With the momentum of autumn, Christmas can sometimes surprise the best of us—it’s so hard to find yourself in the Christmas spirit before Thanksgiving! If your church is trying to think of last minute ways to make the holidays special, or wants to add just a bit more tinsel to the Christmas tree—here are a few ideas that you can pull off with minimum planning and fairly short notice…
Set up to serve those last minute holiday shoppers and pass out invitations to Christmas services.
- Gift Wrapping: Re-enlist those gals who did such a fabulous job decorating your church lobby to also wrap a few gifts for free. Get loads of paper and ribbon, and permission to set up shop downtown or at the mall.
- Coffee Elves: Pass out coffee and cocoa to folks at bus stops, or get permission to setup a tent outside local stores.
- Shopping Unhindered: Host a free babysitting night or extend your Sunday childcare hours so that parents can shop unhindered. Notify the local mom’s club, flyer children’s and toy stores, the doctor’s office and library.
Sharing the Christmas Spirit
Bring Christmas cheer to neighbors and those in-need by opening your hearts to them.
- Adopt-a-Soldier: Contact your nearby military base and request names of stationed service people who will be away from home for the holidays. Encourage your church to open their homes for the holiday meal or weekend, and extend invites to attend Christmas services too.
- Christmas Tree Delivery: Work alongside local food banks to purchase and deliver Christmas trees for needy families. Include a Christmas card with each tree.
- Small Group Project: Task church small groups to each take up a special Christmas cause like caroling, serving at a soup kitchen, or adopting a family in-need.
- Cookie Delivery: Encourage church members to deliver homemade goodies or Poinsettias to neighbors or service workers (grocery clerks, accountants, firefighters, etc.) in their lives.
With extended family in town, many families are on the hunt for festive, inexpensive activities between Christmas and New Years. Host a family fun-night, and enlist members to invite their neighbors and friends, post on Craigslist, your local calendars and radio stations. Invite folks back for specific upcoming church events, and provide ministry calendars.
- Movie Night: Open up your church auditorium or fireside room for a free movie night. Serve popcorn, goodies, cocoa, and set up for a great Christmas or family flick.
- Free Skate: Rent out the local ice rink or bowling alley for the whole evening, and invite people to join you free-of-charge.
After the Fact
When it’s time to pack up Christmas, flyer local neighborhoods and grocery stores to get the word out on these helpful services, and include information on upcoming church events or services.
- Christmas Card Recyclery: Collect leftover Christmas cards and donate them to various organizations like St. Jude’s Ranch for Children, who recycle and then resell them. Obtain permission to provide well-labeled bins for cards outside of stores as well.
- Tree Pick Up: If your trash service does not collect trees, offer to pick them up and dispose of them with a crew of church men.
- Christmas De-Lighting: Offer to take down exterior Christmas lights and bundle them for residents.
How is your church reaching out this Christmas? Are you presenting a special sermon series, helping people in need, or hosting festive celebrations? Please share your stories and insights in the comments section—you make this resource more valuable for others!