It's So Christmas-See!
A Collection of Resources for Thanksgiving and Christmas
Jeanne Mueller, Judith Hale Wood, Arthur J. L. Meether, Judy Gattis Smith, Louis H. Valbracht, Janet Burton, Bill Thomas, Robert V. Dodd, Myra Shofner, Donna J. Fetzer, Adalya Hadar

Price: $29.95

ISBN: 0788024612
Size: 8.5 x 11
Pages: 172
This anthology provides a wide range of dramatic and worship material for seasonal celebrations. There are numerous Thanksgiving resources, including a children's Sunday school learning event, a children's message, a brief responsive reading, a one-act drama, and a sermon. For Christmas there are six plays of various lengths for a variety of ages and cast sizes, as well as a "hanging of the greens" worship program and an engaging story that can either be read to young children or performed as a play.

Come! See What God Has Done is designed to heighten children's awareness of God's many blessings. Six learning centers -- each featuring posters, projects, a guided experience, follow-up activities, and a closing prayer -- focus on such topics as families, nature, our religious heritage, and our bodies. Intended for kindergarten through sixth grade, this is an ideal activity for your church school and can be held during a single session.

What Are You Thankful For? is a one-act drama portraying two families as they gather for Thanksgiving dinner. It utilizes a cast of fourteen characters with a wide range of ages, and guides audiences from self-centered complaints to a positive attitude of thankfulness.

• Thanksgiving for Our Day
, a brief responsive reading, and Recalling Our Blessings, an interactive children's lesson, are perfect for use in ecumenical Thanksgiving worship services.

Is It Still Wonderful?, a sermon for Thanksgiving Day, reviews some common Thanksgiving clich�s and concludes that to demonstrate true thankfulness we need to become less jaded and rediscover a sense of awe and wonder.

Welcome the Spirit of Christmas enables the entire congregation to participate in adorning the sanctuary with holiday decorations for the Advent and Christmas seasons. This "hanging of the greens" worship program includes complete instructions plus many additional ideas, making it easy to adapt the material to individual circumstances.

The Christmas Stranger and The Christmas Stranger Returns are two full-length dramas depicting events in the lives of a typical American town's leading citizens. Each play features a multi-generational cast of around 20 characters and has a running time of approximately 60 minutes. In The Christmas Stranger, an amiable handyman brings joy and laughter to the home of a prominent businessman who is consumed by his work and hates Christmas. With the stranger's aid, the businessman's family tries to break through his resistance and show him the real meaning of Christmas. In The Christmas Stranger Returns, the businessman is now a Christian and even more successful -- but when tragedy strikes and he struggles to hold it together, someone from his past suddenly reappears.

• A Christmas Remembrance is a worship service woven together with a dramatic portrayal of local Christians assembling for worship in a small village about 40 years after Christ's crucifixion. There are speaking parts for many children and adults, plus scripture readings, songs, and congregational hymns. It's a different approach to the seasonal Sunday school pageant.

• Christmas, Then and Now is a one-act play in which a pair of angels discuss what they witnessed on the night of Jesus' birth, and the similarities and differences between the way it was first observed and the way it is celebrated today. In addition to the two main characters there are brief speaking parts for several offstage voices. Presentation time is approximately 20 minutes, and the piece can be performed as a play or as a dramatic reading. No special scenery or props are needed; only minimal costumes and simple lighting are required.

• It's So Christmas-See! tells the story of a woman in conflict at Christmastime whose memory of past Christmases is jogged by a strange visitor -- resulting in a changed attitude. This one-act drama has speaking parts for six adults and two children.

• The Legend of the North Star (Little Dot Makes a Wish) is an imaginative children's story about a little dot left behind after God created the stars in the sky. The dot wants to be like other stars, so Luminaria, the wisest of all stars, grants the dot its wish and helps it discover its real purpose as the Star of Bethlehem. The story is formatted both as a narrative that can be read by a storyteller and as a play that can be performed by a narrator and numerous children.

• The Fourth Wise Man looks at what a young man recounts to Matthew (the Gospel writer) as the real story of the wise men's journey to Bethlehem. There's humorous interaction between the three familiar wise men and an inscrutable fourth magi who speaks in monosyllables. When they reach their destination, the fourth wise man's life is forever changed by his encounter with the infant Jesus. This contemporary play includes roles for six characters, and can be used in a Christmas Eve (or Epiphany) service or as the centerpiece of a seasonal program. It communicates to audiences that meeting Jesus is a truly life-changing phenomenon -- even when we focus on unimportant details and miss the presence of the Son in our midst.