We just finished another ‘edited’ advent season. Not everything came back. Not everybody came back. Yet we gathered and celebrated in many creative ways, with creative themes, and even at creative times.

Well done.

Take a rest.

Before you close out Advent 2021, take a last look at the Advent celebrations posted by colleagues and on other children’s or family ministry Facebook groups. Go ahead and decide the one or two themes/events you really liked and reach out to the post originator and ask for their electronic support documents. Right now all of that documentation is at the top of their feeds and quite handy.

Set up a folder in your computer to hold the documents and pitch your idea to your leadership for approval in January. Don’t delay, because we know that Advent 2022 will be here before we know it. Looking ahead, Christmas 2022 falls on a Sunday and our local schools will be out for the entire week beforehand.

If the creative-base part is already set, you’ll have plenty of time to gather materials (I ordered two inexpensive snow machines in October which were sold out by mid November), make reservations (I’m placing deposits in January for animals for a Christmas-break drive-thru live nativity since school will be out, so I can choose two consecutive days anytime the week prior I can get animals), and get the push-back done earlier while all the challenges are fresh on everyone’s minds (I’m pitching a Children’s Campfire Christmas for the children’s service next year on Friday offering an outdoor option around our huge firepit and have time to prepare well for all kinds of weather rather than an indoor-production).

I’m still holding to the 2.5 year transition to a new normal that followed the Spanish flu of the early 1900s. The 2.5 year transition period has given me a baseline to plan for every possible scenario when putting things on the calendar. Advent 2022 puts us right at the end of that. Trustworthy pre-planning on my part will help me confidently offer a flexible and great serving experience for our littles and their bigs during one of the busiest times of everyone’s calendar year.

Jesus’ birthday is too important to wait until Advent is already here to start gathering information. Reach out to your colleagues about one or two of their specials and get the Christmas cheese-ball rolling, then look at it again next summer. 

“But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.'” – Luke 2:10