To return nativity scenes to CHRISTmas in the public square in Aotearoa-New Zealand.

(Please support Hope Project Easter, Family and CHRISTmas at AllTogether.co.nz/donate)

WHY?

Christ has been all-but fully removed from CHRISTmas nationally, including on television, in print-media, Council decorations, shopfront windows, and even the inclusion of nativity-related lyrics in CHRISTmas carols in many shops and some public Christmas carol gatherings.

Some seem to think this a religiously tolerant and respectful or wise thing to do. We suggest the very opposite to be the case. Our nation has a rich Christian heritage which is not only the reason we have Christmas as a public holiday; this heritage gifted us many of our most treasured values. It defines us more than most know. Our children should not grow up ignorant of their cultural heritage, and without respect or regard for so many of their cultural ancestors. There is no reason for us to feel culturally threatened by the Christ of CHRISTmas!

  • Fundraising for Hope Project (1) Easter, (2) CHRISTmas and (3) Family occurs in the lead up to Easter annually.

  • Funding priority is currently given in the order they are listed above.

  • Hope Project Christmas 2019 has no funds, and will proceed with a focus on local church and member mobilisation, supports by the provision of free graphics and other media for individual and local-church use.

  • Please support the Hope Project efforts generously at AllTogether.co.nz/donate

Individuals

  • CHRISTmas cards: Seek to purchase those including nativity references (See Bible Society, Manna and other bookstores, Salvation Army, Warehouse, Whitcoulls, Two dollar shops, and more)
  • Decorations: Purchase and include nativity imagery.
  • Lighting displays: Include nativity imagery in your windows and on your from lawn
  • Playlists / music: Include nativity-related carols on your playlists
  • Social media: Post nativity-related imagery and videos while saying ‘Merry Christmas’ to friends

Specific new resources:

Church small groups

  • Social celebrations with the nativity story: Consider social year-end Christmas celebrations that reference the nativity story, and the cultural values and hope the Christ of Christmas has brought to the world, to our own nation, and in our personal lives.

Christian business people

  • Decorations: Purchase and include nativity imagery in your displays, noting nativity resources online like at outdoornativitysets.com, ‘Catholic Supply Store‘, and more.
  • Window decals: Include nativity imagery on windows, possibly including our ‘reason for the season’ imagery downloaded for free here.
  • Playlists / music: Include carols with nativity-related lyrics on your playlists. To help this Hope Project intends to release an album titled ‘Kiwi Cafe Christmas’ – with a single released lat 2019, prior to the full album in 2020.
  • Book retailers: Sell genuine CHRISTmas cards and decorations
  • Posters and billboards: A selection can be downloaded here. We can resize for you. We cn remove or add an alternative URL upon request.
  • For children:
    • Bicultural Christmas interactive children’s magazine – Maori Postal
    • Christmas interactive children’s publication – Bible Society
    • Short Kiwi-nativity comic strip – Shining Lights Trust

Local congregations

  • Continue to do what you already do – it’s great: …through imagery, carols, media and the arts.
  • Posters and billboards: A selection can be downloaded here. We can resize for you. We can remove or add an alternative URL upon request. Could one fit on a prominent exterior wall?

Combined churches in cities

  • Some context…:  It is a trend within our nation to ‘move’ churches out of community Christmas carol gatherings and the like. Some now gatherings exist that only sing carols without nativity-references, as if that were somehow religiously respectful. Many shopping chains have likewise removed carols with nativity-related lyrics.
  • Floats: Many create floats. Might partnership with another town/city be helpful? [A collection of NZ Christmas float pictures will be added soon]
  • Posters and billboards: A selection can be downloaded here. We can resize for you. We can remove or add an alternative URL upon request. What opportunities do you have?
  • Ideas: The limit is our creativity and courage. Consider large united Christmas events (like in Cambridge), Christmas carol gatherings and concerts (found in many places – though also in decline), Christmas dramas and theatricals (like New Plymouth to thousands of school children, or Tauranga with a ‘walk through’ attended by thousands), a A Hikoi from church to church around the community (Tauranga central churches), and more… What could you do to bring profile and community spirit to Christmas?
  • An encouragement – Value your opportunities to protect them: Consider necessary ’profile’ involvements and who can do them, to ensure opportunities ar well utilised and valued – because this will help to preserve them.
  • An encouragement – Promptly speak up to support any needing it: Be ready to support any person who gets any flack for respecting our cultural traditions.

United national voice

  • The potential: With basic funds, our Hope Project team’s media efforts could potentially connect nativity imagery and history with more people than all the above mentioned individual an individual church efforts combined.
  • The need for a united view to support Hope Project and similar (following) efforts: The Christian faith will only have a presence publicly within Christmas and Easter if Christian believers unite, and choose to see these efforts as something they are a part of.
  • 2019 Update: Donations were insufficient to enable the inclusion of pubic media in Hope Project CHRISTmas 2019 plans.
  • Please support, so we will all have supporting public media in 2020. AllTogether.co.nz/donate

The effectiveness of this effort is in the visibility of nativity imagery and lyrics at many levels simultaneously, as well a in our habit to give these traditional images an ongoing profile, year-to-year.

Five years of persistence could see the public recognising the valid place of Jesus within Christmas again, while coming to a more balanced view or what a religiously respectful approach to Christmas might looks like, given that it is understood to be a specifically Christian tradition globally, and this a nation with a distinctly Christian heritage and set of values. (It is not without reason that all religions are welcome here. Our respecting of religious freedom is  itself a distinctly Christian value.)