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Illustration for 24 December

Christmas is nearly here!

Christmas is a time of joy and celebration. We are celebrating the birth of Christ, who is the light of the world.

We have got quick activities and prayer ideas to help you and your family celebrate throughout the days of Christmas, all the way to Epiphany.

We also have Advent family prayer resources as you prepare for Christmas.

25 December (Christmas Day)

Light a candle and remember that Jesus is the light of the world. Think about how you can share the light of Jesus in our world throughout the Christmas season.

You could say the following prayer together:

God of light,
you came to live among us
to bring us life and light.
Hear our prayers as we celebrate your birth:

(share your family’s intentions here)

Help us to be a light for others.

26 December (Boxing Day)

In Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) most churches hold big gatherings with Nativity plays on Christmas Eve. The evening starts with the story of Creation and the play goes all the way through to Jesus' birth and beyond. They try to time the play so that Jesus' birth comes as midnight, just as Christmas Day begins. And in some churches the singing goes on until the morning. 

Can you put on a nativity play or sing some songs at home with your family to remember why we are celebrating?

27 December

At this time of year, when we celebrate the birth of the baby Jesus, get out your old baby photos and have a look at them together. Have you got photos of your parents and grandparents as babies to look at too?

Say thanks to God for sending baby Jesus into our world to show us how to live. Pray for all babies, children and parents throughout the world that they may have a happy, healthy and hopeful future.

28 December (Holy Innocents)

Today we remember how Joseph was warned in a dream to take his family to safety in Egypt, because King Herod wanted to harm the baby Jesus. Lots of people around the world today still have to leave their homes because of war, poverty or natural disaster. Let’s pray for them. Use one of our journey family prayer ideas to inspire you.

29 December

In the Philippines a 'parol' is a special lantern which people put up throughout the Christmas season. Most often, these lanterns are in the shape of a five-pointed star - a reminder of the star above Bethlehem. 

Why not make your own special Christmas lantern to display in your window?

30 December

In Lebanon, on the feast of St Barbara which is a few weeks before Christmas, children plant wheat seeds in cotton wool. They water them in the days leading up to Christmas and when the seeds have sprouted and grown green stems, they add them to a nativity scene, surrounding the manger with grass.

Why not grow some cress seeds on some kitchen roll or cotton wool? Let the seeds remind you of the God's generosity and the potential can be stored in even a very small thing.

31 December (Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph)

Today we celebrate the Holy Family – Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Families come in all shapes and sizes but we are also all part of one big global family because we are all God’s children. What message would you like to share with all the members of our global family?

Create a poster to share your message with the world.

1 January (New Year's Day)

Today is the first day of a new year!

Spend some time together thinking about what your hopes are for this new year for yourself, for your family, for your local community and for the world.

Write each of these hopes on a piece of paper and put them all inside a jar. You could take these hopes out at different points in the year, to remind yourself of them. Or come back together regularly to add new hopes to the jar.

What could you do to make some of these hopes a reality?

2 January

Yesterday was World Day of Peace. Come together and offer one another a sign of peace. How can you be a sign of peace out in the world today? Could you say sorry to someone, avoid arguing with one another, or pray for peace in countries where there is war?

3 January (Most Holy Name of Jesus)

The name Jesus means ‘God saves’. We celebrate this name because it is Christ’s name but also because it is a powerful prayer. Find out together what the names of the people in your family mean.

Pray together asking God to bless each member of your family.

4 January

For the Lord comes, he comes to rule the earth. He will rule the world with justice and the peoples with fairness.

Psalm 97:9

Christ is the King of the whole universe – a king of love, who serves his people and treats them all fairly. What kind of ruler would you be if you were in charge? What laws would you have for people? Make and decorate a paper crown while you discuss these questions.

Ask God to guide all world leaders to make the world a fairer and better place for all people to live.

5 January

Cry out with joy to the Lord, all the earth. Serve the Lord with gladness. Come before him, singing with joy. 

Psalm 99:1-2

Today’s psalm encourages us to sing with joy to the Lord. What songs make you happy? Put on some music and dance and sing for joy. Can you make up your own song to thank God for all the wonderful things he has done for us?

6 January

We've told you about some Christmas traditions from different countries. Do some research together and find out about a tradition from another part of the world. Is it something you could try with your family?

7 January (Epiphany of the Lord)

The three kings were guided to visit Jesus by a bright star shining in the sky. They brought Jesus gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Think about what gifts you can offer to Jesus today. For example: love, thanks, praise, repentance. Cut a star shape out of paper and write on it the gift that you would like to offer Jesus.

Fold all the points of the star into the middle and then put it into a bowl of water. As you watch, the star should start to open out showing your gift to everyone.

Family activities and ideas

We have loads of great ideas for busy parents and families, including fundraising ideas and home learning resources.

Children's liturgy

Help children to explore and reflect on the Sunday gospel with our resources.

Pray with us

Use our range of prayers to pray for all our sisters and brothers throughout the world