December is here which means Christmas lessons and Christmas parties of some sort are probably in your youth group’s immediate future. A common youth ministry temptation is to mistakenly lump our entire youth group together; to assume they like the same things, come from similar backgrounds, socioeconomic situations, etc. Because Christmas is such an important celebration, I think it’s a great opportunity to think about the diversity in your youth group as you plan your Christmas-themed lessons and activities. Here are just a few ideas to help you mix things up this Christmas season.
Mix up the type of activities:
Some kids love Christmas carols, while others don’t…so avoid making your music 100% Christmas carols for the next three weeks. Some students want to have the world’s largest snowball fight, while others may prefer to sip eggnog around the fire…so look for a way to do both. Make an effort to mix up the type of activities you employ at Christmas in order to keep everybody in your group engaged.
Mix up the costs:
For many families, Christmas is a financially stressful season. Why add to that by doing activities that cost extra money? Consider the reality that in most youth groups there are students from every socioeconomic background and plan accordingly. Remember, the students from wealthy families can still participate in free activities but the students from families with less financial security may not be able to participate in activities with a fee attached…especially at Christmas time.
Mix up the traditions:
Christmas crosses virtually every culture and, even though it is Christ-centric, almost every religion celebrates it. With this in mind, look for ways to incorporate some of that diversity into your Christmas celebrations. Ask your students with a Catholic background if there is something you can include. Determine some of the other ethnicities represented in your youth group and add culturally relevant pieces to your celebration. There are lots of easy ways to intertwine Christmas traditions without compromising the true meaning or power of the holiday.
Mix up the lessons:
Avoid the temptation to teach the same old Christmas lesson(s) the same old way. Catch your students off-guard by adding a creative twist or two. Here are a few ideas for creative Christmas lessons:
- “A Scandalous Christmas” – Christmas was full of scandals…an unwed mother, a murder plot, a strange star sitting in the sky, a promised Savior born in a cave.
- “Christmas through their eyes” – Tell the Christmas story from a variety of perspectives. What was it like for Joseph? For Mary? For the Shepherds?
- “Christmas; The Untold Story” – Build a lesson around the most neglected parts of the Christmas story.
- LIVE Holiday – This editable, online curriculum from Group’s Simply Youth Ministry includes a 6-week Christmas series!
Have a great, creative, mixed-up Christmas!