It’s not just for Christmas…

Author: Mr Jonathan Richardson

Published on: 29 December 2017

A famous advertising slogan is "A Dog is for Life… Not Just For Christmas” which got me thinking about how this may apply to the church.

We often put huge amounts of effort into the lead up to Christmas, planning events to invite people to – but maybe forget the follow up. We are all familiar with the post-Christmas blues – even to the point of people booking a holiday to recover from the rush! But what does this mean for those we try to connect with in our Christmas events. For many, loneliness and depression can set in during the dark days of winter – their need is most when we are doing the least! The challenge therefore is to think of how you can stay connected and develop more permanent relationships following the Christmas high.

It is a bit early for Easter but you could have an invitation ready that you can give to people for an event
after Christmas:

Do something around New Year

  • Have a New Year Party
  • Organise a New Year’s Walk – finish with hot drinks and snacks at the church
  • Do an outdoor gym or physical challenge to draw on people’s desire for New Year’s resolutions
  • Run a kids club to look after kids while parents go to the sales!

Do things around other Christian Festivals

  • Hold a post-Christmas – ‘Unwanted Present Swap Party’ – you could schedule this around ‘The Feast of the Epiphany’ on 6 January – celebrating the arrival of the wise men
  • Traditionally many churches remove Christmas decorations at Candlemas (2 Feb). Why not make a party of it – do some stargazing, have a bonfire and butties
  • Hold a Valentines Dinner – you could start a ‘Marriage Course’ at the same time (
  • Do not forget Easter! – start planning now…
  • People love baking – Run a Hot Cross Bun making workshop
  • Learn to run an ‘Easter Experience’ (training and resources are available through the diocese ( You could do this in the school – or better still set the church up and invite classes down to the church if it is near enough.

Don’t Forget other people

Find out if those in your community have other cultural festivals such as Chinese New Year (16 Feb 2018) and Passover (30 March 2018) – these can be useful times to engage with schools and maybe offer something different – how about doing a Passover meal in the church for children from the local school and their families.

Do it on your own

Each of us should seek to be welcoming and hospitable and this does not need to be onerous, you could just…

  • Invite someone round for a meal
  • Commit to pray for the people you have come into contact with
  • Setup a babysitting group to offer to young families.

The author...

Mr Jonathan Richardson

Children, Youth & Families Development Officer

This article is from...

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