Husband. Dad to 5. Student Ministry Pastor. Follower of Jesus. Yatta yatta.


Last Friday night was our high school Christmas Party. We ate a traditional turkey meal cooked by families in our church, had a concert with a band called “This Holiday Life”, and laughed a lot in our “late night show” portion of the night. The party is semi-formal and about 90 or so showed up dressed their best. It’s a lot of work, but this year we saw a lot of visitors come, students really had a great time. All the planning, late nights, and phone calls seem to pay off.

This year we did a tradition I’ve done for the last 12 or 13 years. Whenever I do this semi-formal Christmas party, we assign a table number to all the tables: 1-12. Then we do the 12 days of Christmas– but we customize them. Everyone in the room sings the “on the ___ day of Christmas, my true love gave to me” part. Then the corresponding table group stands up and sings/yells their gift. Here’s this year’s 12 gifts list. Sing them to the tune as you read them and it’ll be more fun. I put them in reverse order so you can sing it to yourself just once… 🙂

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:
twelve molding fruitcakes
eleven chargers charging
ten hybrids driving
nine pants eemoing
eight ipods shuffling
seven mothers nagging
six blenders blending
five useless things
four lovely togas
three PS3’s
two myspace comments
and a monkey in a palm tree

We also did something new this year. For fun we did a contest of who could make the best “gingerbread” rendition of Mary and Joseph riding on a donkey on their way to the inn out of the supplies we provided in 5 minutes or less. They did it as a table group and it was tons of fun. They still amaze me when we do this kind of stuff with their creativity. (click on the picture above and it’ll get bigger and you can see one of the creations) The supplies were:

  • 4 graham crackers
  • 10ish toothpicks
  • a hand full of skittles and runts candies
  • two small bins of colored frosting
  • 4 large marshmallows
  • a small bin of small marshmallows
  • candie sprinkle
All in all, it was fun, encouraging, and worth it. One of my values as a youth pastor is to see high school students enjoy themselves. I think they live in such a high pressure (and often pain filled) world, where everyone wants them to grow up and act 30 that I just want to preserve some of the joy of being in high school. I love it when they laugh, eat, and just seem to let the worries of life slip away for a few hours. I think that is one time when I feel God’s presence most clearly.

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