Christmas Nativity: Most memorable Christmas Party

Christmas party usually consists of Santa Claus, gifts exchange, lots of food, singing a few carols, games and endless fun and laughter.

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For this year, with the awesome suggestion of Elder Stowell and the rest of the missionaries in Singapore Woodlands Ward, we decided to dedicate the season to the world’s first ever and most important gift.

Presenting, A Night in Bethlehem!
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The whole idea of this mini production is to transform the overflow room to a Bethlehem local market place, with different stalls consisting of different types of food.
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There were no obnoxious turkeys that night! Instead, we had humble fried chickens, boiled eggs and fish balls in this stall.

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Also, as Mormons we do not drink alcohol, much less wine. Just for name sake, we named the drinks stall YSA’s Winery and served grape cordial drinks and water.

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Quite self explanatory for this stall! We had the Young Women of the ward take care of the fruits for this wonderful night.

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The Primary Pitas stall is quite exciting. Instead of the simple pitas, the amazing sisters has prepared banana bread, bread buns and many more bread delicacies! Nutella buns, anyone?

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The much needed carbs were prepared by the Relief Society sisters. Fried rice, spaghetti, baked rice, noodles; all were served in this stall.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADesserts were wonderfully fulfilled by the Bishopric! Cookies, brownies, and more cookies. Definitely super happy with desserts that night!

So before the fun started, everyone gathered at the chapel for the opening remarks and explanation of how the activity is going to happen.
There were both members and non member friends, so this part is definitely necessary!
Before entering the market place, King Herod will call out a decree, announcing 

“Here ye! Here Ye! Gather your families around and give heed to the words that are said.”
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Gold coins will be provided at the entrance (inside a small paper bag), “paying” each of the stalls as they collect their food.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADon’t tell the kids the gold coins are actually chocolate coins though! Haha!

Market place open!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe decided to go all out and have everyone sit on the floor instead of chairs, best idea ever!
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPretty crowded market place, don’t you think? (:
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA2/3 of the Wisemen spotted, talking to a local, most likely asking about baby Jesus whereabouts? Haha!
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAStable corner, hanging out with some of the lambs and if your eyes are sharp enough, you can find the camels as well!
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAhh the missing wisemen, say….why do you have a camera?
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACan you spot a young prince in the market place crowd? (:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAUh Mary, where is Joseph? Notice my baby bump? :)

As everyone settled down on the floor with their food, the nativity starts.
Lights were dimmed low, and cue Mary and Joseph!
I’ll have the script copied down below with corresponding photos (:
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhen most of the families have finished eating the lights will be dimmed and Mary and Joseph will enter and weave though the throng looking for a place to stay. (Have them wander around a little until you can see that they are noticed. When they have been seen, turn off all the lights except for the stars and the spotlight. This is the beginning of the program.)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANARRATOR: For the Kingdom of Heaven is soon at hand; yeas the Son of God cometh in His glory, in his might, majesty and dominion. Yea my beloved brethren, I say unto you, that the Spirit saith; Behold the glory of the king of the earth; and also the king of Heaven shall very soon shine forth among all the children of men. thus we should “make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth: Make a loud noise, and rejoice and sing praise.”

SONG: Joy to the World (everyone)

NARRATOR: And it came to pass in those days, there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. And all went to be taxed, everyone into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

SONG: O Little Town of Bethlehem–have Joseph and Mary make their way to the stage and the manger as the song ends.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANARRATOR: And so it was there that while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought him forth her first born son and wrapped in him swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger because there was no room for them in the Inn. And there in the same country, shepherds abiding in the fields keeping watch over their flocks by nights. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them and they were sore afraid.
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(LIGHT SHINES ON SHEPHERDS)

NARRATOR: And the angel said unto them Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto to you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; ye shall find a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manager. And suddenly there was the angel with a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
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And it came to pass as the angels were gone away from them into Heaven, the shepherds said one to another. Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which came to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

(SHEPHERDS GO TO THE MANGER AND KNEEL BEFORE BABY JESUS.)
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SONG: Away in a Manager (everyone)

NARRATOR: And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph and the babe laying in a manger. And the shepherds returned glorifying and praising God for all the things they had seen and heard, as it was told to them.
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(SHEPHERDS LEAVE–WISE MEN ENTER)

NARRATOR: Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem
saying “Where is he that is born King of the Jews?” For we have seen
his star in the East and are come to worship him.”
And lo he star, which they saw in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. And when they saw the Star, they rejoiced with exceeding joy. And when they were come to his house they saw the young child with his mother Mary his mother and fell down and worshiped him: and when they opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA(WISEMEN PRESENT GIFTS TO BABY JESUS)
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(EVERYONE ON STAGE FREEZES AND STAYS THERE UNTIL THE SONG IS OVER)

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NARRATOR: Now 2000 years later we approach this most joyous and sacred
time of the year when we celebrate our Savior’s birth. It is the greatest season of the year when we have the desire to give to others. When Jesus came as a lowly babe, there was no room in the Inn. Today, every heart and every home should bid him welcome. Christ came to bring us peace and eternal life. Let us accept his gift with thankfulness, gratitude and remembrance. In remembrance of that most silent and holy night when God sent down his ultimate gist of love.

SONG: Silent Night (everyone)
~END OF NATIVITY~

Total of four Christmas hymns: Joy to the world, O little town of Bethlehem, Away in a manger and Silent Night
Total number of cast: Only 10! Mary and Joseph, 1 Angel, 3 Wisemen, 3 Shepherds, 1 Narrator
Lines to memorize? zero.
The narrator basically narrates everything and all you have to do is act out whatever is being said.
No stress and it definitely brought the real meaning of Christmas to life.

 Some behind the scenes photos!
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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIf you guys are curious, King Herod was played by my dad! Hahah!

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Of course, King Herod’s handmaid is my mom! (:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy sister was the chorister that led all the Christmas songs.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYes Elder Stowell, that is a baby bump. Nice smile there Elder Thatcher!
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA#bethelehemsquad
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Want to see some of the awesome costumes?
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd there you have it! 
I do hope that this will become a Woodlands Ward tradition every year for Christmas because it really brought the everyone together.
From food preparations, set up, costumes, decorations and packing up. 
Of course, this would never be possible if it wasn’t for Elder Stowell’s stroke of genius idea. 

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! 

With love,
Trish <3