The Nativity: OK for little ones?

After reading this yesterday, hubby and I decided to take the whole family to see The Nativity today.

Wow, it was wonderful! The music, the setting, the costumes, the story.

((Go see it!))

Edited to add: Jen asked about the suitability of the movie for preschoolers. We took everyone, including our 2 and 4 year olds, and I did have a couple moments where I wondered if we should have brought the youngest two. If your preschoolers are extremely sensitive, you might consider leaving them home, or perhaps wait until you can buy the movie on DVD, since the impact is less on a small screen.

The worst moments were two intense scenes where soldiers tore children away from screaming parents. Both times my 4 year old was distressed and buried her head in my chest. My two year old was too little to understand, though I did cover her eyes twice. I was glad that both scenes were brief.

Animals were sacrificed– also potentially upsetting to a child, but again, the scenes were brief– just as I was thinking of covering their eyes, the scenes were done.

Also there were 2 birth scenes, during which the women were loud and obviously in distress. I explained to my 4 year old that it hurts to have a baby, but that when the baby comes out the mom is happy. I personally am comfortable with talking with my children about birth, and this was not a problem in my mind.

In my mind the good far outweighed the bad. Part way through the movie my four year old turned to me and said, “Mommy! We have a REAL Jesus! We just can’t see him right now!”

She of course was only seeing a depiction of the Bible story. But the movie made Jesus real in her mind. Wow. It is a powerful experience. We plan to buy this movie and will doubtless let our little ones watch it again.


  1. “the whole family” – did you take the little ones, and what did they think? I’m dying to see it (and we just don’t see movies) . . . but with a five and three year old . . . ????

  2. Interesting… The movie didn’t get such good reviews (as far as I saw) … but maybe it wasn’t a “hollywood kind” of *great* movie but more of a “way to bring the whole story to life for the kids” movie
    and you know what that’s my kind of movie
    thanks for the recommondation!

  3. Yeah, I wouldn’t expect Hollywood to make a big hoopla over it. but we loved it.

    The attention to detail was amazing, and I choked up 3 different times…even though I am not much of a cry-er…

  4. Totally loved the movie – saw it twice and would go again. Forget Hollywood reviews – it’s belief that brings this to life for us. The scenes were so beautiful. Also check out the trailers at There are dowload wallpapers and an interactive advent calendar that is beautifully done.

  5. Wouldn’t have even considered it for out little ones! Thanks for letting us know!!!! We’ve been wanting to see it!!!! : )

  6. Thanks for the review, Mary, We have been debating seeing this movie with our little ones.

  7. Thanks for the review for the younger set. That has been a concern to me as we have tried to decide how to spend our precious movie-going dollars. We definitely plan to go see this movie!

  8. Just saw it yesterday, and loved it. What a wonderful catalyst for contemplating things anew. Even though the timing of the Magi’s visit and the flight to Egypt obviously weren’t correct, the way it was done allowed for some beautiful scenes. I took the 10 and 7yo boys, and left the younger ones at home with Dad. Yes, two birth scenes– but don’t forget the circumcision scene,too. Yep, those things together caused my boys to steer conversation in the car on the way home right into the nature of male and female genital ia. Whoo! Not what I anticipated!

    Anyway, I wish you and your family a very joyful Christmas!

  9. We did go see it, and we took the kids. We never see movies, so we didn’t quite know how they would respond. We talked about it a lot on the way there. The three year old was a bit bored; he’s all about DOing stuff right now. The five year old did great, and I think it was a good experience for her. And even better, we went with my whole family and a family friend . . . it led to some great discussions. All the adults were really glad to have gone – thanks for the suggestions!