Tagged the Nativity

The Nativity for Toddlers

christmas-1010749_1280As Christmas is approaching, and it is not the easiest of stories to explain to toddlers, I hereby present my specially adapted Nativity Story for Toddlers.

 
 
The Nativity Story, Adapted for Toddlers

 
A long, long time ago…
(No, not last week. Longer ago than last week. A very, very long time ago. How long? 2000 years. No, that’s quite a lot earlier than yesterday. Yes, earlier than last Tuesday. Earlier than last Monday, too. Never mind.)

A long, long time ago – around last Monday – there was a woman called Mary. Mary was engaged to a man called Joseph…
(It means she was going to marry Joseph. Yes, that is nice. She was probably going to wear a pretty dress, yes.)

Mary and Joseph lived in a town called Nazareth…
(No, that isn’t where Grandma lives. It’s a long way from here. No, further away than Tesco.)

Anyway, they lived in Nazareth – down the road from Grandma – and one day Mary was visited by an angel called Gabriel. The angel Gabriel told Mary not to be afraid, she had been chosen by God, and would become pregnant…
(It means she was going to have a baby. How would she get the baby? Well, that is an excellent question. The Holy Spirit was going to put the baby inside her tummy. Who is the Holy Spirit? Next question! The Holy Spirit is kind of a part of God. It was God’s baby.)

The angel Gabriel told Mary she would become pregnant – AND NOT TO ASK ANY MORE QUESTIONS ABOUT HOW THIS WOULD HAPPEN – and have a baby boy, who she should call Jesus…
(Why was he called Jesus? Because God said so. No, you can’t argue with God.)

The baby Jesus would be God’s son.

Mary told Joseph about the baby. Joseph was worried and wondered if he should still marry Mary… (Why? Well, that’s grown up stuff, really. Let’s not worry about it.)

An angel visited Joseph too, and told him not be worried about marrying Mary. The angel told Joseph that Mary’s baby would be the son of God and would be the Saviour of mankind…
(It means Jesus would save people. No, not from a dragon. What from? Well, that’s a bit complicated. From themselves, really. Well, that means…never mind.)

The Baby Jesus would save mankind – possibly from dragons. Joseph listened to the angel, and married Mary…
(Yes, I’m sure she did wear a pretty dress. No, I don’t have a picture. It’s not really the main point of the story.)

The Roman Emperor Augustus…
(The Romans were in charge of a lot of the world last Monday when this happened, and Augustus was their king.)

The Roman Emperor Augustus ordered everyone to travel to the place where they were born for the census…
(The census was a list of all the people. Augustus wanted a list of all the people so he could make sure that they all paid him money. Yes, it does sound like a good idea. No, you can’t conduct a census. No, I’m not giving you money.)

Mary and Joseph had to travel a long way from Nazareth to Bethlehem for the census, because Joseph was born in Bethlehem…
(Yes, Bethlehem is a long way from Grandma’s house, that’s right.)

Mary and Joseph had to travel very slowly because Mary was going to have her baby very soon, and she had a big tummy. When they arrived in Bethlehem, they could not find anywhere to stay. Everywhere was very busy because of all the people returning for the census…
(No, they couldn’t stay with Grandma. Grandma lives in Nazareth. No, Grandma doesn’t live in Nazareth, what am I talking about? Grandma lives in the Home Counties, nowhere near Nazareth or Bethlehem. She’s also not THAT old.)

The only place Mary and Joseph could find to stay was in the stable of one of the inns, so they made beds for themselves in the straw with all the animals…
(Yes, there was probably a cow. And a pig, yes. And sheep. There might have been a dog. Probably not any penguins, no. Well, penguins don’t live near Bethlehem. No reindeer, either. Yes, this is a Christmas story, but it’s not about Father Christmas. There are no reindeer. No, Father Christmas isn’t going to be in the story. Shall we finish it anyway, as we’ve got this far? I have no idea what the pig was called. It isn’t part of the story. Stanley. The pig was called Stanley. Can we carry on?)

So Mary and Joseph stayed with the animals, and the baby Jesus was born in the stable. The baby Jesus slept in the manger, where the animals ate their hay, because there was no crib…
(No, the animals didn’t eat the baby. I expect they ate their hay somewhere else while the baby Jesus was asleep.)

The Angels visited some shepherds, who were looking after their sheep near Bethlehem, and told them that God’s son had been born and could be found in a manger in the town. So the shepherds went to visit the Baby Jesus…
(Yes, a bit like when you went to visit your baby cousin. No, the shepherds didn’t take the baby Jesus a Sophie giraffe. Yes, you did take Sophie giraffe to your baby cousin. Well, the shepherds didn’t know they were going to be visiting a baby. And there was no Mothercare in Bethlehem.)

The shepherds were very pleased that the baby Jesus had come to save them – possibly from the dragons. They went back to their sheep…
(No, I don’t know the names of the sheep. No, there were too many to name. Fine. Gertrude, Bert, Phyllis, Frank, Cuthbert and Ethel.)

A new star appeared in the sky when Jesus was born. Some wise men saw the star and guessed what it meant…
(How? Because they were wise.)

Anyway, the Wise Men guessed that the star meant a new king had been born, and they began to follow the star to where the baby Jesus lay in his manger. The Wise Men traveled a long way and, on their journey, they stopped in Judea in a city called Jerusalem…
(No, you didn’t go to Jerusalem on Saturday. Yes, I’m sure. That was the soft play. No, it wasn’t the soft play in Jerusalem.)

In Jerusalem, people asked the Wise Men about the baby who would be the saviour and king of mankind. King Herod, who was the king of Judea (and a naughty man), overheard. He was angry because he believed the baby would take his place as king…
(Yes, exactly like when you are angry because your sister wants to be the doctor and you were the doctor.)

Herod called the Wise Men to visit him, and he told them that, when they found the baby Jesus, they should tell him where the baby was so that he could also visit the baby and take him gifts. But this was not really Herod’s plan. Really, Herod planned to kill the baby…
(No, that isn’t very nice, is it?)

The Wise Men followed the star to Bethlehem, and they gave gifts to the Baby Jesus…
(No, not a Sophie giraffe.)

The Wise Men gave the baby Jesus gold, frankincense and myrrh…
(No one knows what myrrh is. No, Frank isn’t Sophie giraffe’s brother. And it’s frankincense.)

The Wise Men were warned by Angels in a dream of Herod’s plan, so they did not return to Jerusalem to tell him where Jesus was. They traveled home a different way so that they would not see Herod… (They went the back way, past Asda, that’s right.)

Joseph was also warned by angels in a dream: he was told that Herod wanted to kill Jesus, and he should escape with Mary and the baby to Egypt…
(It doesn’t matter where Egypt is. Egypt is a different place, not near Nazareth, Bethlehem, Jerusalem or Grandma’s house. )

Mary, Joseph and Jesus fled to Egypt, and stayed until Herod died. King Herod was very angry when he realised that the Wise Men had tricked him. He ordered all baby boys under the age of two in Bethlehem to be killed, in the hope that one of them would be the baby Jesus…
(Yes, a very mean man. No, I don’t think he used poison apples. Yes, he is a bit like the evil queen in Snow White, though. No, I’m sure he didn’t actually manage to kill any babies, don’t worry. Yes, the huntsmen probably let them go…no, that’s Snow White again.)

After Herod died, an angel came to Joseph in a dream once more, and told him that it was safe to return home. Mary, Joseph and Jesus returned to their old town of Nazareth…
(Yes, near Grandma.)