A Simple Plan For Celebrating Christmas 2023 as a Church

Bethany McIlrath | 10 Oct 2023

We realise that Christmas can be an extremely busy time of year for church leadership and staff. To try to make things simpler for you, we've put together a plan that might help you coordinate your church's celebration of Christmas. 

Finalising Your Christmas Planning

How will your church celebrate Christmas together this year? We’ve put below what you’ll need to make these ideas happen. If you’d like a PDF to make it easy to print and markup, click here. You can cross out the ideas you won’t be implementing - it won’t hurt our feelings.

Outreach Event for Christmas

🗓️ Nov 1 - Decide type and nail down details

  • Carolling
  • Nativity
  • Kids’ festival
  • Craft fair
  • Dessert exchange
  • Concert
  • Other ____________

🗓️ Nov 10 - Create invitations to the event Nov 10 - Order resources to give away

🗓️ Nov 26 - Encourage your congregation to hand out invitations

🗓️ December - Host the event

🗓️ Dec 24 - Set extra resources out for visitors to take for free

Advent Reading Plan for Your Congregation

🗓️ Nov 1 - Decide if you’ll coordinate a churchwide Advent reading plan

🗓️ Nov 10 - Order Advent devotionals, or request a custom discount code for your congregation so they can order their ownn

For Adults:

For Families:

🗓️ Nov 26 - Distribute Advent devotionals

Christmas Curriculum for Kids in December

🗓️ Nov 10 - Order a Christmas curriculum or create plans for your own

🗓️ Dec 3 - Host the first session of the curriculum

🗓️ Dec 10 - Host the second session of the curriculum

🗓️ Dec 17 - Host the third session of the curriculum

🗓️ Dec 24 - Include a read-aloud slot in your Christmas Eve service

Christmas Eve Service

🗓️ Nov 1 - Decide what you’ll do for Christmas Eve and begin coordinating the details

  • Who will give the talk?
  • Will there be special music beyond the usual?
  • Will you invite church members to participate in special readings, prayers, or lighting an Advent candle?
  • Will you be doing a read-aloud for kids?
  • Do you need candles and holders?
  • Who will decorate? When do decorations need to be done by?

🗓️ Nov 10 - Order any resources you’d like to give away at your Christmas Eve service (you may be doing this for an outreach event as well)

🗓️ Nov 10 - Order a kid’s book to read aloud during the service

🗓️ Nov 30 - Download free illustrations to project on the big screen during the read-aloud time

🗓️ Dec 17 - Encourage your congregation to invite others to the Christmas Eve service

🗓️ Dec 24 - Host your service and set out evangelistic resources for visitors to take for free

Christmas Gifts for Your Congregation

🗓️ Nov 1 - Decide if you’ll be giving members of your congregation a Christmas gift

🗓️ Nov 10 - Order Christmas gifts based on the number of families in your church, plus a few extra for visitors

Simple gifts for families:

Keepsake gifts for families:

Gifts for those without children or who's children have grown up:

🗓️ Dec 3 - Prepare the gifts if you plan to wrap them, fill out cards, or put them in a package with other goodies

🗓️ Dec 17 - Consider setting out the gifts for people to grab this Sunday, in case they are travelling on Christmas Eve

🗓️ Dec 24 - Set out gifts for your congregation to grab on their way out, or assign volunteers to hand them out

Follow-Up Evangelism in the New Year

🗓️ Nov 30 - Order resources for New Year evangelism, including the invitations that come with some kits

🗓️ December - Hand out New Year evangelistic course invitations at your Christmas outreach event for those who might like to come back

🗓️ Dec 24 - Set out New Year evangelistic course invitations alongside any resources you are giving away. You might also invite visitors back at the end of the service by announcing the course taking place in the New Year.

Small Groups in the New Year

🗓️ Nov 30 - Order resources for New Year small groups so you’re not scrambling in December or January

🗓️ December 17 - Announce New Year small group signups to your church

Your Own Advent Reading

🗓️ Nov 10 - Order your own Advent devotional to spend time with the Lord daily during the busy season ahead. Use PASTOR23 to order a free copy of one of the following from our site. We’re grateful for you!

Check out all of our Christmas resources here, with easy sorting of Advent devotionals, Christmas gift ideas, outreach resources, and more. If you’d like a PDF of this post to make it easy to print and markup, click here.

Bethany McIlrath

Bethany McIlrath loves to get lost in a book and to help others discover their next read in her marketing role at The Good Book Company. When she's not reading stories, she's usually writing them or dreaming about them as she comes up with real-life creative adventures for friends, her husband, and a doorbell-like dog named Indy. Serving in children's ministry is also one of her greatest joys.