If you’ve been thinking about canceling your church’s winter festival this year, you may not have to. It’s just a matter of rethinking what types of activities you can still hold and how to do so.
Here are some ideas that can be implemented quickly and easily, no matter where you live!
- How about a bonfire and hot cocoa with festive music? It’s easy enough to social distance outdoors, and families can bring lawn chairs and blankets to enjoy the night. If you’re tight on space, hold it in your parking lot and have families tailgate. Add a toy drive to the event to help local charities with Christmas cheer for families in need.
- Or, for those in cold, snowy regions, hold a snowperson building contest! Give each family a bag with a carrot, rocks, or buttons and encourage them to bring their own accessories. If you don’t have enough snow at your church, have families pick up their bags and register where they live. They can build the snowpeople in their yards, and you can create a map so others can visit on a particular day. Encourage everyone to come back to the church to vote and share hot cocoa! Make sure someone takes pictures!
- How about a drive-in movie night? Turn your parking lot into a drive-in theater! There are many fun, family-friendly movies that can be projected onto one of your building’s walls. Have folks bring chairs and blankets so they can spread out on the lawn or parking lot. Or you could set it up with an FM transmitter (under $100) and broadcast the movie to the nearby cars’ radios. Just like a real drive-in! Sell prepackaged snacks and hot chocolate as a fundraiser and consider making the cost of admission a food donation to stock your church’s pantry for local families in need.
- Start a “Blessed” event at your church. Have families leave their neighbor’s a small gift bag and a sheet that says, “Blessed” with instructions to hang the sign on their door and do the same for two other neighbors. Soon the entire neighborhood will be “Blessed.” Below are the elements needed. Just add them to your church website or print a copy for each family to pick up. There is a variation of this called “You’ve been Jingled” if you want to do it before Christmas. (Sound familiar? It’s the same concept as “You’ve been Boooo’ed”).
- Have the children of your church create Christmas or New Year’s cards for the elderly. This can be an outdoor event held early on a Saturday morning or in conjunction with another Winter event. Set up socially distanced stations at tables for each child or family. Each spot has paper, scissors, glue, crayons, glitter, etc. Don’t forget to have the children sign the cards! Your local nursing homes will be grateful to be able to distribute these types of treasures at any time of year!
When planning your events, think about how you can serve your community’s needs, whether it’s concession revenues, food or warm coat donations, or even a silent auction to benefit a local charity. Your church and your community will enjoy the benefits of your events!