Time was that a one-size-fits-all-ages approach summed up the seasonal offerings on stage.

Nowadays, however, venues are more inclined to differentiate between the age groups and – like the three listed above – offer younger audiences specially crafted shows.

At the Tron, things are definitely cooking in style for three to six-year-olds. Just feasting the eyes on Kirsty McCabe's kitchen set, a colourful repository of every utensil a chef could want, gets this genial playlet off to a good start. Chop, chop, choppity-chop – when fun-loving cake-makers Mary Gapinski and Toni Frutin launch into the business of making a Boxing Day feast for a weary Santa and Rudolf, what they serve up is a delicious medley of make-believe. Even the washing-up is turned into something unexpectedly magical. Long before the end, little chefs were joining in the rhymes and actions. Even Michel Roux Jnr would have loved this result.

Audience participation is very much to the fore in That's Not My Name, Scottish Youth Theatre's well-handled version of Rumpelstiltskin. What could be a scary tale for tinies – Rumpel (Lucy Mills) wants the baby the Queen promised in return for the earlier straw-into-gold favour – is cleverly mediated into a story about keeping your word and not making boasts you can't fulfil.

By the time Flora MacKeddie (Queen Charlotte) and Ryan Towart (King Andrew) – both 17, both SYT members – arrive to tell the tale, in flashback, Rumpel has already got the tots involved in jolly action songs, and in naming the baby - Elvis. Lots more joining in is woven into the narrative, with Rumpel finally proving more good-hearted than Grimm and the audience enthusiastically on their feet in the energetic Bugaloo dance. And, as ever here, the set is gorgeous.

Meanwhile, deep in the Arches, glows a wee red nose – and shining out, as one of the finest seasonal plays you'll see in any year, is Andy Manley's utterly beguiling Rudolf. It's Christmas, but best chums (Ross Allan and Rob Evans) don't have a bean to spend, let alone eat. Will their hen lay an egg for them ? Canny bird: not without a story, she won't.

So the lads tell her, and us, about Rudolf. How being different makes him special to his parents, but an outcast who's bullied and friendless at school. Wandering lost, in the woods, he meets a ducking called Ugly – and, yes, their antics together are daft and hilarious but Evans (a touchingly naive Rudolf) and Ross (an exuberant Ugly) also find a tender pathos in the way two needy souls find a joyous camraderie that makes being alive just so "coo-ool".

I'll come clean. I chuckle at the wit, I love the whimsical details, but I have to hold back tears with this one. There are qualities in the writing, in the staging, in the performances, that go right to the loving and giving heart of what Christmas – everyday life, actually – is about. For three-plus audiences, there's no upper age limit - so don't hold back.