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Christmas gathering suggestions sought

GUEST,DaveC 17 Nov 04 - 10:11 PM
mg 18 Nov 04 - 12:23 AM
Jeanie 18 Nov 04 - 04:24 AM
semi-submersible 18 Nov 04 - 06:45 AM
Tinker 18 Nov 04 - 07:13 AM
GUEST,ClaireBear 18 Nov 04 - 11:53 AM
MMario 18 Nov 04 - 12:13 PM
open mike 18 Nov 04 - 01:08 PM
open mike 18 Nov 04 - 01:12 PM
SINSULL 18 Nov 04 - 01:16 PM
MMario 18 Nov 04 - 01:28 PM
SINSULL 18 Nov 04 - 01:43 PM
Tinker 18 Nov 04 - 01:59 PM
Tinker 18 Nov 04 - 02:23 PM
GUEST,DaveC 18 Nov 04 - 10:33 PM
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Subject: Christmas gathering suggestions sought
From: GUEST,DaveC
Date: 17 Nov 04 - 10:11 PM

I'm getting together a pre-Christmas evening Christmas partylike affair this year for our church. What started it was the observation that school kids here no longer get to sing the traditional carols in school, as used to happen, and our church has long had a tradition of not having any Christmas music until Christmas Eve -- and that ends within a week.

As a result, kids and adults rarely sing carols together any more, and it has always seemed to me that these songs embodied a spirit that was almost as much traditional secular-American as well as Christian and was worth trying to preserve.

At any rate, I have figured out that there can be carols sung and small reminiscences interspersed at this gathering, with room for a couple activities which may have a Christmas link. Tentatively, these is a small-gift swap ('gifts' provided) and a large game of musical chairs.

We would come back to carols throughout the evening but feel we have to keep things sort of moving as there will probably be little kids involved.

Any suggestions or tips of any kind would be welcome, but especially activities that have a play-party Christmas connection of some sort and are so simple that even Episcopalians can understand them.

Hoping to hear from you.


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Subject: RE: Christmas gathering suggestions sought
From: mg
Date: 18 Nov 04 - 12:23 AM

Kids always like those little calendars where you open the day and there is a little prize or something in...also do you do Advent Wreaths? Appeals to their pyro side. There could be a table where they make simple ornaments or cards... mg


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Subject: RE: Christmas gathering suggestions sought
From: Jeanie
Date: 18 Nov 04 - 04:24 AM

Here's a suggestion for something that goes down well with kids (and "big kids" !) : sound effects stories. A story is read out (in this case, connected to Christmas) in which the same words or phrases appear several times - The audience is primed to make the appropriate sounds (plus maybe actions) every time that word is said. (eg. sheep - baaaaa). It sounds daft written down but, believe me, it's a fun way to keep a large mixed-age group entertained. Rather like that old party game "The Family Coach".

Hope your event goes really well,
- jeanie


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Subject: RE: Christmas gathering suggestions sought
From: semi-submersible
Date: 18 Nov 04 - 06:45 AM

Kids in any number supply their own programming.

Use chairs or something to fence a roomy play area, with a relatively narrow doorway. Add a few big cardboard boxes, a couple of blankets, and (if available) child-size table(s) with chairs, paper, and crayons. Or drape a blanket over two chairs. The fence is to help parents relax and enjoy, with the youngest ones safe and semi-contained. (Not in a separate room, of course, but in the main room, with the singing.) Of course there'll be some noise, unless you enforce a "concert" format, but it'll be happy noise.

Older children may take more interest in participating. Can they help suggest songs?

Can a long rope be threaded onto a biggish box (2 holes on each side, knotted around the back) so kids holding the rope can tow it around? This box could assist delivery of presents. Kids will soon start to give each other rides. (This should not be used if scratches in the floor are a problem.)

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Jingle Bells are standout favourites with kids here. These can help keep a group together until everyone freezes at the sound of approaching sleighbells outside the door. (If St. Nick visits, that is.)

Sounds like a memorable party. Maureen


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Subject: RE: Christmas gathering suggestions sought
From: Tinker
Date: 18 Nov 04 - 07:13 AM

There are a couple of old ones that could fit. I'll come back and type another later today.

From: Games for All Occaisons by Mary Blain
copyright 1930


JOLLY ST NICHOLAS

One child is chosen to rpresent Jolly St Nicholas and stands in the center of the room. The other children stand around in a circle while Santa Claus reads his rules of good behavior to them which are as follows:
"You must speak when you are spoken to. Do you understand?"
(The children reply,"Yes, Sir")
"You must come when you are called. Come here."
(The children run towards SAnta and stand still when he raises his hand.)
"You must keep your place."
(The children return to their former places.)
"You must be asleep by eight o'clock."
(Santa counts eight and the children must all close their eyes by the time he says "eight")
"It is more blessed to give than to receive,"
The children are supposed to keep their eyes closed and when Santa gives them something(which will be a little tap on the hand or a light trod on the foot, a kiss, a hug or a gentle pull of the hair or ear or something of that sort), the recipient must pass it on to the next, who passes it on to the next, and so on.

If Santa observes anyone disobeying his rules he tags them and they are out of the game. If any of the children succeed in being perfectly good children they are given a suitable prize by Santa Claus, and another Santa Claus is chosen if it is desired to continue the game.


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Subject: RE: Christmas gathering suggestions sought
From: GUEST,ClaireBear
Date: 18 Nov 04 - 11:53 AM

Two standout activities that come to mind are popcorn stringing and paper-chain making. Also, if anyone in your church hoards old Christmas cards, they can be cut out and converted to ornaments with a red or green paper background, a bit of ribbon to hang, and a little glue.

Then they can be hung on a garland to dry, an be taken home at the end of the evening.

More complex, but loads of fun, is providing wood scraps (the weirder the shapes the better) and letting the children glue them together imaginatively and/or paint them with water color or temperas. They can become animals, airplanes, trains...you get the idea. Of course that is dependent on someone in the community having a collection of interesting woodscraps (or being willing to beg them from an appropriate business).


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Subject: RE: Christmas gathering suggestions sought
From: MMario
Date: 18 Nov 04 - 12:13 PM

are so simple that even Episcopalians can understand them

tough job that!

But don't forget the ADVENT carols and hymns! and the Epiphany carols and hymns - which both help to extend the "Christmas" season.


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Subject: RE: Christmas gathering suggestions sought
From: open mike
Date: 18 Nov 04 - 01:08 PM

or you can take the whole group strolling thru the neighborhood
(weather permitting) and have the added effect of carolling as
it traditional--on the move, not just sitting down IF there are
people living close by who might be glad to have musicians paythem a visit...there might even be some cookies or cocoa in it for you!

we often do this here even though it is rural and the houses are
far apart...we drive, not walk, from door to door and bring joy
wherever we go....esp. to those who do not get out much or have
had a rough year...

also play dough ornaments cut with cookie cutters are a good project.

you can jsut let them dry for a couple days
or bake at low temp. 200 degrees F for an hour or two.

here is a recipe:
2 cups flour
1 cup salt
1 TBSP oil
2 cups cold water
(some recipes call for
2 tsp. cream of tarter --OR-- 2 TBSP alum )
mix all ingredients together
cook over low heat, stir til thick

can add a drop of mint extract to make it more fun to use.
you can divide into several batches and
add food color or tempera powder

store in plastic bags or air tight containers if not all used


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Subject: RE: Christmas gathering suggestions sought
From: open mike
Date: 18 Nov 04 - 01:12 PM

by the way it is not what you think...DO NOT BE FOOLED or FOLKED
if you use the link on the bottom of the page
that says go to this toll-free number for FOLK

this is what it is..not folk music but a Fiber Optic Link Kit!!

RIO FIBER OPTIC LINK KIT   Part #: FOLK
Offered is Fiber Optic Link Kit. This kit connects port modules up to 1 mile from a host card or other port module, converts data to and from light for transmission across fiber optic cable. Up to four FOLKs supported per host card or port module, unless an LDM is also connected, in which case only one FOLK is supported.


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Subject: RE: Christmas gathering suggestions sought
From: SINSULL
Date: 18 Nov 04 - 01:16 PM

Kids love a Treasure Hunt. The less chaotic one I arranged went like this.

Clue


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Subject: RE: Christmas gathering suggestions sought
From: MMario
Date: 18 Nov 04 - 01:28 PM

boy sinsull - you believe in making them tough!


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Subject: RE: Christmas gathering suggestions sought
From: SINSULL
Date: 18 Nov 04 - 01:43 PM

Well that went well!

I print up a list of clues with answer space to the left. The first letter of each answer forms a sentence reading down.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _               What the "U" stands for in SUV

_ _ _ _                     The first song the angels did sing

_ _ _ _ _                   60s protest singer

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _       We are

_ _ _                      Rudolph's Nose

_ _ _ _ _ _ _               Father, Son, and Holy Ghost

_ _ _ _ _                   Seasonal decoration

_ _ _ _                     Direction Wise Men came from

_ _ _ _ _                   Ho Ho Ho

_ _ _ _ _                   Tony

_ _ _ _ _                   Messenger

_ _ _ _                     One of the wise Men's gifts

_ _ _ _ _ _                Spring Celebration



Answers: Utility, Noel,Dylan, Episcopalians, Red, Trinity, Holly, East, Santa, Tiger, Angel, Gold, Easter.

UNDER THE STAGE

If the clues are simple and difficult enough the younger children, with the help of their parents, have an equal chance to solve the riddle. It is part of the party not a separate event so it goes on until someone solves it. Then (experience here), when the answer is shouted out, 30 children will run to the spot. The treasure itself is not important. I usually used a box filled with little bags of candies or toys. Get the older ones to see that it is distributed fairly.


Another one I used:
Fill a large jar with jelly beans or tiny candy canes, anything small. I could usually get one of the older kids to sit and count the damn things. Leave a sign in sheet next to it for each guest to guess the amount in the jar. Winner gets the jar of candy. Very inexpensive and kids love it. Note: closest to actual number wins and don't disqualify guesses OVER the number. I had a three year old win one year with his wide eyed guess of a MILLION.


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Subject: RE: Christmas gathering suggestions sought
From: Tinker
Date: 18 Nov 04 - 01:59 PM

Very Simple crafts for the youngest participants can include making cards. Birthday Cards for Baby Jesus are popular with the youngest of the crowd and Traditional Christmas cards that can go out to congregational shut ins are another easy activity.

Making free form ornaments from beads and gold or silver pipe cleaners is also a good available side table if your worried about wanderers.

CHRISTMAS STOCKINGS

From: Games for All Occaisons by Mary Blain
copyright 1930


Paint or draw on a sheet of paper the picture of a fireplace. Tack this to the wall and after providing each child with a small stocking and pin (tape) blindfold them in turn, telling them to hang up their stocking at the mantel. Drop a small treat in the stocking of those who succeed before taking the handkercheif from their eyes. Those who fail may have one more turn after all have had a chance.


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Subject: RE: Christmas gathering suggestions sought
From: Tinker
Date: 18 Nov 04 - 02:23 PM

This one may be too complicated for the Episcopalians I spend my Sundays with, but I'll let you be the judge. Maybe in small groups of all ages it would be Okay ??? I think I'd spend my time at the end of the line....

SIR SANTA CLAUS

From: Games for All Occaisons by Mary Blain copyright 1930

The players stand or sit in a line and count off,each remembering his number. One player stands in front of the line and says, "Sir Santa Claus has lost his way, all on account of No. 1." Immediately his number is called No. 1 must say,"Who Sir,I, Sir?" "Yes, Sir! You Sir!" says Sir Santa Claus. "No, Sir! Not I, Sir!" "Who, then, Sir?" "No. 5 Sir."

Immmediately his number is mentioned, No 5 must say "Who Sir? I Sir? and the above dialogue is repeated, and so on, until some player is caught off his guard and Sir Santa Claus is enabled to command said player to go to the foot of the line before he can respond.

If No. 5, for instance, should be napping when his number is called by No.1, Sir Santa Claus would command, "No. 5, go to the foot!" before he could get out his "Who Sir,I Sir?" No. 5 then takes his place at the foot, all all the players that had been below him, move up one, and thus their numbers are changed. If Sir Santa claus works rapidly, the game will move along merrily.

In very large crowds several groups should be formed with a Sir Santa Claus for each group.

This game keeps the players constantly on the alert lest they be sent to the foot. Sould a player fail to use "Sir" in the proper place, he is also demoted.


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Subject: RE: Christmas gathering suggestions sought
From: GUEST,DaveC
Date: 18 Nov 04 - 10:33 PM

You guys are great!

Thanks.


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