Christmas Activity Description
The first Christmas tree ornaments were fruits, nuts, sweets, marzipan cookies and even communion wafers cut into various shapes. Decorations made of gold foil and paper were also added. The tree itself, an evergreen, was a reminder of everlasting life. A star or angel at the top reminded people of the Christmas story. Lights symbolised that the Light had come into the world. Often hard cookies (like gingerbread) would be baked in the shape of fruits, stars, hearts, angels and bells.
We don’t know who was the first to use the Christmas tree to tell others about Christ, but history does record the story of Saint Boniface. This German man traveled across germany telling people about Jesus using a Fir tree. It is said he used a fir tree because the branches pointed to heaven from which baby Jesus came to earth and that he decorated it with fruits and nuts to remind people that God provided for them.
Throughout the ages, many of the early ornaments reflected various aspects of the Christmas Story as found in the Bible. In the late 1800’s glass balls and special handcrafted ornaments began to appear. Homemade ornaments were also popular and paper snowflakes and paper chains are still used today. But regardless of what ornaments adorned the Christmas tree, the original intention was for the ornaments to reflect the Christmas Season and Christ.
Today, trees are not the only things that are decorated. Your life should reflect not the Christmas Season, but the Christian Savior.
Christmas is a time to remember the greatest gift – that God so loved the world that he sent his son, that a Savior was born. We are thankful for Jesus. And this Christmas we also want to thank God for sending you, for the gifts he has given the world through you.
“Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.” ~1 Peter 3:3-4 ESV
Some youth have decorated their lives with kindness. Others with generosity. Some of your lives are decorated with peace, encouragement, joy, and love. So in this activity, we want to celebrate the gifts God has given the world through each and every youth. Our next activity is going to help us to do that.
What you need
- Market / Paint Pens – Provide various colors and sizes that can be used to write on glass and shiny surfaces. You can also use paint pens that come in various colors and even in gold or silver, which are perfect for this Christmas activity. Be sure there are enough pens so that everyone in the youth group isn’t forced to wait to long for another color or pen.
- Christmas Ball Ornaments – You’ll want to have enough for one per person plus a few extras for unexpected visitors and in case some break. For best results use ornaments that are a solid color without and printed designs on them.
- A lined 3×5 card inside an unsealed envelope for each youth
- Optional: Stickers, puff paints, glitter paint, and a variety of other things to decorate the ornaments can be found at a local art supply shop.
- Split the youth into smaller groups of 6-10 persons sitting in circles.
- Have each youth write their name on the envelope and then also on the top of the index card and then place the card back inside the envelope.
What to Do: Stage 1
- Everyone passes the envelop to the person on their right.
- When receiving an envelop each youth must take out the index card and on any random line, write at least one short phrase describing something that they like, value, or appreciate about the person whose name appears at the top of the card.
- After writing something positive, each youth must place the card back in the envelope and keep passing the envelopes to the right.
- This continues until it goes all the way around the circle and the next person is the name of the person on the envelope.
- Instead of passing it to the person whose name is on the envelope, the last person gives the card to the youth leader.
- Once a card has been completed for everyone in the group, the cards are all collected and passed on to the next group.
What to Do: Stage 2
At this stage, groups will have the cards from those people who are not in their group. Instead of adding to the card, they will each be given a Christmas Ornament to decorate.
- Take an ornament
- Take an envelope and first put the youth’s name on the ornament using the markers and paint pens. (You might also want to add the year.)
- Using the words on the index cards, decorate the ornament with symbols and phrases from the index card.
- After all the ornaments have been decorated, the person who created the ornament explains it and then gives both the index card and the ornament to the person whose name appears on it.
- Before passing the ornament to the youth, have a prayer of blessing for the person whose name is on the ornament.
- Instead of something they appreciate, ask youth to add an encouragement or a Bible verse.
- Instead of a ball ornament, use a small photoframe with a group photo, or candid shot of each youth. Add the encouragements to the photo frame.
Games and Activities helping youth discover the Reason for the Season.
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