Christmas is upon us and some of you have probably already gone out of the way
to make this a special time for your small group. But, if you are anything like me,
you have frozen in anxiety over just what to do. What do I do for my small group
students? How can we celebrate together without it going over the top? Well, here are
some quick and easy ways I have celebrated with my groups in the past:

Gift Ideas:

  • Personalized scripture cards – this is one of my favorites. I have taken 30 of

my favorite scriptures and typed them into the Avery business card template.
Just add your student’s name where appropriate in each scripture. You can
buy the Avery (or Staples, OfficeMax, Office Depot brands etc…) perforated
cards just about anywhere (30 cards take 3 pages). Print off each student’s
set and place them in a simple business card holder. Now they have a
personalized scripture for each day of the month.
o For a sample of what I have done for the cards, simply click
this link:
Personalized%20Scripture%20Cards.doc (do a word search for
“Kristie” and you can replace my name with your student’s name)

  • Starbucks gift card – this is an easy one and one that can promote community

for your small group or just to encourage your students to reach out to a

  • iTunes gift card – who doesn’t love iTunes gift cards? You can buy them

at any store or you can go to iTunes and email them out to your group on
Christmas day.

  • Bake something… even guys love homemade baked goods… how can you go wrong with cookies?

Party Ideas:

  • White Elephant or “Dirty Santa” gift exchange. Allow your students to get

creative (and have a little fun). Set up a time for a low-key party (either
during small group time or at your house) when you can do a fun gift
exchange. Limit the gift to $5 (or a fun re-gift opportunity), sit back and
enjoy seeing what your students come up with.
o If you need information about a White Elephant or Dirty Santa gift
exchange, check out the following links: Here and Here

  • Christmas Caroling… oh yes, I did just go there. I love going to a children’s

hospital or retirement home to brighten someone’s holiday season. It can
be a great service project as well. Just check with the administrator first to
make sure of the time and area in which you are allowed.

  • Progressive dinner. This is a great way to involve your students’ parents and

allow everyone to meet your small group at one time. Ask parents to sign up
for a course (appetizer, salad, main course, dessert…). Then, progressively go
to each house for that part of the meal. You can plan simple icebreakers or
games at each stop.

You may only have five days left but it doesn’t have to take a month to create
an environment to celebrate with your students and create lasting memories. If
you haven’t taken advantage of this Christmas season yet, don’t miss the golden
opportunity to deepen those relationships a little more with a thoughtful gift or
memorable experience!

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Kristie McCollister

Kristie has worked with students for 25 years as a director of student ministries, a small group leader, a Sunday coach, or a coach for student sports teams.

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