Would you like to be in a Christmas pageant? The story takes place mostly in a stable in Bethlehem. There's a bright guiding star in the story, and lots of angels who tell people what to do, and help them not to be afraid.
The most important character in the story is the baby Jesus, of course. He was God's Son, who came to show us all God's love and how we're God's sons and daughters. But there are other important characters, too.
Mary was the mom. The Bible says she "found favour with God." That means God was pleased with her, and so she was to be mother to the baby Jesus. Mary was willing to love and care for the baby.
Joseph wasn't the father of Jesus. God was. So Joseph really had to put off pride and his own desires before he could take care of Mary and the baby. But he did. He kept listening to God. So he was able to find that stable and manger for the baby, and later he took Mary and Jesus away from the jealous King Herod to a safe place.
The shepherds in the story were awake, watching their sheep the night Jesus was born. Because they were alert and carefully protecting their sheep, they heard the angels singing about the baby's birth, telling them where to find Jesus. The shepherds didn't waste any time to go and find Mary and Joseph and the baby. Afterward, they told everyone about seeing Jesus, the Saviour.
Those wise men (sometimes they're called kings) in the story had seen a star and followed it to find Jesus. They were sure he was going to be a king, so they brought him precious gifts. When they left, they didn't let Herod know how to find the baby Jesus.
You could do a once-a-year Christmas pageant. Lots of people do. What character would you most like to be?
But you know, the really good things about Christmas are true every day. So you can have a Christmas pageant any time. You might not have props and costumes, but you can act like each of the characters every day. Then Christmas will always be with you.
You can be like Jesus and be sure that God is your Father, and that He loves you dearly. You might even tell others about how God loves them, and about how God is their Father, too.
You can be like Mary by being willing to do what God wants you to do. (Boys can do this too, of course.) You can be ready to love and care for other kids. You might give someone a hug, or say "Great job" when they need it. You can help someone do a hard thing, and be there for them when things are tough.
When you're like Joseph (and girls can be Joseph), you'll be putting down all those "self" things - like selfishness and self-consciousness. You won't be worried about what other kids think or what they expect you to do. You'll just want to listen to God. With God's help you can do whatever you need to do that is right and kind and good.
Being a shepherd means you'll be watching out for your brother or sister and your friends to help when they need help. You can be responsible by doing all the work that you're expected to do. Mostly, you can guard your thinking so that nothing bad sneaks in. You can stay wide awake so you'll hear God's angels speaking in your thoughts. God will always tell you where to go or what to do to be happy.
You can be a wise man (or a wise woman). Those wise men had lots of things. But they weren't too impressed with their things, or too busy being wise, or feeling too important to drop everything to go on that journey. You can take a spiritual journey every day to find the Christ child. Reading the Bible or a book about the Bible, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy, will help you know about Jesus and his teachings and his healing works. God might not use a star, but he will show you the way on your spiritual journey. You will know how to be safe and happy and good.
In your own Christmas pageant, you could be just one character every day, or you could play all the character parts. Whatever you decide to do, you'll have fun being in this Christmas pageant.