Tips to Hold the Best Christmas Pageant Ever

Unless you are working with the destructive Herdman children, the main characters in Barbara Robinson's Christmas classic "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever," you can employ some tips and tricks to ensure that the performers in your Christmas pageant, as well as the audience, will enjoy it all. Whether you are holding a fundraiser or putting on the annual show for church, being prepared will pay off.

Create a Committee: Gather a group of like-minded parents or community members to work together on the pageant. To pull off the best Christmas pageant ever, you'll need help with various aspects of the production.

Determine Scope and Budget: Some pageants are elaborate, with written lines and even songs, while others are simply acting out the account as given in the New Testament. Decide how big and broad the pageant will be, and incorporate ideas from the committee. Set budget limits early, and put a member of your committee in charge of watching the budget so there are no surprises.

Create the Script: Even if the pageant will just consist of a narrator reading from the Bible, there still needs to be a script written that includes blocking (where people are on stage), timing, scenery and important pauses and cues. The committee should approve this script.

Get Each Child Involved: When it comes to working with children for a Christmas pageant, remember that every child wants to feel important and have a part. Expand roles so that there are enough parts, such as adding shepherds and angels. Remind the children that each part is important, and help them get excited about their roles.

Plan Costumes: Costumes can be the biggest budget-breaker for a Christmas pageant, but ask parents and community members for donations of clothes and time. Bathrobes, sheets, pillowcases and more can all be transformed into versions of costumes. Check out the local thrift store for jewels, belts, canes and sparkly material. Many costumes don't even need sewing, but, if you find that alterations are needed, recruit community members or parents who have sewing machines.

Choose the Music: Adding beloved Christmas carols will certainly elevate the best Christmas pageant into something memorable. Choose hymns that support the scene, such as "Hark, the Herald Angels Sing" when the angels appear to the shepherds, or "What Child is This" when the wise men find the child in a manger. Either have the children sing themselves, or arrange for a small choir to add music to the pageant.

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