinks are on track for the party.

*Hold a dress rehearsal in the area where you’ll be performing (make sure to invite the Sound Tech).


Day of Event (Sample Schedule)

4:00 pm

*Arrive at the church.

*Assistant Directors set up backstage area.

*Complete any setup in the performance area.


5:00 pm

*Sound Tech, Costume Designer, and Set Designers arrive. Do a quick sound check in the performance room with Assistant Directors, along with checking the set props and any last-minute costume changes.

*Cast Party Caterer sets up the snacks for the Cast Party.

*Registration Team sets up the registration area (if need be).


5:30 pm

*Particpants arrive, register, and go backstage.


6:00 pm

*One last practice!


7:00 pm

*Actors take their props to the performance area and sit in their assigned areas.

*The program begins!


8:00 pm

*Cast Party, photos (optional), and celebration!



What’s your favorite Christmas play you’ve ever done? Let us know using the comment section below!

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About Author

David Jennings

David has served kids around the world for the majority of his life. From Texas to Romania, he has followed where God has led him. Most recently, he served for six years as a children's director in the great state of Alabama before moving to Colorado to work for Group as an associate editor. He is now serving in the church again! Our loss is kids' gain!

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