Use this traditional Mexican drama with your kids to bring Christmas to life for them.
La Posada is an honored and traditional Mexican drama at Christmas time. In Mexican cities and towns, children dressed as Mary and Joseph go from house to house only to be refused shelter. This interactive La Posada skit invites children to experience the plight of Mary and Joseph and the care of their God.
Before the drama, read aloud Luke 2:7. Then say: 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-from their cozy, comfortable little home to a very crowded city where there was no room for them.
Ask: Have any of you ever been in a place where there was no room for you?
Say: Let’s imagine ourselves in this Bible story and put ourselves in Mary and Joseph’s place that first Christmas night. Who would like to be Mary in our drama? Who would like to be Joseph? (Choose two children) Let’s pretend our room is the town of Bethlehem.
Form pairs for each inn. Arrange the innkeepers around the room. There could be as few as one inn, or as many as 10 to 12. Extra children can serve as cows, sheep, camels, trees or beggars. Encourage these kids to ham up their roles in the drama when Mary and Joseph come near.
Have the innkeepers each choose a name for their inn and prepare a sign to hold up. Possible inn names could be “Bethlehem Holiday Inn,” “Eli’s Bed and Breakfast” or “Abraham’s Trailer Park.”
Have the last innkeepers Mary and Joseph come to in the drama make a sign that reads “(Your church)…Visitors Welcome” and a sign that reads “No Room in the Inn.”
When all the children are ready, have them take their positions around the room. Then have them turn with their backs to Mary and Joseph.
Tell Mary and Joseph to go from inn to inn, just like in the Bible, and to ask the other children to take them in for the night. Mary and Joseph can bribe, plead, grovel — anything but use physical coercion. (We suspect that Mary and Joseph were basically nonviolent people.)
Give children a photocopy of the Christmas Bible Drama Dialogue below. Encourage children to ad-lib as they go.
When Mary and Joseph come to an inn, the innkeepers should turn around and hold up their sign. Encourage the innkeepers to be creative in refusing the couple. Possible reasons to turn Mary and Joseph away could be: “Your stomach’s too big,” “We haven’t cleaned house” or “You couldn’t afford us.”