01 Sep, 2023 Christmas Creative Outreach
This collection of creative ideas is written by Sarah, one of our Shining Lights Trust team members.
1 Corinthians 13:13 “There are three things that last: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love”
We are reminded of God’s greatest commandment, to “Love one another as I have loved you”.
May this Christmas be a time we can share this gift of love.
It’s a gift that is desperately needed and is easily given.
Below is a collection of ideas to spark your imagination to engage through our ;
(2) businesses and then
(3) into the wider community.
Web-links can be found via nearly all images. These take you further information at other websites (noting we can’t endorse all other content at those websites – but these ideas are great!).
How can we Shine FAITH this year
Through our CHURCH
The NATIVITY is a powerful representation of the unwavering FAITH that we can hold onto. Consider Mary and Joseph trusting the words of the angel, the wise men trusting their revelation to travel – and the ancient promise of a Saviour now being fulfilled. The nativity can remind us that, no matter what challenges we face, we can trust in God’s promises and His ultimate plan for our lives. When we display nativities, we remind each other of this faith and encourage others to seek it.
Nativities shine a light on Christ and remind us of the importance of faith in our lives.
Sometimes going simple has the best impact especially when it comes to these beautiful fabric nativities. While not designed for the outside, they could quite easily be arranged in prominent church windows. There are many possibilities when it comes to using fabric – so now might be the time to start fishing out old sheets, curtains and tablecloths!
A cheap and easy material that is often under-utilised is corflute. It’s hardy, light and can withstand the rain. Real-estate signs are made of this material – and are often just given away. They have such great potential to be repurposed into something amazing.
I would stay away from scissors and recommend a sharp craft knife or jig to cut out your design. If you want to paint the finished product you will need to give it a light sanding to prevent the paint from peeling.
There are many great silhouette ideas online to give you a head start on your own unique design.
Want something simpler? Does building a big nativity seem overwhelming? The great thing about a shadow nativity is you can get the same large impact from a simpler structure! While they can be displayed both inside and out, there is the same potential to reach the wider community and ignite conversation when strategically placed in public view.
Click HERE to be inspired by this metal shadow nativity.
Let’s make the nativity prominent – knowing there is a FAITH and HOPE they represent.
How can we Shine HOPE this year
In our BUSINESS’S
The NATIVITY is a reminder of the HOPE we can have – sitting amongst the busyness and stress this time can otherwise represent. Joseph, Mary, the wise men and shepherds were all there with a hope that something better was in store. As a business owner, you have a unique opportunity to share hope and joy with those around you.
How could you do that?
Scripture displays are a simple and effective way to share this hope. They are a powerful reminder of the HOPE people can have in times of darkness and uncertainty. We have found a variety of different verses about the nativity that you can download and then display in frames around your store, on walls, counters or even in your windows. Just click on the images and let your creative ideas flow.
Window displays are a great space for nativities. Sharing the hope of Christmas while encouraging people to come in. Using a window display to showcase a beautiful nativity scene can be a great way to create an eye-catching and heart-warming display that can attract people’s attention. They can also be a conversation starter to connect with the community during the holiday season and share the message of hope and peace.
Heres’ an idea…. Throughout the month of December, you could change the window display once a week to tell the whole story of the nativity. (1) Share the announcement of Jesus birth told by an angel to Shepards, (2) the adoration of the wise men looking at their newborn king fast asleep in his mother’s arms, and (3) display the humble circumstances into which Jesus was born.
This reminds us that even in the midst of dark and difficult times there is always reason to HOPE
Music has the power to touch hearts and covey a nativity message in a way that words alone cannot. From traditional carols to contemporary songs, the music of Christmas brings the story of Jesus’ birth to life. It reminds us of the hope and salvation he came to bring. By sharing this music with others, we can help spread the joy and meaning of Christmas to those around us.
“My heart, which is so full to overflowing, has often been solaced and refreshed by music when sick and weary.”
– Martin Luther
This Christmas, what could you do to shine a light on the great HOPE we have in Christ?
How can we Shine LOVE this year
Into our COMMUNITIES
The NATIVITY is a reminder of the great LOVE that God has for each and every one of us. This is the reason Jesus came! His is a love that has no limits or bounds. Let’s find ways to show and reflect that love in our communities this Christmas.
Love that breaks down barriers, opens hearts and brings people together.
Share a COMMUNITY MEAL
A meal warms the heart and opens the conversation
By organising a community meal, we can build stronger ties within our communities and create a sense of belonging and connection. It can be a Christmas day or a Christmas season meal having it during the month of December.
Why not bring some games into the night which can encourage discussion around the meaning of Christmas and promote relationships. Bringing back Charades, Pictionary or even bingo with a Christmas nativity theme is a simple and effective way to achieve this. We have found some great free resources that tie in the nativity while also allowing non churched members of the community to also feel included.
Working collectively to create a feast with other churches is a great way to share in serving the community and showing the LOVE of Christ
Gift a BLESSING CARD
Christmas brings lights, food, and the chance to spend time with our families. But that is not the case for everyone.
Share the hope and love found in God’s word through some blessing cards. They can be purchased or even created and have the potential to really encourage those in our communities. We found a variety of blessing cards at Manna Christian Stores online. Click the image and it will take you straight to their collection. Otherwise Esty has templates that you are able to download and customise yourself. Cards can be posted, given in conversation, or attached to a gift – which could be as simple as a plant, home baking or fruit from the garden. A set of cards can be given as a gift – for others to give away, or even given in the moment to individuals we meet along our path.
The Nativity is both powerful in its imagery as well as its words.
Shine our LIGHTS
In the darkness the light shines the brightest
Colourful and bright decorations help to create a joyful atmosphere – rightly celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. This can be fun too.
We can start off simple, with PVC piping, chicken wire and fairy lights to create something beautiful like this cross. There is the option to purchase something ready-made like this star. Or we can take some rope LED lighting and just let our imaginations sore.
Click on the following images to be inspired.
Let’s be a people that is intentional about showing LOVE this Christimas towards our brother, our neighbour, our community!
Christmas is an appropriate time for us to be present and visible in our communities – creatively representing the story of Jesus.
Let’s purposefully step out in FAITH to do something that bridges the gap between church and community, to share the HOPE we have while showing His LOVE this Christmas.