There are things that your church, your pastor, the staff know and feel about Christmas that are as hidden as the real wine used for the ordained staff communion (just kidding…kinda).
1) Santa: This might be shocking, but your Pastor fills Santa stockings for his kids, and will continue to do so for his grandchildren. And some of your pastors have to keep this a “family secret”. Maybe one day he can be out of the closet about this. I hope yours can. I also hope your pastor is not bombarded with fundy tinged statements about how the word Santa is just a jumbled word version of satan. Really? Seriously? Do we have to keep going there? My guess is your pastor would like to tell everyone to “get over it.” And to really flip some parishioners lids, chances are there’s a “secret Santa” exchange amongst the church office staff. That’s why the stockings hung in the staff lunch room is so closely guarded. Also I JUST DISCOVERED THIS… Family Christian Stores sells a stocking for Jesus. And it’s only $1.99! I’m not kidding. This is awesome (and slightly ridiculous).
2) Children’s Christmas Program: This exists for one reason; Parents. No one denies that kids getting up in front of the church, in little nativity and angel outfits, singing “In Eggshells He Day Oh” aren’t over the top cute. We love it. But only for seven minutes. After that we want a real show. We want the Living Christmas Tree, live animals, and a real angel suspended from the ceiling—with wings and all. Maybe even some glitter. And snow, let’s do the snow over the church stage again! That was so awesome! But back to the “children’s program”. One day, not so long ago, the board of ALL church boards called a gathering of the saints and made a proclamation. They unanimously voted in a special Children’s Christmas Program, separate from the church’s main program. It would be held each year for parents that long to have a video of their child singing songs, pointing at a star – stage left, and picking their nose and lifting up dresses and other oddities. This program would allow parents to make an exhibition of their child’s pre-American Idol talents. If you are one of the few churches that didn’t attend this ALL board church proclamation meeting, then I’m sorry. But it’s not too late to get “on board”. And bring on the glitter!
3) Christmas Decorations at Church: If you love yours, then there are some talented professional interior decorators that have chosen to serve the church in making your Christmas beautiful. At my church we have an entire evergreen forest. It’s pretty sweet. I think there are live squirrels in that little wonderland too, but they are very quick and hard to catch sight. Some of you have a Nativity or Creche on display. I’m not really sure what makes one a Nativity and the other that word I can’t pronounce. Anyways, these displays are really cool – but it seems like people like to “borrow” parts of the menagerie. I have no idea why I keep hearing news stories about this very thing, Christmas after Christmas. Someone has taken the Baby Jesus again. This edges on an unforgivable sin, and I personally can’t fathom standing before God on judgement day, trying to explain why I thought replacing Baby Jesus with a GI Joe was such a great and funny idea. But back to the point… If you still see the same tree, with the same decorations and crafts from Sunday School adorning the foyer, then those with the gift of decorating have not come forward. You’ve got some stingy spiritual gift holder-backers. Or maybe it’s because everyone at your church knows to not step on Betty-Sue and Elder Margaret’s toes. They’ve been doing the church Christmas decorating since…well before you came to this church, and so you’d better back down. Don’t even think about changing things up. Don’t even offer decorating ideas. This is their rightfully earned gift. At this church there ARE golden cows.
4) Worship Christmas Carols: The worship team has been hard at work modernizing carols. They aren’t doing this to frustrate you, they are doing it because, well, they want to spice things up. Jazzy hands! And here’s the truth: they really don’t want another “Communication Card” saying they’ve ruined perfectly good Christmas Carols. If you want old school stuff, then pull out your Ray Conniff and Glen Miller eight-tracks and sing away. At church, the worship team is gonna mix it up and make you learn something new. Don’t be bitter baby. Get over it and get in the spirit. And fa-la-datty-da!
5) Christmas Gifts for your Pastor: I’m not sure a pastor can get enough of those awesome letter openers, memo pads, coffee mugs, and leather bookmarks engraved with some poem or acronym about Pastors. Or Leaders. Let’s be honest, are you really the first person to think this is an original idea? (clearly not, since there is an entire portion of the local Christian bookstore loaded with this
crap stuff) Or maybe you’re going to spend an afternoon making your world-famous fudge, fruitcake, and frankincense muffins. Trust me; the church is overloaded with food at Christmas. They are calling the local food bank to pick up all the loot, not to mention you are only further tempting them with gluttony – and you do NOT want to play a role in that sin, now do you? DO YOU?! When you lovingly hand them your home baked treat, and they say “bless your heart, oh you shouldn’t have”—they are not lying. If you want to impress your pastor (or any church staff) with a gift, go to Samaritans Purse and purchase him a box of chicks, or a cow, or the combo-I-really-love this-church-pack that includes an oxen, three llama, two ducks, and a partridge in a pear tree. All joking aside, this is a good option – ALWAYS. Oh but the worship leader would really like that striped scarf from Hot Topic (not that he shops there).
What Christmas secrets are you “in on” from your church? I’d love to hear it and write another 5 juicy Christmas secrets before the year is up.
Bring it! (and bring the glitter!)