Resources for Advent & Christmas

You may also search the online catalog by returning to the Conference Resource Center page and clicking on "View the Catalog."  Items may be searched by title, author, subject and media type. 

A List of Plays And Programs Available:

The Christmas Star:  Easy Christmas dramas, speeches, and recitations for children.  Reproducible

The Really, Really, Really Holy Night:  Easy Christmas dramas, speeches, and recitations for children.  Reproducible

Simply Christmas:  Easy dramas, speeches, and recitations for children

5 Christmas Plays for Children

Glimpses of Heaven:  Christmas Drama Collection

Christmas Bells & Blessings:  All your church needs for the Advent/Christmas season

Christmas Drama Collection:  4 short dramas

Come To Bethlehem and See:  A collection of dramas for children

Christmas Pageants and Plays:  12 complete pageants

Christmas Programs For Children:  Programs for a joyful celebration

The Grumpy Shepherd:  A Christmas Musical

Destination Christmas:  Advent Programs & Practices for Youth

Listed below are Advent and Christmas DVD and VHS videos. 

Advent Calendar on DVD:  25 stories of Christmas traditions - each 3-4 minutes long.  Includes traditions of the wreath, mistletoe, candy cane, Christmas trees, gift-giving and the twelve days of Christmas.  Also tells stories behind Santa Claus, Rudolph, the Nutcracker, Handel's Messiah and the Fourth Wise Man. It also tells the Christmas story found in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke.  120 minutes.  DVD

Advent Conspiracy-Can Christmas Still Change the World?:  Are you fed up with how consumerism has stolen the soul of Christmas?  This year, take a stand!  Join the growing groundswell of Christ-followers who are choosing to make Christmas what it should be-a joyous celebration of Jesus' birth, not a retail circus.  In four compelling sessions, Advent Conspiracy invites individuals, families, groups, and entire churches to substitute compassion for consumerism by practicing four simple but powerful, countercultural concepts:  1. Worship Fully-because Christmas begins and ends with Jesus! 2. Spend Less-and free your resources for things that truly matter. 3. Give More-of your presence: your hands, your words, your time, your heart. 4. Love All-the poor, the forgotten, the marginalized, the sick, in ways that make a difference.  4 sessions on dvd with leader's guide.           60 minutes.  Older Youth/Adult

Alabaster's Song:  An angel, high atop a Christmas tree, unites a boy, his father, and a glorious night long ago in Bethlehem.  Animated. 30 minutes. Elementary.  VHS

ANIMATED STORIES FROM THE NEW TESTAMENT-THE KING IS BORN:  Beginning with Gabriel announcing God's blessed plan for Mary, this DVD brings all the elements of this timeless story to life.  Journey with Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem and witness the humble birth of our Savior together with the shepherds.  The cunning plan of King Herod does not deceive the devoted wisemen, but ultimately it is the Angel who intercedes to warn Joseph and Mary to flee into Egypt.  30 minutes  Elementary  DVD

Best Christmas Pageant Ever:  The nastiest kids in town decide they want to be in this's year's Christmas pageant.  Drama, 60 minutes. All ages.  VHS

Bethlehem Year Zero:  The birth of Jesus and surrounding events are covered by TV news as if it was happening today.  Set in modern times, Christ's birth is seen through the political and social context of events 2000 years ago.  Six 15-minute segments.  Youth/Adults.  VHS 

Book of God:   Storyteller, Walter Wangerin, Jr. brings Biblical stories to life:  1. Creation, 2. Birth of Jesus,  3. The Healing of the Demoniac, 4. The crucifixion of Jesus.  Each segment is 15 minutes. Youth/Adutls.  VHS

Break Forth Into Joy:  People critically examine their search for fulfillment and security through material possessions.  Shows how obsession with buying and owning affects the earth, other people, and the human spirit.  Older youth/Adults.  45 minutes.  May be broken into segments.  VHS & DVD

Charlie's Christmas Project:  A boy is determined to save stray dogs from being put to sleep on Christmas Eve.  Drama, All ages.  24 minutes.  VHS

Charlie's Christmas Secret:  A boy has trouble find the Christmas spirit until he includes some lonely people in his plans.  Drama, All ages.  24 minutes. VHS

A Clear View of the Birth of Jesus:  Rev. Kenneth Baily shares his understanding of the birth of Jesus, as seen through his experience as a teacher in the Middle East for over 40 years.  Four  30 min. sessions:  1. Where Was the Manger and What Was the Inn?  2. Three Surprises:  His Ancestors, Joseph & Herod, 3. Salvation and the Wise Men, 4. Herod's Atrocities and Simeon's Welcome.  120 min. Adults. DVD

A Christmas Carol Bible Study:   Based on Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol," the black and white movie inspires four themes:  Selfishness, Regret, Repentance, and Salvation. Older Youth and Adults. Each session is about 30 minutes.  DVD

The Christmas Messenger:  A kindly stranger, the Christmas angel, returns each year to check on the message. Intergenerational.  25 minutes.  VHS

The First Christmas:  Christopher Plummer narrates a clay-animated version of the traditional story of Jesus' birth. 21 minutes.  All ages.  21 minutes. VHS

Folktales of Peace: Three storytellers tell tales of peace and conflict resolution:  1. Strength: Tale about forest animals and who among them is strongest.  2. Argument Sticks:  An Iroquois mother's wise plan to help her sons resolve an argument.  3. Two Foxes:  The give-and-take of deep friendship.  22 minutes.  All ages.  VHS

The Fourth Wise Man:  Based on Henry Van Dyke's classic: "The Story of the Other Wise Man."  A Magi, named Artaban, spends 33 years searching for the Messiah.  Drama, Youth/Adults.  72 min. VHS

Go Look In The Manger:  Christmas 1966 is the setting for an animated tale based on a true Christmas story.  A young boy's misadventures almost cost him his Christmas presents, until he receives the gifts of love and forgiveness.  Children & intergenerational.  30 minutes.  VHS

The Innkeepers:  A Christmas story told through the eyes of the innkeeper and his wife.  Puppets.  Children   30 minutes.  VHS

Jacob's Gift:   Set at the time of Jesus,' birth.  A boy sacrifices his chances to win a woodworking contest, in order to do a kindness for a family with a newborn baby.  Drama, All ages.  30 minutes.  VHS

Jesus and His Times:  Tells the story of Jesus's birth, life and death with commentary, photography, famous paintings and drama.  Three 60 minute tapes:  1. The Story Begins, 2. Among the People, 3. Final Days.  Adults.  VHS

Jesus of Nazareth:  A Franco Zefferelli film on the Life of Jesus from birth to the resurrection.  371 minutes.  Youth/Adults.  VHS

Keeper of the Peace:  A Jewish woman and a Roman soldier find themselves together in a stable at the time of Jesus' birth.  They are both drawn to the Christ child, and they are both changed personally and spiritually.  22 minutes.  Youth/Adults.  VHS

Legend of the Three Trees:  The classic folktale of three distinct trees that aspire to greatness.  None of their dreams are realized until, one by one, they interact with Jesus in his birth, ministry and ultimate sacrifice.  Ages five and up.  30 minutes.  VHS,  DVD

Lighting the Way:  A multi-cultural video featuring four young people and their families as they share in the celebrations of Kwanzaa, La Posada, Hanukkah, and Christmas.  25 minutes. Ages six and up. VHS

The Life of Jesus:   Six in-depth studies connecting the Bible to Life:  Birthday Surprises, John Prepares the Way, The Victorious Son of God, Fishing With the Master, Disease Conquered, Defeating the Enemy.  DVD with leader and participant guide  170 minutes  Adult

The Life Of Mary:  This DVD-driven Bible study unfolds Mary's life and transforms it for a 21st-century audience with teaching by Margaret Feinberg.  With powerful lessons and excellent teaching, each DVD clip walks with Mary on her faith journey through unbelievable events that usher in the birth of Jesus Christ. Includes leader’s guide.  From the opening scene of a teenager nervously checking the results of a home pregnancy test to a closing scene where Jesus’ life, death and Resurrection are reflected upon while toddlers play in a park, viewers will be pulled into Mary’s story. While each session is short, this modern-day retelling is sure to spark reflection and discussion.  Youth/Adult 

The Lion and the Lamb:  Christopher Reeve and Amy Grant relate the story of an escaped lion and a newborn lamb who teach a brother and sister the true spirit of Christmas.  Animation.  Elem. 24 min. VHS

Martin and the Heavenly Tree:  Children of all ages will love this tale of the origin of the Christmas tree.  Set in Germany in the early 16th century, Martin and the Heavenly Tree whimsically tells the story if the imaginative young boy who brought an evergreen inside for the Chrstmas celebration.  The beautifully illustrated tale of the "tree that points to heaven" is sure to be a holiday favorite.  23 minutes  Elementary DVD

Martin the Cobbler:  The parable of a lonely man who dreams Christ will visit him.  He despairs when only people in need come, until he realizes that Christ was present in every person who visited him.  Claymation.  27 min.  Ages 8 and up.  VHS

Matthew:  Dramatization of the New International Version of the book of Matthew.  Includes Matthew's version of the birth story.  480 minutes.   Youth/Adults. DVD

Mary Had a Baby, Amen!  The story of Jesus' birth is told to Simon, the rhyming mouse, who invites children back in time to experience the first Chrismas.  15 minutes.  Ages 3-8.  VHS

The Mouse in the Manger:  A mouse leaves home when his father won't give him extra hay.  His adventure leads to a quiet stable in Bethlehem.  Nine minutes.  Ages 3-8.  VHS

Mr. Krueger's Christmas:  Jimmy Stewart stars in the story of a lonely man whose Christmas fantasies come true.  Drama,  25 minutes.  All ages.  VHS

Nativity: The Art and Spirit of the Creche:  The history, art and spirituality of the creche, the second most recognized symbol of Christianity, after the cross.  Theologians and collectors share an astonishing beautiful array of nativity scenes collected from around the globe. 30 minutes. Older Youth/Adults. DVD

Noel:  A Christmas tree ornament comes to life, through the magic of a glass blower's love.  Over the years, the ornament delights all ages and warms the Christmas season.  25 minutes.  Ages 3 and up. VHS

The Purpose of Christmas:  Teaching from the Gospel of Luke in three sessions, Rick Warren helps you see not one but three purposes of Christmas announced by the angel at the birth of Jesus.  You will discover why Christmas is God's idea and why Jesus is the greatest gift God gave to the world.  Once you understand the purpose of Christmas, your life will never be the same.  The three sessions include:  Christmas is a Time for Celebration, Christmas is a Time for Salvation, Christmas is a Time for Reconciliation.  85 minutes. Older Youth/Adult.  DVD

Red Boots for Christmas:  A lonely shoemaker mocks Christmas, until he is visited by an angel who promises a very special gift.  He crafts a fine pair of red boots and soon learns the joy of sharing and fellowship.  Annimated.  30 minutes.  Elementary.  VHS

Rough Edges:  The chance encounter between two women from "different sides of the tracks" results in the one with little giving to the one who has much.  Drama, 24 minutes.  Youth/Adults.  VHS
 

Royal Crown:  The King is Born:  The traditional Christmas story is told in contemporary language through the experiences and feelings of Mary and Joseph.  20 minutes.  Elementary.  VHS

A Savior is Born:  Has Christmas lost it's significance?  It's one of the most familiar stories in human history:  the birth of Jesus in a lowly manger in Bethlehem.  A Savior, which is Christ the Lord.  Yet, how can we prepare our hearts to celebrate the birth of our Savior in our frantic, consumer-driven society?  How do we make sure the Christmas holiday remains a Holy Day?  In each of these four Advent sessions, viewers will experiencecinematic short films that capture events surrounding the birth of Jesus Christ.  Then Pete Briscoe will open up Scripture to bring us back to the roots and heart of our faith in Christ.  60 minutes Adult  DVD

The Savior is Born:  An inspiring musical score and Morgan Freeman's poignant narration capture the power and beauty of the first Christmas.  28 minutes.  Elementary.  DVD

Silent Mouse:  Lynn Redgrave narrates the story of a mouse and its part in the creation of the Christmas Carol, "Silent Night."  Drama, 60 minutes.  Elem/Youth/Adults.  VHS

The Stableboy's Christmas:  The Christmas Story is retold through the eyes of a stableboy.  Drama. 27 minutes.  Elem/Youth/Adults.  VHS

The Search for Jesus:  Peter Jennings' visit to the Holy Land and his report on the culture, life and influence of Jesus. Included are his interviews with people of faith, archaeologists, and Bible scholars. May be shown in four segments.  60 minutes.  Older Youth/Adults.  VHS 

The Storykeeper:  Video II, Episode 6:  Starlight Escape - Children, trying to survive the persecution of Christians in 64 A.D. hear the stories of the Announcement, Birth of Jesus, Flight into Egypt an The Magi.  Animated.  30 minutes.  Elementary.  VHS

The Story of the Selfish Giant:  A grandfather uses Oscar Wild's timeless tale, The Story of the Selfish Giant, to unlock the true meaning of Christmas for his granddaughter.  As the selfish giant learns in this story of love and sacrifice, God's unselfish gift encourages us to fill with joy.  25 minutes  Elementary  DVD

The True Christmas Story:  "Herod the Great and Jesus the King."  Ray Vander Laan weaves the archaeological evidence with biblical teachings to contrast two kings.  Adult. 60 minutes.  DVD

Veggie Tales:  The Toy That Saved Christmas:  A doll sneaks away from a toy factory to save Christmas from consumerism and greed.  Ages 3 and up.  30 minutes.  VHS

The Visit:  A musical interpretation of Luke 1: 39-56, which tells of Mary's visit to her cousin Elizabeth.  The women of Calabash perform the song of praise.  "The Magnificat,"  Youth/Adults. 8 min. VHS

The Visitor:  A contemporary adaptation of Tolstoy's short story "Where Love Is".  Tells the story of a cobbler named Martin, who discovers that Christ comes to him, as he reaches out to help people in need.                    30 minutes.  VHS

The Visual Bible for Kids:  Part I:  The Birth of Jesus:  The words of Matthew and Luke come to life as Kirk Cameron read the Christmas story.  Ages 6 and up.  30 minutes.  DVD

Listed below are other studies available that are recommended for Advent:

Curing Affluenza with Tony Campolo:  Many of us are ready to simplify our lives, but who has the time to do it?  Or the will!  Or the know-how!  Affluenza is defined as the American epidemic of shopping, overwork, debt, and the pursuit of money.  Tony tackles the subjects of our money, our time, and our stuff.  He tells us that we must simplify in order to live fully and that simplicity is a path to the abundant life Jesus said he came to bring.  The six sessions on video with study guide include: 1. Abundant Life:  What Is It, 2. Money:  How Poor Does Jesus Want Us To be?, 3. Time:  How Much Money Do I Have To Give Away, 4.  Stuff:  How Much Can I Have, 5.  Support:  What Will Help, 6. Next:  What Do I Do Come Monday Morning?  Young Adult/Adult. 23-24 minutes each.  VHS & DVD 

Countering Pharaoh's Production-Consumption Society Today:  Walter Brueggemann leads five sessions:  1. The Way Out, 2. The Decalogue, 3. Countering Caesar, 4. An Act of Imagination, 5. On Not Doing God Any Favors.  Adult.  20 minutes each.  DVD 

Servant or Sucker: Wise and Compassionate Ways to Help The Poor:  We've all been there.  Someone, obviously poor or homeless, approaches you and asks for mney.  What do you do?  Do you give money, knowing it may be used on drugs or alcohol or do you say "no" or even ignore the person as you walk by?  No one wants to be a sucker in these situations but at the same time Jesus' call to help the poor echoes in our hearts and minds.  This 5 session series helps viewers discern appropriate, Christ-centered actions when it comes to addressing poverty on a personal or organizational level.  Included are realities of poverty such as the concepts of time, relationships, money and values; a "poverty tour"; interviews with those who are homeless or poor; interviews with those who have helped and/have been suckered; and steps viewers can take to be an effective servant without getting suckered.  Each DVD portion is 10-15 minutes with leader's guide.

Simply Enough:  Tony Campolo & Shane Claiborne have created an intensely personal dialog about the foundations of the Christian life and voluntary simplicity.  This pointed yet hopeful video has current relevence to the yearnings of today's Christian.  The 6 topics discussed are Lifestyle, Food, Celebrations, Stuff, Money, and Justice.  Youth/Adult.  110 total minutes.  DVD

Start Becoming A Good Samaritan:  Love your neighbor, change the world.  This program was created to help us live out Christ's love in world-changing ways, right now, right where we live.  It will take you out of your comfort zone and into the mean streets of life where you can begin to bring hope to those suffering from poverty, social injustice, disease, oppression, and more…6 sessions DVD

Print Studies available :

The Best Songs Come At Night by J. Ellsworth Kalas-This is a 4-week thematic study with one lesson for each week of Advent.  Each includes a key Scripture, a brief reflection, discussion and reflection questions, a brief prayer, and a focus for the coming week.  The four chapters are: Miracles Begin as Babies, The Best Songs Come At Night, Wise Men Follow A Star, Christmas Lasts Longer Than You Think.  $7.00ea

Christmas From The Backside by J. Ellsworth Kalas:  Using an approach similar to his other “BackSide” books, Kalas crafts new insights into the scriptures of the Christmas story by looking at them from the “back side” –  ...taking unique starting points...creative re-telling from different views...examining the story through new “lenses”...or looking through the eyes of a not-so-familiar character. 7 chapters with study guide  $7.00ea.

Christmas Gifts That Won't Break:  Hope, Joy, Love, and Peace-This 4 week study has components for children, youth, and adults and celebrates the Christmas gifts that will never wear out or go missing.

Worship Feast-Advent & Christmas:   Worship Feast Advent is the next in the popular Worship Feast line. Worship Feast Advent takes youth groups from 1st Sunday of Advent through Epiphany, experiential worship outlines. The book also contains 7 worship openers for Sunday school classes and other settings. To deepen the Advent & Christmas journey even more, Worship Feast Advent includes 7 original Advent Christmas-themed worship songs on audio CD and printed lyrics with chords. Worship Feast Advent is a resource for youth groups and postmodern worship communities. Through these multi-sensory worship and prayer experiences, young people will sing together, wait together, pray together, and together prepare room in their hearts for the coming of the Christ Child. The project includes a prayer station experience around the lighting of the Advent candles and an audio CD of original Advent and Christmas-themed worship songs for groups to sing together.  $15.20

What Do You Want For Christmas?-It’s a question that gets asked often as the holiday season approaches and Christmas draws near. And if we’re honest, much of the time when we think about how we would answer that question, we have material things on our mind. Author James W. Moore invites you to explore the question on a deeper level. Deep down, what do you really want for Christmas? Does your heart long for the gifts the Christ child brings—the type of gifts that money can’t buy? This four-week study, appropriate for both group and individual use, provides an introduction and one lesson for each week of Advent. Each lesson includes a reference to a key passage of Scripture, a brief reflection, study/discussion questions, a brief prayer, and a focus for the coming week.