The Left Right Nativity Game is one of my very favorite Christmas party games!
I love that the Left Right Nativity Game encourages:
- The sharing of scripture (albeit a slightly modified version) with those in attendance.
- Fun, friendly group cooperation, rather than individual competition.
I’ve also used left/right stories with our Youth to distribute the gifts in our $5 gift exchange.
You could even use it to determine the winner or one or more Christmas door prize gifts.
Left Right Nativity Story
Group size: 5 or more – can be done in one large circle or multiple smaller circles (if group is larger than 30 people)
Time needed: 20 minutes
Supplies: One gift for each person; one copy of the story below
Instructions: Have everyone grab their gift and form a circle(s) either standing or sitting down. Say: I’ve got a special Christmas story to read to you tonight (today). You’ll need to pay extra close attention so you’ll know when you need to take action. When I read the word RIGHT, you’re going to pass your gift to the RIGHT. When I read the word LEFT, you’re going to pass your gift to the LEFT. When the story is over whichever gift you are holding is yours.
Notes: You will need to read the story VERY slowly and loudly (use a microphone if needed). It helps if you emphasize “left” and “right” as you read. If the gift ends where it began ad lib an extra line: i.e.. “and that’s all that’s left of our story!”. Have a few extra gifts on hand in case someone has forgotten to bring theirs so that no one gets left out. You could also use this story to distribute several door prizes – just scatter them around the circle before you start.
To print this story please click the link below to open up a free PDF file.
Please note this story is based up Luke 1-2 (HCSB) with many liberties taken. My intent was to stick to the scripture as it was written as much as possible.
Left Right Nativity Story (Luke 1-2)
In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent by God RIGHT into a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin name Mary who was engaged to a man named Joseph, of the house of David.
Appearing before Mary with his hands placed on firmly his LEFT and RIGHT hip, the angel declared “Rejoice, favored woman! The Lord is with you.”
Mary, deeply troubled by this statement, uneasily tapped her LEFT foot, wondering what kind of greeting this could be.
The angel sensing Mary’s trouble he told her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. After I have LEFT You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will call His name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.”
Mary looked RIGHT into the angel’s eyes and asked, “How can this be?”
The angel replied to RIGHT back to her: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore, the holy One to be born will be called the Son of God.
“I am the Lord’s slave,” said Mary. “May it be done to me according to your word.”
Then the angel LEFT her.
Not long after the angel LEFT Mary got to work packing for her trip to visit her cousin, Elizabeth, who by the Lord’s grace had become pregnant in her old age.
RIGHT when Mary greeted Elizabeth the baby leaped inside her and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Laying her LEFT hand upon Mary’s belly, Elizabeth exclaimed with a loud cry: “You are the most blessed of women, and your child will be blessed! How could this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For you see, when the sound of your greeting LEFT your mouth and reached my ears, the baby leaped for joy inside me! She who has RIGHTfully believed is blessed because what was spoken to her by the Lord will be fulfilled!”
Mary stayed with Elizabeth RIGHT about three months; then she LEFT and returned to her home.
In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that the whole empire should be registered. So everyone LEFT what they were doing and went to be registered, each to his own town.
Joseph and Mary LEFT the town of Nazareth in Galilee, and headed to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, to be registered. While they were LEFT waiting in Bethlehem the time came for her to give birth. She gave birth to her firstborn Son, and she wrapped Him snugly in cloth and laid Him in a feeding trough—because there was no room LEFT for them at the lodging place.
In the same region, shepherds were staying RIGHT out in the fields and keeping watch to the LEFT and RIGHT at night over their flock. Assuming they had been LEFT all alone in the fields, the shepherds were terrified when an angel of the Lord stood RIGHT before them. But the angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid, for look, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people: Today a Savior, who is Messiah the Lord, was born for you in the city of David. This will be the sign for you: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in cloth and lying RIGHT in a feeding trough.”
Suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host on the LEFT and RIGHT of the angel, praising God and saying: Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to people He favors!
When the angels had LEFT them and returned to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go RIGHT now to Bethlehem and see what has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.”
They hurried RIGHT off and found both Mary and Joseph, and the baby who was lying just LEFT of them in the feeding trough. After seeing them, they LEFT and reported the message they were told about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary was treasuring up all these things RIGHT into her heart and meditating on them. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had seen and heard, just as they had been told.
Just as the shepherds LEFT and shared the good news of the Savior’s birth, so it is our job to share the good news with those God has placed RIGHT in our path.
Note: Should the owner of the gift wind up with their own gift add one more line “And that is all that’s LEFT of our story!”