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Children's play: The Night Before Christmas

Jesus said “Let the children come to me. Do not hinder them. The kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” This passage, from Mathew 19 verse 14  resonates within me as I sit amidst children, at the Ambassadors Theatre in London. Here we have come to watch The Night Before Christmas, a story told through song, poetry and participation that reminds little children and grown ups alike of the wonder and enchantment that surround Christmas time.

We meet a naughty little elf, who has been keeping some of the toys for herself, and we share reflections from Father Christmas, who tells us of his great happiness to have a job making children happy. Through listening to Father Christmas’s stories, and sharing in his happiness, we are reminded of a message at the centre of Christianity; that true joy can be found in giving.

The show finishes with children in the audience visiting Father Christmas to receive a gift. I exit the theatre into the chilly December air. I think of the little children receiving their gifts, and recall that “The Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these”. What a wonderful gift God has offered us through the birth of Christ; we have been made children of God, and the kingdom of heaven has been gifted to us all.

Directed by John Brant, The Night Before Christmas is written by and features John Hester as Father Christmas, with Lizzie Frances playing Elf and is showing at both the Ambassadors Theatre and Epsom Playhouse until Christmas Eve. Call the Box office on 08448 11 23 34 for further details or visit www.theambassadorstheatre.co.uk.