If your Christmas Day celebrations are dominated by food and presents, you might like to introduce this Nativity story-telling to your family rituals. It is a fun and attractive way to be mindful of the birth of Jesus.
I devised this ‘Australian recipe’ last year, hewing as closely as possible to the Gospel accounts of our Lord’s nativity. It has proven to be very popular in my parishes, not to mention in my own family.
All listed chocolates are available in Australian supermarkets. Overseas readers might need to adapt this. (Here’s the UK original.)
- Cadbury’s Dairy Milk
- Furry Friends
- Kinder Surprise
- Mars Bar
- Milky Way
- Rocky Road
- Time Out
- Turkish Delight
1. Download and print The Story of the First Christmas told with Chocolate.
2. Narrate the script and hold up each chocolate as it is mentioned in the story.
That’s it! A guaranteed crowd pleaser, which also keeps Christ in Christmas. There are many adaptions to the method which make it more interactive. Here’s a few examples:
- Gifts for the King. As the story is narrated and each chocolate is named, it’s placed before the manger. This is a nice reminder that just as the Magi presented gifts for the newborn King, so can we. (Not so much chocolate as acts of kindness, works of mercy, small mortifications.)
- Fill the gap. The chocolates are piled in the centre, and as the story is told, the narrator pauses at the naming of each chocolate. Whoever correctly identifies the chocolate wins that item.
- Links in a chain. The story is divided into small portions of text, each extract printed on an individual card, and placed in a numbered bag or box with an assigned chocolate. As each person reads their text, which ends just before a chocolate is named, the next person opens their bag to find the unnamed chocolate, and the next part of the story. People can try guessing which chocolate comes next.
- Treasure hunt. The chocolates are hidden in the garden. As the story is narrated, children have to correctly fill in the gap, and then be the first to find the chocolate. (This is maybe not so good in a heat wave!)
- Pass the parcel. As the story is narrated, people constantly pass a wrapped parcel around the room. When the narrator pauses at the name of a chocolate, whomever is holding the parcel unwraps a layer and finds the chocolate which fits that part of the story.
This year, my nephews have opted for the pass-the-parcel method. We’ll see how it works out. Merry Christmas!
Any approach to get kids interested in real Christmas is a positive with me. I tried once to get a Ten Commandments Bingo going for Lent, but didn’t have your reach John. In a nutshell, you all sit and watch TV of an evening and he who spots a commandment being broken ticks it off the sheet, first finished wins. Amazing how often we watch sin as a form of entertainment, and then claim disappointment when our kids stop practising their faith. Keep up the good work John and stay off the kerosine.