Christmas Eve services can sometimes feel like the Super Bowl of ministry life. But how can we make them memorable while also staying true to our budgets, church traditions, and the real reason for the season?

Here are 5 ways to make your Christmas Eve Service Memorable for families: 

  1. Keep kids in mind. Many families choose to worship together on Christmas Eve, so whether your Christmas Eve service is promoted as a family service or not, keep kids in mind. That means consider shortening the service (honestly, Christmas Eve services don’t need to be longer than about an hour anyway), invite kids into the storytelling action, and incorporate elements in your service that allow for intergenerational engagement. Using something like our Interactive Nativity Kits, Instant Christmas Pageant, or Noisy Christmas resources, you can invite the entire room to help you share the Christmas story and keep kids engaged. And check out our practical tips for family worship to think through how to intentionally engage all ages in one service.
  2. Be intentional. If you only have an hour, you don’t have time to waste. Be intentional with the time you’re given but also with the resources you provide for kids during the service. Focus on offering resources that help kids participate in the service rather than just keeping them occupied until it’s over. Here’s a quick list of what I like to include in Christmas Eve Praise Packs.
  3. Play games! Fun and laughter make for instant memories, and it’s OK to have a little fun on Christmas Eve. So light those candles, cut the lights, and sing the solemn, acapella rendition of Silent Night, but find time in the service for a bit of fun too! Games are a great way to incorporate a time when kids don’t have to sit quietly, and families can enjoy playing together. Even if a game is only included as part of a 5-minute countdown to the beginning of service, find a way to include a little bit of fun. Some of our favorite Christmas-Eve-worthy games include Chalk Draw Nativity, Finish the Phrase Christmas Edition, Bible Guessing Game: Nativity Edition, What’s Missing: Christmas Edition, Double Vision, and Christmas Crowd Charades.
  4. Give them a clear next step. Sometimes we get so caught up in Christmas Eve itself, we forget about everything that follows. But Christmas Eve is a time when many people will visit your church who don’t normally attend, so it’s a great opportunity to take encourage them to take a next step. This might mean inviting them back next week for the brand new series you’re starting, talking with someone at the welcome desk to share their contact info and receive a small gift, something related to the sermon, or even giving to your Christmas offer. Whatever it looks like, give all those who will attend – your regulars and your guests – a direct call to action for how they can get more involved with your church.
  5. Help families make memories at home! Don’t let the memory-making end when the service is over. Share resources, ideas, and encouragement with families to help them keep the faith and fun going even after they’ve left your church building. Give each family that attends a “Christmas Eve to Remember” Bag with a simple but significant Christmas Eve devotional and family activities (see a full list of what you might include in these bags here). Help them celebrate the 12 days of Christmas by following the wise men on their journey with something like the Follow the Star activity book. Or maybe you even just hand out some fun hot chocolate packets with the encouragement to snuggle up together for a Christmas movie. Providing ways for families to celebrate and make memories at home helps encourage faith conversations and family discipleship.

Families want to make memories together, especially during the holiday season. And when we help them make memories on Christmas Eve that center around faith and fun, that’s a huge win – not only for your church or ministry, but for the Kingdom.

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