We learn what birthday parties are all about at a very young age, so having a birthday party for Jesus is an extremely cognitively appropriate way for kids and adults alike to remember what celebrating Christmas is all about. Just like we celebrate another year of life with a birthday party, Christmas is an annual celebration of Jesus’ birth, life, death, and resurrection.
Who: Anyone you would invite to a birthday party for you or your child
When: Anytime in December
HOW TO USE THIS GUIDE
Look at the section headings that follow, and choose one or two activities under each heading that will be the best fit for your party, or feel free to come up with your own ideas too. Select a date, make a guest list, gather the necessary supplies that correspond with the ideas you’ve chosen, and then PARTY it up!!! Email Cindy afterward to let her know how things went: email@example.com
Anyone can host a Birthday Party for Jesus. If you are an adult without children at home, you can still invite your friends and family over for a special time of celebration for the season. Instead of choosing an activity from each section, just share the Christmas Story in Luke, and/or have a time of discussion about what Christmas means to each person. If you want, have your guests bring a canned food item to be donated to a local food bank. Of course, don’t forget the birthday cake, and it’s sure to be a hit!!
Insert a note into a Christmas card
A “Birthday Party for Jesus” party pack with invitations included can be ordered from oriental trading, http://www.orientaltrading.com/
Ornament invitations. Cut out round pieces of paper and have your children decorate with crayons, stickers, and various craft items. Put the party info on the back
Attach the party info to a candy cane with curly ribbon.
Create an E-vite on http://new.evite.com/ - home or http://www.pingg.com/ , or create an event on facebook.
STORY TIME IDEAS
The Christmas Story: Read the story of Jesus’ birth from the Bible (Luke 2:1-20) with the kids gathered around, or for extra fun, assign parts and have them act it out as you read, or assemble a nativity scene as you tell the story.
Read the “What God Wants for Christmas” book and/or use the interactive nativity that goes along with it, both available at Mardel or online.
(After the story time, consider sharing your personal testimony of what Jesus has done for you, and giving a gospel tract to all in attendance)
Christmas Star Search: Hide several paper stars around the house and set the children loose to find them. (Think Easter egg hunt.) You could mark certain stars to receive special prizes or give a prize to the person who finds the most. You could use Christmas ornaments instead, but don’t forget to provide a bag to use while collecting. Then, later they can decorate a tree together with the ornaments they found.
Musical Chairs: Children walk around chairs (one less than number of participants) placed in a circle as Christmas music plays. When music stops, they must find a seat. The person left standing is out. For younger kids, use enough chairs for everyone and do not call anyone “out”.
Pin the Hay in the Manger: Played just like “Pin the Tail on the Donkey”. Blindfold each child. Spin them around, and then have them attempt to add a yellow feather (hay) with a piece of tape on it to a picture of a manger. Little ones can add their hay without the blindfold or spinning! You could also do “Pin the candle on the cake”, “Pin the star on the Christmas Tree”, etc…
Musical presents: Before the party wrap a small present in ten or more layers of paper fastening each layer with masking tape. Sit the children in a circle and as you play Christmas music, have the children pass the gift along to the person on their left. When the music stops, the child holding the gift unwraps one layer. The child who unwraps the final layer of paper wins the gift. Alternative: Wrap a gift that can be shared (ex. Candy, stickers, etc.) Then the person who unwraps the final layer can hand out a treat to each child.
Buy a Christmas craft of your choice at http://www.orientaltrading.com/ , or Hobby Lobby.
Get some paper crowns and let the kids decorate them with various craft items. Remind kids that although Jesus came as a baby in a manger, he is the King of Kings.
Make Christmas Cards or ornaments that the kids can take home with them.
Make a Light-of-the-World Lantern using a jar, various craft supplies and a tea light.
Give every child a Christmas coloring sheet of your choice.
Duh…. Birthday Cake!! (Don’t forget to sing!!)
Your favorite party foods
WHAT ABOUT GIFTS?
No gifts involved in any way OR Have kids draw or write a gift on a piece of paper that they would like to give Jesus. Have them give lay their “offering” pictures in front of a nativity scene and have prayer.
Have people bring an item to be donated to a local food bank or bring the donated items in to Mission Central at the church to be given to Hope Alliance Ministries
Have kids bring a small, inexpensive, wrapped gift and do a gift exchange. Point out to the kids that Jesus is the best gift of all.
(Whichever you choose, be sure to let people know on the invitation.)
Consider gathering the group to conclude your event with prayer. One person could lead a prayer, or help each child think of one thing they’d like to thank Jesus for and go around the room letting each child say “Thank you Jesus for ______.”
Hand out invite cards to our church to all in attendance who do not have a church home, and sincerely ask them to be your special guest next Sunday!
DON’T FORGET TO EMAIL CINDY AFTER YOUR PARTY, TO LET HER KNOW HOW IT WENT!! firstname.lastname@example.org