QUICKIE CHRISTMAS COSTUMES
Here are four low-cost, easy-to-make costumes.
Angel - Use a length of white fabric equal to twice the
shoulder-to-ankle measurement of the child. Fold the fabric in half
lengthwise and cut a head hole from the center of the fold. Put the
fabric over the child's head, and gather it at the waist with gold
or silver garland. Make a loop of matching garland for the halo. If
you want to add wings, gather a 36-inch square of white netting in
the center. Wrap a chenille stem around the center to hold it. Cut
two slits in the back of the robe, and use another chenille stem to
attach the wings through the slits.
Bible Character - Follow the instructions for the angel
costume using colored fabric and rope to tie at the waist. Make a
head covering with matching fabric and rope tie.
Donkey - Use a gray hooded sweat shirt and pair of gray
sweat pants. Use safety pins to attach two ears cut from gray felt
to the hood. Hot glue a mane of jumbo loopy chenille (found in
craft stores) down the center of the hood.
Sheep - Use a white hooded sweat shirt and a pair of
white sweat pants, both turned inside out. Use safety pins to
attach two black felt ears to the hood. Face paint a black dot on
the "sheep's" nose.
CHRISTMAS SHADOW MONTAGES
Use as few as five or as many as a hundred performers in this
series of staged scenes that tell the story of Christmas.
Hang a large white sheet (or several sheets sewn together) at
the front of your worship area. Use a bright light behind the sheet
so that when children stand between the light and the sheet, their
shadows appear on the screen for the audience (on the other side)
to view. You may wish to experiment with different colored lights
for special effects. If you have many children and a large area,
you can hang multiple sheets in different places around the room.
The effect is best when the remainder of the room is darkened.
Have the children dress in Christmas story costume. See the
"Quickie Costumes". You'll also need simple props, such as a box
for the angel to stand on, a cot with blankets for Joseph to lie
on, shepherds' crooks, a manger with hay, and a doll. Each scene
requires one or more readers to present the Scripture passages. See
"Telling the Story" on this page for scene sequencing ideas.
In each scene, the actors may portray the characters in a freeze
frame, or they may pantomime action. Both techniques are effective
in shadow. At the end of each scene, the actors freeze and count to
ten before the light is turned off. Then the whole group of
children sings while the actors for the next scene take their
positions. Repeat this process for each scene.