Over the past several years, my wife and I have been invited to attend many of the Christmas parties hosted each year by various groups at College Avenue Baptist Church. Word got around that I was good for some cheap (free) entertainment, being a member of the church staff. And it’s true: I know dozens of fun Christmas games and I can play Jingle Bells on the banjo. I’m happy to share this spiritual gift with anybody for a free meal or a chunk of Christmas fudge.
A couple of years ago after attending several of these parties and doing the same schtick at each one of them (and wearing the same ugly Christmas sweater) I thought to myself, “Hey wait a minute. Why don’t all these groups just get together and have one big Christmas party instead of a whole bunch of little ones. I’m Pastor to Generations at this church and one of my goals is to bring the various age groups together … so why not at Christmas? Why does everybody have to have their own Christmas party?”
I tried to make it happen last year but the idea was met with a big bah humbug from most everybody. Apparently, people like having their own parties. Sunday school classes, small groups, old people, young people, the board of elders, the missionary society, the college group, the choir, the deacons, the children’s ministry team, the youth ministry team, etc. all have a tradition of doing their own parties.
Still, why not do an all-church Christmas party that would bring all the generations together? That wouldn’t necessarily prevent any of the groups from having their own Christmas parties at some other time. They could still go ahead and have their own party in addition to the all-church one. I thought that might make a good compromise.
So I brought it up again this year and lo and behold, the church staff agreed to give it a shot. It’s going to happen! College Avenue Baptist Church is having an all-church Christmas party on Friday night, December 12 called “A Christmas Extravaganza.” It warmed my heart to see the promotional piece for the worship folder with the headline “A Christmas Celebration for All Generations.” Some (but not all) of the groups at our church have cancelled their Christmas parties in lieu of this event. Everyone is helping make it happen. The children are singing. The youth are planning a Christmas film festival after the event. The college students are helping to lead the games. The old folks are helping serve and they are all going to have a blast. There will be good food and games and yes, I will be playing Jingle Bells on the banjo.
May your family (and your church family too) have a wonderful Christmas celebration this year!
The Christmas Party was a big hit. Over 550 people attended and everything went better than expected. The food was great, the games were fun and everybody had a wonderful time. I heard many comments from older folks about how wonderful it was to see all the “young people” having such a good time. That’s a win in my book.
Here are a few pictures.