Ideas for Groups at Christmas
On this page we include some ideas that groups can use at Christmas; creative activities that help to reach out into the organisation and in a positive but appropriate way touch others with the love of Christ.
We also list reports of activities that groups have undertaken at Christmas time.
We would love to hear from you about what you have done in your workplace at Christmas. Let us know of any ideas that have worked well at email@example.com.
Chris, who is involved in running a Christian Group in an international software company, wrote to us to tell us about the exciting workplace initiative that the group launched at Christmastime. Chris writes:
“The Christmas Hamper idea came from my involvement with Besom (www.besom.org.uk). Besom regularly ask Churches to either prepare whole Christmas hampers or provide luxury items of food and presents to be added to hampers and given to those in need over Christmas.
I thought that our Christian work group could collect enough items for a couple of hampers so that’s all we decided to do. Members of the group dropped off items (mince pies, puddings, crackers etc.) into my office. The items built up and then were noticed by work colleagues who asked why I had all this “shopping” in my office. They too became enthusiastic to bring in items for this worthy cause. The first year we collected enough for 5 or 6 whole hampers and this was without any advertising. The following year we posted notices and asked for donations (signed by the Christian Fellowship group) and we collected enough to fill 14 hampers (see picture)
There were significant benefits arising from this initiative:
- It raised the profile of the Christian group at work .
- The initiative attracted several new additions to our group.
- We re-emphasised the Christian context of Christmas at a time when many of the staff are focused on sales targets.
- We helped some families in need with goodies they wouldn’t normally buy.”
This is a great story of how a Christian Group can really make a difference in the workplace. Do you have any similar stories to tell us that we might be able to share and encourage others?
Organising a Christmas Carol Event
This is a great opportunity, as it is easy to set up a Christmas carol service that links into the Christmas cheer. This is not something you can easily do at Easter or Pentecost!
1) Preparation: gather all the Christians at work to team up and take on individual roles:
Service format and sheet
Welcome (by the group leader, key senior manager, diversity representative?)
3 thumping and familiar carols
An enthusiastic and gifted Pastor to give a direct, good 10 min message
Only brief and topical prayers, by a fellowship member
Christmas blessing (Pastor?)
Obtain agreement of your managers/HR department to what you are planning to do
2) Think creatively about promoting the event (invitations in the company) with supporting activities, tapping into the ‘Christmas Spirit’:
Organising a departmental ‘Decorating’ competition, with the best decorated department winning free coffees or something
Getting people to buy anonymous presents for deprived children (NSPCC or local charity) or gifts for developing countries (World Vision, Oxfam, etc..)
Giving out free advent calendars
3) Make sure the event is timed, and finishes on time (30 mins sharp?).
4) For music, get your own band or the Salvation Army (one company used a small gospel band which proved very popular!).
5) Prepare Invitations / Posters
6) Think about providing food (mince pies & coffee?)
7) Think carefully about the meeting place (e.g. the company atrium or entrance hall)
8) Invite a management representative to read the lesson (? John 1.1-14), provide food afterwards and mingle with his workforce.
9) Tell any important folks’ PAs to put it in the bosses diaries
Christmas Cards for Every Employee
One very simple idea at Christmas is to give a Christmas card to every employee. This both highlights the existence of your group, and shares a message of hope.
There are a wide range of cards available on line. One group used the card shown which has a powerful message of hope about the true God of Christmas, but was not too pushy with the gospel.
You might choose something a little more direct, or perhaps not so direct. Remember to discuss what you plan to do with your manager/HR department first.
A great way to make this have even more impact is to personally sign every card. You can preprint some labels saying “Happy Christmas from the Christians Fellowship Group” but signing them shows you have taken some effort.
It is good to pray over the cards before distributing them to everyone in a suitable way.
The specific card shown is available from the Christian Publishing and Outreach website https://www.cpo.org.uk/christmas-cards .
Give Away a Testimonial DVD
If your Christian Workplace Group has a budget available, or can be supported by a local Church, then why not consider giving away a Christian DVD to every employee? Remember to discuss it first with your HR department/manager. A great example of this is the More to Life DVD produced by Viz-aViz.
Wrapped in Christmas paper, what a brilliant gift at Christmas! One group prayed that it would act as if they had wrapped up Jesus and given Him to everyone!
One testimony received from this Christmas outreach is incredible:
“Returning from the Christmas holidays I bumped into the MD’s secretary. She was German, and one of their traditions is to open a gift on Christmas Eve. She chose to open our Christian Workplace Group’s gift. She then told me how she sat with her whole family and watched it together – amazing what God can do!”
Mugs for Christmas
What’s a good way for a Christian Workplace Group (CWG) to get across the Christmas message to others in the organization and at the same time raise the profile of your group? One tried and tested approach is to have some tea/coffee mugs made with a Christian message on them, along with the name of the CWG and a contact number and then send them out as gifts at Christmas.
Apart from being received by individuals you can guarantee that they will get left all over the place in kitchens and on desks, etc. This is very effective in communicating a simple Christian message and raising awareness of the CWG in the organisation. Give away one mug and many others will use it and get the message!
Christians in the Audit Commission (CiTAC) gave away mugs with their logo on and had a number of people make contact with the group as a result. This approach can also be used as a means of advertising forthcoming events which your CWG might be organising such as a speaker event.
You will find many suppliers are able to provide mugs with the words you want placed on them. Do shop around as there are usually discounts for larger quantities.
This is a great and simple means of Christmas outreach, but just one thing, don’t forget to get permission from your managers or HR department first!
Collecting Tinned Food for a Local Charity
Below are some details of an activity undertaken by the HMRC group at Reading. Group members collected food tins, which were then passed on to the needy in the town through a local charity. Although this event was done at harvest time, it does not have to be.
Transform Work UK are keen to encourage all CWGs to consider organising this activity in the lead up to Christmas. This is a fine example of a group working together with others in the organisation to show God’s love to those in need in the local area. It is also something that all staff can easily be encouraged to join in to help support local homeless charities this winter time.
Great idea, what do we do next? Here’s a few tips…
1. Suggest this idea to your CWG. Brainstorm the local homeless charities you could support, perhaps someone in your group already volunteers in a homeless charity or has good contacts with a local charity already.
2. Once you’ve chosen a charity, contact them and see if they would like your support. Ask them exactly what they need.
3. Next, seek permission from your employer to use the company email to advertise your activity.
4. Advertise and galvanise participation from all staff, be creative and have fun – it is Christmas!
5. Set a closing date for when all the cans need to be in.
6. Don’t forget to write a report / article and take pictures that can be used on your company web site & tell TWUK too – we love sharing good news stories across workplaces!
7. Last but by no means least… pray through every step, for your chosen charity, your colleagues as they get involved and employer too!
Operation Christmas Child
Fill a child’s life with joy this Christmas!
Imagine being a child and not receiving a single present at Christmas. Now imagine being able to bring joy to that child by simply wrapping and packing an empty shoebox with lots of little gifts. This little miracle happens each year.
Operation Christmas Child brings the true meaning of Christmas to needy children around the world through gift-filled shoeboxes packed by people like you. Since 1990, over 113 million gift-filled shoeboxes have been distributed to children worldwide who have experienced the love of God through these simple gifts.
Operation Christmas Child is a great workplace activity – for bringing colleagues together, for getting out into the community, for fulfilling corporate social responsibility – it’s amazing what shoeboxes can do for yo
ur workplace. To get involved, simply go to www.operationchristmaschild.org.uk and order your FREE resources to get started.
Many children who receive Operation Christmas Child gift filled shoeboxes will have the opportunity to participate in The Greatest Journey, a voluntary 12 lesson discipleship programme enabling children to interact with the Gospel, through Bible stories and Bible teaching. The mission of The Greatest Journey is to help local churches overseas reach children with the Gospel, to establish them in their faith in Jesus Christ and to equip them to pray for and share the Gospel with their family and friends. To find out more about The Greatest Journey, go to www.thegreatestjourney.org.uk.
Starting a Choir
Several CWGs have started choirs. A Whitehall choir started in the Department for International Development and grew to be Whitehall-wide with members from a range of Departments. A choir was formed for Christmas 2014 at the Passport Office in Peterborough and was the centrepiece of their Christmas event.
If you have a choir teacher then learning songs will be easier, but it is not necessary to have an expert, trained, choir master or mistress! As long as you have someone with some musical knowledge, who knows the music and can bring a group of people together, then you are away!
Invitations to join the choir can be extended widely round the office, and certainly do not need to be restricted to Christians. If the purpose of the choir is to further the aims of the group, then songs relating to the Christian faith can form the backbone of the music the choir sings. But the music repertoire need by no means be entirely spiritual! A choir is an excellent way to get to know colleagues away from work, and as we get to know people better, Christian values can be imparted, and invitations to the group can be extended.
Apart from someone to lead the choir with some musical experience, all that is needed is a room to rehearse (think of the transmission of sound), a musical instrument or a CD/MP3 player for background music. When the choir is ready, invitations to short performances can be extended around the organisation, with the events being held perhaps at lunchtime or immediately after work. If a comfortable venue is available nearby, then so much the better.