Last-minute tips for preparing for your Sunday school Christmas program

Nov 20, 2018 7:00:00 AM / by Deb Hetherington


Tick, tock! The days continue to move past us and if you are in charge of this year’s children’s Christmas program, this may instill a bit of panic in your heart as you think about everything you have to do between now and then.

I’m here to help! After leading children’s Christmas programs for many years, here are my top tips to help you create a flawless, memorable Sunday school Christmas program. 

Give kids tools to practice at home

Help all kids feel most familiar and confident singing songs in your Christmas program by giving them tools to rehearse outside of Sunday school – at home, in the car, or on family electronic devices!

Depending on what copyright allows for your materials, provide links to the recordings and include lyrics in a document so they can listen to the music and practice the words as they sing along with it. 

Every time kids listen to, read, or sing a song outside of Sunday school they will be better prepared for their program. Recordings do not need to be full performed by a band. Hearing one friendly voice, singing in tune, is the quickest way for kids to learn melodies and lyrics. Piano, guitar, or multiple voices are nice to have. 


Send reminders to parents and families

While the date for the Sunday school Christmas program may be top of mind for you, for others, it may have gotten lost in the noise of the season. Take time to share clear, bite-size pieces of information to parents via multiple methods to give you the best chance of getting kids (and parents) where and when you need them for the program.

Use social media, reminder slips, email, or even text messages to issue reminders to your families. Take advantage of free online invitation and sign-up tools that send out reminders automatically. You may never reach all the parents, but you will maximize awareness and participation. 


Find ways to organize your tasks

Your to do list, particularly around the Christmas program (and everything else you’ve pushed to the side because of that!), may look insurmountable.

First, take a deep breath.

Take some time to create a task list, breaking down larger tasks into smaller pieces that can be done at home or in less than 15 minutes at church. It’s a great opportunity to ask for help from other church members and it’ll make it far easier if you can offer specific, time-based instructions.

Create take-home kits with needed supplies and instructions. For example, one long garland that needs to be cut into smaller pieces and tied for halos. Or one costume that needs to be ironed. Or 50 bulletins to be folded. 

In addition, write tasks that will take less than 15 minutes and post them by your coffee station or bulletin board the week before the program. Ask congregants to stay 15 minutes later to complete one task.


Yes, you may have the primary responsibility to coordinate and execute the Christmas program, but everything does not need to be done only by you and a few volunteer leaders/parents.

Maximizing participation and support can give everyone a sense of ownership in the program – and get them excited to see their contribution – big or small – in action.

Jesus was born for everyone – let everyone share in the preparations to share the story via your children’s Christmas program! (and then be ready to experience and celebrate the unexpected!)


Did you like this blog post? Great! We have more Advent and Christmas resources coming this December. Check back for new posts each day.


Topics: Children Ministry

Deb Hetherington

Written by Deb Hetherington

Deb is passionate about supporting faith formation for all of God’s children from babies to adults, at church and at home. At Sparkhouse, she has worked on early childhood, story Bibles, Sunday school, music, devotional, and Vacation Bible School products for kids, leaders, and families. She feels blessed to now sing and play with kids as a volunteer in her congregation and on mission trips to Haiti.


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