categories: I'm curious, church, creativity
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December 9th, 2009

by Bobby Gruenewald

18 comments (+ Add)

Christmas 2009

I hope you are already having a great holiday season!

If you are serving at a church, I imagine many of you are busy preparing for Christmas (Eve) Services or other Christmas events.  I’m always fascinated by the creativity and diversity of the Church surrounding the celebration of the birth of Jesus.  For some churches, it’s a time to return to long-standing traditions.  For others, it’s an opportunity to try to creatively grab the attention of their community with a large production or event.  Yet there are still others who approach Christmas like they would any other week of the year (just maybe with a few more decorations than normal).   One thing that is fairly consistent between churches is that church attendance will likely be higher at Christmas than normal.

One of the new things we will be doing this year is incorporating a unique short film our team developed into the message during our Christmas experiences.  It will definitely be something different for us.  I hope to be able to share it with you all soon.

I’m curious - what new (or traditional) things are your churches doing to celebrate Christmas in 2009?

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there are a total of18
  1. Dec 9, 2009 at 8:50 am

    Well weare a network church of LifeChurch.tv and we are just starting. We avrage about 30 people right now. We have decided to do our Christmas Eve service in our community at a local outdoor villiage. Our town is know for a Resturaunt called the “Blue Willow” and they recently built a small shopping center behind the Resturaunt with a courtyard. This time of year they deck it out with lights and decor, plus Santa is there almost every night until Christmas. Definitley a hot spot in our community. We’ll see how it goes!

  2. Dec 9, 2009 at 8:52 am

    We are doing a full-on full-bore version of Advent Conspiracy this year after a very brief and abbreviated version last year. We are also having a free Christmas morning breakfast for anyone in the community who wants to come.

  3. Dec 9, 2009 at 9:09 am

    we are celebrating diversity this christmas. each week of december is completely different. we just had a service where we partnered with another church accross town to have a “soul christmas” service. Their church is predominantly african-american while ours is majority white. Next week we are celebrating our kids. Following week we are honoring our military and doing a live broadcast to troops from our area who will be away for the holidays.

  4. Dec 9, 2009 at 9:15 am

    We started a tradition to have our Christmas Eve offering (usually 12/23 and 12/24) benefit partner ministries through our annual Christmas Catalog. We were inspired by World Vision’s gift catalog. Here’s the link to the pdf: http://media.monkserve.com/EKK/3009/outreachpdfcatalog.pdf

  5. 5jeremy
    Dec 9, 2009 at 9:21 am

    we’re trying something new this year. For 30 years we’ve done a big Living Christmas Tree thing (big tree with choir singing from it.) This year we’re moving into a light show, transiberian orchestra kind of thing with a short film - and doing it as our Christmas service instead of a separate production as in year’s past. very excited.

  6. Dec 9, 2009 at 9:52 am

    The Advent Conspiracy idea has really caught on this year. People are spending less and giving more. We are raising $ 10,000 to build a well in Ethiopia and created gift cards to send to people in lieu of a temporal gift.

  7. Dec 9, 2009 at 10:00 am

    Hello!
    As individuals, we had a challenge last sunday: Take a homeless person home, to share Christmas dinner and God’s love.
    As church, we’ll do 2 things:
    1) We’ll give food, clothing and toys to 28 poor families near our church, on December 19..
    2) We will show “The Nativity Story” and throw a Christmas dinner on December 20.
    :)

  8. Dec 9, 2009 at 10:14 am

    Bryan and Bill, great ideas for Christmas community ourtreach.
    We are telling the Christmas story between songs. We are also incorporating a STOMP presentation into our worship (not new but new to us). As far as outreach, we are doing something called Bikes for Kids where we will be giving away approximately 500 bikes to kids in our community who need help with Christmas.

  9. Dec 9, 2009 at 10:26 am

    We did the Advent Conspiracy Last year - everyone should do that. We also do a project to give to - this year we are building a school for HIV orphans at the House of Hope home we support in Kenya and locally supplying gifts at the Christmas store for needy families. Christmas Eve this year is going to be all about snow leading to grace - we’re gonna make it snow indoors and we have snow in seconds for people to play with in the lobby. I hope that will be a memorable yet meaningful experience after we talk about Grace and white as snow.

  10. 10Aaron Cross
    Dec 9, 2009 at 10:52 am

    We are a small/new church of about 65. While we normally meet in the YMCA we are renting a newly re-opened theater (150 year old building) in our historic district to have our Christmas Eve Service. Pretty cool venue and hope it will build excitement and interest.

  11. Dec 9, 2009 at 11:22 am

    This year we are connecting scents with advent. We know that scent is a strong way to trigger memories and our people encounter some familiar scents during the holidays. We are connecting those scents to the working of God. Week 1 - Scent of Gingerbread because the smell of baking cookies builds anticipation. Week 2 - Scent of Vanilla because God uses the ordinary to demonstrate His glory. Week 3 - Scent of Pine to focus on the fact that the Shepherds lived outdoors. Week 4 - Scent of Peppermint because the Angels message burst forth from their mouths. Christmas Eve we have rented the Show Barn at the County Fairgrounds to use the scent of livestock to focus on Christ’s humble advent. Each service has a “giveaway” item and we are filling the worship space with the designated scent.

  12. Dec 9, 2009 at 12:08 pm

    I attend Vineyard Community church in Cincinnati, OH and we have one Christmas tradition. There are no Christmas services at all unless Christmas happens to fall on the weekend. On Christmas Eve though we do a donut outreach. We gather in the evening for worship and everyone is given a box of Krispy Kreme donuts and we leave the church and go deliver them to somebody who has to work on Christmas Eve. It is a lot of fun and different from any church I have ever visited.

  13. Dec 9, 2009 at 12:23 pm

    We are incorporating the Christmas Story from Scripture. Families can listen to the audio Bible presentation during their holiday season.

  14. Dec 9, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    We participated in an event we call Christmas Cheer that supplied some 200 families from our county with about a week’s worth of groceries and toys for their children.

    We also have a “fun” community Christmas gathering at a local theater and 2 “serious” Christmas Eve services at our church.

    One particularly cool element we’ve used a couple of times is a black light presentation. We call it “Hands In Motion” and choreograph movements to music. You can check out a video of it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Blag4CbeWnQ.

  15. 15Jim
    Dec 10, 2009 at 7:44 am

    I have just started at this church not too long ago and they have an interesting Christmas Eve tradition. They have a time of complete silence for a few minutes then candle light and communion. They all then walk outside with candles and sing a few Christmas carol and then leave. I am told it last about a half hour. I am going to continue it for at least this year. They say they do it that way so people can be quiet before God in a busy and frustrating time of year. I will let you know how it goes.

  16. Dec 11, 2009 at 10:22 pm

    We are a contemporary church and sing very little Christmas Carols. One of our “traditions” is the worship team playing at least on Trans Siberian Orchestra piece at the beginning of our services.
    This year we are doing a series on the atonement the first three Sundays of December. Christmas Eve there will be a twist on the theme, not only the subject, but a visual we have been using for the series. The image we have been using for the suffering Christ will become the baby Jesus in a manger.
    Hope you all have a great Christmas.
    Blessings,
    Dave

  17. Dec 15, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    We always push the production buttons pretty hard here at Christmas. We’re hosting a total of 8 Christmas Eve gatherings this year. We plan to open with August Burns Red’s version of “Carol of the Bells”.. a hard rock instrumental song played live onstage, while a single preproduced video will be sync’ed, playing across 3 screens in front of the auditorium. Our gatherings typically include plenty of worship, and a creative element. This year’s element will be a video production spinoff of the TV show “Modern Family”. The heart of the gathering will be the message, “Running From God”.

    Peace,
    Glenn

  18. 18Matt
    Dec 21, 2009 at 2:04 pm

    Well, in addition to the usual Christmas eve service/ communion we are doing something new this year. We had a cookie exchange and prepared a bunch of tins full of cookies. We then asked the people in our church to take these cookies to people that have to work on Christmas day. I am an ER nurse and have worked my share of Christmases so I feel for those folks that have to be away from their families on that day.