This short Christmas idea has been very useful and uses a simple cracker. You can ham it up with this one at the beginning by explaining what your Christmas is like, and sitting down at the table with family and friends…if you do. Or maybe you sit alone? Whatever the case, you can turn the cracker illustration into a laugh at the beginning with a serious point at the end if that is how you work. It has the hallmarks of a good assembly I think because it provides a link (the cracker and particularly the crown) that can be remembered actually on Christmas day.
With: a Christmas cracker
Ask what you are holding and when it is used. Describe various different sorts of cracker from cheap ones to expensive ones. They all have a few things in common. Invite someone up to pull the cracker with you.
Show the outside of the cracker. The outside of the cracker is like Christmas is, all wrapped up and looking nice. But until you open it up you can’t get at what is inside. Similarly Christmas has a lot more to it that just looking pretty, it’s what is inside that matters.
Open the cracker. Show the novelty. Some people think that Jesus is just a novelty – that means something that has only temporary appeal or we like for only a short time, and then throw it away as rubbish.
Show the joke or puzzle/riddle. Other people think that Jesus is just a joke. They use his name the wrong way when they swear, or else make jokes about him. They don’t think he is real even though millions of people have and still do believe he is the son of God, and there is masses of evidence to show that he lived, died and rose again. Other people seem to think that his life is just a riddle or a puzzle to be solved.
Show the crown. Who normally wears a crown? A king or a ruler. Jesus actually came as the king of the whole world. During his life he showed us how to follow God. When he died it was so that we could get to know God. More than that, it gave us the right to become children of God! This is what the bible says. And what is the child of a king called? A prince or princess, and they get to wear crowns too.
So this Christmas, when you put on your crown when you are eating, remember that it is to remind you that Jesus is king, and that the bible says that when we follow him and obey his commands, we are princes and princesses, and Jesus is our brother. Perhaps if you can remember, you can tell everyone else around your table at Christmas what the cracker at the table can mean.