With Demanding December already upon us, here are a few ideas to consider as we all strive to make our Season of Celebration less stressful and more meaningful. These would all work well in your neighborhood, with a few friends or with any small group. If you’re inviting neighbors, be sure to include those who may not proclaim faith in Jesus. I find this is an easy, non-threatening way for them to hear the gospel. Inevitably, those with The Good News will be sharing what God has been doing in their life at any of these gatherings. It would also be a natural, appropriate time to share an advent devotion or a gospel-centered story.
Book Exchange- Invite friends or neighbors to come and bring a copy of their favorite book to exchange. This might be a favorite childhood book, the latest novel they read, an invaluable travel book, or a book that has been life changing. We exchanged our books last year by implementing the “stealing game,” but you can decide how you want to distribute the gifts. By popular demand, our neighborhood ladies are doing this same get-together again this year. Provide light refreshments and if someone asks if they can bring something, let them!
Cookie Exchange- This is a great/terrible one for me as homemade cookies cause me to have absolutely-not-one-ounce of self-control. But I do this for my friends, of course! Send out invitations asking each guest to bring two dozen HOMEMADE cookies. (They can include bars, fudge, etc.) Provide containers for the guests to take two dozen cookies home. You can give prizes for the best-tasting cookie, the best-looking cookie and the best display of cookies, if you’d like. You might also like to provide a few savory snacks to eat during your get-together.
Coffee Walk & Talk- Gather a few friends/neighbors and meet up at a local coffee shop. Grab your drinks and head outside for a bit of sunshine and a time of relaxing on a leisurely walk. Talk about your holiday plans, what God’s been teaching you this year, your expectations for the coming year, etc.
Christmas Caroling- This is STILL so much fun. While it’s not as popular as it used to be, we’ve done this for many years and our neighbors still enjoy opening their doors to carolers in their front yard attempting to sing! We bring the kids, the strollers, the husbands, and the dogs and have a fun time strolling the neighborhood and then finish the night with hot cocoa and cookies. Bring candy canes to pass out to those brave enough to open their doors and listen to you sing!
Gift-Wrap Get-Together- Share the evening together AND cross a task off your to-do list! Invite friends/neighbors to bring their unwrapped gifts and wrapping supplies. Provide simple refreshments and enjoy each other’s company as you wrap your gifts and share your supplies.
Saturday Morning Breakfast- Pancakes and bacon are an easy way to feed a crowd. Whether it be a few friends or a neighborhood, gather for a Saturday morning in December. You’ll find most people are freer then and able to enjoy a fun morning with friends.
Wait until January!!- January seems to slow us down and our calendars are usually less cluttered. If you can’t fit a get-together in December, wait until January and celebrate the new year together. Several of these ideas can be adapted and done any time.