Our desire at Genesis is to help you find ways to live the mission of God in your neighborhood. We want to give ideas that will our people meet neighbors, build relationships, and speak the Gospel into their lives. The Christmas season is a great time to build some bridges with people living on your block and in your neighborhood. With all of these ideas, we encouraging you to keep a notebook handy when you do the event, and write notes about your neighbors names and other information you learn while talking to them. So here are a few ideas you and your family might implement.
- Go caroling – take your family, or you might even find a group of people from church to join you. Go from door to door and sing for your neighbors. Give them some cookies or some other small gift and an invite card to Christmas Eve service. You might also use this to raise money for a charity or our world missions offering.
- Community raking/snow shoveling/yardwork – For the most part, leaves have been raked. But there may be the odd home in the neighborhood that doesn’t have the job done. Or we may have a big snow day this Christmas. Consider going up and down the block and getting all the kids together to rake or shovel together. Parents might even jump in and join you.
- Deliver gifts to homes – OK, so this one is not revolutionary, but consider making something simple and taking it to neighbors. When you visit, you can do a couple things. First, be sure to introduce yourself to neighbors you haven’t met, and get their names. Make notes to remember names for the future. Also, you might consider including an invite card to our Christmas Eve service in the gift. Here are some good gift ideas.
*A tin of home-made cookies or a mug with some hot chocolate
*A bag of microwave popcorn and a Red Box gift card
*A gift bag with a roll of scotch tape, some ribbons, some tissue paper, and gift tags
*Candles from the dollar store that you spruce up with a bit of ribbon
- Have a kid’s gift wrapping party – invite kids in the neighborhood to your house, with a few other parents so they can wrap their presents for parents and siblings.
- Family craft day – Invite neighborhood families to your home and provide a craft for kids. A gingerbread house or simple ornament makes a great craft. Of course, Pinterest has all kinds of ideas you might try.
- Driveway Christmas Movie Night – With the availability of big TV’s and projectors it is easy to show a movie in a driveway. Invite neighborhood families, build a fire, and show one of the classics.
- Canned food scavenger hunt – Make collecting canned goods a game for the family and some neighbors. Make different types of cans worth different points (IE – Greenbeans are 10 points, peas are 20 points, yams might be 50 points…). See who can collect the most cans and get the most points.
- Middle school bus stop hot chocolate – Consider going out on one of those cold mornings to meet kids at their bus stop with a jug of hot chocolate. Middle school kids are being picked up before the sun comes up, so they would really appreciate it.
- Deliver meals to Salvation Army Bell Ringers – this is a great family or Community Group idea. Take chili or hot soup with fixins and some cookies to the bell ringers in town (normally at Walmart & Schnucks). Give them a break and have your family ring the bell for them as they enjoy a hot meal on a cold night. Give the ringer a Bible or tract and maybe a small gift.
- Invite friends to Christmas Eve Service – A little Captain Obvious here, but Christmas is a great time to invite neighbors and friends to join you at church. We have invite cards at church for this, so grab a stack and put them in gifts, or have them out at your event.