Follow the clues to build up the Christingle bit by bit and find out what each part means. As the elements are found and brought up, you can assemble larger versions on a giant Christingle at the front or a PowerPoint.
If you are doing this for a school, choose two or three volunteers to search for each treasure to avoid utter mayhem. Reward all the volunteers whether or not they find the treasure. Volunteers can stay to read the next clue.
You will need:
- Giant Christingle or images of Christingle parts (optional)
- An orange
- Small bags of sweets – one to be found and others to reward children who find treasures and read clues
- Four sticks or barbeque skewers
- A length of red ribbon
- A large candle – possibly the one for your giant Christingle
- Clues printed out and hidden around the room with corresponding elements of the Christingle [click here for printable PDF]
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Setting up the treasure hunt
Start with clue 1 in your pocket.
- Tape clue 2 to the orange and hide them by a table.
- Tape clue 3 to one of the packets of sweets and hide them in the top of the vicar’s boot perhaps, or behind your feet when everyone is distracted.
- Tape clue 4 to the sticks and hide them by the door.
- Tape clue 5 to the ribbon and hide them under a chair.
- Hide the candle by a window.
This script, and many other Christingle resources, will be available as a book this time next year. Put it on your shopping list!
And, while we’re here, don’t forget that my best-selling Advent devotions for all ages (and that does not mean ‘for the kiddies’) is available to buy in large-format paperback from Amazon and shortly, you favourite bricks-and-mortar bookshop, too!
How it works
Start by reading out clue 1. (If you are using volunteer searchers, choose them before you read out the clues.)
First, we need something that’s round, like the world,
Smaller than football, but bigger than pearl.
Coloured the same as a wintery bird,
Close to a table, it’s hiding, I’ve heard.
Encourage the children to look for something round and orange on or under a table. When they find it, have them bring it to the front and reward them with a small bag of sweets.
Produce the big orange from your giant Christingle (or a small version, or show your first PP slide of an orange) and talk for a couple of minutes about how God made and loves his wonderful world and all the people in it.
Have a child read the clue that came with the orange.
God’s world is lovely, it’s full of good things,
Family, friends and the love that they bring.
So our next treasure is tasty to eat.
Find it concealed behind somebody’s feet!
Encourage the children to look for something tasty. When they find it, they can keep the sweets in return for the clue.
Produce the fruits / sweets for your giant Christingle and talk for about all the good things we enjoy particularly at Christmas – food and family, friends and fun. God delights to give us good things and we can thank God for all his blessings.
Have a child read the clue that came with the sweets.
Now we need four things to hold them up high.
Four for the seasons that govern our time,
And the directions of South, West, East, North.
All time and space can be found by the door.
Encourage the children to look for four things by the door. When they find it, swap the sticks for a small bag of sweets.
Put fruits / sweets on skewers or cocktail sticks and place them in your giant Christingle. Talk about how they represent the four seasons, meaning that God is with us all the time, and the four directions, so God is with us everywhere.
Have a child read the clue that came with the sticks.
All round the middle goes something that’s long.
Red, for the things in the world that are wrong.
Things that are broken, that Jesus can mend.
Hiding now under the chair of a friend.
Encourage the children to look for something red underneath a chair. When they find it, swap the ribbon for a small bag of sweets.
Put the red ribbon around your Christingle and talk about how red warns us of danger and means stop. God’s wonderful world is broken and there are bad things. But the red also reminds us of Jesus, who was born as a baby at Christmas and who died at the first Easter to mend the broken-ness and make God’s world whole and heathy again. The ribbon reminds us of a gift, because Jesus is God’s Christmas present to us.
Have a child read the clue that came with the ribbon.
Finally, something to show us the light,
Good News that came on the first Christmas night.
Mending our broken-ness, now and for ever.
Look by the window to find Christmas treasure.
Encourage the children to look for something that gives light. When they find it, swap the candle for a small bag of sweets.
Put the candle on the top of your Christingle, light it and talk about Jesus, the one who brings us light for ever.
The word Christingle comes from Christ + kind (child in German) and it is a tradition from the Moravian Church. You can find out more at this link. Here is a snippet from their website:
The idea of the Christingle began in the Moravian congregation of Marienborn, Germany, in 1747. At a children’s service, each child received a lighted wax candle, tied round with a red ribbon. The symbolism developed in our modern Christingle, and as the candle are lit in a darkened church, the visual symbol of the Christingle expresses the truth that in the darkness of the world there shines a great light.