grinchmeEvery year we assign our December CLUB345 as a time to slow down, breathe, take in the season. One year we enjoy Silent Night. The alternating year we plan for a family gathering of table life, games, food, and service. When gifted with beaucoup lime green paper products left over from a baby shower last summer, we think The Grinch! Confession: inspiration comes from all sorts of places.

5-5:30 – Dinner of ham, mac-n-cheese, salad, Hawaiian rolls, and ice water and/or Sprite. Ready for early arrivals was a Grinch word search and ink pens on all of the tables. Name tags were “find your elf name“.

5:30-6:15 – Grinch stations (see below)

grinchtree6:15-6:30 – Decorating a tree game, a game of Pit (green crepe paper and cardboard stars all from Walmart)

6:30-6:45 – Left/Right Nativity game (everyone retrieves an item leftover from the morning’s Jingle Bell Shop-church donates items for kids to purchase 50 cents to $5 with free giftwrap so students can shop for their families for Christmas) and circles up for a roaring game of passing items left or right depending upon the reading of the Christmas story.) This has become an annual tradition and it is hilarious!

6:45 – Closing prayers & clean up

Grinch Stations included…

  • Who-Hair Station – A very creative Mom painted a canvas backdrop; asked for colored hair spray from other Moms on Facebook, gathered neon colored pipe cleaners, and Dollar Store table cloths for drop cloths because the spray can get everywhere. Don’t forget the glitter spray!
  • Star ornament – cardboard cut outs with wire and pony beads to wrap or wired tinsel to wrap the cardboard star. Not every student has the same level of fine-motor skills and even our littlest family members can get in on the craft without other hands getting involved. Any crafty ornament will do, just remember to make it VERY simple so even our youngest folks are successful on their own.
  • Red and white Lego bricks – just because
  • Christmas cards – Many of our 3rd-5th graders don’t know the shut-in saints of their church, so we prepared a list of eight with addresses held by our journeying shepherd, Charley, and set out a place where our kids and family members could write Christmas cards. Parents showed students how to address envelopes and we will be mailing them today. This goes along with our theme this year of the life of David in a color-themed curriculum since David was a writer, having written many of the Psalms in the Bible.
  • Hand painted pot holders for Grandparentsfabric paint and a lot of Dollar Tree potholders made a time where kids could make as many as they wished because everyone’s grandparents need new potholders.
  • Coloring Advent Poster – this poster printed from Staples has been following us around for the last couple of weeks leading up to Christmas. Doesn’t everyone like to slow down and color a bit while chatting with friends?
  • How to Draw a Grinch – markers, pencils, paper
  • grinchcandlesCLUB345 service project – preparing the candles for the church’s Christmas Eve service, cleaning up old wax, and placing them in baskets as a gift to the Worship Committee.

Favorite parts of the night? The many conversations between parents and their kids as well as parents with other parents. Even the students whose families didn’t come were loved on well and included by their friends’ families. Amazing parents who do so much for their kids that spending time across the table or passing crazy gifts right and left made them all laugh. We slow down. Dads draw with their kids. Moms and Dads serve one another for dinner. Lots of table life.

grinchbackdropWhat are you doing to help families slow down and smile across the table from one another during a season of a full calendar?

The Lord is with me; He is my helper. Psalm 118:7