Deck the Halls Craft Night
Create a craft table using any of the easy craft ideas from the following website: http://awesomejelly.com/on-a-budget-30-dollar-store-christmas-decor-ideas. The craft ideas include snowflake wreaths, upside down goblet snow globes and glass ornament jars.
Invite a professional decorator to give a presentation entitled, “Deck the Halls.” Ask her to give tips and ideas for holiday decorating on a budget. Ask ahead of time if she would be willing to decorate one of the rooms of the corps.
Buy gingerbread house kits and invite the women to decorate them in small groups of 3-4. Invite a corps member who doesn’t attend the women’s ministry to act as a judge to determine the best gingerbread houses using different categories such as: most creative, prettiest, most over–the–top and most candy used.
Deck the Hall Party
Include the following elements in the party: Christmas Carol sing–a–long, Pictionary game (using only words that pertain to holiday decorations such as Christmas tree—Christmas lights, candles, mistletoe, wreath), Christmas wreath–making activity, devotional thought and time of refreshments.
Have a game night playing Christmas themed games such as: Decorate a human Christmas tree using green garlands, ornaments and Christmas lights. (Two women are the decorators and the third is the tree.) Hold a Candy Cane Relay: The women place one candy cane in their mouths. They must hook another candy cane and pass it to the next woman, moving from one end of the table to the other. Finish the time together with the devotional thought and refreshments.
Ask the women to bake one dozen Christmas cookies and have a cookie exchange. For drinks, serve coffee, hot cocoa, eggnog, hot tea, punch and water. Create a Christmas wreath using crackers, cheese and rolled up deli-meat, or use veggies or fruit. Ask the women bring a food item they grew up enjoying during the Christmas season. An alternate idea would be to ask them to create a dessert using the “deck the halls” for inspiration.
Decorating for Christmas
Even the dreariest room can look like a million dollars once it has received some Christmas decorations. There is something special about a well–lit Christmas tree, candles in the windows and a cheerful wreath on the front door. In a matter of minutes a space can go from ordinary to glitzy, creating an atmosphere of holiday warmth. I liken this to the change in the dark hills of Bethlehem, where the weary shepherds are working their regular late night shift. What begins as an evening like any other soon becomes a night they will never forget.
Scripture tells us that the shadowy hills suddenly came alive with the radiance of an angel of the Lord. The angel is soon joined by a vast host of other heavenly beings, all praising God. How they must have lit up the sky. How their presence must have enlivened those hills with glorious light and sound. Listen to the words of Luke 2:8-14, from the New Living Translation. Read this portion of Scripture.
Can you imagine being there? We are not surprised to hear that the shepherds are initially terrified as I’m sure any of us would be at the sight of an angelic being. As is the pattern, God’s representative is quick to put their fears to rest, telling them of the great news of the Savior’s birth. The shepherds have a front row seat in the fulfillment of Old Testament scripture. The shepherds hear about the miraculous birth happening in their neighborhood, are invited to witness it for themselves and tell how to find the Messiah.
This story reminds me that God can light up our lives on even the dreariest of days. Like the shepherds, we may be going through the motions of an ordinary day. We may be completing the regular, humdrum tasks required of us, and He could just choose to show up in our thoughts. When we make our lives available to God, and go about our responsibilities with an attitude of gratitude, God can and will speak to us when we least expect it. One of the most exciting messages of this story is that God loves us so much that He wants to light up our lives by making Himself known to us. God loves you dearly and wants you to be on the lookout for His activity in your life. So, listen to your life and be ready at any moment for God to show up and reveal His love for you.