Sunday, December 29, 2013

ADVENT-urous Tags- family project


Sometimes in ministry it is challenging to find activities that bring together family members for a joint project. 
My friend Michele Schulteis, 
an LCMS- trained elementary educator, 
shared this from Bethany Lutheran Church,
 Long Beach, California.


Here is her description of this Sunday after 
Thanksgiving project for families
 at the beginning of ADVENT. 
Think it is a great time to add this to the blog, 
since it always sneaks up so quickly. 
So file this away, and make up a sample so you are ready for next year - far in advance!
Michele shares:
We had our “3rd annual” family advent project Sunday school class the weekend after Thanksgiving.  The past couple of years we did the Jesse Tree project, while this year we came up with ADVENT-urous tags.  We had 25 Christmas discussion starters, tags and supplies so families could create the tags.   I used the questions that were in the book, Celebrating A Christ-Centered Christmas by Sharon Jaynes chapter 5 (pages 23-26) Dinner Conversations.  I made up the rest – though I did get inspiration from the book The Conversation Piece Collection:  The Christmas Conversation Piece- the questions were very basic– just changed the way they were asked.
I presented the discussion starters at our family ministry meeting, Mary Fink suggested tags, I shared the idea with Jeanne Borg-Breen and it came together!  Jeanne completed a sample.
For the event, these items were provided:

tags (Staples is great for these)
  markers, colored tape, glue sticks
 or double sided sticky tape
ribbon or yarn
 scrapbook paper scraps

  Each family had 13 tags on a ring.  They decorated and added the title + the 25 discussion starters back to back (26 pages, 13 tags). Here are the questions.




 ADVENT-urous Tags
Here are the questions that they used for
 family conversation starters around the table and for the tags.
You could use them or modify them for the age group
 you are working with and your own settling.
This was an intergenerational family activity.

Describe the sounds that might
 have been heard in the stable on Christmas night.

Who do you think took care of the sheep
 when the shepherds ran off to see baby Jesus?

Describe a Christmas tree to a blind person.

What do you think the wise men 
wore when they visited Jesus?

What smells do you imagine were in the stable?
  What do you think the animals were thinking after Jesus was born?

What is your favorite Christmas present ever?

What Christmas tradition means the most to you?

How much light does it take to drive out darkness?

What are some amazing facts about
 the Christmas story?

What is your favorite Christmas carol/hymn/song?  
What Christmas song is the first one
 you remember learning?

What is your favorite Christmas smell?
  Sound?  Sight?

What is your favorite Christmas food?  
What is your favorite cookie?

What is your favorite Christmas memory?
  What’s your first Christmas memory?
  Tell about your first Christmas memory.

Describe how the sky looked when the angels
 appeared to the shepherds.

Which person in the Christmas story
 would you like to have been?  Why?

If you were one of the wise men visiting
 Jesus in today’s world, what would you bring Him?

Which event or part of the Christmas season 
do you look forward to most of all?

What makes a Christmas gift really special to you?
  Do you have a favorite gift you have received?

In the Christmas story, Mary was very surprised 
to learn that she would give birth to the son of God.  
What is the best surprise at Christmas
 that you’ve ever had?

What reaction did Mary
 have when the angel visited her? 
Joseph? The shepherds?   
How do you think you would react
 if you were visited by an angel?

What is your favorite Christmas decoration in your house?  Why?

Is there a Christmas tradition that you do not do
 that you would like to start? 
Have you ever looked at the way other cultures celebrate Christmas?

Think of someone in need. 
It could be someone you know
 or someone you may have seen.  
What act of kindness could you do for that person?

In the past year, what is the greatest blessing
 in your life?
What is your favorite day of the week
 for Christmas to be on?

A  D  V  E  N  T -r o u s

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