This is our all-time favorite part of the year and boy, do we have some fresh holiday ideas for your ministry! There is so much to rejoice and be thankful for:
The Christmas music start playing,
The fall leaves begin trickling from trees and changing into beautiful shades of yellow, orange, and red.
The hot cocoa starts bubbling steamy goodness of chocolate and marshmallow goo.
The trees go up and maybe the turkeys begin to roast.
But the truth is, there can be much to mourn as well. Single moms may be experiencing their first Christmas alone, after a spouse passed away. Perhaps this is their 10th Christmas alone and the pain of not being married another year is almost too much to bear. Maybe the financial or parenting burden they face this season seems to be particularly hard and almost insurmountable. This is why we encourage single moms’ ministries to have effective holiday outreach plans.
It’s NOT too late!
Now, before we go further, let us tell you, that it is NOT too late to plan your holiday outreach…even if you don’t have much of a budget. Don’t overthink it! It doesn’t have to be a 5-course meal and orchestra performing a beautiful symphony of Christmas ballads. It can be simple and easy. (Hint: Holiday Outreaches are one of the most effective ways to grow your single moms’ ministry long-term. This is a way to create excitement and have regular members invite visitors to come check you out, so…BE FUN!)
Here are a few holiday ideas:
- Host a White Elephant exchange with a $1 limit at your church or home. White Elephant, Secret Santa, or Cajun Christmas (as we call it here in Louisiana) is simply a fun way to have a gift exchange at a low cost. Have each attendee bring a wrapped gift valued at the $1 limit (or $5 or $10, whatever you decide). You can make something, create gag gifts, or visit the local Dollar store. Each person selects a number and takes turns drawing gifts. It’s a fun past-time that can also equal lots of laughs. Each person can bring a dish for food, if desired. Bam, you’ve just created a holiday outreach!
- Go Christmas caroling. Okay, so yeah, it can be kinda corny, but it’s really quite fun. Determine a set night & time for moms (and even their children) to meet. Rehearse a few Christmas classics, such as Silent Night, Jingle Bells, and the like. Then, determine, where you’d like to spread your holiday cheer. As an added feature, you can close the evening with hot cocoa at someone’s home. Caroling ideas can include neighborhoods, shopping malls, or apartment complexes.
- Host a Christmas movie night at your home or church. There are many wonderful holiday classics that are always worth the 3rd, 4th, or 100th view! Pop some popcorn and create a fun and relaxing environment. Maybe the moms can even come in their pj’s as an additional source of fun.
- Have a game night. Game nights can be board games or Christmas-centric fun, such as gift wrapping challenges (with one hand tied behind the back) or Name that Tune Christmas Edition (while guests listen to one person hum famous Christmas tunes).
- Host a dinner. Whether you choose to simply do a potluck and have everyone bring a dish or petition a restaurant to donate several meals at a local hangout, the point is, those who eat together…stay together! Relationship is formed over a good meal and plenty of laughter. Be sure to have some ice breakers or use open-ended questions to get the holiday chatter going among your attendees.
There are dozens and dozens of fun holiday party ideas available online via search engines, Pinterest, and the like. You are only as limited as your imagination. The point is to create a way to show single moms that they are seen, loved, and not forgotten during the holiday season.
Jennifer Maggio is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Life of a Single Mom, a global nonprofit committed to seeing no single mom walk alone. Having served more than 71,000 single mothers each year, the goal of the organization is establish support groups for single mothers in communities around the world. To date, we have worked with more than 1,500 churches & community groups to start or improve a single mom’s group. Our programs focus on empowering single moms to grow spiritually, emotionally, physically, financially, and parentally.
For more information, visit www.thelifeofasinglemom.com