04 Oct, 2021 Nativity Ideas – Getting Creative
It has been exciting to see the various things people have done at Christmas the past couple of years to keep the ‘Christ’ in ‘Christmas’.
It’s also been a privilege to discover what people have been doing the past decade for the same reason – and to pass on their story so others can copy their ideas.
Here are some adaptions of existing ideas that we (the Hope Project team) think could really work. This is about nothing more than getting a little bit creative at Christmas – and people will love it!
CREATING A PHOTO AND SOCIAL MEDIA OPPORTUNITY FOR OTHERS – THAT PUTS ‘CHRIST’ IN ‘CHRISTMAS
What if two people dressed as Joseph and Mary, carrying a baby, were to walk around with a huge photo frame and a children’s publication / activity sheet on Christmas in a shopping area. People could take a pic of themselves standing inside the frame with Joseph, Mary and the baby – and THEY would post it on social media to all their friends.
The ‘Christ’ is put in Christmas.
CREATING THE ‘ANIMAL CONTACT’ OPPORTUNITY FOR CHILDREN – THAT PUTS ‘CHRIST’ IN ‘CHRISTMAS
What if two or more people dressed as Joseph and Mary with a baby etc… were to walk (with permission) through shopping areas with a pet sheep, pet goat, and any other suitable animals? This would be a magnet for all children – to touch a sheep or goat. People also get the photo op with the nativity crew – which will go to their social media. (You’d need permission for a shopping mall – possibly a vet or trainee-vet with you if THEY say this is needed – and someone there with paper towels and disinfectant spray ready to clean up any mess the animals made.
This way the concerns of council / shopping malls for public places are properly considered). As in the prior idea, and suitable Christmas activity sheet or story booklet for children could be passed on to those interested in a copy – though finding quality materials is important.
Done annually – this could be a feature that many councils and shopping areas love. Most parents would LOVE for their children to have access to a goat, sheep or other animal! Note that a huge number of children and families have no other access or connection to farm animals. If you make going to shopping areas a more celebrative experience for families – businesses will love you!
A great story with steps of how a church has done this can be found HERE
Get creative. Get dressed up and go for a walk – and have fun making it fun for others!
CREATING SPECTACULAR REUSABLE LIGHTING DISPLAY ON HOUSES – TO PUT THE ‘CHRIST’ IN ‘CHRISTMAS’
Many cities and towns have houses that create lighting displays – which families then take a drive to look at. This is true for us in Tauranga – as also across the road from my Mums house in Hawera. These pictures are a small street on which all the houses have worked together to create an amazing display. It is not unlikely that half the community walks this small street prior to Christmas annually.
What if people did this with nativity scenes included? It is a one-time cost to purchase the lights – plus the annual power bill. Many could afford this.
It’s creative, and it puts the ‘Christ’ back in ‘Christmas’.
RETURNING BRASS BANDS TO CHRISTMAS
Public brass bands might still play carols if they can use it as a fundraiser – or at a combined carol event. But what about putting them on trucks again? What about getting the Salvation Army involved – on a truck – in the float parade??
In Wellington, a member of the Vivian Street Salvation Army worked out arrangements with Council to enable this again – meeting safety requirements. It is possible. Children love brass band instruments.
Or what about quartet (four instruments) going out to play in shopping areas – combined with a ‘Joseph’ and ‘Mary’ with baby for photos – while making suitable children’s booklets or activity sheets about Christmas available?? It’s the attitude of ‘fun’ that will make this attractive to the public.
We communicate wisely – and everyone can win!
CREATING STATIC NATIVITY DISPLAYS ON LAWNS
This is another idea that many could do – if someone would please create the ‘flat-pack’ design for us to share. Shapes are cut out of a piece of plywood that slot together to create a 3-D nativity stand for the front lawn. Children could optionally paint these – otherwise make them white like these images from a google search. These could be put on lawns annually like any other Christmas decoration – and stored easily in a garage excuse they pack down flat. Again – you’d be putting the ‘Christ’ back in ‘Christmas’. And most churches would have a few blokes who’d LOVE the opportunity to create these for a few families if asked. The price would be the cost of the plywood.
REALLY SIMPLY ‘MERRY CHRISTMAS’ FB POSTS BY A FEW HUNDRED THOUSAND OF US WITH A NATIVITY SCENE
Including nativities in a FB post doesn’t have to ‘religious’. What if a few hundred thousand of us all just said ‘Merry Christmas’ to all our FB friends – with a beautiful / stylish nativity scene ? It’s not at all offensive – yet yes say something important.
The important point of ‘Christmas’ articulated
The Christmas season and holiday exists because our nation recognised the significance of Jesus birth, life, death and resurrection to who we are as a nation. Our values and systems of law principally come from his influence. We are all blessed by him in a myriad of ways – and this does include the freedoms, equality and prosperity we all enjoy at a level higher not only than most nations globally today, but also than nearly all nations in history prior!
For this reason we are right as a nation to to honour his memory!