Besides home, there's no better place to spend Christmas than your church, and it doesn't all have to be about spending time in the sanctuary for Christmas service. Christmas activities at church can be a lot of fun, making the holiday even more special for participants while fostering a sense of community.
To make these activities enjoyable for everyone, you will need to do some planning ahead of time. Plan activities to ensure that members of the congregation will feel welcomed. You can plan games and organize service activities that are fun and give back to the community.
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Depending on the size and age range of your church, you can organize some or all of these events in the weeks leading up to Christmas day.
Church Christmas activities for families
Church Christmas activities are a perfect way to teach families the true meaning of Christmas and celebrate the birth of Jesus, providing an alternative to buying and receiving Christmas gifts and going to parties. One idea is to have families help decorate the church and Christmas tree for the holiday season ahead of time. Volunteer church members can join in to help with the decorations and contribute food for a potluck lunch or dinner afterward.
You can also look online for a fun Nativity scene craft with baby Jesus and the wise men or for Christmas cookie recipes and make either the focus of a family night at church. The person in charge can designate each family to bring some supplies for the event.
It’s also nice to make a lot of extra cookies that you can later donate to a local homeless shelter, nursing home, food pantry or soup kitchen.
There are some exciting children's church Christmas games that can be played at church or during Sunday school, starting with the candy cane relay race game. This one is easy. Split up the kids into two teams, giving each five candy canes. On the signal, team members pass their canes to the end of their line and then back up to the front. Other good ones include "name that Christmas carol" and a tree ornament relay. You can also have the children put on a Christmas play or sing Christmas music.
Church Christmas games for adult players
Children aren't the only ones who like games. One great idea is a Christmas icebreaker. Before everyone arrives, take sheets of paper and have the church staff write down Christmas characters, Christmas songs or Christmas season items and tape one to everyone's back. Pair up the church members and have one provide hints while the other makes guesses.
Have participants pair up with people they don’t know. This is a fun way to get to know other church members.
For a gift-wrapping game, supply the participants with wrapping paper and other supplies and have them wrap up someone else's gift. To make it even funnier, ask people to bring recycled wrapping paper from previous Christmas holidays.
The Christmas candy pass is also a great Christmas food game. You can find directions online, and all you need is a bowl of Christmas candy and a list of questions. Players answer questions and pass the candy in different directions. When the time is up, the person left holding the candy wins.
Church Christmas games for older players
Don't forget about the older members of your church and community during the holidays. To turn this into a church activity, volunteers can gather together to cook holiday dinners and transport them to recipients. Children can make handmade Christmas cards and include a piece of candy in each.
Other creative ideas for much-appreciated gifts for seniors include restaurant coupons, books, puzzles, personal care items, fuzzy socks, knitted scarves and blankets and anything heartfelt and homemade.
Best of all can be the gift of time. If possible, arrange for a time when parishioners of all ages can gather together for a Christmas event to socialize, have snacks, play games and generally enjoy the magic of the season. This can go a long way toward enhancing a sense of community for the year to come.
Christmastime is an opportunity for all members of the church to get to know each other and celebrate the season together. Consider some Christmas ideas for members of all ages including decorating, making Christmas crafts and cards and playing Christmas-themed games. The Christmas program at church is sure to bring the holiday spirit to people of all ages.