Every December, the CUCC Sunday school children present a Christmas pageant, a dramatized account of the nativity. The scripts—original or adapted from an existing work—are written by members of the congregation. Rehearsals from mid-November through early December take place during Sunday school time. The pageants are open to participants of all ages, many of them volunteering the day of the performance as nativity characters. YouTube links for our most recent pageants are listed at the bottom of this page.
Christmas Pageant Jeopardy!: A Retrospective (Inspired by the television game show, Jeopardy!) Alex Trebek is hosting a special holiday broadcast of the game show, Jeopardy!. Two Sunday school kids from CUCC are taking on Watson, IBM’s super-smart supercomputer. The kids’ superior knowledge of Christmas pageant history and trivia makes the AI genius the underdog. But Watson has a few technological tricks up his sleeve to put himself on the scoreboard. Nevertheless, at the end of the round Watson is trailing and the kids can win handily. When the kids get tripped up by the Final Jeopardy! clue, “The real meaning of Christmas”, Watson digs deep into his memory banks for the answer. As he tells the Christmas story, the Nativity scene fills with pageant characters past and present. Watson is delighted and the pageant wraps with a reprise of Pharrell Williams’ Happy.
2016: Ghosttrusters – Keeping Ghou’All Connected (Inspired by the 1984 Ghostbusters movie; performed as an Epiphany Pageant on January 8, 2017) The Ghosttrusters—Drs. Scholltz, Evangler, and Shaughnemore—are interdimensional communications consultants. After giving advice to an aspiring but meek contestant on Heaven’s Angel Idol, they acquire a new client with a big message in need of a big audience. By hacking the Pokemon Go game and recruiting Prince, David Bowie, Gene Wilder, John Lennon and Elvis to stand in as the Wise Men, they transform a live Nativity into a popular Pokestop. And the Fab Five’s gift to the baby Jesus? A karaoke rendition of Lennon’s Happy Xmas and a message for us: to do what we can to make the new year a good one without any fear.
2015: Star Wars: Episode VI.01 – Return of the Magi (Inspired by the sci-fi movies Star Wars and Back to the Future) Peace and posterity elude the New Republic after its victory over the Galactic Empire. In the midst of the turmoil, an unusual artifact is recovered from the wreckage of an intergalactic probe. It is a greeting card with a picture of the Christmas star in the Earth’s night sky and an inscription that reads “Wise Men Still Seek the Prince of Peace.” In an effort to bring lasting peace to the galaxy, Chancellor Orion sends Luke, Leia and Lando on a mission back in time to find the Prince of Peace. With the help of Han, Chewbacca, C-3PO, and R2D2, the friends travel across the space-time continuum to 6 B.C. Earth where the promise of the Nativity awaits. The cantina band, choir, and cast performed Jesus B. Goode, a version of Johnny B. Goode by Chuck Berry with modified lyrics. 2015 Return of the Magi
2014: It’s a Wonderful Afterlife (Inspired by the movies It’s a Wonderful Life and The Adjustment Bureau with characters from the movie Despicable Me) Gru is stuck in heaven’s waiting room after a tragic accident. In order to earn his wings and enter heaven, Gru accepts God’s challenge to come up with a scheme to get people thinking about the true meaning of Christmas. With the help of other angels, his minions, his adopted daughter Margo, and his gadget man, Dr. Nefario—Gru uses social media to orchestrate a flash mob nativity in Times Square that ends with the crowd singing a Christmas-themed version of Pharrell Williams’ song Happy. The YouTube video goes viral overnight and Gru earns his wings. 2014 It’s a Wonderful Afterlife
2013: A Krusty Krab Christmas Coral (Based on A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens with characters from the Nickelodeon show, SpongeBob SquarePants, created by Stephen Hillenburg) Mr. Krabs’ love of money drives him to fire his loyal employee, SpongeBob, when he fails to find a decent Christmas coral to display at the Krusty Krab on Christmas Eve. After late-night visits from three ghosts who take him on a tour of his past, present, and future, Mr. Krabs learns that Christmas is about more than making money—it’s about treating others kindly. 2013 Krusty Krab Christmas Coral
2012: Horton Hears a Hark! (Adapted from Dr. Seuss’s Horton Hears a Who! and The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, and Seussical by Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens) Horton the elephant befriends Sunday school children who are rehearsing their Christmas pageant at Whoville Church on a speck of dust. When the Jungle of Nool creatures hear that Horton is talking to a dust speck, they take matters into their own hands. In the end, it’s the Grinch who saves the pageant and reminds them of the true meaning of Christmas. After all, a pageant’s a pageant, no matter how small. 2012 Horton Hears a Hark
2011: A Very Harry Christmas (Based on the Harry Potter series created by J.K. Rowling) Hermione plans to spend Christmas Eve at Hogwarts Castle with Harry and Ron but she can’t find them anywhere. In the Room of Requirement she finds Dobby decorating for the holidays even though he doesn’t know the true meaning of Christmas. With the help of other famous Hogwarts residents who pop in, Hermione tells the story of Christmas. In the end, Dobby wins his freedom, Gryffindor wins the House Cup, and Hermione gets her wish—to celebrate Christmas with all of her dearest friends. This pageant, billed by the Sunday school as the most popular to date, owes much of its success to the many Potterphiles in the congregation who contributed props, costumes and their enduring enthusiasm. 2011 A Very Harry Christmas
2010: Not Another Boring Christmas Play?! The Sunday school students don’t like putting on a lame Christmas pageant every year. The teachers decide to risk letting the kids take matters into their own hands. The older kids lead the younger children in a 3-act play, which includes a “Sugar Plum Fairy” ballet, a drum corps performance accompanied by Nutcracker music, and a Reggae-inspired performance of Go Tell It on the Mountain. At the end they all join the nativity scene because “even free-spirited kids like some tradition … and grown-ups like a good, if somewhat chaotic, nativity scene.”
2009: Finding the Christmas Story in a Song Mrs. Harris is hosting a house full of rowdy neighborhood children on a rainy December day. She asks the oldest child to read them a book about the real story of Christmas. Out of a pile of popular Christmas books they find a book of carols. Many are familiar and, as they sing the songs and dress up as the characters, they realize that they are bringing the Christmas story to life. [Performance was cancelled due to snow.]
2008: A Charlie Brown Christmas (Written by Charles Schulz and produced as a television show in 1965) Amid all the commercialization of Christmas, Charlie Brown tries to reconnect with the true meaning of Christmas. In a departure from simpler staging of previous years, A Charlie Brown Christmas featured painted set pieces and props made of cardboard, live musical accompaniment provided by our music director, and the musical number Christmas Time is Here.
2007: ’Twas the Night An eclectic group of shoppers is waiting to see Santa in a suburban shopping mall on Christmas Eve. Suddenly, hosts of angels appear to tell them that Jesus is born. It takes a band of shepherds, who were also visited by the angels, to convince the shoppers to travel to Bethlehem. When they arrive at the stable, the shoppers learn that the real gift of Christmas is not something that can be bought.
2006: The Animals’ Christmas (Adapted from a story by Avril Rowlands) The nativity story unfolds from the perspective of the stable animals as uninvited guests arrive. It’s a very crowded stable on Christmas night and tempers flare, particularly that of an ornery old ox. But the birth of Jesus brings peace to the stable so that everyone can share the joy of Christmas.
2005: The Gift of the Presents A frazzled mom isn’t holding up well under the holiday pressure. With a little help and guidance from a host of Christmas presents—including Faith, Hope, Joy, Love, and Peace—she rediscovers the true meaning of Christmas and welcomes the baby Jesus and his promise.
2004: Recognizing Jesus When a mysterious couple and their newborn baby seek shelter in a barn on a cold December night, a nosey innkeeper and his family let their curiosity get the better of them. Sneaking in to take a peek at the baby, they discover that they all resemble him in some way and that God sent the baby to show them that they can be like Jesus, too.
Links to CUCC Christmas pageants on YouTube:
Star Wars: Episode VI.01 – Return of the Magi – 2015
Return of the Magi – 2015 Christmas Pageant at CUCC
It’s a Wonderful Afterlife – 2014
It’s a Wonderful Afterlife, Part 1 – 2014 Christmas Pageant at CUCC
It’s a Wonderful Afterlife, Part 2 – 2014 Christmas Pageant at CUCC
A Krusty Krab Christmas Coral – 2013
A Krusty Krab Christmas Coral – 2013 Christmas Pageant at CUCC
Horton Hears a Hark! – 2012
Horton Hears a Hark! – 2012 Christmas Pageant at CUCC
A Very Harry Christmas – 2011
A Very Harry Christmas – 2011 Christmas Pageant at CUCC
The Animals’ Christmas – 2006
The very end of the pageant is captured in this video:
The Animals’ Christmas – 2006 Christmas Pageant at CUCC