One of my greatest memories as a teenager living in Denver is the year there was a blizzard on Christmas eve. As an adolescent I was all about my friends and most of them were in my church youth group. The Christmas Eve candlelight service was the one where all the girls wore their new dresses and we all exchanged gifts... you know... Lip Smackers and Love's Baby Soft. I had mine all ready to go and then found out, to my great disappointment, that the services were cancelled and I was going to have to spend Christmas Eve with... my family.
We planned on going to my aunt's house for Christmas dinner so we didn't have a lot of special food laying around. What a disappointing Christmas Eve. Stuck at home. My dad, however, nut that he is, saw an opportunity and was determined to make the best of it. He pulled out some games and mom made popcorn (no microwaves then) and we had fun and laughed all night. It turned out to be one of the best Christmas Eves in memory.
Family Fun Days/Nights!
That experience taught me that it's important for families to laugh together. People are SO busy running around working toward something that they often forget to stop, breath, and enjoy the moment or the beautiful creation God gave them. Remember that our goal is to show people Jesus at every opportunity so every event includes prayer and a time for devotion to God. Here are some ideas of main events:
- Fall - Pumpkin Carving Gallery! They're going to carve them anyway but how much more fun is it when you see what everybody else is coming up with? Have plenty of newspapers and large garbage bags around and don't forget the popcorn and cider and be sure to take pictures for the gallery.
- Summer - Water Games (games that include an afternoon of water balloons, hoses, and other opportunities for kids to slip and slide around the lawn). This is one moms may not love but dads would. Don't forget the popsicles or ice cream sundaes and sunscreen!
- Winter - Snow Day! If there's enough snow around, it would be fantastic for families to get together and create a huge snowman, snow-family, snow-nativity, or anything creative in the snow. If you're not into creativity you could just play snow games. There's nothing like a slippery, snowy relay. Don't forget the cookies and hot chocolate afterward!
- Spring: Mom and Me Tea - something like this can become a treasured tradition. Our church was small enough that we had all the children (of any age) perform something whether it be reading a touching or funny story, singing a song, telling a memory, or playing an instrument. It wasn't about being great, it was about being fun.
- Day with Dad - spending time with dad is really important and what a better way to do that than an afternoon playing kickball in the park, an afternoon fishing (boat or shore), or just swimming at the lake or local pool. It's always more fun with other dads and kids!
- Friends and non-member families (who hear about it through friends and neighbors) are always welcome!
- If you schedule too many family events, attendance may dwindle.
- Game nights are fun ONCE IN A WHILE.
- They don't need to be too time consuming. A couple hours is fine.