The Best Gift – aka ‘The Dog Story’ – an idea for Christmas services

The Revd Canon Sandra Millar

This short, humorous presentation is ideal for a Christmas service which includes young children, or, it could be used in a Sunday School setting around Christmas time. The presenter will need a toy dog and some items to dress it up; angel wings to stick on, a tea towel with an elastic band (to create a shepherd look), a small toy sheep, a pair of sunglasses that fit the dog, and a small crown.

Begins
“This is my present” (show toy dog).

“He’s going to help us think about presents. Like all of us today he doesn’t just want to get presents, he’s just as excited about giving presents…and especially giving presents to Jesus. He wants to give Jesus the best present he can, so he decided to join the angels, so he can sing a fantastic song of praise, letting everyone know the good news” (show dog wearing wings).

“There is just one problem: he’s a dog. He can’t sing. He only howls! So he can’t be an angel.” (Remove wings)

“Never mind, he thinks. I can be a shepherd.” (Show dog in tea-towel with the sheep. Put on the sunglasses – because he was blinded by the light!)

“I can go with the shepherds to visit Jesus. There is just one problem: he’s a dog. He loves sheep – chasing them, scaring them. So he can’t be a shepherd.” (Remove tea towel etc)

“Never mind, he thinks. I can be the best thing. I can be a King!” (Show dog in crown)

“I can carry some gold coins with me and make Jesus feel really special. There is just one problem: he’s a dog. He loves burying treasure – so he buried all the gold coins deep underground where no one could find them!!” (Remove crown)

“So he can’t be a king. Or a shepherd. Or an angel. But he did so want to take a present to Jesus. With his head and his tail down he slid quietly into the stable where Jesus lay. He wriggled past through all the people right up to the manger. He gave a big doggy sigh, and then did what dogs do best of all. He curled up at the foot of the manger to help keep the baby warm and make him feel safe and special. That’s the best gift of all: the gift of himself, just being who we are and loving God.

“That’s what each one of us can bring to Jesus today: ourselves, whether we are old, bringing all our memories and our wisdom, or whether we are young and bring our energy and excitement, or even a baby, with all our dreams.

“What can I bring him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd I would bring a lamb
If I were a wise man I would play my part
yet what I can I give him?
Give my heart.”

Ends

This presentation is copyright of the Revd Canon Sandra Millar. This Idea and others can be found in Resourcing Christmas – Jumping Fish available through the Diocese of Gloucester.