Most folks love a birthday party…and throwing a party is a great way to spread a little Christmas around the neighborhood.
The year after we moved to Cleveland, we wanted to do something special for Advent. We were still relatively new in the neighborhood, we were anxious to build relationships. So, when we turned the calendar to December, we decided that one way to reach out would be having a Birthday Party for Jesus at our home. We sat down and mapped out some plans:
3. Story time
Over the next few days, I’ll describe what we did…and then I hope you’ll brainstorm and share YOUR ideas here as well!
First: Invitations. I wanted them to be simple enough that kids could read them…and special enough that they would be fun to receive. I also wanted them to be easy to make; I wanted Annie and Bill to be able to help with the process. Here is what we designed:
We hand delivered these to all of the kids in the neighborhood so that each child received one (if a family had more than one child, each child in the family received his/her own invitation.)
The inside of the invitation, as with any party, detailed the time, date and location. We also gave information about a special service project we had planned. (more on that in the next couple of days!)
You’ll notice that the invitation wasn’t expensive to make, nor was it very labor-intensive…and that is an important component of a family outreach: Keep it simple. I have learned this the hard way over the years…when I tried to complicate things by adding fancy details, my plans usually frustrated my kids and left me depleted. If store-bought invitations or computer-generated ones work for you, then that is the right solution. As my wonderful friend Barb Dittrich says, “Good enough is good enough!” She is right!
Coming up next: Games and crafts for the party
PS Congrats to Jeff C…you are the winner of Different Dream Parenting by Jolene Philo! Please email your address to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will get it in the mail to you!