Last year, we struggled to come up with a Primary Christmas lesson for our sharing time in church that the Primary would enjoy. Finally, about the end of November, we came up with an idea and it turned into a very special day for us.
I have always loved the story of the Little Drummer Boy. Growing up, I listened to the Anne Murray version of the song a lot because it was my Dad’s favorite. It really is a sweet story about a little boy giving Baby Jesus the best gift he could give-a song from his heart.
While talking about what we wanted to do, I mentioned that maybe we could do a special Primary Christmas lesson involving this story and help the kids understand what it means to give the gift of yourself. And so this sweet little Christmas lesson was born.
It really was special and our primary kids enjoyed something a little different than our normal lesson. You can find “The Little Drummer Boy” on Amazon for about $5.
Let me walk you through how we set it up. But first, allow me to apologize for not taking better pictures. I was going to grab some before the lesson but I ran out of time! It always happens, right? But these pictures will give you an idea of how we set it all up.
I broke the lesson down into different “parts” and each one of us in the presidency took a section to talk about. One of us discussed the story of the “The Little Drummer Boy”. Another talked about the gifts that Jesus Christ gave to us, and the other discussed the different kinds of gifts we can give to the Savior at Christmas. We also involved our chorister by selecting some of the more reverent songs to sing as part of the sharing time.
First, the set up. Because we wanted it to be special, we decided to put all of the chairs away and have the kids sit on the floor. We turned all of the lights off and brought in candles, some white Christmas lights, and a star light to hang from the ceiling.
My mother-in-law has a lot of props that we use each year in the family to do a nativity with the grandkids. I borrowed her manger and stuffed farm animals and set them up in the middle of the room. We put the Christmas star above the manger and added a baby doll wrapped in a blanket for the Baby Jesus.
When the kids walked in the room, we had them sit in a half circle around the manger. We wanted it to feel like they were in the stable just as the shepherds were.
Before the lesson, we asked for permission to share about 10 minutes of the movie, “The Little Drummer Boy”. This is an old version of the film that was made in the same style as the “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer”. I grew up watching it and knew that seeing the story unfold would be better than telling it. The movie is around 30 minutes on its own. Because we were going to be talking about other things, we decided to share just the last 10 minutes of it and paraphrase the beginning of the story for the kids. Our bishop was fine with us sharing the story so we had no problems.
Following the story, we asked the children what gifts the Lord had given to us. Answers included forever families, being forgiven, having love, etc. We had a discussion about it for a few minutes, ultimately recounting how he had come to Earth and sacrificed himself so that we could all return to Him again.
And then we talked about service and how serving others is like giving the Savior back a gift, just as the Little Drummer Boy found something to give the Lord that was the greatest gift he could give. We put on “Silent Night”, just an instrumental version, and gave them all a few minutes to think about a gift they could give the Savior for Christmas.
I found these little Nativity box ornaments from Oriental Trading Company. They were perfect! We had the kids each write down 1-3 gifts they would give and put them inside the box. The ornament could be taken home and hung on their trees as a reminder of what they wrote down.
We sang some Christmas songs with our chorister after that, including “Away In A Manger”. In addition to their nativity paper ornaments, we also gave them these ornaments as their Christmas gifts from us.
We don’t have a large primary and these worked perfectly. They say “God’s Greatest Gift” on them and it fit the message of our sharing time. The kids were happy to take them home and hang them on their trees!
This Primary Christmas lesson can easily be adapted to fit your own ward. Be sure to ask for permission when using anything that is not church approved like the movie we did here. Our bishop had no problems with it but you still need to work through the correct channels as with anything.