Monday, December 31, 2007

Festive Fridays - Lessons Learned

Do they look like Christmas trees? I didn't think so! :-)

More Christmas trees! Can you guess our theme for the day?

Snack/Craft: Christmas trees made out of sugar cones, frosting, and candies.

Who's monitoring all this madness?

As promised, I will be sharing a few of the things I learned through my little Christmas project called Festive Fridays.

First of all, I must say a big thank you to my wonderful husband, Dave, for jumping on board with this idea. He and I work so well together, and I love when we are able to tackle something new like this as a team. One idea will springboard into another as we talk about what we can do. As you may have noticed, he is a great "up front" person, and I do quite well in the background making sure things are done and flowing smoothly. I was grateful for his ability to play the guitar and lead our Christmas carol singing time. I am also thankful that Dave is so open with our resources as this venture did cost us in finances, times, and our home. Dave also jumped in and helped with crafts, games, and story reading.

I am also thankful to my two older children, Hannah and Eric, for their willingness to give of their time to help with anything that needed doing. They organized games, picked up after craft time, read stories, helped with snacks, and generally, just did whatever needed to be done.

That being said, here are a couple of things I learned during Festive Fridays:

1) I needed better resources for tying it all together. It would have been nice to have the resources all in one place, but as it was, I was picking and choosing stories, games, scripture, crafts, snacks, etc... from a wide variety of sources. It all worked out great, but I have a greater appreciation for good curriculum! :-) The good news is that now I have my own curriculum of sorts to draw from for next year.

2) When it's raining outside, 18 people in my house playing a relay game is a tad too many! :-)

3) In reference to item #2, always check the weather forecast!

4) When it comes to crafts with children of various ages and abilities, easier is definitely better. :0 Also, any craft involving glue should not be done on my dining room table!

5) Speaking of crafts, using food products (or candy) in the creation of a craft calls for having extras on hand just for eating. We made advent calendars using Hershey's Kisses our first Friday together, and I overestimated a young child's ability to understand delayed gratification! Ha!

6)  This lesson I know from having children of my own, but I forgot since they are now older:  Pray fast!  Little bodies need to move!

7) I think we could have done more to focus on reaching out to others. We did collect money towards feeding hungry children, but I didn't want the children to feel pressured to give towards that as our time together was our ministry to them. However, I do think that the children would participate more fully and compassionately if we were able to help another neighbor with a project, gift, food, or money.

So there you have it - lessons I learned in putting on Festive Fridays for the kids in my neighborhood.  I'm sure if Dave were to share, he'd have more, different, lessons that I should have learned, but this isn't his blog, now, is it?!  


Anonymous said...

You amaze me with your creativity and practical way of serving Jesus. What a wonderful way to spark the Christmas spirit in your neighborhood. I'm sure that this will spark others to want to do the same in their neighborhoods. It sounds like it just might become a Christmas tradition in your neighborhood. Thank You for sharing! Mari

Michele B said...

I love this idea! It sounds super scary to me, but then hospitality is not one of my stronger gifts. But I like the positive way you came away with "lessons learned," and how you express them. It's clear you put a lot of thought into it, both before and after, and even clearer that God was in it, big-time!

Anonymous said...

Gina, Mari told me about your Christmas project and I asked her for your blog address and just read all the fun things you did. I cannot tell you how much I admire and respect your ability as a pastor's wife to be so transparent and vulnerable, so open. Thank you for showing the rest of us another picture of a family working together for a great cause. God Bless........