Creative Ways to Tell the Christmas Story to Adults

6 Creative Ways to Tell the Christmas Story to Adults

It’s Christmas every year afresh. We think about the same things that happened more than 2000 years ago every year. So how do you freshly tell the nativity story? Here are six creative ways to tell the Christmas story to adults.

As a storyteller, I am often asked to tell stories during the winter months. When I am called to tell (parts of) the nativity story in churches, I always realize that almost all adults already know this story.

So how do I tell the familiar Christmas story to make adults experience it afresh?

I’ve gathered six ways of doing precisely that. Some I have used myself, others I can say from my experience as a storyteller that I can see how they work. I hope one or two of them inspire you!

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💡 As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. I get a little percentage whenever you buy something after clicking one of my affiliate links. Thanks!

1. Tell the nativity story from a different perspective

In the two gospels, the Christmas story is told by somebody who stands outside what is happening. Inspired, for sure, but this version we all already know.

What if you told the story from a different point of view? From the point of view of somebody in the story?

How did Maria experience all these things? And Joseph?

Or maybe you could tell the story from the perspective of one of the animals in the stable. The donkey? The ox?

And finally, you could tell this story from the point of view of a new character. In the delightful little book for children, Jesus’ Christmas Party, Nicholas Allen tells the story from the perspective of the innkeeper.

If you choose to tell the story from another viewpoint, take the time to go through the story and imagine how it feels from your particular perspective. Let these feelings be. Let the jokes be. Let it come as it comes, and tell it first a few times to friends or partners.

Don’t tell this story the same way to adults as you would tell it to children. Joseph and Maria were no children; they were adults with deep emotions. So try to imagine how the events felt from your chosen perspective.

Could you tell the story of the birth of Jesus outside?

2. Take the Christmas story outside

Not only can you change how you tell the nativity story, but you can also change where you tell the story.

Maybe you can tell part of the story outside if the weather permits.

Maybe you can find a location outside, but inside, like a sheep’s pen or a small hut, where you can tell the story. I once told the story amidst bales of hay and animals, and it made a big impression.

Another option outside is a Christmas story walk. Take people on a long walk and stop at different points to share different parts of the Christmas story.

How would an angel tell the Christmas story?

3. Tell the Christmas story from the viewpoint of heaven

We can’t possibly know what goes in on in God. It’s too much, too big for us.

And yet, parts can be imagined and told. Because, like many of us, God is a parent. And one day, his child was born. So how would you tell the nativity story from the viewpoint of the Heavenly Father?

A bit closer to home and also very interesting, is to think about what the angels saw. They appeared to the shepherds. They sang. How did they experience this moment in history?

Author Gene Edwards tried to imagine that in his book ‘The Birth.‘ Although it is fiction, it could help listeners hear the Christmas story as a supernatural story again.

💡 Ever thought about turning your favorite Christian story into a Christmas tale?

4. Act the Christmas story out

You don’t need to be professional actors to act out the Christmas story. Adults who act out a part of this story can experience it afresh for themselves.

There are two ways you can go about this. First, you can prepare a play with a group of adults and tell the story to a big audience. This is what is commonly done.

Or you can work with this story in small groups. Each group member takes on a role and prepares for it at home. Then, coming together, you read the gospel and pause to act each scene out together.

Bringing the story alive together like this is not about performance. It’s about the deeper layers to the story you discover together.

5. Tell a summer version of the Christmas story

Have you ever paused, looked at the Christmas story, and realized there is no mention of winter or snow anywhere in the gospels?

It’s much more likely that the birth of Jesus happened in summer or autumn when it was warm enough for the shepherds to sleep in the field.

I’m not saying the Biblical story is not valid. I’m just saying that the element of winter is nowhere to be found in the bible. It’s only found in the traditional way we commonly tell this story.

How would you tell the Christmas story as a summer story?

Wouldn’t that be a fresh viewpoint for many adults?

What if Jesus were born in the slums of today?

6. Let Jesus be born right here, right now

A sixth way to shine a new light on the nativity story is to bring it into modern times.

Let the whole story take place in a modern time and place. Pick a specific time and a specific location.

This will change the story a little. Not so much the core of the story, but for certain important elements of the story. How will people now react to Mary’s teen pregnancy? In which building will Jesus be born? What lowly class of people will come to honor him?

And how will this story end? Which people will reject him? The rich ones and religious ones, like in the Bible story?

If you dare, you could place the Christmas story in a location with which your listeners are familiar. You could tell it like it happened yesterday. But I’m warning you, that could be uncomfortable.

Creative ways to tell the Christmas story to adults

I hope one of these creative ways to tell the Christmas story to adults resonated with you. It’s a beautiful time of the year and an amazing story. I wish you a great time with your listeners gathered around the cradle.

If you prefer to tell another story at Christmas time, check out these heartwarming Christmas stories or my collection of very short Christmas stories with morals.

Photo credits: Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

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