“I’ll be home for Christmas...” is one of my favorite Christmas songs! I remember my freshman year of college driving home and playing that song on full blast and thinking about how much that song meant as I was heading home to see my family and spend time with them. This year, with everything happening in 2020, Christmas is looking so different for so many families with travel restrictions in place. The thoughts of heading home, if we are being honest, brings a new reality to the part of the song... “I'll be home for Christmas if only in my dreams...”
Thinking about this made me realize a huge opportunity the church has! Most years families head out of town for Christmas, but this year many families will be home. So, here are a few ideas on how the church can help create opportunities for families to spend quality time together!
- Christmas In A Box! One of the things our church is doing is giving each family in our church a box (hence the clever name of Christmas in a Box). This is a fun idea to help provide an element of fun this Christmas season with so many things still shut down. Inside the box will be 25 sealed envelopes marked with a certain date that the families will be able to open that envelope.
Once a family opens their card it will either be filled with a fun family activity to do at home, a scripture verse, prayer response, song to listen to, etc... We also included all the supplies they will need to do each activity inside the box! On the final day there is a special gift wrapped that they will receive from the church. This gift will tie into the message Pastor will be preaching on during that weekends service.
- Have your kids write letters! In Kids Church one fun thing you can do before or after service is provide an opportunity for the kids to adopt someone in the church and write a letter to them or color a picture! You can ask staff to help you come up with a list of names from all departments and have those names written on popsicle sticks. At the table kids can pick a popsicle stick and commit to praying for that individual during the week. Encourage them to write a note, color a picture, and turn that into you with their name on it. Then take the picture, note, and mail it to that person. What a fun way to spread some Christmas love to people in the church.
- Family Christmas Ornament! In the lobby of your church have a Christmas tree set up and encourage each family to decorate a Christmas ornament about something they are thankful for as a family and represents their family. Have them bring in the ornament to church to hang on the Christmas tree.
- “You’ve Been Jingled”! is a fun way to spread Christmas cheer! Create a little gift bag with some special treats and a note about spreading love this Christmas season. Leave the gift bag on the doorstep as a fun surprise for families in your church.Even better include in the note a challenge to do the same for a neighbor!
- Gingerbread Competitions! Send home a Gingerbread House with each family and have them create their family Gingerbread House! After finishing they can send in a picture to you and you can run a social media challenge. The Gingerbread house that gets the most likes will win a gift card to somewhere special in town!
So, even with Christmas looking a little different this year, there still are a lot of ways to reach out to families in your church and bring some smiles this year!