You may know our eminent hospitality guru Kate Mitchum as the woman who makes to-die-for cinnamon rolls, but did you know she’s also a party visionary? Christmas has always been a favorite time of year for Kate, who said, “I always hoped I’d grow up to be ‘Mrs. Claus.’” This year, she asked herself, “What could we do to make Christmas Cheer even better?” Clearly the answer was, “More time and more people!” And the December 17 Neighborhood Christmas Party was born.
In order to make it unforgettably fun, Kate gathered a Kids and Teens Christmas Advisory Board, consisting of 17 members, ranging in age from 4 to 17 years old (and a few parents, whose ages we’ve sworn to protect). Kate asked them three basic questions, listed here with a sampling of the colorful answers she received:
What would a really exciting BIG Neighborhood Christmas Party include or look like?
- Special food, special music
- Christmas carol time
- “an area to just play with church toys”
- booths sponsored by different church groups
- a photo booth
- games (“putt-putt maybe?”)
- hot cocoa (“adults might like coffee”)
- “giveaway dog treats for people to take home”
- donation barrels for the food bank
What kinds of crafts, food, and music would be fun? Do you have other ideas?
- “Maybe kids could make a train of some kind to bring home—a train craft.”
- a Santa
- “loud live music”
- live bluegrass music
- “card-making table for people who need encouragement”
- “Christmas Carol Karaoke!”
- Christmas-tree and cookie decorating
- lots of pictures on the walls
- “put lots of couches in there so it feels like a home”
- “build a huge fireplace mantle”
- “storyteller near the mantle and couches”
- bucket dancing (?)
Who would you like to see at your Neighborhood Christmas Party?
- Lots of different age groups
- kids from Street Youth Ministry
- Ronald McDonald House families
- UPC shut-ins
- “the whole Gospel Choir”
- churches near us
- college kids
- “all the officers and their families who work for our church”
- “definitely daddy”
Kate and her team hope that as people come into our church they “will be filled with a sense of hope, belief in miracles, and deep love that will fill everyone’s heart with the Christmas spirit.” They’re already well on their way as they share in the excitement of just planning such an event. It sounds like it’s shaping up to be a very magical day! We’ll see you there in our most festive attire.