at christmastime, it seems people come together and elevate all the right things.
One of the things that everyone loves most about Christmas is that Christmastime is all about celebrating. People are often bogged down by life and find themselves at a loss when it comes to their priorities. At Christmastime, it seems people come together and elevate all the right things. People elevate their relationship with God. People elevate their families. People tell their employees, friends and kids, how much they appreciate them. We lavish each other with gifts, and even in the hustle and bustle of it all, there is often a sense of deep joy found in the holiday season. For just a moment people are content with all the right things.
Christmas can, of course, have its flaws (greed, consumerism, traffic) but all in all most people will agree that prioritizing your family and friends and celebrating the birth of our Savior is a good thing. There is an expectation that you will gather with the people you care about at Christmas time and I think it’s a great expectation. Getting together builds camaraderie, community, and trust. When you’re a ministry leader, camaraderie, community and trust are all things you could always use more. This is just one of the many reasons why you should consider having a Christmas party with your ministry staff or your volunteers.
party, you say, what kind of party?
Maybe you think, you’re no good at throwing parties, and the only Christmas party you know about is the ugly Christmas sweater party, which seems has become a little over played. Don’t fret because below you will find TEN awesome Christmas party ideas.
These parties are all about being silly, having fun, building community and remembering that God gave us the greatest gift of all that we choose to celebrate at Christmastime. So, without further ado, here we go.
ten unique christmas party ideas for staff and volunteers
1. Gingerbread Building and Smashing Party
I would love to take all the credit for this in the world, but this is a family tradition started by my husband’s family, and not only is it a family favorite, but it’s a party favorite too. Basically, you purchase several gingerbread house kits from the store (you could have people donate all the items, or even have someone make all the pieces from scratch too), but buying them at the store is the easy route. Next, buy toppings as well, think: candy canes, gum drops, licorice sticks, peppermints, m&m’s and more. The last step is the icing, any icing will KIND OF do the trick, but there is really sticky icing that works best, it’s called Royal Icing and it gets extra hard. Provide some royal icing to hold everything together.
There’s a lot of room for creativity in this activity because you could break everyone into teams and give everyone unlimited time and make a contest about presentation, or you could do the opposite and make sure it’s done on a timer. Or you could ditch the team idea and just let friends group however they want. The last step is where the holiday cheer comes into full effect. After everyone is done building, judging and what not. You let a member of each team smash their own gingerbread house. This will bring about all types of responses, but it’s all in good fun! People that aren’t germaphobes can partake as they please.
2. Christmas Carol Karaoke
People are often quite hesitant to karaoke especially in front of a crowd, primarily because how many songs do most people actually know all the words to, not many. Christmas carols might be the one exception, everyone knows all the words to the songs they’ve been singing annually since childhood. So, give it a whirl and let us know how it goes!
3. Christmas Carol Volunteer Night of Worship
I did express that this list was mostly compromised of fun things, but I think worship is pretty fun, and additionally this is a great idea for loving on your volunteer team in a different kind of way. Depending on the size of your church, worship can often be quite structured and regimented, three songs in ten minutes and boom, you’re done. However, your volunteer base is often your core church family, having a special Christmas night of worship exclusive to them could actually make a really big impact.
4. Christmas Scavenger Hunt
The scavenger hunt party has been done in a million ways and it’s still oh so fun. You now have the option of doing a video or photo version or the original kind where you collect items too. Regardless, local pictures with a nativity scene, a video of someone high fiving Rudolph and bringing back garland and candy canes never gets old. This is an excellent one for building camaraderie and teams.
5. Christmas Cookie Decorating Party
Who doesn’t love cookies? There might be someone alive, but I haven’t met them yet. This type of party idea does require you to pre-purchase undecorated sugar, gingerbread or some similar cookie to start as the canvas. Then get your best cookie toppings, lots of colors of icings and let everyone try out their best artistic skills. Lastly, there should be several awesome prizes for the winners of different categories.
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6. Gift Wrapping Party
This idea could actually go two ways. The first way you gather all your staff or ministry volunteers together and have them volunteer their time to wrap the presents of the families of your church (or even the public, think: ministry opportunity). This would be FREE, but donation based, then you could donate the funds to support a family in your church at Christmas, give it to your missions organization or even to sponsor a ministry.
The second way is a lot more personal and community building, but could also be a great party idea. In the second concept, you just have everyone get together for a huge wrapping party. Friends could swap papers and bows. All the men could get a little wrapping help to make their wive’s gifts extra beautiful for the FIRST TIME EVER. Everyone has to wrap their stuff anyway, so why not have fun while doing it.
7. Christmas Movie Marathon
I have hosted MANY, MANY, Christmas Movie Night’s for families and kids and they are always a hit. Hosting a Marathon version could be equally fun for teens and adults. If you thought your adult volunteers wouldn’t get behind this idea, your tween, teen and young adults while off of school would surely love it. Think classic movies like Home Alone and The Santa Claus movies that have multiple movies in the series, or it could just be a mish-mash of favorite ones like Elf, Polar Express and more.
If you have a CVLI license, and you show it on your property, you do not incur an expense to show it. If you are using an outside venue, check with Swank or other licensing firms for details on the cost. Have Christmas goodies available and this will surely be the hit party of the season.
8. Christmas Cookie Swapping Party
If you have a group of avid bakers, then this is the idea for you, this is also an excellent staff idea because it would work great with a smaller amount of people. Plus, how fun would it be to see all the Pastors baking? The answer is very fun! At a Christmas cookie swapping party, everyone brings a pre-determined amount of cookies to share, and then every single person takes one type of cookie from every person present at the party. So, while you came with 2 dozen of one type of cookie, you leave with 24 different types of cookies. You can encourage people to bring printed copies of the recipe, so everyone can remake their favorites. If you use this as a staff idea, you could even make a game of it, where everyone anonymously brings their cookies, and then votes for their favorite. It would have to be anonymous or of course everyone would vote for the Lead Pastor, which might not be a bad idea anyway. ????
9. Facebook Live Christmas Caroling
The modern age of social and new media allows for so many never before seen ideas and this is one of those. In this idea, you get your staff or volunteers together for a classic round of Christmas caroling, and then utilize Facebook Live so that people from all over get to be a part. This is such a unique twist on an old idea.
10. Christmas Costume Party
This party idea allows for people to dress up. Not every volunteer culture would be into that, but if you have a huge group of silly people, that love to go all out, then this might be the idea for you. You would need to set the tone beforehand about whether there was an expectation for people to dress up like fun pop culture Christmas icons like Buddy the elf, or whether people were supposed to dress up like characters in a Nativity scene or a mix of both. Regardless, give out prizes for best costume, most original and most Christmas cheer and people will surely remember this party for years to come.
Final thought, I didn’t mention food in this post because food can be a deterrent for people wanting to host a party because it makes things more complicated. However, you can have a party without food, and it can still be a great time. All of these ideas are strong enough to stand alone. However, don’t forget that people do love to gather together and eat, so each of these ideas could also include light Christmas refreshments, potluck style goodies or even a quick visit to your favorite local restaurant. If you need any additional help, send us an email and we’ll see if we can help you out. Regardless, the point is to love on your volunteers and staff. Show them how much their sacrifice and devotion means to you, and of course take a moment to remember the love God showed by sending a tiny baby to save humanity. “We love because He first loved us”
Merry Christmas and Lots of Love!