Christmas is almost upon us and many churches are still looking for creative ways to help their members celebrate the holiday together safely. We all want to provide opportunities for community and connection without risking the health and safety of our congregation.
Here are a few ways to host events during this season:
- Host a Gift Wrapping Event – This will be a time for families and senior adults to drop off the gifts they have purchased for Christmas to be wrapped by your volunteers! This is a great way to bless families by helping them save money and time this season. You can set up a place on your website to advertise and have people register and choose a time to drop off their gifts and then come back at an assigned time as well. You can adjust the length of the event depending on your number of volunteers and the amount of people you have registered.
- Individuals can drop their gifts off in a box labeled with their name and any instructions regarding labeling their gifts. This can be done as a drive through with volunteers in masks coming to the vehicle and receiving the box of gifts.
- Invite adults and youth interested in wrapping presents to come for a few hours to wrap gifts for families or senior adults in your congregation. Set up wrapping station tables safely distanced apart with a person at each end of the table. The wrapping station will have wrapping paper, ribbon, bags, tissue paper, tape dispensers, gift tags, and pens.
- Make sure this area in your church is decorated festively and you have holiday music playing. Have staff members come around to deliver Christmas goodies and hot chocolate during the event as well.
- Have special prizes to give out throughout the event and even surprise activities to make it fun and festive!
- Start your event with prayer and encourage your volunteers to spend some time praying over the families represented while wrapping their gifts.
- When the boxes are picked up, send them home with a Christmas devotion or activity designed to help them focus on Christ during this Christmas season.
- Caroling from your car – Host a time of worship and caroling outside in your church parking lot or another public area in your community. Have your worship leader on “stage” leading and singing familiar carols.
- Participants come and park their cars and, with windows down, join in the singing.
- Make sure to have an adequate sound system set up so all can hear. Read the Christmas story from Luke 2 from the stage at some point during the worship time.
- Offer a drive-through hot chocolate and a cookie station on the way in as they park.
- On the way out have a cookie decorating kit for each vehicle to take home and do together as a family.
- Have a drive-through Family Christmas Party
- Decorate outside the church with Christmas trees, holiday lights, Christmas music, and even Christmas inflatable blow-ups.
- Invite families to drive through and enjoy the decorations and pick up a gingerbread house kit to make together at home as a family.
- Include instructions on how to find and listen to a Spotify holiday playlist made specifically for the gingerbread house making activity.
- Send a children’s book home that shares the story of the Christ Child coming at Christmas.
- Encourage families to post pictures of their finished creations on social media with a specific hashtag. Then choose winners in different categories and mail prizes to those families.
Coming together right now is hard and feels risky. We want to respect the health and safety of others, but we also need each other so much right now. Events like these require creativity and extra planning, but it’s worth the extra effort.
Families need our support and encouragement that, although Christmas may look a little different this year, we are still celebrating the greatest gift the world has ever experienced. That gift is just as amazing and life-changing today as it was 2,000 years ago.