Hosting an After Church Kids’ Christmas Party for Parents to Get a Break

Have you noticed a trend in your church where families are seeming increasingly busy and overwhelmed?

At our church, this sense of busyness and treading water seems to ratchet up another notch around the Christmas season.

So what if you could help to take just a little of the pressure off?

What if you could give parents a break, small though it may be, by giving them an afternoon to get some shopping done without kids, or even to just allow moms and dads to catch a rare moment of alone time?

When we did this at our church, it meant so much more to parents than the proportion of effort we put into it.

I realize at this point, you might be thinking, “This sounds all well and good, but it isn’t exactly a slow time of year for Pastors either.”

And that is a totally valid point, but you can give parents a break that really doesn’t add a ton to your plate.

You don’t have to go all out with carnival-style games, and prizes and a full program.

You go can give parents a break in a very simple way that requires very little prep and only a few volunteers.

Here’s what the whole process might look like.

Step 1: Text/Email your volunteers to ask if they’d like to be involved.

Contact volunteers (who aren’t parents), and let them know you want to bless parents by giving them a little break during a stressful time of year.

Let them know lunch will be provided.

Make it clear they’ll just be hanging and spending some relational time with the kids.

At our church, our kids’ area is divided into 3 rooms, so our goal was to have at least 1 adult volunteer for each room and 1-2 teen volunteers per room.

Step 2: Text/email parents to let them know it’s happening.

Once you have volunteers lined up; it’s time to let parents know about this.

We didn’t start promo until the week before we did it.

As part of the promotion, we encouraged our families to invite other families because the busyness of the Christmas season isn’t just prevalent in Christian families.

Then the day before, we sent a second text as a reminder.

Step 3: Get food.

If your church has a kitchen, the cheapest option is to buy something like chicken nuggets and frozen mac and cheese (you can feed about 40 people for $50).

If your church doesn’t have a kitchen, there’s always the pizza delivery route which would probably end up at about $100/50 kids, which still isn’t bad.

Step 4: Host the event.

And by host the event, I mean let the kids hang out and play games in your main kids’ area and put a Christmas movie on.

As for your volunteers let them know they can play games with the kids and watch the movie as long as they’re keeping an eye on everything.

We gave parents a 2.5-hour window from 12:30-3, and asked them to pick their children up promptly at that time (there may have been a threat of giving kids free espresso shots and puppies if a parent was late).

And that’s it.

Parents loved it and brought friends.

Kids loved it and brought friends.

We didn’t put a huge amount of effort into it, but we did give parents a couple hours to slow down during a really hectic, crazy, frenetic time of year.

Do you do anything to help take some pressure off parents during the Christmas season? Leave a comment!

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Brandon Horst

I am passionate about family, especially my amazing wife, Hannah, my daughter, Emery, and my son Tristan. I am also passionate about helping Family Ministry Leaders lead better. I love new ideas, innovation, and collaborating with other leaders to make those ideas and innovations better. I currently serve as the Next Gen Pastor at Centerpointe Church in Fairfax, VA.

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Brandon Horst

I am passionate about family, especially my amazing wife, Hannah, my daughter, Emery, and my son Tristan. I am also passionate about helping Family Ministry Leaders lead better. I love new ideas, innovation, and collaborating with other leaders to make those ideas and innovations better. I currently serve as the Next Gen Pastor at Centerpointe Church in Fairfax, VA.

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