Ahh, Christmas. The seasonal vibe, the cute decorations, houses lit up at night and the weight of our children’s enormous expectations heavy in the air. Will it all go south, or will the day live up to all the hype? Come, Christmas day come. So, we can breathe a sigh of relief and sleep.
Most years we do fine.
Christmas is a great memory for me. My parents made it special.
Birthdays are often worse don’t you think?
Well, it is if you’re anything like me as a child. How can anyone possibly enjoy seeing their siblings get such great presents and attention while you sit there and watch?
C’mon, you were the same…weren’t you?
‘Someone’s shinin’ brighter than me
Has attention of others you see
My heart’s full of jealousy
Can’t be happy for their glory…’
I wrote this charcoal sketch of a rap for one of Anton’s Christmas shows called ‘Star Struck’ some years ago.
The song that came out of that show, called ‘Shine a Light’ was more of a nursery rhyme; but then rap has a lot of affinity with nursery rhyme. ‘Shine a Light’ took its cue from the heart of envy that lies in King Herod at the birth of Jesus.
It's easy for all the attention to be in the wrong location.
The show seeks to answer, 'What's the antidote to envy?'
Shine a light on our hearts; shine a light on our Saviour
Christmas after all is a big, big birthday celebration.
It’s easy to look down on poor old king Herod. Bitter, twisted, greying, wrinkly old dude fading into oblivion, jealously guarding his throne and assassinated any rivals including a wife and two sons. It’s not surprising he couldn’t bear to share the light with some little baby in Bethlehem.
But we are not so different. Equally prone to making ourselves the centre of the universe, when in fact the little baby in a manger is the centre of the universe.
Have you booked your Christmas show from Anton yet?
This year Anton’s Antics will be performing the Christmas show ‘Star Struck’ based on Matthew’s gospel, chapter 2. We dive down the fun little rabbit hole of kid’s mad love for presents on Christmas day and tie that together with Herod’s own self-absorption. How do we re-surface? Well you’ll have to book a show, wait for the video course or figure it out yourself from Matthew’s gospel!
In previous years I’ve used three drawings, but this year, we’ve been making videos, and this has forced me to look afresh at some of the live shows and work out how to present them on video. While three drawings work well live, I wanted a punchier video format, and this has meant keeping the story to one drawing, or at least one page. I hope to release a video course based around the show in a short while.
Anton’s got songs!
Another exciting development is that I’m finishing some songs!
Anton’s Antics has been performing live with demos for about 7 years. Yep. Hard to believe that in all this time I haven’t finished the songs into an album.
‘Shine a light’ was probably the second or third rap I ever wrote for Skito. It’s more of a charcoal sketch lyrically, but the beat is pretty tasty and the chorus, contagious. We’re finally getting the song finished with some kids in the vocals and experimenting with some new ideas as well. I hope to release the song in the weeks leading up to Christmas 2017.
Christmas Sticker Stories for your kid’s ministries or home
Many people, schools and churches over the years have gotten great mileage out of Anton’s Sticker Stories.
They don’t just fill in time while adults are in church; they truly rock by engaging kids and teaching them the Christmas stories at their level. No-one can resist the cool stickers that you stick into the story on each page.
Star Struck is one of the Christmas focused stories.
What’s in a sticker story? Glad you asked: Four A5 pages, colour in, mini story booklets that are full of fun activities and stickers that kids place into the story as they complete each page. Each sticker story is of exceptional quality both in terms of story, graphics, activities and quality of materials used.
Make sure you order your sticker story packs today!
(NB: Overseas buyers, you’ll need to contact me via email to arrange your freight costs and payment via invoice using EFT
Unfortunately, the school age version of Star Struck is currently out of print (well, I have about 4 packs left to anyone who’s quick and wants to shoot me an email)
Postscript: Christmas is about honouring the majesty in a manger. The lion curled up as a lamb. The question Matthew’s gospel really poses in the ‘Star Struck’ episode is ‘How do you view Him?’ ‘What is your appraisal of the boy in the manger?
Whatever you decide to use to teach the kids this Christmas, make sure you 'shine a light' on the majesty of Jesus. It's not a time to bang on about his crucifixion or his atoning death; though that may get a mention. Remember to stick with the season and the texts about Jesus' birth. These texts ofcourse do foreshadow his 'servant-messiah' future, but their accent is on his majesty and fulfilment of eternal hopes for mankind.
Check out all the sticker stories in our Anton’s Christmas series and Order here:
The Shepherd and the King http://antonsantics.com/index.php?option=com_mijoshop&route=product/search&search=the%20shepherd
Who’s For You?