{ Christmas Gatherings Manual

Gatherings Format

Creating An Atmosphere

  • The first consideration should be the comfort of your guests.
  • Gatherings vary from formal to informal with foods and decorations.
  • As much as possible, create a Christmas atmosphere.
  • Complete preparations before your speaker arrives.
  • Background music may be used during arrival time.
  • Additional activities (crafts, singing or selling) would hinder the purpose and timing of the party.
  • Plan your speaker’s location.
  • Arrange your seating so the speaker will be in view and not near the entrance.
  • Eliminate telephone distractions before the speaker shares.
  • Use name tags to help the speaker and the group interact. You may wish to preprint them.
  • It is a good idea to have a friend assist you with hosting.

Your Gathering

A. Schedule

Party should be two hours in length. Sample schedule for an evening Gathering:
7:00-7:30 Arrival, conversation and refreshments
7:30-8:00 Sharing of traditions
8:00-8:30 Speaker and comment cards
8:30-9:00 More refreshments and conversation

B. Welcome Your Speaker

Speaker will arrive 30 minutes prior to party for prayer, orientation and to assist for a relaxed beginning.

C. Arrival of Guests
  1. Welcome your guests and enjoy good conversation and food.
  2. As your guests meet your speaker, identify your speaker simply as {insert name here} who will be sharing with us later.
  3. It is your responsibility to have your guests be seated before the sharing of Christmas traditions.
D. Sharing of Christmas Traditions
  1. The purpose is to create a warm and personal atmosphere in preparation for the speaker’s message.
  2. Spontaneous sharing is best—taking turns in order around the circle may cause guests to feel pressured
  3. Introduction to sharing time:

“One of the things I find enjoyable and interesting is learning about other people’s Christmas traditions. Why don’t we take a few minutes to share some of our traditions with one another, such as the foods you eat, customs, special things you do in your family, or perhaps you would like to share your Christmas plans this year. In order to give you time to think about what you might say, I’ll share first.”
When having guests with non-Christian religious backgrounds, you may wish to say:
“If you don’t celebrate Christmas, you may wish to share what you do to celebrate another holiday”.
Caution: Please share a short non-religious tradition.

  1. Be sure to end the sharing time on schedule to give your speaker enough time.
E. Introducing Your “Friend Who Will Share”

“This has been such fun hearing your various traditions. I feel we have just started. Maybe we can share more of them a little later.”
“Christmas is such a unique time of year, isn’t it? I wanted to make my Christmas even more special this year by having you in my home. I hope our time together has been as enjoyable for you. As I said on my invitation, a friend of mine will be sharing some thoughts about Christmas today. I don’t know about you, but it is so easy for me to get caught up in the busyness of the season and not take time to really think about its significance. So, I’m eager to hear what {insert name here} will share with us.”

F. Comment Cards

It is essential for the host to know the responses of the guests in order to know how to follow up the Gathering.
Your speaker will come prepared with cards, pencils and a basket and explain to your guests how to use the comment cards. Upon completion the cards will be collected in a basket. After your guests leave, read the cards with your speaker to help determine what type of follow-up is needed and pray together.

G. Closing your Gathering

Graciously thank your speaker and invite guests to enjoy more refreshments.

Points to Remember

If you are part of coordinated effort in your church:

  • Notify the coordinator of your scheduled Gathering for prayer calendar.
  • Attend Praise Gathering, Follow-Up and Bible Study Meeting.
  • Send host evaluation to coordinator.


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