New Year’s, Ephipany activities for families

What can families with children do to keep the spirit of Christmastide—the 12 days after Christmas—flowing, fun and even informative after all the excitement of Advent and Christmas passes?

Our Children’s & Family Ministries correspondent, Elizabeth Christie, has some activity ideas and resources that may offer new insights and beneficial family involvement in celebrating New Year’s and Epiphany (when those three kings finally arrived to see and bestow gifts on the newborn king).

  • Here’s an Epiphany resource from Discipleship Ministries that I’ve used parts of with great success. Family Observance of Epiphany.
  • This could be a nifty idea for the congregation that wants to try something a bit different. I’m thinking of adapting it for use in my home this year and tinkering with it to fit small and large congregations. It is also put out by Discipleship Ministries: An Epiphany Blessing of Homes and Chalking the Door
  • Here’s something that DevoZine printed just for youth groups. It could be a neat addition to a youth gathering on New Years: New Year’s Eve Watchnight ‘Owlah’ Service (devozine)
  • For those planning something different for New Year’s Eve worship, this is a Watch Night resource I wrote for Discipleship Ministries: Watch Night with Children and Families
  • It would be fun to have a multigenerational event just before Christmas where people create their own Wise Men to put in their homes. Each day, they move them a bit closer to the manger scene, and finally have them arrive on January 6. Here are some Wise Men cutouts. (2 sets to a page.) I have used these, cut them apart, and glued them to clear plastic cups. Families take them home and have a nice alternative to Elf on the Shelf.
  • These stars are another fabulous option. You can make as many layers as you’d like. Again, people could make them at home and bring them in, but I also like to option of making them on the day that the congregation celebrates Epiphany and having the families bringing them home to remind them to follow the star. Christmas Stars Crafts & Activities

Next up: Elizabeth Christie will share some ideas and resources to help children and families celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday on that national holiday weekend, Jan. 13-15. Stay tuned.