The goal of the first Christmas Party at my new church was to offer a sticky (excuse the pun) faith formation experience with the children and their families where we serve one another and take a break to play together. When we play together we learn we belong together. Between the games and the food, we accomplished our goal.

Using tacky sweater stickers from Oriental Trading, the photo backdrop from the Preschool’s Breakfast with Santa, and the chance to decorate their own small Christmas tree cookies (tea cakes recipe) with squeezable icing, there was more than enough to do with families lingering as long as they wish in each station.

These were the station signs:

Christmas Card Station: We are so glad the witnesses to Jesus’ birth told the story and someone wrote it down for us to know and to have in the Bible. Who do you think it was that told about what they had seen? Write a Christmas card to someone special. Tell about your family and what’s going on in your life. Then sign it, take it home and your parents can write the address on the envelope to mail this week. (Gel pens, various blank Christmas cards.)

Guessing Station: There were so many people in Bethlehem that Mary & Joseph couldn’t find a room at any inn in Bethlehem. Yet when the baby was born, they knew what to name him: Jesus. Jesus is the sweetest name we know! Write your name on the line and guess how many pieces of candy are in each jar. (One jar filled with miniature candy bars, one jar with skittles, and another jar with starbursts.)

Voting for Tacky Christmas Tshirt or Sweater: Funniest, Largest, Scariest, Clever, Most Original, Most disturbing.

Census Station: Mary & Joseph went to Bethlehem because they had to take a census. A census is an official count or survey of a group of people giving details about the people. Please take this census as a family (I don’t remember where I got the questions, but these are fabulous)…

Game Station: What is your favorite card game and how did you learn to play? Choose a game, find a place to play, and invite others to join you to join in the fun. (UNO, regular deck of cards, Pass the Sweater Game)

Chili Fritos Station: What is your favorite Christmas food? Comfort food is food that makes you feel good and reminds you of people and celebrations that make you feel good. Celebrations like Christmas always have special foods that make the season so very special. (Chili, Fritos, shredded cheese, sour cream, bowls, spoons).

Coloring Station: What’s your favorite Christmas color? Isn’t it wonderful that Jesus colors our life brighter when we follow Him with all our heart, all our soul, all our love, all our minds, and love our neighbors as ourselves? (Enlarge multiple ornament coloring sheets.)

Hot Cocoa Bar: Knowing Jesus came to earth to show us how much God loves us makes us all warm and fuzzy inside! (Candy canes, Swiss Miss in a crockpot, marshmallows, spoons, etc.)

Gingerbread Nativities: Why is the frosting so important to this station? Just like we needed frosting (aka meringue powder found at Michael’s) to hold the nativity together, we need Jesus to hold our lives together. He came at Christmas to be born for us so we can be saved from a life of sin and selfishness. At Easter Jesus died on the cross to forgive us our sins and selfishness so we can have a forever friendship with Jesus and one another both here on earth and in heaven. That’s a reason to celebrate! Where were you born?

Nativity Craft Station: What happened on the day you were born? Jesus was placed in a manger by Mary & Joseph because there was no room in any inn in Bethlehem. Enjoy making a manger for your family to take home. Use the model as an example, but change it up as you see fit. (Lots of ways to do this station based on what is already in your storage/supply room. Pinterest it!)

Minute to Win It cup games made for a hilarious way to close out the night and even the youngest siblings could play with inexpensive, yet colorful props for photos. We had a ball! A home-school mom even asked to borrow much of what we put together for this event for her home-school group. I considered her asking as the ultimate compliment.

“Sing to Him a new song! Play your best with joyful shouts!” Psalm 33:3 CEB